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Dow breaks 13,000 for first time since 2008, then retreats

The milestone came about two hours into trading Tuesday following news of Europe's Greece bailout deal.

Dow-13000-Mark 2012-02-21Enlarge
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange at the end of the first trading session of 2012 on Jan 3. The Dow crossed the 13,000 mark Tuesday for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis. (Ramin Talaie/AFP/Getty Images)

The Dow Jones industrial average broke the 13,000 mark on Tuesday for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis before retreating in afternoon trading.

The milestone came about two hours into the trading day on the heels of a $172 billion Greece bailout deal announced by Euro-zone finance ministers, the Wall Street Journal reported.

More from GlobalPost: EU OKs second Greek bailout, but worries loom

The agreement for a Greek bailout "shows resolve by Europe's leaders and central banks that the system isn't going to fall apart," Jason Pride, director of investment strategy at Philadelphia-based Glenmede, told the Wall Street Journal. "Greece is not a big portion of the European economy, so this by itself does not necessarily drive the dynamic, but what happens in Greece has symbolic effects for Spain, Italy and Portugal."

Stocks dropped back slightly after hitting the mark, then returned to it just after noon. The Dow closed nearly 16 points up at 12,965, according to the Associated Press.

The index last closed above the 13,000 mark on May 19, 2008, and dipped as low as 6,547 on March 9, 2009, the AP reported.

In other trading, the Standard & Poor’s 500 was flat in trading. The Nasdaq composite index fell 0.1 percent to close at 2,948.

Signs of improvement in the economy and stabilization of Europe's debt crisis have driven the Dow more than 20 percent higher since late last year, while the S&P has climbed more than 8 percent so far this year, according to MSNBC.

More from GlobalPost: European shares down after Greek bailout deal agreed

The Greece bailout deal was reached after months of talks that crawled along and vague headlines yanking the market up and down, according to the AP.

Even with the bailout, Greece faces a long road to economic recovery. European Union officials said the Greek economy will only return to growth in 2014 after a recession that will shrink output by 17 percent, Reuters reported.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120221/dow-breaks-13000-mark-first-time-2008