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Dow closes at highest level in 4 years

The Dow added 66 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 13,279.40, its highest since Dec. 2007.

Nyse 2012 05 01Enlarge
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York City on May 1, 2012. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK – The Dow Jones industrial average closed at its highest level in more than four years today, the Associated Press reported.

The Dow added 66 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 13,279.40, its highest since December 2007. The S&P 500 rose 8 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,406. That’s only 16 points away from its recent 2012 high of 1,422.38, Reuters reported. And the Nasdaq increased 4 points, or 0.1 percent, to close at 3,050.

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The rally was propelled by April manufacturing data that calmed concerns that the US economy had lost momentum at the start of the second quarter, Reuters reported. The Institute for Supply Management said, in April, US manufacturing grew at its fastest pace since June 2011, according to Reuters.

"This comes as a big surprise, because activity in the New York, Philadelphia and Chicago regions slowed materially last month," Katy Lien, director of research and analysis at Global Forex Trading, told CNN. "The details of the report showed strength in new orders, production, new export orders, employment, supplier deliveries and customer inventories."

US stocks had their worst month of the year in April, as investors grew increasingly worried that the US recovery was stalling and the Chinese economy was slowing too quickly, CNN reported.

Energy companies led gains in the S&P 500 today, but all 10 industry groups ended the day higher, the AP reported.

Overseas, Britain's FTSE 100 gained 1.3 percent, and Japan’s Nikkei lost 1.8 percent. Markets in Paris, Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Shanghai were closed for the May Day holiday.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120501/dow-closes-highest-level-4-years