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Dow Jones Average Reaches All-Time High

Wall Street's most famous stock index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, set a record closing high on Thursday, ending above 12,000 for the first time.

However, the closing figure of 12,012 points was below the record level of 12,049 points reached during trading Wednesday.

The market was driven by investor optimism about corporate earnings after strong earnings reports from soft-drink giant Coca-Cola and the two largest U.S. providers of phone service, AT&T and Verizon. Investors seemed to discount some new reports that indicated a weakening of the overall U.S. economy.

Both the broad market S&P 500 index and NASDAQ Composite Index also showed gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a measure of the share value of 30 top U.S. companies.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP, Bloomberg and Reuters.