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Dow hits 12,000 -- again. Dow falls below 12,000 -- again.

January 27, 2011 |  1:55 pm

The Dow is toying with investors.

For the second consecutive day, the Dow Jones industrial average climbed above 12,000 in the morning, fell below that level midday but was back above it in the final minutes of the trading day.

But, alas, it again wasn’t to be.

The major indexes softened at the final bell, preventing the Dow from finishing above 12,000 and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index from reclaiming 1,300.

Both indexes, of course, had been much higher during the bull market that preceded the global financial crisis, with the Dow topping 14,000 and the S&P exceeding 1,500 in October 2007.

For whatever reason, indexes often hesitate as they near milestone numbers -- even if they're the equivalent of do-overs. But they eventually make their way through.

And it’s not as if investors aren’t making money.

The Dow rose for the third time in four days this week, closing up 4.39 points, or 0.04%, at 11,989.83. The S&P, which has been up every day this week, rose 2.91 points, or 0.2%, to 1,299.54. Both indexes are at their highest levels since the bull market began in March 2009.

-- Walter Hamilton

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