NEW YORK -- With a jump of more than 100 points in early trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is closing at a high it's never seen before.
The previous record was set in October 2007, before the financial crisis and the Great Recession. On Tuesday, Dow rose 126 points, or 1 percent, to 14,253 - ahead of the 2007 mark by 89 points.
The index is up almost 9 percent in 2013, making for a remarkable comeback. It has more than doubled since the 12-year low that Dow hit in March 2009.
The jump to an all-time high for the blue-chip average was powered in part by China's strong economic growth targets, and by a jump in European retail sales.
The index surged above its previous record high soon after the opening bell, and remained above that mark.
Stocks have rallied this year on optimism that the housing market is recovering, and that companies are slowly starting to hire again. Strong corporate earnings have also helped increase demand.
The market has also benefited from economic stimulus from the Federal Reserve and other global central banks.
The S&P 500 is within striking distance of its all-time highest closing level.