The Dow Jones industrial average edged close to the 13,000 mark Friday, a milestone it hasn't reached since May 2008 - a few months before the financial crisis brought the U.S. economy to its knees.
The Dow rose 45.79 points, or 0.4 percent, to finish at 12,949.87, its highest close for the year so far. That followed a 123-point surge Thursday.
The Conference Board reported Friday that its index of leading economic indicators climbed 0.4 percent in January, the fourth straight monthly rise, adding to evidence that the economic recovery is solid.
The gauge is designed to anticipate conditions three to six months out.
For the week, the Dow rose 1.2 percent; the Standard & Poor's 500 rose 1.4 percent; and the Nasdaq composite rose 1.7 percent.
The Dow is up 6 percent in 2012.
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