Dow Jones falls short of 13,000 close

NEW YORK – For much of the afternoon, it appeared as if the Dow Jones industrial average would finish the day above 13,000, but a flurry of selling at the closing bell left the average about 19 points below that mark, the Associated Press reported.

The Dow has not closed above 13,000 since May 19, 2008, four months before the fall of Lehman Brothers investment bank, according to the AP. In interday trading on Feb. 21, the Dow rose above 13,000 for the first time since the financial crisis, the Wall Street Journal reported.

More from GlobalPost: Dow breaks 13,000 for first time since 2008, then retreats

The Dow closed at 12981.51, a 0.01 percent dip, the Wall Street Journal reported. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index added 1.85 points, or 0.1 percent to end the day at 1367.59. The Nasdaq Composite rose 2.41 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2966.16.

More from GlobalPost: S&P 500 index closes at highest level since 2008

The day started down, with stocks falling after the Group of 20 nations denied requests from the euro area for more bailout funding, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

But stocks rallied following a report from the National Association of Realtors that showed the number of contracts to buy homes in the US rose in January to the highest number in almost two years, the AP reported.

‘‘We’re nowhere near the bottom of the European debt crisis,” Keith Wirtz, chief investment officer for Fifth Third Asset Management in Cincinnati, told Bloomberg Businessweek. “I keep hoping that the European influence will ebb. The problem is still there. We’ll need to get used to volatility.”

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