NEW YORK, Jan 4 (Reuters) - The Dow Jones Industrial Average broke above the 25,000 level for the first time on Thursday, taking less than a year to add a 5,000-point milestone which is the fastest since the index was created in May 1896.
The 30-member blue-chip index was driven partly by President Donald Trump's pro-growth agenda and solid corporate earnings.
The Dow's latest 1,000-point milestone comes 24 trading days after it first closed above the 24,000 mark. Strong U.S. economic data, solid corporate earnings and upbeat sentiment following indications of robust growth globally has helped buoy U.S. investor sentiment.
The latest rush of round number milestones for the big three benchmark U.S. stock indexes – 25,000 for the Dow, 7,000 for the Nasdaq and 2,700 for the S&P 500 – comes against a backdrop of significant exuberance for stocks.
Wednesday's weekly AAII Sentiment Survey, which measures the percentage of individual investors who are bullish, bearish, and neutral on the stock market short term, showed bullishness at its highest since November 2014, bearishness at the lowest since November 2015 and the gap between bull and bear camps the widest in three years.
Apple Inc's inclusion in the Dow on March 18, 2015 gave a significant boost to the index's performance relative to other benchmark U.S. stock indexes.
In the two years prior to Apple's inclusion the Dow lagged the S&P 500 and Nasdaq. Since Apple's inclusion the Dow has handily topped the S&P 500 index's performance and its gains are nearly at par with that of the Nasdaq.
Despite its fiery advance over the last year, the Dow is still the poor cousin when it comes to its relative performance compared with the other benchmark U.S. stock indexes, over the length of the current bull market.
Reporting by Saqib Ahmed, Daniel Bases and Dan Burns; Editing by Lisa Shumaker