Stocks rise on Wall Street; Dow edges above 13,000

NEW YORK (AP) ? The Dow Jones industrial average pushed above 13,000 in morning trading Friday after a measure of consumer sentiment came in stronger than analysts had expected.

The Dow rose 17 points to 13,001. That’s an increase of 0.2 percent. Pfizer Inc. is the average’s leading stock, up 1.2 percent.

The Dow flitted above 13,000 three times in intraday trading on Tuesday. The average hasn’t closed the day above 13,000 since May 19, 2008, four months before the worst days of the financial crisis.

What will it take for the Dow to close above 13,000 and stay there? Mark Lamkin, CEO of Lamkin Wealth Management in Louisville, Ky., said it would require a surprising news event, like a huge merger or an economic report that blows past expectations. “It needs some type of surprise, a bombshell,” Lamkin said. “We’ve had a pretty good run over the past four months. Now, it’s going to take something great to keep it above 13,000.”

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey index edged up in February, bringing the index to its highest level since February of last year.

In other trading, the S&P 500 index added 4 points to 1,367. Nine of the 10 industries within the index were higher, with information technology and energy companies leading the way. The Nasdaq composite index rose 8 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,964.

Oil prices hit new nine-month highs above $108 a barrel with fresh signs that the U.S. economy, the world’s largest, is gaining strength. The price of oil has jumped 10 percent this month as tensions mount over Iran’s nuclear program.

Among stocks making big moves in early trading:

? Gap Inc. fell 3.7 percent, the most of any stock in the S&P 500. The clothing retailer reported a 40 percent plunge in quarterly profit after the market closed Thursday. Gap said higher costs and deep discounts weighed on its revenue.

? Alpha Natural Resources lost 2.4 percent after posting a quarterly loss. Analysts had expected a profit.

? Kenneth Cole Production Inc. soared 20 percent to $15.71 on news that Kenneth Cole is offering to buy the rest of the company. Cole currently holds about 47 percent of the company and has offered would give stockholders $15 per share, a 15 percent premium to the company’s Thursday closing price.