Dow crosses 13,000 - first time since 2008

(Photo courtesy agamitsudo)

The Dow Jones industrial average has crossed 13,000 for the first time since before the 2008 financial crisis.

The Dow passed 13,000 about two hours into the trading day. Its last time there was May 20, 2008, four months before the Lehman Brothers investment bank went under.

"It's simply good enough to keep a smile on everyone's face and a song in the heart," said Jeff Macke with Yahoo! Finance.

U.S. stocks got help Tuesday from a bailout deal for Greece, aimed at preventing a potentially catastrophic default, and from strong corporate earnings reports at home.

President Obama said Congress "did the right thing" by voting to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits, while pointing out job growth has been steady for 23 months, manufacturers are hiring again and the auto industry is back.

But what Obama didn't mention are that high gas prices are back again, listing as much as $5 a gallon in some places.

Macke doesn't think that will be as hard on the recovery as some fear.

"That really boils down to whether or not people can get hired, and
if people are paying more for a gallon to get to work, it's the part of 'going to work' that matters more than what they are paying to get there," Macke said.

The Dow didn't stay above 13,000 for long, but did end the day up about 16 points and is within striking distance of that again.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.