By and  on February 1, 2011

The stock market rally that started with a back-to-school bump, pushed through the choppy holiday season and has survived brutal winter weather and Middle Eastern unrest at the start of 2011 proved to be resilient enough Tuesday to push the S&P Retail Index back over 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average above 12,000 for the first time in more than two-and-a-half years.

The retail index rose 0.8 percent, or 3.95 points, to 501.96, its first close above 500 since Jan. 27.

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