NEW YORK — The Dow Jones industrial average moved above the psychologically-key 12,000 level Wednesday morning, reacting to upbeat news about the housing market.
Shortly after the start of trading on Wall Street, the Commerce Department said new U.S. home sales soared 17.5 percent in December, beating analysts’ expectations and raising cautious optimism for a housing market recovery.
The Dow Jones industrial average was lately up about 40 points and trading above 12,000 — a level it hasn’t closed above since June 19, 2008. The Dow first moved above the 12,000 level in September 2006. It hit an all-time high of 14,164.53 on Oct. 9, 2007.

Also boosting the stock market: Comments by President Obama during his State of the Union address Tuesday night. Obama said he wanted to close corporate tax loopholes and use the additional revenue to lower corporate tax rates for the first time in 25 years. That move would be popular with business leaders from both political parties, since the U.S. has some of the highest corporate tax rates in the industrialized world.

Looks like someone stood up and took notice during the State of the Union Address last night.