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The Dow shot above 25 000 points for the first time on Thursday as strong US private-sector hiring data extended a stocks rally already boosted by the recent US tax reform. US stocks opened 2018 in full-throttle bull market mode, bidding stocks up and continuing the succession of records seen last year, especially following the massive tax cut that President Donald Trump signed into law just before Christmas.

The Dow’s push above 25 000 is another landmark for the index amid a multi-year bull market since the depths of the Great Recession that followed the 2008 financial crisis. The latest push higher comes as US unemployment and consumer confidence linger at or near multi-year high levels, and as US tax cuts have led analysts to boost corporate earnings estimates. Market watchers vary on where they see stocks going from here, with some forecasters expecting the positive momentum to continue throughout the year and others anticipating greater volatility. Key hurdles that could derail the surge in equities include the possibility of more aggressive than expected tightening of monetary policy by the Federal Reserve and other global central banks, as well as fears the Trump administration’s tough posture with international commercial parties could lead to a trade war.

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