The New York Stock Exchange  on Oct. 8, 2014.

The New York Stock Exchange on Oct. 8, 2014. Credit: AP / Mark Lennihan

The Dow Jones industrial average burst through the 25,000 point mark Thursday, just five weeks after its first close above 24,000.

The Dow passed five 1,000-point barriers in 2017 on its way to a 25 percent gain for the year, as an eight-year rally since the Great Recession continued to confound skeptics.

Strong global economic growth and good prospects for higher company earnings have analysts predicting more gains, although the market may not stay as calm as it has been recently.

The Dow has made a rapid trip from 24,000 points on November 30, partly on enthusiasm over passage of the Republican-backed tax package, which could boost company profits this year with across-the-board cuts to corporate taxes.

“For a long while in 2017 I would say the biggest driver was excitement and anticipation over tax reform, but at a certain point I think there was a handover to global economic growth really helping to carry the stock market,” said Invesco Chief Global Markets Strategist Kristina Hooper.

Big gains in U.S. blue chip companies have powered the Dow’s relentless rise to new heights over the past year, including an 87 percent gain in aerospace giant Boeing, a 70 percent rise in construction equipment maker Caterpillar and a 49 percent increase in Apple.

The Dow, which was founded in 1896 and is the oldest barometer of the U.S. stock market, has nearly quadrupled in value from its low during the financial crisis in early 2009.

Technology companies, which put up some of the biggest gains in the last year, continued to lead the market higher. And there was more good economic news Thursday: A report showed private U.S. businesses added 250,000 jobs last month, with smaller businesses adding 94,000.

The Dow, which tracks 30 big U.S. companies, rose 152.45 points, or 0.6 percent, to 25,075.13.

The Standard & Poor’s 500, a much broader index, rose 10.93 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,723.99.

The Nasdaq composite added 12.38 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,077.91. All three indexes set record highs a day earlier.

The Nasdaq reached a milestone of its own this week, closing above 7,000 points for the first time Tuesday.

Craig Ferrantino, president of Craig James Financial Services LLC, a Melville retirement planning and investment firm, said that he is bullish on the stock market in 2018.

“Lower corporate tax rates are now the law of the land,” he said. “As companies repatriate their huge cash positions back to the U.S., companies will find ways to spend that money and may put more people back to work.”

Ferrantino said he sees continuing economic expansion benefiting Long Island companies in the information technology, financial services and transportation services sectors.

With Ken Schachter

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