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Small-stocks index leads Dow

The Wall Street sign near the front of

The Wall Street sign near the front of the New York Stock Exchange. (Aug. 5, 2011) Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Small was beautiful this week.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 15,000 for the first time on Tuesday, then held above that milestone for the next three days. But an index of small-company stocks put the blue-chip gauge to shame: Friday, the Russell 2000 closed the week up 2.2 percent, more than double the Dow's gain.

Investors are in love with small stocks because they stand a greater chance of surging ahead than large, global companies do if the U.S. economy continues to fare better than Europe and Asia's.

"GDP growth was 2.5 percent in the first quarter -- not spectacular, but better than Europe," said Joseph Tanious, global market strategist of J.P Morgan Funds.

Friday, the Dow, an index of 30 large-company stocks including giants like IBM and Caterpillar, rose 35.87 points to close at 15,118.49. The Dow's meager gain of 0.2 percent was trumped by the 0.9 percent advance in the Russell 2000. The small-company index rose 8.90 points to 975.16. Both indexes, as well as the Standard & Poor's 500, closed at record highs.

The S&P 500 rose 0.43 percent to 1,633.70. The Nasdaq composite index rose 0.80 percent to 3,436.58. -- AP

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