Dow flirts with 10,000

Major indexes rise to the highest point in nearly a year on earnings optimism. Dollar weakens and commodity prices rise.

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By Alexandra Twin, senior writer

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NEW YORK( -- Stocks rallied near midday Monday, with the Dow topping 9900 for the first time in more than a year, as investors showed optimism about the first big wave of quarterly results due out this week.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) rose 40 points, or 0.4%, more than 2-1/2 hours into the session, rising as high as 9931.82.

The S&P 500 (SPX) index gained 6 points, or 0.6%, and the Nasdaq composite (COMP) climbed 10 points, or 0.5%.

The Dow is moving closer to 10,000, a key psychological level that could trigger a more aggressive wave of buying -- or a big selloff.

The Dow last crossed 10,000 on Oct. 7, 2008, when it briefly touched 10,124.03. The Dow last closed above 10,000 on Oct. 3, 2008, when it ended at 10,325.38.

Analysts say it could hit that point later this week, depending on how the third-quarter reporting period goes.

Results: This week brings results from a number of market-moving companies, including Dow components Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500), JPMorgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500), IBM (IBM, Fortune 500), Intel (INTC, Fortune 500), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ, Fortune 500) and General Electric (GE, Fortune 500).

Google (GOOG, Fortune 500), Nokia (NOK), Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) and Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500) are among the other big names due to report.

Dow component Alcoa (AA, Fortune 500) started things off on a positive note last week, reporting earnings and revenue that were better than expected.

The aluminum maker's strong revenue results were especially notable, with investors focused on possible revenue growth after a quarter of little to none.

In the second quarter, there was little topline growth, and any improvement in earnings was driven mostly by cost cutting.

That trend could continue in the third quarter, but if Alcoa is an indication, some sectors and companies may see improvement. Year-over-year profits are expected to have fallen more than 20% from the third quarter of 2008.

World markets: Global markets were mixed. In Europe, London's FTSE 100, France's CAC 40 and Germany's DAX all fell 1.1%. Asian markets ended lower, with the Hong Kong Hang Seng down 0.9%. The Japanese Nikkei was closed for a holiday.

Currency and commodities: The dollar fell versus the euro and the yen.

U.S. light crude oil for November delivery rose $1.47 to $73.24 a barrel.

COMEX gold for December delivery rose $8.60 to $1,057.20 an ounce, the third straight record high for the precious metal.

Bonds: Treasury prices tumbled, raising the yield on the 10-year note to 3.38% from 3.30% late Friday. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.  To top of page

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