Dow reaches 40,000 points for first time

The Dow Jones Industrial Average topped the 40,000-point mark during trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. It is the first time for the index to reach that number.

Traders on Wall Street saw interest rates start to rise two years ago. Many warned the higher borrowing costs would weigh down even blue chip stocks. However, the downturn so many predicted never happened.

Investors saw the Dow rise above 30,000 in November 2020. They drove some wide swings -- both up and down -- during the pandemic. However, consumers kept spending and employers kept adding jobs, so traders kept buying.

They have been encouraged to see a cooling of inflation, and they are hoping that this could prompt policymakers at the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates.

Investors have found another reason to buy in a rally that extends back to October. They have been captivated by advances in artificial intelligence and have bought up stocks related to the semiconductors that power the technology.