1 Reason the Dow Is Hitting Multiyear Highs

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It's official, folks: The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) skated by previous records to close at multiyear highs today. The index, comprised of 30 blue-chip stocks, closed at 12,878 for the day, eclipsing the high water mark set in May 2008.

So what's the fuel that pushing the index higher? Greece. Though the debate about Greek debt seems stuck in a Mobius strip of never-ending back-and-forth indecision, there seems to be just a little progress today as Greece made moves towards securing international aid.

The news had a positively impact on all three of the major indices today, with each one ending in the black. Here's a look how each one fared.

 Index

Gain / Loss

Gain / Loss %

Ending Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average+33.07+.26%12,878
Nasdaq+2.09+.07%2,904
S&P 500+2.72+.2%1,347

The Big Movers
Today was an especially good day for a few Dow components, most notably McDonald's (NYS: MCD) . The burger-slinger closed up 1.43% for the day, pushing share prices to just over $100. The Golden Arches recently reported strong December sales and fourth-quarter earnings, but on the day they released shares, was down 2% on foreign-exchange concerns. Enter Yum! Brands (NYS: YUM) , which reported impressive earnings last night on strong Chinese growth. Investors are likely transposing Yum!'s strong Asian performance onto McDonald's, and forgetting their prior concerns about weakness. Yum! was up 2.6% for the day.

The yin to McDonald's yang, Bank of America (NYS: BAC) was the worst-performing Dow stock of the day. The big bank fell 1.5%, despite positive news out of Greece. Because positive European news usually sends banks higher, many investors are left scratching their heads. My best guess is that the banks are further away from a mortgage-fraud settlement than was previously expected. The man likely behind it? Eric Schneiderman, the boogie man of the big banks right now -- he seems intent on investigating them, and his Friday lawsuit filings will ensure they don't sleep easy. Citigroup (NYS: C) was correspondingly down at market close.

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At the time this article was published Austin Smith owns shares of McDonald's.The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America, Yum! Brands, and Citigroup.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Yum! Brands and McDonald's. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. 

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