The Dow Jones Industrial Average topped 13,000 Tuesday for the first time since May 2008, helped by news that EU ministers had finally agreed on a long-awaited new bailout for Greece.
After bouncing up and down in early trade, the Dow pushed across the key level to touch 13,000.84, a level last seen when the markets began to sink in early 2008 as the financial crisis broke and a deep recession took hold.
It was still well below the all-time high of 14,164 hit on October 9, 2007, before the crash took it down to 6,440 17 months later.
At midday Tuesday (1700 GMT) the index of leading blue-chip stocks slipped back to 12,987.60, up 37.73 points (0.29 percent).
The broad-based S&P 500 rose 4.51 (0.33 percent) to 1,365.74, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 10.01 (0.34 percent) to 2,961.79.
Crossing the 13,000 line "adds a little level of excitement" to trading, said Mace Blicksilver of Marblehead Asset Management
"The market is reacting properly to it, it is a small positive" on top of the Greece debt deal, he said
Leading the Dow higher was Alcoa, which initialed a joint venture in key market China with China Power Investment Corporation.
Alcoa shares gained 3.2 percent.
Also pulling the index higher was Kraft Foods, which gained 1.7 percent after reporting a 54 percent jump in fourth-quarter profit.
Shares mainly took their cue from the long-awaited deal reached in Brussels early Tuesday on the new bailout of Greece, which includes a 107 billion euro ($141 billion) writedown of the country's debt by private debt holders and 130 billion euros in new financing from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
"Chalk one up for European leaders as they were finally able to agree to the second bailout package for Greece. Now the hard work begins -- reinventing Greece's economy," said Scott Atkinson of Briefing Research.
Shares of retailer Wal-Mart sank 4.0 percent after it missed earnings forecasts for its fourth quarter due to heavy price-cutting in the industry during the busy Christmas season.
Home-improvement retailer Home Depot added 1.6 percent after it reported a 32 percent jump in fourth-quarter profit.
Transocean, which owned the drilling rig involved in BP's disastrous Gulf of Mexico blowout and oil spill in 2010, saw its shares drop 1.6 percent after it signaled it was not planning to pay a dividend for 2011.
The company still faces legal action in US courts over the spill.
Bond prices slipped. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.06 percent from 2.01 percent on Friday, while the 30-year rose to 3.21 percent from 3.16 percent
Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.