The Dow Jones industrial average finally pushed through and closed above the 1,100 mark - for the first time ever. The buying spree, which shot the Dow up 16 points on Wednesday and pushed it up again on Thursday, was sparked in part by a belief the economic rebound had begun in a much stronger fashion than originally expected on Wall Street. Said Martha Seger, an economics consultant in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., ''As more people look beyond the unemployment rate and start looking into other indicators , it should help stock prices.''
This was definitely the case on Wednesday, when the government reported January durable-goods orders had risen by 4.5 percent. According to Smith Barney , Harris Upham & Co., most Wall Street economists were expecting a decline of 4 percent. The rise in the durable-goods orders was interpreted by some observers to be an indication the economic rebound was proceeding on a much stronger note. Investors were also buoyed by events surrounding the price of oil, analysts said.