New York Stock Exchange

The New York Stock Exchange (Stan Honda / AFP/Getty Images / August 11, 2011)

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The Dow Jones industrial average jumped above 15,000 on Tuesday morning, extending a surge in the stock market that has carried the famous index up almost 2,000 points this year.

The gain in U.S. stocks followed a vibrant overnight rally in Japanese shares and positive economic news in Germany that sent that country’s leading stock index to a new record high despite Europe's ongoing debt crisis.

The enthusiasm carried over to the U.S., where the Dow jumped above 15,000, an intra-day mark that it first hit last week. It’s not the 30,000 mark that a famous book predicted during the heady days of the late-1990s dot-com boom, but it represents investors’ faith that the U.S. economy is on a sustainable path.

MORE: Market still reasonably priced

The Dow is continuing to push into new unchartered territory with each move upward.

As of 7 a.m. PDT, the Dow was up 54.08 points, or 0.4%, to 15,022.97. If it kept up that pace, it would mark the Dow’s first-ever close above 15,000.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index advanced 5.77 points, or 0.4%, to 1623,77.

In Germany, the DAX, a Dow-like barometer of 30 large companies, rose 83.51 points, or 1%, 8,195.49.

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