JUST TWO POINTS: A two-point gain was enough to push the Standard & Poor's 500 index to its highest level since June 2008, three months before the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the darkest days of the financial crisis. The S&P 500 closed at 1,365.

FLIRTING WITH 13K: For the second day this week, the Dow Jones industrial average nudged above 13,000 then pulled back. The Dow dropped 1.74 points to close at 12,982.95.

OIL UP: Oil prices hit a nine-month high of $109.77 a barrel. Oil has jumped 10 percent this month amid rising concerns about a conflict with Iran.