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Dow hitting 20,000 soon? Wall Street says it will happen

The Dow Jones industrial average is expected to reach 20,000 over the next year, Wall Street analysts say.

The average 12-month price target of Wall Street analysts for the Dow reached 20,003.93 on Tuesday, according to data compiled by Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones.

That average price target represents an expected gain of 7.94 percent from Tuesday's close of 18,533.05 and a 14.8 percent surge from January's levels.

"This is the second sighting of 20,000, the first was on July 28, 2015 — the actual July 28, 2016, Dow price close 18,456.35 (a bit shy)," Silverblatt said in a Tuesday note to clients.

The index first reached 10,000 on an intraday basis — a record at the time — on March 16, 1999. It closed above the mark for the first time on March 29, 1999.

Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones, said investors should be careful, however. "The ride up there is going to be bumpy, not smooth and that may trigger alarms," she said, noting the Dow reaching 20,000 will depend on several factors, including earnings and monetary policy.

The Dow has been on a remarkable run higher since hitting its post-Brexit vote lows, rising more than 8 percent since June 27.

Dow chart (June 24-Aug. 10)Source: FactSet

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that it's the average 12-month price target of Wall Street analysts for the Dow that reached 20,003.93.