Jan 17 (Reuters) - The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 26,000 for the first time on Wednesday, just eight trading days after it ended above 25,000 for the first time. That was the shortest time between 1,000-point milestones in the Dow's history spanning more than 100 years. It took the index 23 trading days to get to 25,000 from the first time it closed above 24,000 on Nov. 30. The latest milestone in the Dow came as optimism over earnings fueled a rally in U.S. stocks on Wednesday. The Dow closed at 26,115.65, up 1.3 percent.
Here are some recent facts about the index: - The Dow, a price-weighted index, is up 4.2 percent since the Jan. 4 close, and up 5.6 percent since Dec. 31.
- Boeing Co has been the index's largest percentage
gainer since the Jan. 4 close, contributing almost 375 points in the Dow's run to Wednesday's milestone, with a rise of 18.3
percent. Second was Merck & Co Inc , up 8.7 percent since
- General Electric has been the largest percentage
decliner since Jan. 4, down 6.4 percent, followed by Verizon
Communications Inc , down 1.7 percent.
(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Susan Thomas)