Wall Street's Dow Jones share index has broken the 12,000 barrier for the first time in more than two years, with investors cheered by news that the US will continue with its stimulus package. The Federal Reserve has chosen to maintain interest rates at a record low between 0% and 0.25% over concerns of a jobless recovery in the frail US economy. To this end the controversial $600bn (£378bn) programme of quantitive easing is to be continued in an effort to bolster the stagnant economy. President Barack Obama used his State of the Union address yesterday to outline measures to create new jobs.

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