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The Dow Jones hits 40,000 for the first time. What to know about this major milestone

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DJ hits 40,000 for the first time

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassed 40,000 points on Thursday for the first time ever, signaling a strong endorsement of the health of the U.S. economy.

The trigger that drove the market to a historic high was new data released Wednesday showing annual inflation easing after three consecutive months of higher-than-expected reports.

For investors the news of cooling inflation was a huge relief. Stubborn inflation has been one of the top challenges for an economy that otherwise is doing remarkably well.

The question now is whether these gains in the markets can be sustained. The Dow eventually gave up its earlier gains and ended down slightly at 39,869 points.

Here are three things to know about where things stand in stock markets.

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