Investors wasted no time getting 2012 off to a strong start Tuesday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average stormed up 180 points, or 1.5%, to finish at 12,397.38 with stocks from a variety of industries benefiting from the buying frenzy.

The Nasdaq rallied up 43.57 points, or 1.7%, to 2,648.72 while the S&P 500 added 19 points to close at 1,277.06.

Buyers were no doubt inspired by a pair of encouraging economic reports. Growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector surged in December, rising to a 53.9 score, according to the Institute for Supply Management. Economists had expected a reading of 53.2 and anything over 50 indicates expansion.

Construction spending also increased 1.2% in November, its highest level since June 2010, according to the Commerce Department. Economists surveyed by Reuters expected spending to rise 0.5 percent in November.

Here are some more details from Tuesday’s trading session:

Dow Jones Industrial Average:

Up two of the last three trading sessions.

Biggest points and percentage gain since December 20, 2011.

Third largest points gain for the first trading day of a new year in the DJIA’s history.

Biggest first day of a new year gain since 2009, when it rose 258.30 points.

In the last 20 years, the full year’s performance has followed the direction of the first trading day of the year, 17 times, or 85% of the time.

Highest close since July 26, 2011.

An intraday high of 12479.65 occurred at 10:08:52 today, up 262.09 points, or 2.15%.

An intraday low of 12221.19 occurred at the open today.

Twenty-six of the 30 component stocks rose, four fell.

Today's best five performing stocks in the index: CVX (30.05), CAT (25.58), IBM (18.32), MMM (13.32), JPM (13.09).

Today's worst five performing stocks in the index: MCD (-11.28), VZ (-2.95), TRV (-1.36), KFT (-0.68), HD (0.76).

Down 1767.15 points, or 12.48% from its record close of 14164.53 on October 9, 2007.

Up 6.04% from 52 weeks ago.

Up 89.36% from its 12-year closing low of 6547.05 on March 9, 2009.

Down 3.23% from its 52 week high of 12810.54 on April 29, 2011.

Dow Jones U.S. Total Stock Market Index:

Dow Jones U.S. Total Stock Market Index, 13214.15 (prelim), up 194.82 points, or 1.50%, or approximately $227 billion in market capitalization.

Up two of the last three trading days.

Biggest points and percentage gain since December 20, 2011.

Highest close since November 8, 2011.

Down 2531.24 points, or 16.08% (approximately $3.8 trillion in market cap), from its record close of 15745.39 on October 9, 2007.

Up 94.32% (approximately $7.4 trillion in market cap), from the 12-½ year closing low of 6800.08 on March 9, 2009.

Down 0.25% over the past 52 weeks.

Data courtesy of Dow Jones Indexes.