The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

March 11, 2013

Stocks creep up; Dow rises for seventh day running

— NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market crept higher Monday, pushing the Dow Jones industrial average to its seventh straight day of gains.

Boeing was the Dow's top stock, surging 2 percent. A Boeing executive reportedly said he's confident the aircraft maker has figured out a fix for the battery problems that have grounded the 787 Dreamliner.

The last time the Dow rose for seven consecutive days was March 2012. The latest streak began on March 1. Last Tuesday, the blue-chip index blew past its all-time high, then kept climbing to end the week up 2 percent.

On Monday, the Dow rose 50.22 points to end the day at 14,447.29, an increase of 0.3 percent.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index edged up 5.04 points, also 0.3 percent, to close at 1,556.22. The index, the most popular market measure for investment funds, is nine points shy of its all-time closing high reached in October 2007.

The Nasdaq composite added 8.51 points to 3,252.87.

The S&P 500 gains were broad, though slight. Nine of the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 rose, led by financial companies. That's a sign many investors believe the market and economy are on solid footing, said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial. When the economy picks up, financial firms and companies in other cyclical industries tend to benefit more than others.

For the year, the Dow is up 10 percent and the S&P 500 up 9 percent.

The stock market's fast start has prompted some analysts to worry that the rally could quickly fizzle out. Although recent economic reports have painted a better picture, the U.S. economy is still growing slowly. It expanded at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the final three months of 2012. And Europe remains in a recession.

There were no major economic reports to drive trading on Monday. Later in the week, the government will release figures for the federal budget in February, as well as reports on consumer prices and industrial production

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