Dow continues record run to finish higher

NEW YORK REPORT

US stocks edged up yesterday, with the Dow rising for the ninth straight session to another record, buoyed by surprisingly strong retail sales that suggested the economy is gaining momentum.

The Dow Jones industrial average's nine-day winning streak is the longest consecutive run since November 1996.

But trading volume was light. Moves have been muted in recent days as investors consolidate positions after a strong run-up in the first three months of the year. Still, weakness in stocks has been met with buying, which helped propel the market's advance.

The broader S&P 500 is within striking distance of its all-time closing high of 1,565.15 and about 1 per cent away from all-time intraday high of 1,576.09 - both set in 2007.

“I think we will soon see the S&P at all-time high levels. I don't think the market has topped yet, and there is still strength to move the market higher,” said Ari Wald, technical strategist at C&Co/PrinceRidge.

IBM and Boeing were the Dow's top two gainers. IBM shot up 0.7 per cent to $212.06. Boeing also jumped 0.7 per cent - to $84.75 at the close.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 5.22 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 14,455.28, another record closing high. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index advanced 2.04 points, or 0.13 per cent, to 1,554.52. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 2.80 points, or 0.09 per cent, to end at 3,245.12.

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals shares lost 37.3 per cent to $7.79 after the biotechnology company forecast full-year sales below analysts' estimates.

Volume was below average, with roughly 5.5bn shares trading on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the NYSE MKT, compared with the 2012 average daily closing volume of about 6.45bn.