Dow rises 10 days running, S&P 500 nears record


NEW YORK — The Dow Jones industrial average has reached another milestone, recording its longest winning streak since 1996.

The index rose for the tenth straight day Thursday, gaining 83.86 points to close at 14,539.14. That’s an increase of 0.6 percent.

The last time the Dow knocked out 10 straight days of gains was November 1996. Back then, Internet companies were still lining up to go public and President Bill Clinton had just won another term in the White House.

Encouraging news on jobs gave the market an early lift. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index closed within two points of its all-time high reached in October 2007.

The S&P 500 index gained 8.71 points to 1,563.23, a gain of 0.6 percent.

The gains were broad on Thursday, though slight. All 10 industrial groups in the S&P 500 rose, led by energy companies. The Nasdaq composite rose 13.81, or 0.4 percent, to 3,258.93.

Analysts say the stock market’s surge this year will likely convince more people to move cash into stocks. The Dow is up 11 percent this year, the S&P 500 is up 9.6 percent.

“When the markets are running you just want to be part of it,” Cote said. “Sitting on the sidelines is the wrong move.”

So far, retail investors appear unsure. They put money in U.S. stock funds to start the year, but have withdrawn it for the last two weeks, according to a report out Wednesday from the Investment Company Institute.

The rally may have pushed the Dow to record highs, but skeptics caution that markets regularly take sudden turns. Exactly one year ago, for instance, the Dow had already raced up 8 percent. But by June, all those gains were gone.

Another note of caution: Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan made his famous “irrational exuberance” comment less than a month after the Dow’s 10-day streak in November 1996.

In the Treasury market, the yield on the 10-year note edged up to 2.03 percent from 2.02 percent late Wednesday.