Market's rise boosts Dow to 3 record highs

Rise in oil prices doesn't scare investors.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Wall Street rose modestly Thursday, nudging the Dow Jones industrial average to its third straight record high close as investors welcomed upbeat retail sales and jobless claims figures.
The Dow closed at 11,866.69, according to preliminary calculations, surpassing the record of 11,850.61 set Wednesday. The blue chip index traded up to 11,870.06, which stands as its trading high.
Rising oil prices didn't smother investors' good mood.
"Considering the distance we've come over the last three months and certainly the last three days, it's interesting we could have a data point like oil's climb and not have the market backup much," said Arthur Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & amp; Co. "It's certainly a scenario where the longer term prospects for the market are looking more positive."
Stocks pulled back briefly after Charles Plosser, the newly installed president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, signaled that further Fed interest rate increases may be in the best interests of the economy's long-term performance.
By the numbers
The Dow rose 16.08, or 0.14 percent. The blue chips have gained 196.34 over the past three sessions; on Tuesday, the index shattered closing and trading highs that had stood since Jan. 24, 2000, toward the end of the dot-com boom.
Broader stock indicators were also higher Thursday. The S & amp;P 500 index rose 3.00, or 0.22 percent, to 1,353.22, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 15.39, or 0.67 percent, to 2,306.34.
Crude oil futures rose. A barrel of light crude settled at 60.03, up 62 cents in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Some traders have questioned the depth of the rally, saying technical markers such as the ratio of advancers to decliners are weaker than they've hoped. And though the Dow has recovered, the S & amp;P 500 still remains more than 11 percent off its all-time high.
Other traders say the market's biggest fears -- high energy prices and additional rate raises by the Federal Reserve -- are behind it, leaving room for a greater run-up in stock prices.
Hugh Johnson, chairman and chief investment officer of Johnson Illington Advisors, said he sees this as a stock market in the more advanced stages of a recovery that has been driven, in large part, by declining energy prices.

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