Stocks rise higher; S&P nears all-time high

3/15/2013
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Wall-Street-216

FILE -In this Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, file photo, Trader Gordon Charlop, right, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. World stock markets shared Wall Street's ebullience and turned higher Thursday March 14, 2013 ahead of the release of U.S. jobless claims. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK — Stocks are rising in midday trading following the latest encouraging news about the job market, pushing the Standard & Poor's 500 index near its all-time high.

The S&P 500 rose six points to 1,560 at noon today. It's just five points away from the record high close it reached in October, 2007. Its intraday record is 1576.09.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 60 points to 14,516, putting the index on course for 10 straight days of gains. The last time that happened was November, 1996. The Dow surpassed its own all-time high last week.

The Nasdaq composite rose 10 points to 3,255.

The Labor Department reported that the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell to a five-year low last week. That's an indication employers are laying off fewer workers.