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


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.