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Stocks gain for fifth day

Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013 3:19 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, March 7, 2013 3:54 p.m. CDT

NEW YORK – Stocks closed higher Thursday on Wall Street for a fifth straight day, pushing the Dow further into record territory.

The Dow Jones industrial average, which surpassed its previous all-time high two days ago, closed up 33 points at 14,329.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 rose nearly three points to 1,544. The S&P is now about 20 points away from its own record high close.

The Nasdaq rose nine points to 3,232. The Dow and S&P gained 0.2 percent, the Nasdaq 0.3 percent.

The catalyst for the advance was the latest evidence that hiring is picking up: a decline in unemployment applications.

Kroger rose 3 percent after reporting strong earnings.

Three stocks rose for every two that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was average at 3.5 billion shares.

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