The stock market has been churning steadily higher after major indexes hit 12-year lows in March last year. Growing expectations for a recovery have been driving the climb. The increases in the past two months have been more subdued.
Charlie Smith, chief investment officer at Fort Pitt Capital in Pittsburgh, said the market’s more consistent advance since February is welcome because it means investors aren’t getting overly optimistic.
“We are seeing a straight line (higher) but there’s not a whole lot of exuberance to it,” he said. “There is a tremendous amount of skepticism about the market and that’s a good thing.”
The Dow rose 21.46, or 0.2 percent, to 11,144.57, its highest close since Sept. 19, 2008. The Dow has risen three out of every four days in the past two months but it hasn’t gone up six straight days since mid-March.
The S&P 500 rose 1.02, or 0.1 percent, to 1,211.67, while the Nasdaq rose 10.83, or 0.4 percent, to 2,515.69.
Falling stocks narrowly outnumbered those that rose on the New York Stock Exchange, where consolidated volume dropped to 6 billion shares from 5.7 billion Wednesday.