After barreling through a record the day before, the Dow Jones industrial average meandered still higher Wednesday, edging up 42.47 points, or 0.30 percent, to 14,296.24. An encouraging job-market report helped nudge the stock market up and pushed bond prices lower.
On Tuesday the Dow blew past the previous all-time high it hit more than five years ago. The index has more than doubled since hitting a low during the financial crisis in March 2009.
The question is: How much longer can it keep climbing? In the past, stock indexes have often drifted lower in the months after breaking through previous record highs. David Brown, director of Sabrient Systems, an investment research firm, sees plenty of reasons for the market to keep climbing, however. People are putting their cash into the stock market again. And the alternatives, like bonds, are hardly appealing.
"There is literally nowhere else to go," Brown said. "Do you really want to make 1.9 percent on a 10-year Treasury?" Expectations of a stronger economy tend to lure traders out of Treasuries and into investments that tend to rise with economic growth, like stocks.
In other trading, the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.11 percent to 1,541.46; the Nasdaq slipped 0.05 percent to 3,222.37. -- AP