Traders work the floor of the New York Stock Exchange....

Traders work the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The market finished three straight weeks of a climb. (Jan. 25, 2011) Credit: AP

The Dow Jones industrial average continued climbing Friday, notching its third straight week of gains.

The Dow has lost ground only three days in February. The average of 30 large companies rose 1 percent this week and 4.2 percent for the month.

The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 1 percent this week and is up 4.4 percent in February. Better manufacturing reports and stronger earnings have pushed stocks higher this month.

Caterpillar Inc. rose 2.4 percent to lead the Dow. The company said sales of its heavy construction and mining equipment surged 49 percent last month.

Alcoa Inc. fell 1.4 percent, the largest drop.

The Dow gained 73.11 points, or 0.59 percent, to close at 12,391.25. The S&P 500 rose 2.58 points, or 0.19 percent, to 1,343.01. The Nasdaq composite rose 2.37, or less than 0.1 percent, to 2,833.95.

The Nasdaq is now 25 points away from reaching a 10-year high.

Rising shares outpaced falling ones by a nearly three to two margin on the New York Stock Exchange. Trading volume was 1 billion shares.

Markets will be closed Monday for the Presidents Day holiday. - AP

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