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Pfizer earnings help stock rally continue

Traders work on the floor of the New

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan. (Jan. 28, 2013) Photo Credit: Getty Images

Pfizer helped keep the stock market rally alive Tuesday. The drugmaker's stock gained after posting strong earnings, pushing the Dow closer to 14,000.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 72.49 points to close at 13,954.42 points, ending higher for the seventh day in eight. The Standard & Poor's 500 also rose, adding 0.51 percent to close at 1,507.84. The Nasdaq composite index dropped 0.02 percent to 3,153.66.

The Dow is 6.5 percent higher this month and the S&P 500 is up 5.7 percent. Both indexes are at their highest levels in more than five years.

Pfizer was the biggest gainer in the Dow, advancing 86 cents to $27.70 after the company said its fourth-quarter profit more than quadrupled because of a $4.8-billion gain from selling its nutrition business and despite competition from generic drugs hurting sales.

Home builder D.R. Horton gained $2.51 to $23.82 after it said net income more than doubled as the housing recovery took hold.

Investor optimism was checked somewhat by a report that showed U.S. consumer confidence sank in January to the lowest level in more than a year as Americans fretted about the economic outlook and higher Social Security taxes. -- AP

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