NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stocks finished Thursday near their highs of the session, despite trading in a tight range after spending much of the day weighed by worries over rising inflation in China prompting further tightening measures there. The Dow Jones Industrial Average went higher by 45 points, or 0.4%, to 10,612. The S&P 500 finished up 5 points, or 0.4%, to 1150, and the Nasdaq gained 10 points, or 0.4%, to 2368. >>Amazon, Netflix: Top Internet Retail Stocks The S&P 500 also marked its highest close since October 2008, just squeaking above the 1150.23 high reached on Jan. 19. "We're right there. It's a critical level because it's an area that could provide some resistance," said Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategist at Schaeffer's Investment Research, who also noted that March, April and May are traditional months that can see the broadest climbs. "But more than that, small-caps, mid-caps, technologies and consumer discretionary have all broken out. Our opinion isn't if it breaks out above 1150. It's when." Though stocks finished just to the upside, news that inflation in China rose 2.7% in February weighed on the market for much of the day as investors feared further tightening measures would be enacted in response. China's February inflation level rose from an increase of 1.5% in January and marked a 16-month high. China fears weighed particularly on global conglomerates like Coca-Cola ( KO), General Electric ( GE), 3M ( MMM) and Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ), which dragged on the Dow. Citigroup ( C), Bank of America ( BAC) and General Electric ( GE) were the most heavily traded on the New York Stock Exchange, which had a listed volume of nearly 4.7 billion. The Dow saw volume of 150 million, compared with average volume of 200.4 million. On the Nasdaq, shares of Sirius XM Radio ( SIRI), Huntington Bancshares ( HBAN) and Intel ( INTC) were the most heavily traded. Financial stocks were the day's strongest, even as Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D., Conn.) vowed to propose a financial reform package on Monday that aims to make the U.S. financial system and consumers less vulnerable to risky bets and products. Dodd refused to be deterred by lack of bipartisan support, saying that he believes it is important to get a proposal on the table.