Dow Sets Another Record as Stocks Rise

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Major U.S. stock averages advanced Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average posting its fifth-straight record close.

At final check, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4% to 14,447.29 with 23 stocks gaining and seven declining. The blue-chip index posted an intraday record high of 14,448.06.

The S&P 500 added 5 points, or 0.3%, to 1,556.22. The Nasdaq was up 9 points, or 0.3%, to 3,252.87.

Dick's Sporting Goods ( DKS) shares plunged 11% to $45.11 after the Coraopolis, Penn.-based company forecast same-store sales would increase 2% to 3% in 2013, slowing from last year's 4.3% pace. Dick's reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.03 a share on revenue of $1.8 billion, falling short of the average analysts' estimate of earnings of $1.06 a share on sales of $1.86 billion.

AT&T ( T) shares dropped 0.2% to $36.60 after Reuters, citing the Times of India newspaper, said the U.S. telecom is interested in buying a 25% stake in India's Reliance Jio Infocomm, a telecommunications venture controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, for $3.5 billion.

Gainers included Merck ( MRK), Boeing ( BA) and American Express ( AXP).

Verizon ( VZ), General Electric ( GE) and Microsoft ( MSFT) were among the Dow components that traded lower.

Sectors finished mostly higher in the broader market. Consumer cyclical, financial and capital goods sectors ticked higher, while consumer non-cyclicals was the only sector in the red.

Data from China, published Saturday, continued to indicate a lackluster start to 2013. Reports showed that while inflation increased more than expected, both industrial production and retail sales came in at less than expected. China was also experiencing slower credit growth.

"A slew of China's economic data were released over the weekend and the economic outlooks painted by the economic data were less than satisfactory," noted Sim Han Qiang, investment analyst at Phillip Futures.

"Thus far, Chinese government has been proactive in dealing with property inflation but the desired results have not been forthcoming," the analyst added.

There were no major U.S. economic releases published Monday.

Volume on the New York Stock Exchange totaled a mere 2.97 billion shares and 1.63 billion shares on the Nasdaq.

The Dow on Friday smashed through 14,400 for the first time before pulling back by the close to post its fourth consecutive record closing session. The Dow and the S&P 500 booked six-day winning streaks on Friday.

Major U.S. stock averages ended higher Friday after a robust February employment report showed a decline in the unemployment rate to near pre-recession levels.

U.S. retail sales for February will be published Wednesday, potentially offering insight into consumption trends and how the sequester's economic effect on consumers.

Gold for April delivery rose $1.10 to settle at $1,578 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, while April crude oil futures fell 11 cents to $92.06 a barrel.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was dropping 3/32, boosting the yield to 2.057%. The dollar was off 0.13%, according to the U.S. dollar index.

The FTSE 100 in London rose 0.3% to touch its highest close since December 2007. The DAX in Germany finished down 0.03% as Fitch Ratings downgraded Italy's debt.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was also little changed as investors digested Friday's jobs report and weekend data from China, and Japan's Nikkei closed up 0.53% amid a softer yen.

ADRs of Nanjing, China-based Simcere Pharmaceutical ( SCR) jumped 16% to $9.25 after the company said it has received a buyout proposal.

Elan ( ELN) ADRs gained 3.7% to $11.88 after the Dublin-based biotech company said it will pay up to $13 a share, a 13% premium to its Friday ADR settlement price, as part of a share repurchase plan.

Himax Technologies ( HIMX) ADRs increased 3.6% to $4.57. Himax has been moving higher after a Seeking Alpha article last week said the stock could benefit from ties to the much-anticipated Google ( GOOG) Glass.

-- Written by Andrea Tse and Joe Deaux in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

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