* Dow ends at a record high once again
* S&P 500 takes late-day run at all-time closing high
* Jobless claims unexpectedly fall, down for third week
* Energy shares boost market; eBay rises after upgrade
* Dow up 0.6 pct; S&P 500 up 0.6 pct; Nasdaq up 0.4 pct
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, March 14 (Reuters) - The Dow Jones industrial
average extended its recent winning streak to 10 days on
Thursday, a string of gains last seen in late 1996, and ended at
another record high as investors were encouraged by data showing
the labor market's recovery was improving.
The S&P 500 took a late-day run at its record closing high
of 1,565.15, but ended just 2 points away. The 30-stock Dow
Jones industrial average has been setting record highs since
U.S. equities have accelerated their rise without a major
consolidation since the start of the year, driven by improvement
in the economy and the Federal Reserve's continuation of its
easy monetary policy.
"It's simply a natural progression for prices to move to new
highs in order for the market to advance. I don't think it's
scaring investors," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer
of Solaris Group in Bedford Hills, New York.
"Fund flows really have reversed direction, and money
started moving out of money markets and some from fixed income
to equities. This kind of trend doesn't change easily so we can
expect a lot more to come in."
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 83.86 points,
or 0.58 percent, to 14,539.14, a record closing high. The
Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 8.71 points, or 0.56
percent, to 1,563.23, just about 2 points from its record
closing high set on Oct. 9, 2007. The Nasdaq Composite Index
advanced 13.81 points, or 0.43 percent, to end at
Three months into the year, the Dow has shot up nearly 11
percent while the S&P 500 has gained 9.6 percent
Earlier Thursday, the Dow set another lifetime intraday high
Data on Thursday offered fresh signs of strength in the U.S.
labor market as the number of filings for new unemployment
benefits fell for the third week in a row.
The U.S. Producer Price Index rose in February by the most
in five months as gasoline prices spiked, the Labor Department
said in a separate report. There was, however, little sign of a
broader increase in inflation pressures that could force the Fed
to tighten monetary policy.
Boosted by the data, the housing sector index rose
1.5 percent and the Dow Jones Transportation Average
added 0.8 percent.
Ten of the Dow's 30 stocks hit at least 52-week highs,
including Walt Disney Co. International Business
Machines shares climbed to a lifetime intraday high of
$215.85, and traded at the close at $215.80, up 1.8 percent.
Energy shares led the Dow and the S&P 500 higher, with the
S&P energy sector index gaining 1.3 percent. Chevron
was among the Dow's biggest percentage gainers, rising
1.4 percent to $120, after earlier hitting a fresh 52-week
intraday high of $120.26.
Apple Inc shares rose 1 percent to $432.50. Its
rival Samsung Electronics Co launched the latest
Galaxy phone in New York on Thursday.
Shares of eBay, operator of one of the largest
online marketplaces, climbed 1.6 percent to $51.80 after
Evercore Partners raised its rating to "overweight."
But on the downside, shares of Amazon, the world's
biggest Internet retailer, fell 3.4 percent to $265.74 after
JPMorgan cut its rating on the stock to "neutral" from
"overweight" and lowered its price target to $300 from $333.
E*Trade shares lost 8.2 percent to $10.85 after
Citadel LLC, its largest investor, said it is selling its entire
stake in the discount brokerage and bank company.