NEW YORK, March 13 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged up on Wednesday, with the Dow rising for the ninth straight session to another record and the S&P 500 within striking distance of its all-time closing high, buoyed by surprisingly strong retail sales that suggested the economy has traction.
The Dow's rally marked the longest streak for the blue-chip index since 1996.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 5.22 points, or 0.04 percent, to end unofficially at 14,455.28, a record closing high. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 2.04 points, or 0.13 percent, to finish unofficially at 1,554.52. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 2.80 points, or 0.09 percent, to close unofficially at 3,245.12.