Dow Ekes Out Eighth Straight Gain

NEW YORK (March 12, 2013)--A tiny gain gave the Dow Jones industrial average its eighth straight increase Tuesday, matching its longest series of gains since February 2011 and pushing the index a little further into record territory.

The Dow ended up two points at 14,450 after wavering between small gains and losses for most of the day.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell three points to close at 1,552.

The Nasdaq composite dropped 10 points to end the day at 3,242.

Merck was the biggest gainer in the Dow after the drug maker said a data safety monitoring board recommended that a study of its cholesterol drug Vytorin should continue.

Three stocks fell for every two that rose on the New York Stock Exchange where volume was light at 3.1 billion shares.

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