(NEW YORK) — Thursday marked the third consecutive record close for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The blue-chip index climbed 33.25 points to another all-time high of 14,329 at the session’s close.
The Nasdaq added 9.72 points, or 0.3 percent, to close at 3,232.09. The S&P 500 gained 2.80 points, or 0.2 percent, and closed at 1,544.26.
Fewer Americans are filing for unemployment benefits, according to the U.S. Labor Department. The number of first time claims dropped by 7,000 last week. The less volatile four-week average hit its lowest number since March of 2008, just a few months into the recession. Millions of Americans are still struggling to get back to work, however, and the unemployment rate — which doesn’t count those who have given up looking — remains 7.9 percent.
The February numbers come out on Friday.
Americans’ net worth is returning to pre-recession levels, thanks to surging stocks and rebuilding home prices. The Federal Reserve says household wealth amounted to $66.1 trillion at the end of 2012. That was 98 percent of the pre-recession peak.
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Cristina Alesci Seth Fiegerman and Charles Riley, CNN
Aaron Smith, CNN
Parija Kavilanz, CNN