News Summary: Stocks gain on unemployment claims
ONWARDS AND UPWARDS: The Dow pushed further into record territory Thursday after the government said unemployment claims fell by 7,000 last week, driving the four-week average to its lowest in five years. The index has now climbed 1.2 percent above its old record.
THE STREAK LIVES ON: The Standard & Poor's 500 ended higher for a fifth straight day. That's the longest streak of advances since the middle of January, when the index rose for eight straight days.
MIND THE GAP: Gap rose 4.1 percent to $35.87 after a key revenue measure, which showed sales rose more than expected in February, was leaked early. Gap had been scheduled to release the sales figures after the market closed, but put them out at midday after a transcript of its recorded sales call appeared on the website seekingalpha.com. That led to a brief halt in trading of the retailer's stock.