Stocks rose for a third straight day today, spurred in part by a big tech rally and healthy retail sales at gas stations, Bloomberg reports. Big advances at Applied Materials, which makes superconductor equipment, led the tech gains. "The rally could last," said one analyst. "We see the market heading higher." The Dow rose 178.83 to 12,552.24, the Nasdaq 53.89 to 2,373.93, and the S&P 18.35 to 1,367.21.
Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips also rose after a Commerce Department report said higher pump prices boosed their profits. And drug-maker Genentech shot up on news that a drug it makes is likely to be approved to treat breast cancer. "The market is looking for every positive it can get at this point," says an overseer.