March 18th, 2010
06:39 PM ET

Dow continues winning streak, dollar strengthens, oil drops

A look at highlights from the day's business news:

Dow win streak rises to 8

Buying in select blue chips Thursday propelled the Dow to its eighth straight gain and the highest close in nearly 18 months, but the broader market churned as investors showed some reluctance after the recent rally.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 45 points, or 0.2 percent, ending at the highest point since Oct. 1, 2008. The Dow has now ended higher for eight straight sessions - matching the winning streak that ended on Aug. 27 of last year.

The S&P 500 index ended just below unchanged after finishing the previous session at its highest point since Sept. 26, 2008. The Nasdaq composite added a few points and ended at the highest point since Aug. 28, 2008, nearly 19 months.      

Stocks seesawed midday Thursday as investors welcomed reports that suggest pricing pressure remains mild and that jobless claims fell last week.

Treasurys fall as stocks churn

Treasurys fell on as the stock market churned and as investors look ahead to the government's auction of $118 billion in notes next week.

What prices are doing: The benchmark 10-year note fell 9/32 to 99-20/32 and its yield rose to 3.68 percent. The 30-year bond fell 9/32 to 100-20/32 and its yield rose to 4.59 percent. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.

The 2-year note fell to 99-27/32 with a yield of 0.96 percent. The 5-year note fell to 99-27/32 with a yield of 2.42 percent.

What's moving the market: Stocks have been moving higher over the past few weeks, with the Dow, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq all rising in four of the past five weeks and posting 2010 highs on Wednesday. All three indexes are on track to end higher this week.       

When stocks rally, investors tend to pull out of safe-haven bets like Treasurys, which are backed by the government.

Dollar up on euro as Greece woes resurface

The dollar rose against the euro and the pound following economic reports from the government and amid renewed concern over Greece's debt.

What prices are doing: The dollar climbed 0.9 percent versus the euro to $1.3609 and rose 0.5 percent against the British pound to $1.5246. The dollar was flat against the Japanese yen at ¥90.38.

Oil drops, as dollar strengthens

Oil fell amid a strengthening dollar and continued rise in the stock market.

What prices are doing: Crude for April delivery dropped 73 cents to settle at $82.20 a barrel on Thursday. The price of May crude oil, which becomes active on March 23, settled at $82.53, down 68 cents for the day.        

What's moving the market: Crude oil prices fell as the dollar strengthened against major currencies. A stronger dollar tends to push down the price of the U.S. dollar-denominated commodity. writers Alexandra Twin, Blake Ellis, Annalyn Censky and Chavon Sutton contributed to this report.

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