NEW YORK — The stock market staged a strong, broad advance to a record high today, but failed to gain a foothold above 1,300 in the Dow Jones industrial average.
The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials, which traded as high as the 1,304-1,305 range at mid-session, closed with a 15.35-point gain at 1,299.36.
That topped the previous closing peak of 1,297.92 reached on Feb. 13, and brought the average's gain for the week to 23.52 points.
Advances outpaced declines by more than two to one on the New York Stock Exchange.
Big Board volume totaled 139.87 million shares, against 100.72 million in the previous session.
The NYSE's composite index gained 1.11 to 106.04, just short of its Feb. 13 peak of 106.08.
At the American Stock Exchange, the market-value index was up 1.05 at 228.48.
Analysts said new evidence of strength in the economy helped inspire investors.
Before the market opened, the Commerce Department reported that the index of leading economic indicators rose 1.7% last month.
It was the largest increase in the index, which is designed to detect future economic trends, since it jumped 1.9% in June, 1983. The latest figure came in well above most advance estimates on Wall Street.