Stocks advance, pushing Dow toward 14,000

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NEW YORK (AP) — Drugmaker Pfizer gave the Dow a lift after posting a strong earnings report. That helped push the index closer to 14,000.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 13,954. The index has advanced seven of the past eight days. The Standard and Poor's 500 gained 7 points to 1,507. The Nasdaq composite fell less than a point to 3,153.

Stocks are approaching record levels after a January rally that has pushed the Dow 6.5 percent higher this month and the S&P 500 up 5.7 percent, to its highest level since December 2007. Demand was bolstered after lawmakers reached a deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff" at the start of the year.

Advancing stocks outpaced declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was above average at 3.9 billion shares.

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