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Stocks higher

NEW YORK — The stock market clung to its recent rally Thursday, overcoming early losses and finishing slightly higher.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose for an eighth day in a row — its longest winning streak of the year — and set a fresh 2009 high.

Sharp gains in financial and industrial stocks helped turn the market around, overwhelming losses in energy and utility companies.

Trading lacked enthusiasm, however, as it has over the past week, with many investors shying away from making greater commitments to stocks.

Analysts say the market has been running on its own momentum more than anything else, adding that a lot of the improving economic data has already been priced into stocks.

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