Regional stocks mostly tumbled Thursday, even though the broad markets continued to advance.
Among the local casualties were YRC, down 1 percent, Layne Christensen, down 4 percent, H&R Block, down 1 percent and Kansas City Southern, off .7 percent.
Sprint lost 2 cents, or .3 percent and closed at $5.85.
Of the handful of winners, Cerner gained .7 percent, O’Reilly Automotive gained .9 percent, and Ferrellgas added 1.4 percent on strong quarterly earnings.
Overall, the Dow pushed further into record territory Thursday, having surpassed its previous all-time high two days ago. The catalyst was the latest evidence that hiring is picking up.
Stocks started higher after the Labor Department reported that the number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell by 7,000 last week, driving the four-week average to its lowest in five years. The drop is a positive sign ahead of today’s employment report.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 33.25 points, or 0.2 percent, to 14,329.49. The Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 2.80 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,544.26. Both indexes rose for the fifth day straight.
The Dow barreled through a record high Tuesday and has added to its gains since then. The S&P 500 is also closing in on its own record high of 1,565, which was also reached on Oct. 9, 2007, the same day of the Dow’s previous peak. The S&P would need to rise 21 points, or 1.3 percent, to set a record.
Investors have been buying stocks on optimism that employers are slowly starting to hire again and that the housing market is recovering. Growing company earnings are also encouraging investors to get into the market. The Dow is 9.4 percent higher this year and the broader S&P 500 is up 8.3 percent.
The Federal Reserve released the results of its annual stress test for banks after the market closed Thursday. All but one of the nation’s 18 largest banks — the exception being Ally Financial Inc. — are more prepared to withstand a severe U.S. recession and a global downturn than at any time since the 2008 financial crisis, the Federal Reserve said.
Financial stocks advanced amid speculation that banks had amassed enough capital to be able to return more cash to shareholders. Bank of America had the largest percentage gain in the Dow, rising 34 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $12.26, with JPMorgan Chase in third spot, gaining 60 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $50.63.
The Nasdaq composite advanced 9.72 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3,232.09. The BATS 1000 rose 25.54 points, or 0.15 percent, to close at 17,426.82.
In other economic news Thursday:
• Consumer borrowing rose $16.2 billion in January from December to a total of $2.8 trillion, the Federal Reserve said Thursday. That’s the highest level on record.
• The nation’s retailers on Thursday reported that sales slowed in February. Overall, 14 retailers reported on Thursday that revenue at stores open at least a year – an indicator of retail health – rose an average of 4.1 percent, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers, an industry trade group. That compares with a 5.1 percent increase in January, and a rise of 6.7 percent in February 2012.
• Orders to U.S. factories fell in January by the most in five months, weighed down by a slump in demand for military hardware and commercial aircraft.Bookings dropped 2 percent after a revised 1.3 percent increase in December, Commerce Department data showed Thursday.
Capitol Federal Financial rose 1 cents, or 0.08%, to close at $12.04.
Cerner Corp. rose 60 cents, or 0.66%, to close at $91.51.
Commerce Bancshares Inc. rose 11 cents, or 0.29%, to close at $38.23.
Compass Minerals fell 22 cents, or 0.29%, to close at $76.26.
DST Systems Inc. fell 65 cents, or 0.93%, to close at $68.99.
Ferrellgas Partners L.P. rose 27 cents, or 1.35%, to close at $20.20.
Garmin Ltd. fell 28 cents, or 0.79%, to close at $35.02.
Great Plains Energy rose 8 cents, or 0.36%, to close at $22.49.
H&R Block Inc. fell 28 cents, or 1.11%, to close at $24.98.
Inergy L.P. rose 4 cents, or 0.20%, to close at $20.26.
Kansas City Life Insurance Co. fell 19 cents, or 0.50%, to close at $37.61.
Kansas City Southern fell 73 cents, or 0.70%, to close at $103.61.
Layne Christensen Co. fell 88 cents, or 4.02%, to close at $21.02.
O’Reilly Automotive Inc. rose 94 cents, or 0.91%, to close at $104.38.
Sprint Nextel Corp. fell 2 cents, or 0.34%, to close at $5.85.
UMB Financial Corp. rose 10 cents, or 0.22%, to close at $45.73.
Waddell & Reed Financial Corp. fell 2 cents, or 0.05%, to close at $42.03.
YRC Worldwide Inc. fell 6 cents, or 1.02%, to close at $5.85.