After barreling through a record the day before, the Dow Jones industrial average meandered higher on Wednesday.
The Dow was up 38 points, or 0.1 percent, to 14,288 shortly after noon. An encouraging job-market report helped nudge the stock market up, and pushed bond prices lower.
The Dow closed Tuesday at 14,253.77, clearing the previous closing record by almost 90 points. The index of 30 big corporations has more than doubled since hitting a low during the financial crisis in March 2009.
The question is, how much longer can it keep climbing?
In the past, stock indexes have often drifted lower in the months after breaking through previous record highs. David Brown, director of Sabrient Systems, an investment research firm, sees plenty of reasons for the market to keep climbing, however. People are putting their cash into the stock market again. And the alternatives, like bonds, are hardly appealing.
"There is literally nowhere else to go," Brown said. "Do you really want to make 1.9 percent on a 10-year Treasury? You won't make any money doing that."
The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up one point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,538. The Nasdaq slipped four points, also 0.1 percent, to 3,220.
A notable stock was Microsoft, which dropped 1 percent. European regulators fined the company for failing to follow an antitrust agreement requiring the software giant to offer computer users a choice of Internet browsers, instead of just Internet Explorer.
Companies added 198,000 U.S. workers to their payrolls in February, according to payment processor ADP. The firm also says employers added 23,000 more jobs in January than first reported.
Expectations of a stronger economy tend to lure traders out of Treasurys and into other investments that rise with economic growth, like stocks.