Stocks edge higher into record territory; BioGen Idec surges after good news on drug

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Good news in the pharmaceutical industry is pushing the stock market deeper into record territory.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose seven points to 16,017 in midday trading Friday. The blue-chip index closed above 16,000 for the first time Thursday.

The Nasdaq rose 14 points to 3,983. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed three points to 1,799.

Stocks of health care companies rose the most in the broader index. They were led by BioGen Idec, which jumped $29.04, or 16 per cent, to $281.47 after the company said regulators granted its multiple sclerosis drug 10 years of market exclusivity in the European Union.

Discount retailer Ross Stores was the biggest decliner. The company said it expects intense competition this holiday season.

Ross fell $5.80, or 7 per cent, to $74.46.