Stocks

The Dow Jones industrial average stretched its winning streak to eight weeks, producing its best two-month gain in more than 15 years.

With a 1 percent advance last week, the Dow ended November up 5.9 percent. On top of a 10.6 percent gain in October, the Dow's 17.2 percent gain over the past two months is its best since January-February 1987.

The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index picked up 0.6 percent last week, producing a 5.7 percent gain for the month. Up nearly 15 percent since the end of September, the S&P has had its best run since early 1987.

The more volatile Nasdaq Stock Market composite index added 0.7 percent to its November tally, giving it an 11.2 percent gain for the month and a 26.2 percent two-month advance. That's not a record; the index gained 29 percent in October and November of last year.

These gains mean the bear market that began in March 2000 is over, proclaimed Bill Miller, manager of Legg Mason Value Trust, a $9 billion mutual fund that has outperformed the S&P 500 for 11 years.

-- Jerry Knight