Stocks Continue Winning Streak, Dow Nears Record

Encouraging news on the jobs market pushed stocks up for the fourth straight day on Wednesday.  The Dow closed out the session with a 40-point gain, and sits just 3 points below its highest level ever.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 closed at yet another record high.

Despite the stock market's gains, a greater number of Americans are being pushed out of the middle class, as the gap between the rich and poor widens.

Sales of vacation homes, for example, surged 30% last year to more than 700,000. The gain was the largest on record, according to the National Association of Realtors.

But the overall number is still shy of the more than one million second-homes sold at the height of the market.

In tech news, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) released its "Fire TV" streaming set-top box for $99.

And Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) has added extra layers of security to make emails and other web information safe from outsiders by encrypting its search results and links between data centers, an effort to shield users’ web activity from government spying.