NEW YORK – The Dow Jones industrial average notched its ninth gain in a row, giving the index its longest winning streak in more than 16 years.

The index edged up 5.22 points, or 0.04 percent, to 14,455.28. The Dow has risen every day this month and is up 10.3 percent this year.

Demand for stocks has been propelled this year by optimism that the housing market is recovering and that companies have started to hire. Strong company earnings and ongoing stimulus from the Federal Reserve are also helping make stocks more attractive.

The Dow’s last nine-day winning streak was logged in May 1996. In November of the same year, in the early days of the technology boom, it gained for 10 straight days.

Brian Gendreau, a strategist at Cetera Financial Group, says that even if markets dip in coming weeks, the trend of rising company earnings is likely to push stocks higher in the longer term.