(CNBC) Stocks held gains Tuesday, with the S&P 500 extending its recent rally to a fresh high and the Dow surpassing the 15,000 milestone, boosted by better-than-expected economic data from Germany and a gain in Japan.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed above 15,000 to hit an all-time intraday high of 15,013.43. Caterpillar and JPMorgan led the blue-chip gainers. The index first broke above the milestone on Friday, but has yet to close above the level.

Interestingly, the Dow is looking to end higher for the 17th consecutive Tuesday. This is the first time in history that the index has posted such a streak.

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