The Commerce Department said durable goods orders dropped for the third month out of the past four in January, although the 1.5 percent drop was not as sharp a decline as economists expected.
The Labor Department said first time jobless benefit claims rose by 14,000 in the week to 348,000.
After three consecutive near-record closes, the S&P index added 9.13 points or 0.49 percent to close at 1,854.29, topping the previous closing high of 1,848.38, set Jan. 15.
The Dow Jones industrial average added 0.46 percent, 74.24 points, to 16,272.65. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index added 0.63 percent, 26.87 points, to 4,318.93.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 2,105 issues advanced while 992 declined on a volume of 3.5 billion shares traded.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index shed 47.86 points, 0.32 percent, to 14,923.11. In London, the FTSE 100 index gained 11.12 points, 0.16 percent, to 6,810.27.
The 10-year U.S. treasury rose 5/32 to yield 2.646 percent.
The dollar was higher against the euro at $1.3711. The yen was higher against the dollar at 102.10 yen.
Gold added $2.70, reaching $1,330.70 per ounce on the Comex exchange. Silver gained 2.1 cents to reach $21.31.
Crude oil lost 22 cents on the New York Mercantile Exchange, reaching $102.29 in late trading.
On the Chicago Board of Trade May delivery corn lost 5.5 cents to reach $4.555 per bushel. May soybeans dropped 8.75 cents to $13.8825. Wheat was off 14.75 cents $5.9075.
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