The S&P Index rose 11.38 points to 1911.91 closing near session highs, after hitting an intraday record. The technology-heavy Nasdaq reached its highest levels in nearly eight weeks, after gaining 1.2%, at 4,237.07. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 69.23 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,675.50.
Analysts were vindicated for expecting stocks to rise to record highs with increased volume in trading. Investors seemed to have been embraced headline numbers in economic reports released on Tuesday, ignoring the negative details that analysts were worried about.
News of the possible sale of Hillshire Brands to Pilgrim's Pride for $6.4 billion caused its shares to jump more than 22 percent. The deal could affect Hillshire's earlier plans to acquire Pinnacle Foods for $4.2 billion.
Orders to factories for durable goods rose by a better-than-expected 0.8 percent in April and the consumer confidence index, compiled by the Conference Board, rose in May giving investors good news on the economic front.