Stock prices climbed today, pushing the Standard & Poor's 500 index to an intraday record for a second time this week as consumer confidence and other data bucked the recent trend of weaker economic reports, Reuters reported.

 

All three major U.S. indexes were on track for sharp gains for the month as well, with the S&P 500 headed for its best monthly percentage gain since July, while the Dow Jones industrial average was on pace for its best month since January 2013.

 

"I think the surprise came in some of the economic data today ... which held up nicely," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York. "That's probably why we're seeing the market act the way we're seeing today. I think February is going to go out like a lion."

 

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 116.75 points,  or 0.72 percent, to 16,389.4, while the S&P 500  gained 12.57 points or 0.68 percent, to 1,866.86.
 
The S&P 500 hit an intraday record of 1,867.89. The Nasdaq composite added 15.949 points, or 0.37 percent, to 4,334.88.