Dow hits new record, S&P misses in US stock surge

US stocks surged higher Tuesday as favorable sentiment towards equities more than compensated for a mixed bag of economic indicators.

The Dow set a new record while the S&P 500 narrowly missed, coming within 2 points of its October 2007 all-time high.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 111.43 (0.77 percent) to 14,559.18, breaking the previous mark of march 14.

The S&P, which measures a broad base of equities in all major economic sectors, shot up 12.08 (0.78 percent) to 1,563.77, just short of its all-time closing high of 1,565.15.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose 17.18 (0.53 percent) to 3,252.48.

The gains came after a mixed array of economic data. US durbale goods orders for February rose solidly on mainly aircraft orders, and the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price index showed prices rose 8.1 percent for 20 leading cities for the 12 months to January, the highest year-over-year increase since mid-2006.

But the Conference Board index of consumer confidence dropped 8.3 points to 59.7, weakened by concerns over federal budget cuts.

The rise in stocks to fresh record levels is like a "self-fulfilling prophesy," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist for Standard & Poor's.

"There are an awful lot of people on the sidelines who would like to have more exposure to equities," Stovall said.