The S&P 500 Wednesday rose to a new high, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell just short of a record on another good day for stocks.
Positive sentiment lifted the S&P 500 by 5.38 (0.29 percent) to 1,890.90, the second record close in a row.
The Dow rose 40.39 (0.24 percent) to 16,573.00, about four points shy of a record. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 8.42 (0.20 percent) to 4,276.46.
Analysts said investors remain in a fairly hopeful mood following a run of economic data that, while not outstanding, is "good enough" to persuade that the economy is on a good path, said Mace Blicksilver, director of Marblehead Asset Management.
"There are still a few questions about the Nasdaq glamors, but there's enough in the blue chips to keep everyone very excited," Blicksilver said. "The bull market is intact."
Blicksilver said the surge of the past two days may be enabled in part by an influx of cash at the start of the second quarter.
Leaders in the Dow included Caterpillar (+2.8 percent), United Technologies (+1.7 percent) and General Electric (+0.7 percent).
General Motors jumped 1.6 percent even as chief executive Mary Barra faced tough questioning at a US Senate hearing into the auto giant's slow recall of millions of vehicles due to deadly safety problems.
California utility PG&E advanced 2.3 percent even as federal prosecutors announced a criminal indictment against the firm over a fatal 2010 gas pipeline explosion and allegations the company "knowingly" violated federal pipeline law.
Morgan Stanley said the PG&E indictment, while negative, was "manageable" from a financial point of view, because the fine would be up to $6 million.
Agricultural company Monsanto reported earnings of $3.15 per share, above the $3.07 projected by analysts. Shares gained 0.8 percent.
Pharmaceutical company MannKind powered 73.9 percent higher on news that a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended marketing approval for its Afrezza diabetes therapy.
News that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would cut prices for genetic testing analysis provided by Myriad Genetics by less than expected lifted shares 11.5 percent.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.80 percent from 2.76 percent Tuesday, while the 30-year increased to 3.65 percent from 3.60 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.