Some good economic news has pushed the S&P 500 to a new record high on Thursday.

The index picked up 0.35 per cent on the day to take it to an all-time high of 2,420.46 just ahead of lunchtime in New York.

Materials, healthcare and financial sectors were leading the charge, while information technology, consumer staples and real estate were dipping slightly into negative territory to lag behind the pack.

The Dow Jones had also picked up 0.25 per cent to 21,060 in midday trading, with the Nasdaq rising 0.4 per cent to 6,223.7.

The gains come on the heels of reports showing a bigger-than-expected jump in private hiring last month and steady manufacturing growth, which helped bolster optimism about the US economy following a more mixed string of data in recent weeks.

Oil prices are also helping to prop up the energy sector, following an eighth straight weekly drop in US crude inventories.

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