The Standard & Poor's 500 index hit a five-year high today, amid better-than-forecast initial jobless claims and housing data, Bloomberg reported. 

The S&P 500 had risen 0.6 percent to 1,481.53 as of 12:15 p.m. Central time. The Dow Jones industrial average added 87.01 points, or 0.6 percent. Trading in S&P 500 companies was 18 percent above the 30-day average.

A measure of home builders in S&P indexes jumped 2.5 percent. EBay Inc. increased 3 percent and BlackRock Inc. increased 5.1 percent.  

The S&P gains come amid the lowest number of unemployment claims since 2008, and a separate report said that housing starts in December were at the highest level since 2008.

Another economic indicator, though, fell to a three-month low. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index for last week feel to minus 35.5, the weakest it has been since Oct. 7.