U.S. stocks notched yet another high Wednesday, with both the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 ascending to new peaks as investors piled into defensive shares and bank stocks.

Shortly after the 4 p.m. closing, the broad-based S&P 500 added 8.44, or 0.51 percent, to close at 1,658.78, and the 30-stock Dow Jones Industrial increased 60.44, or 0.40 percent, to settle at 15,275.69. The final closing figures could be fractionally different from these numbers.

Before closing, the S&P 500 jumped more than 1 percent to close at 1,661.49, a record intra-session high and its ninth such achievement in the last 10 sessions. The Dow gained more than 100 points to reach 15,301.34, a record intra-session high.

On average, major U.S. equity indexes have gained about 15 percent so far this year.