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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Feb. 24, 2014.
Brendan McDermid—Reuters

Stocks rallied on Monday with the S&P 500 reaching a record high and erasing losses from earlier in the year, as investors signaled a willingness to write off recent sluggish economic data to the winter weather.

The S&P 500 was up more than 1 percent to 1,855.22 mid-Monday afternoon, surpassing a high of 1,848.38 that it reached on Jan. 15, according to Bloomberg News. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was also up more than 1 percent.

“I do think the economy is a lot stronger than the recent data has suggested,” Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at RW Baird & Co, told CNBC. A report early Monday showed that growth in the service sector slowed in February.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said earlier this month the central bank will continue to scale back its stimulus program amid an improving economic outlook. She will testify before a Senate panel on Thursday.

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