Stocks edge up: Apple hits record high; Facebook, record low
Stocks on the S&P 500 index are close to a four-year high while a closely watched fear index briefly touches five-year low.
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Separately, the Conference Board said its leading economic index climbed 0.4 percent, reversing a 0.4 percent decline in June and pointing to slow growth through the end of 2012.Skip to next paragraph
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"It's interesting because we've had this mixed bag from the economic data. Today's is a good step and yesterday was a little disappointing, with the housing data, so we are all just kind of wondering, is this recovery real?" said Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategist, Schaeffer's Investment Research in Cincinnati, Ohio.
This week has seen the lowest and second lowest full-day trading volumes of the year.
The low was hit on Monday with just 4.54 billion shares on the Nasdaq, the NYSE and the Amex, about two thirds of the daily average this year.
The S&P 500 rose to a four-month peak on Thursday after comments from German Chancellor Angela Merkel reinforced investor expectations for action to tackle the euro zone debt crisis.
Gap advanced 4.8 percent to $35.99 after the clothing retailer posted a higher quarterly profit and raised its full-year forecast.
Marvell Technology Group Ltd dropped 14.1 percent to $10.54 after the chipmaker posted second-quarter earnings and said current-quarter results may miss expectations.