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The close: S&P 500 nears highest close since 2008

Trader Michael Zicchinolfi works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, July 24, 2012.

Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Stocks rose on Friday, following a small gain in U.S. consumer confidence and putting the U.S. benchmark index close to its highest level in more than four years.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 13,275.20, up 25.09 points or 0.2 per cent. The broader S&P 500 closed at 1418.16, up 2.65 points or 0.2 per cent – or just one point shy of its April high. Any move above 1419.04 would put the index at its highest level since May 2008. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index closed at 12,089.89, up 57.31 points or 0.5 per cent.

The University of Michigan's consumer confidence index rose to 73.6 in August, up from 72.3 in July – touching a three-month high. A reading on U.S. leading economic indicators for July, from the Conference Board, also topped expectations.

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Apple Inc. rose 1.9 per cent, reaching a new record-high close of $648.11 (U.S.).

Facebook Inc. slid another 4.1 per cent, reaching a new post-initial public offering low of $19.05 a day after a number of early investors were given the go-ahead to sell their shares in the social media company. The shares have fallen nearly 50 per cent from their IPO price of $38.

Among commodities, crude oil rose to $96.01 a barrel, up 41 cents. Gold was essentially flat, closing in New York at $1,619.40 an ounce, up 20 cents.

Among Canadian commodity producers, Suncor Energy Inc. rose 1.2 per cent and Barrick Gold Corp. was unchanged.

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About the Author
Investing Reporter

David Berman has been writing about business and investing since 1995. He has written for a number of magazines, including Canadian Business and MoneySense. He worked at the Financial Post as an investing writer and daily columnist before moving to the Globe and Mail in 2008. More

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