Stocks edge higher in early trading

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NEW YORK — Stocks edged higher in early trading on Wall Street Friday, pushing major indexes further into record territory.

Agilent Technologies was the biggest gainer in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. The company, which makes scientific instruments, jumped $4.12, or 8.2 percent, to $54.66, after reporting earnings that exceeded analysts’ expectations.

The stock market climbed to record levels this week, extending its gains for the year, after Janet Yellen, the nominee to succeed Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve, made clear she that she was prepared to stand by the Fed’s efforts to support the U.S economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 37 points, or 0.2 percent, to 15,912 in the first half-hour of trading. The S&P 500 added two points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,792. The Nasdaq composite rose three points, or 0.1 percent, to 3,976.

In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year note was unchanged at 2.70 percent from Thursday.

In commodities trading, the price of oil rose 40 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $94.16 a barrel. Gold dropped $1.50, or 0.1 percent, to $1,287 an ounce.

Among other stocks making big moves, Exxon Mobil rose $1.22, or 1.3 percent, to $94.44 after billionaire Warren Buffett’s company disclosed late Thursday that it had taken a new stake in the oil company.

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