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U.S. stocks edged up Friday in light trading, building on their weekly and monthly gains, as mostly upbeat U.S. economic data appeared to outweigh overseas worries. The S&P (SPX) rose 5 points, or 0.2%, to 2,001, reclaiming the milestone level of 2,000. The benchmark is trading above Wednesday’s record close at 2,000.12, but below its intraday record of 2,005.04 hit Tuesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average(DJI) gained 5 points, or less than 0.1%, to 17,085, while the Nasdaq Composite(RIXF) tacked on 17 points, or 0.4%, to 4,574.

Readings on consumer sentiment and Chicago-area business conditions surpassed expectations, though the Commerce Department reported an unexpected dip in consumer spending. In overseas news, Russian President Vladimir Putin lashed out at Ukraine, and U.K. authorities warned a terror attack is highly likely.

What strategists are saying: Stocks are getting a lift from a “quite good” reading on consumer sentiment, and investors also may be anticipating a strong August jobs report next week, said James Liu, global markets strategist at J.P. Morgan Funds.

He also warned against reading too much into Friday’s action, as many traders are on vacation ahead of Labor Day weekend. Total composite volume on Thursday was at its lowest level of the year for a full trading day. “Next Tuesday we’ll find out what people really think about the market,” Liu told MarketWatch.

Stocks are likely to keep advancing through year’s end thanks to earnings growth, though gains won’t be as strong as in the past few years, said David Lafferty, chief markets strategist for Natixis Global Asset Management. “Our outlook is for stocks to continue to grind higher,” he told MarketWatch.

S&P eyes best August in 14 years: The S&P 500 had gained 3.4% for the month as of Thursday’s close, and if that holds it would represent the bench mark’s best August performance since 2000. The S&P 500 is also on pace for its largest monthly percentage jump since February, when it rose 4.3%.

For the week, the S&P 500 is up 0.7%. The Dow is on track for advances of 0.5% for the week and 3.2% for the month, while the Nasdaq is eyeing climbs of 0.8% for the week and 4.7% for August.

“We’ve had more waves, but the underlying current is still pretty good,” said Lafferty of Natixis. The waves in August have included Europe weakening and Russia-Ukraine worries, but the U.S. has seen largely positive economic data and “pretty solid” second-quarter earnings, he said.

“It was a very strong month in terms of performance,” said Liu at J.P. Morgan Funds. Investors waiting for a relatively steep drop before buying didn’t get what they wanted, he noted. The S&P 500 pulled back 4% from late July to early August, then rallied to new records.

Movers and shakers: Avago Technologies Ltd. (AVGO) climbed 8.7%, performing best among S&P 500 stocks.

Wall Street analysts raised their price targets for the Apple supplier in the wake of another better-than-expected profit report and ahead of the coming iPhone 6 launch. Shares in Apple Inc. (AAPL) were up 0.2% after hitting an intraday record.