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Stocks edge higher amid EU leaders meeting

Stocks moved higher Wednesday as investors had few reasons to act ahead of another meeting of EU leaders expected to do little to solve the region's debt crisis.

The euro was also little changed against the U.S. dollar while European equities rose in choppy trade.

Few anticipate anything concrete to emerge from the two-day European Union meeting that kicks off Thursday after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said debt sharing, an idea backed by France, Italy and Spain, would not happen in her lifetime.

"This is like a slow motion car accident occurring over there and the market has certainly set this into prices," said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Banyan Partners LLC in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

"The impact of lasting and additional austerity may not have been fully priced in though," he said. "That could keep the euro zone in an extended period of recession that could continue to drag on (U.S.) earnings."

In economic news, demand for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods rebounded more than expected in May and a gauge of business spending plans increased, but slowing global growth suggest the momentum might not be sustained.

Some of Wall Street's top analysts have published their research on Facebook Inc and most are cautiously optimistic. Facebook shares fell 2 percent to $32.43 after gaining more than 20 percent in the past two weeks.

Shares of Lennar Corp rose 3.6 percent to $28.37 after the U.S. homebuilder reported a rise in new orders for the fifth straight quarter and said a slow and steady recovery was underway in the housing market.

A U.S. judge on Tuesday backed Apple's request to stop Samsung selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the United States, giving the iPhone maker a significant win in the global smartphone and tablet patent wars. Apple shares edged up in light premarket trading.

Google will soon unveil a tablet co-branded with Taiwan's Asustek Computer and priced to compete with Amazon's Kindle Fire device, an Asustek executive said.

Reuters contributed to this report.