Wall Street’s conflicting emotions of fear and greed are duking it out right before our eyes.

Greed is obviously alive and well. Confidence in the American economy has lifted the S&P 500 to an impressive 9% jump this year.

But gold, which is thought of as a safe place during times of fear, is doing even better. The precious metal has soared 12% this year to nearly $1,300 an ounce, putting it on track for the best performance since 2010.

So, what gives?

Believe it or not, it’s not that rare for both gold and stocks to do well at the same time.

Just last year, gold jumped 8.6%, nearly besting the S&P 500’s gain of 9.5%.

Gold also soared nearly 30% in 2010, a year when the U.S. market rose a very healthy 13%. Both gold and the S&P 500 were up about 23% in 2009 as well.

“It’s a bit surprising, but it’s not that unusual,” said Ed Yardeni, president of investment advisory Yardeni Research.

And in some ways it makes sense given the mixed emotions displayed lately by CNNMoney’s Fear & Greed Index, which measures market sentiment. Fear & Greed is currently flashing “extreme fear,” but just one month ago it was sitting comfortably in “extreme greed.”

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