U.S. Stocks Finish Holiday-Shortened Session Narrowly Mixed

Stocks turned in a lackluster performance throughout the trading session on Friday, as many traders continued to enjoy the Thanksgiving Day holiday. Despite the choppy trading, the Dow and the S&P 500 ended the day at their best closing levels in well over three months.

The major averages finished the session narrowly mixed. While the Nasdaq edged down 15.00 points or 0.1 percent to 14,250.85, the S&P 500 crept up 2.72 points or 0.1 percent to 4,559.34 and the Dow rose 117.12 points or 0.3 percent to 35,390.15.

For the holiday-interrupted week, the Dow jumped by 1.3 percent, while the S&P 500 advanced by 1.0 percent and the Nasdaq climbed by 0.9 percent.

The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as many traders remained away from their desks following Thursday’s holiday, with the markets closing three hours earlier than usual.

A lack of major U.S. economic data also kept some traders on the sidelines ahead of next week’s reports on new home sales, consumer confidence, pending home sales, manufacturing activity and more.

The Commerce Department’s report on personal income and spending may be in the spotlight next week, as it includes readings on inflation said to be preferred by the Federal Reserve.

The Beige Book, a compilation of anecdotal evidence on economic conditions in each of the twelve Fed districts, may also attract attention next week along with remarks by Fed Chair Jerome Powell.

Traders will be looking for additional clues about the outlook for interest rates, with optimism the Fed is done raising rates contributing to recent strength on Wall Street.

Sector News

Most of the major sectors finished the day showing only modest moves, contributing to the lackluster close by the broader markets.

Airline stocks showed a significant move to the upside, however, with the NYSE Arca Airline Index climbing by 1.3 percent.

Notable strength was also visible among tobacco stocks, as reflected by the 1.2 percent gain posted by the NYSE Arca Tobacco Index.

Pharmaceutical and networking stocks also saw some strength on the day, while computer hardware stocks moved to the downside.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index climbed by 0.5 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index plunged by 2.0 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets moved modestly higher on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index inched up by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index both rose by 0.2 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have moved to the downside after ending the previous session roughly flat. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, has climbed 6.0 basis points to 4.476 percent.

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