The Nasdaq fell on a silent Black Friday

home for the holidays:
Shoppers were expected to show up in record numbers, but with bad weather, crowds at stores were sparse on the busiest shopping day in the US.

Nasdaq closed lower on Friday, pressured by Apple Inc in a subdued trading session shortened for a Wall Street holiday, as investors watched Black Friday sales and COVID-19 cases in China.

Apple fell 2 percent on news of lower iPhone shipments from a Foxconn Technology Group (富士康) factory in China this month as production has been hit by worker disruptions related to COVID-19.

The session focused on retailers as Black Friday sales kicked off on the back of rising inflation and slowing economic growth.

Photo: AFP

Shoppers were expected to show up in record numbers to shop for Black Friday deals, but with bad weather, crowds outside stores were sparse on what is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States.

US retail stocks have become a barometer of consumer confidence as inflation picks up. So far this year, the S&P 500 retail index is down just over 30 percent, while the S&P 500 is down 15 percent.

Shares of retailers Target Corp., Macy’s and Best Buy were mixed, while the Standard & Poor’s Consumer Ratings Index rose slightly.

“It’s a low volume trading day as most people are at home and I don’t count on Friday beyond [US] said Ed Cofrancesco, CEO of International Assets Advisory, in Orlando, Florida.

Trading volume on US stock exchanges reached 4.54 billion shares, compared to an average of 11.25 billion full sessions over the past 20 trading days.

Starting this week, Cofrancesco said, investors will focus on retail sales, the latest outbreak of COVID-19 in China, and the next steps of the US Federal Reserve.

Wall Street’s major indices have rebounded strongly from their lows early last month, with the S&P 500 rising more than 15 percent buoyed by a better-than-expected earnings season and more recently on hopes that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates less sharply.

Analysts expect a 71.1 percent chance that the Federal Reserve will increase its benchmark rate by 50 basis points next month, with rates peaking in June next year.

The Dow Jones industrial average increased 152.97 points, or 0.45 percent, to 34,347.03 points, and increased 2.39 percent during the week. The Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 1.14 points, or 0.03 percent, to 4,026.12 points, but rose 2.02 percent for the week. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 58.96 points, or 0.52 percent, to 11,226.36, but rose 0.73 percent for the week.

Activision Blizzard Inc stock fell 4.07 percent after a media report that the US Federal Trade Commission is likely to file an antitrust lawsuit to prevent Microsoft Corp from buying the video game publisher for $69 billion.

US stock markets closed at 1 p.m., after the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.

The S&P 500 posted 22 new highs in 52 weeks and no new lows. The Nasdaq index posted 89 new highs and 83 new lows.

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