The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq closed up between 1.3% and 1.4% on a post-Thanksgiving shortened trading day. All three indexes ended the week up more than 3%, racking up five straight days of gains. The Dow closed above 13,000 for the first time since Election Day.
Investors were cheered by the sight of busy shopping malls on the kickoff to the holiday shopping season. Leading retailers Wal-Mart (Fortune 500) and , Target (Fortune 500) opened at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night, and , large crowds were reported at those stores and others.
During a Friday morning interview with CNN, Toys "R" US CEO Jerry Storch said the long lines at stores were probably a sign that "people do feel a little more relaxed about the economy." Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren, also speaking on CNN, said he enjoyed watching the "stream of humanity" flow into his stores.
Besides Black Friday retail sales, there was little else to move the markets Friday. But investors also stayed focused on Europe and the continued questions over Greece's finances.
European finance ministers failed to finalize the details of a debt-reduction package for Greece before the close of their meeting Wednesday. The officials had been expected to agree to release the funds for Greece so it would be able to make payments due in December.
U.S. markets were closed Thursday for Thanksgiving. Stocks finished higher Wednesday as investors focused on positive U.S. economic numbers.
Companies: Shares of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion ( moved up nearly 15% following a report by Canadian brokerage firm National Bank Financial that anticipates sales of the ) BlackBerry 10 smartphone, due to roll out early next year, will be better than expected.
Hostess Brands received approval from a bankruptcy judge Wednesday to shut down and begin selling off its assets.
Oil for January delivery rose 77 cents to $88.15 a barrel.
Gold futures for December delivery climbed $23.20 to $1,751.40 an ounce.
Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury stayed put at 1.68%.
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