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Retailers in focus as Black Friday sales start
Activision down on likely FTC lawsuit to block Microsoft
Apple slips, Foxconn China plant sees lower shipments
Indexes: Dow up 0.45%, S&P 500 down 0.03%, Nasdaq down
Nov 25 (Reuters) - The Nasdaq closed lower on Friday
with pressure from Apple Inc in a subdued
holiday-shortened trading session for Wall Street, as investors
watched Black Friday sales and COVID-19 cases in China.
Apple fell 2.0% on news of reduced iPhone shipments from a
Foxconn plant in China in November as production was hit by
COVID-related worker unrest.
The session focused on retailers as Black Friday sales
kicked off against the backdrop of stubbornly high inflation and
cooling economic growth.
Shoppers were expected to turn out in record numbers to shop
for Black Friday deals, but with inclement weather, crowds
outside stores were thin on the traditionally busiest shopping
day of the year.
U.S. retail stocks have become a barometer of consumer
confidence as inflation bites. So far this year, the S&P 500
retail index is down a little over 30%, while the S&P
500 has fallen 15%.
Shares of retailers Target Corp, Macy's Inc
and Best Buy Co Inc were mixed, while the S&P consumer
discretionary index rose slightly.
"It's such a low volume trading day as most people are at
home that I never count Friday after Thanksgiving," said Ed
Cofrancesco, chief executive officer of International Assets
Advisory, in Orlando, Florida.
Volume on U.S. exchanges was 4.54 billion shares, compared
with the 11.25 billion full-session average over the last 20
Starting next week, investors will focus on retail sales,
China's newest COVID outbreak and the Federal Reserve's next
steps, Cofrancesco said.
Wall street's main indexes have rallied strongly from their
early October lows, with the S&P 500 up more than 15% on a boost
from a better-than-expected earnings season and more recently on
hopes of less aggressive interest rates hikes by the U.S.
Analysts now see a 71.1% chance that the Fed will increase
its key benchmark rate by 50 basis points in December, with
rates peaking in June 2023.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 152.97
points, or 0.45%, to 34,347.03; the S&P 500 lost 1.14
points, or 0.03%, at 4,026.12; and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 58.96 points, or 0.52%, to 11,226.36.
All three indexes ended the Thanksgiving week with gains,
led by the Dow, which rose 1.78%.
Activision Blizzard Inc plunged 4.07% on a media
report that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission was likely to file
an antitrust lawsuit to block Microsoft Corp's $69
billion takeover bid for the video game publisher.
U.S. stock markets closed at 1 p.m. ET, after Thursday's
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a
1.81-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.35-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 22 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the
Nasdaq Composite recorded 89 new highs and 83 new lows.
(Reporting by Ankika Biswas and Shubham Batra in Bengaluru;
Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Richard Chang)