US stocks end mixed after Thanksgiving Day

New York, Nov 28 (IANS) The US stocks closed mixed in light volume in a shortened post-holiday session on Friday, as Wall Street eyed retailers’ Black Friday sales results.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched down 14.90 points, or 0. 08 percent, to 17,798.49. The S&P 500 inched up 1.24 points, or 0.06 percent, to 2,090.11. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 11.38 points, or 0.22 percent, to 5,127.52, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to Adobe Digital Index, consumers logged on on Thanksgiving day and spent $1.1 billion between midnight and 5 p.m. ET, up a 22-percent from the same period last year.

With no major economic data due out on Friday, investors were looking to next week, which will bring the key November employment data, the last jobs report for the year, before the Federal Reserve decides on interest rates at its December 15-16 meeting.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank (ECB) is scheduled to hold a meeting next Thursday, when the ECB could make a decision to further ease monetary policy.

Overseas, Chinese shares tumbled heavily on Friday, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index diving 5.48 percent, as news broke of investigations into major brokerage houses triggered widespread panic.

European equities ended mildly lower on Friday, with British benchmark FTSE 100 Index going down 0.28 percent, as investors eyed the ECB policy meeting next week.

The US stock markets closed at 1.00 p.m. on Friday after being closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving Day holiday.

On Wednesday, the US stocks finished fractionally mixed after wavering in a tight range as Wall Street digested an array of generally positive data.

For the holiday-shortened week, the Dow edged down 0.1 percent, and the S&P 500 edged up less than 0.1 percent, while the Nasdaq added 0.4 percent.

The CBOE Volatility Index, often referred to as Wall Street’s fear gauge, fell 0.46 percent to end at 15.12 on Friday.

In other markets, oil prices ended sharply lower as the U.S. dollar index hit a fresh eight-month high.

The West Texas Intermediate for January delivery tumbled $1.33 to settle at $41.71 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for January delivery decreased $0.60 to close at $44.86 a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

The US dollar increased as the Federal Reserve was on track for an interest-rate hike this year while its European counterparts were expected to unleash further stimulus.

In late New York trading, the euro fell to $1.0597 from $1.0617 in the previous session, while the dollar bought 122.85 Japanese yen, higher than 122.72 yen of the previous session.

Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell as a stronger US dollar put pressure on the precious metal.

The most active gold contract for February delivery lost $13.5, or 1.26 percent, to settle at $1,056.2 per ounce.

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