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Nasdaq closed lower as investors eye Black Friday sales, China Covid infections

As investors watched Black Friday sales and Covid-19 cases in China, the Nasdaq closed lower on Friday with pressure from Apple Inc in a subdued holiday-shortened trading session for Wall Street, according to the news agency Reuters.

Following the news of reduced iPhone shipments from a Foxconn plant in China this month, Apple Inc fell 2.0%.

The session mainly focused on retailers as Black Friday sales kicked off yesterday. However, the crowd outside stores was thin on the traditionally busiest shopping day of the year due to inclement weather.

US 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, as per Reuters reports. 

Ed Cofrancesco, chief executive officer of International Assets Advisory in Orlando said, “It’s such a low volume trading day as most people are at home that I never count Friday after Thanksgiving.”

On US exchanges, the volume was 4.54 billion shares as compared with the 11.25 billion full-session average over the last 20 trading days.

Starting next week, investors will focus on retail sales, China’s newest Covid outbreak, and the Federal Reserve’s next steps, Cofrancesco said, as quoted by Reuters.

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 US Federal Reserve.

According to analysts, there is 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%.

The US stock markets closed at 1 p.m. ET, after Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday.


(With Reuters inputs)

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