Stocks Have Best 5 Days in 75 Years
Stocks rose again in light post-Thanksgiving trading, logging their best five-day streak in 75 years.
U.S. financial markets closed at 1 p.m. ET Friday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 102.43, or 1.3 percent, to close at 8840.33. The S&P 500 index added another 1 percent.
The Dow has gained more than 17 percent since last Thursday's close and the S&P has gained 19 percent, their best five-day performance since 1933.
Even the tech-heavy Nasdaq eked out a gain, climbing 0.2 percent, bringing its five-day total to 17 percent.
But it was a rockier week for techs amid worries that the slowdown will clip tech spending.
Chip stocks dragged after STMicroelectronics became the latest chip maker to slash its fourth-quarter outlook.
Earlier this month, industry leader Intel cut its fourth-quarter revenue forecast by 14 percent. And, just this week, Cisco Systems announced plans to shut plants in the U.S. and Canada.
Financials were the week's biggest gainers, jumping 31 percent.
Citigroup shot up 18 percent. The stock has more than doubled this week, ending at $8.29 a share. Still, the stock is down more than 39 percent for the month.
JPMorgan was the Dow's best performer, soaring 39 percent.
Auto makers rallied again, with General Motors jumping 9 percent and Ford soaring 25 percent.
GMis apparently looking to raise $257 million by selling some of its European offices, the Financial Times reported. The plan is part of a global push by the car maker to raise up to $4 billion from asset sales and capital market transactions as it runs critically short of cash, the paper said. In the U.S., the company is looking to sell and lease back the Renaissance Center, the Detroit skyscraper complex that serves as its headquarters, the paper said.
Auto makers are expected to report November sales next Tuesday and the results are expected to be as dismal as recent months, with declines up to 35 percent.
Retailers were in the spotlight as shoppers hit the malls before dawn for Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and unofficial kickoff to the holiday-shopping season. Early mall readings suggest that fewer customers turned out to the stores and malls this Black Friday than last year. And those shoppers, who did show up, were far more selective, searching for the best bargains they could find in this highly competitive season.
And, even though the numbers are stacked against them this year, retail CEOs were optimistic about the season.
In recent years, retailers have pushed their Black Friday store openings earlier and earlier, with many opening their doors at the stroke of midnight.
But this year, fewer stores opened that early, including Wal-Mart Stores the world's largest retailer, and Best Buy, which both welcomed shoppers at 5 am.
Amid all the holiday excitement, tragedy struck: A temporary employee was killedat a Wal-Mart in Long Island, NY after a throng of unruly shoppers broke down the doors and trampled him.
Apple shares skidded 2.5 percent as predictions that the gadget guru would go nuts with 15-percent off today failed to materialize. An iPhone, touch, for example, was about $21 off on Apple.com — not even 10 percent off the $299 price tag. Some of the better deals on the site are from third-party software and gadgets, trade media like Gizmodo are reporting.
Amazon is expected to fare better than its rivals, logging 12 to 15 percent growth, but still, the world's largest online retailer isn't taking any chances, rolling out a series of holiday promotions focused on low prices. Its shares finished down 2.9 percent.
>> Check in on how the holiday season is shaping up at CNBC's Holiday Central.
Yahoo rose 8.8 percent after Carl Icahn raised his stake in the Internet portal to 5.5 percent, buying nearly 7 million more shares, according to regulatory filings. Icahn had threatened to oust Yahoo's board this summer after the company rejected an offer from Microsoft.
Chevron slipped 1.2 percent as oil prices settled below $55 a barrelahead of an OPEC meeting this weekend.
Oil gained 3 percent this week but is still down 24 percent for the month of November and 46 percent for the year.
THe AAA national average for gasoline was $1.835 a gallon, down 41 percent from a year earlier.
One technical analyst said oil prices will rise in the next few months but after that, it's going down to near $20 a barrel and that will be the bottom.
Meanwhile, Europe was hit by more bad news as the European unemployment rate jumped to 7.7 percent while inflation fell to 2.1 percent, boosting expectations of a deep interest rate cut by the European Central Bank next week.
And Indian commandos traded fire with Islamist militants as the endgame neared at a luxury hotel and a Jewish center in Mumbai, but it was suspected that the gunmen were still holding a handful of foreign hostages.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pinned blame for the attacks on militant groups based in India's neighbors, an allusion to Pakistan, raising prospects of renewed tension between the nuclear-armed rivals.