Stocks closed in negative territory in thin, shortened trading Friday as investors were reluctant to go long ahead of the weekend and amid ongoing worries over the euro zone.
The Dow and S&P posted their worst Thanksgiving week since the Great Depression on a percentage basis.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average erased their gains to finish lower, led by H-P and Chevron .
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also ended lower, logging a seventh consecutive decline. Some traders are watching for 1,150 on the S&P as the next key level.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, ended above 34.
Among key S&P sectors, consumer staples and utilities led the gainers, while energy and techs lagged.
"Again, we're trading on very thin volume—You're going to have continued downward pressure over the next 30 days," said Todd Schoenberger, managing director at LandColt Trading. "It's very difficult to be long this market because you have so many issues—there's more potential for negative headlines than positive ones."
In Europe, S&P downgraded Belgium one notch to AA from AA-plus, further underscoring worries over the euro zone debt contagion.
Earlier, EU officials said euro zone member states were discussing dropping private sector involvement from the permanent bailout mechanism.
An Italian T-bill auction offered a fresh indication of investors’ lack of confidence in the country’s newly-appointed government and broader fears that the euro zone debt crisis cannot be contained. Yields shot up to new euro era highs.
This comes after a failed German bond auction earlier this week spooked markets and stoked fears that not even the euro zone’s strongest performers are immune from the debt crisis.
Meanwhile, shoppers flocked to stores on Black Friday, kicking off the holiday shopping season.
Macy's , Best Buy , Wal-Mart among other retail giants will be in focus.
In company news, AT&T said it would take a $4 billion charge in case its takeover of T-Mobile USA fails.
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Coming Up Next Week:
MONDAY: New home sales, Dallas Fed mfg survey
TUESDAY: S&P Case-Shiller home price index, consumer confidence, FHFA home price index, Fed's Kocherlakota speaks, Fed's Yellen speaks; Earnings from Tiffany
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage applications, Challenger job-cut report, ADP employment report, productivity & costs, Chicago PMI, pending home sales index, oil inventories, Beige Book, farm prices, AT&T/TMobile hearing, USDA's agricultural trade outlook; Earnings from American Eagle, Aeropostale
THURSDAY: Jobless claims, ISM mfg index, construction spending, chain store sales, auto sales; Earnings from Barnes & Noble, Kroger, Lululemon, H&R Block
FRIDAY: Employment situation, Fed's Plosser speaks; Earnings from Big Lots
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