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U.S. stocks edge higher as investors monitor vaccine news

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Wall Street points to modest gains amid low trading volume after Thanksgiving

Stocks edged higher early Friday amid low trading activity due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 61 points, or 0.2%. The S&P 500 advanced 0.3% and the Nasdaq Composite popped 1%. U.S. equity markets are due to close at 1 p.m. ET following the holiday.

Friday's gains put the Dow and S&P 500 up more than 2% each for the week and the Nasdaq up 3%.

The gains this week came after the Trump administration began the transition process for President-elect Joe Biden, and news surrounding the incoming president's appointments. On Thursday, President Donald Trump said he would leave the White House if the Electoral College voted for Joe Biden.

In Europe, shares of AstraZeneca slipped on Friday with questions over the way AstraZeneca and Oxford University tested their coronavirus vaccine. The head of the White House's vaccine task force voiced doubts earlier in the week about trial data and the drug's efficacy rate.