S&P 500 closes above 2,600 for first time as Street bets on strong holiday shopping season

U.S. equities rose on Friday as investors placed bets on a strong holiday shopping season.

The S&P 500 hit record highs, rising 0.2 percent to 2,602.42 with information technology as the best-performing sector. Macy's was among the best-performing stocks in the index. The S&P 500 also closed above 2,600 for the first time.

The Nasdaq composite climbed 0.3 percent to 6,889.16, posting intraday and closing records as shares of Amazon gained 2.6 percent to a record.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 31.81 points to finish at 23,557.99, with Visa leading advancers on the 30-stock index. The Dow also closed near a record closing high.

DJIA Dow Jones Industrial Average 24575.62 171.14 0.70
S&P 500 S&P 500 Index 2638.70 5.80 0.22
NASDAQ NASDAQ Composite 7025.77 5.41 0.08

Long lines of people began forming by Thursday afternoon outside of retailers like Best Buy and Target, among others, as shoppers got ready for Black Friday. Digital sales were also robust, according to Adobe Analytics. The company said U.S. consumers had already spent more than $1.52 billion online by 5 p.m. ET on Thanksgiving evening.

"It's all about the shopping numbers," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial. He said they will likely translate into strong consumer spending numbers. "That's good for the economy."

Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Specialist trader Michael Pistillo Jr. wears a dow 23,000 hat, after the dow briefly traded above 23,000, at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, October 17, 2017.

Shares of Macy's, Nordstrom and Kohl's all closed higher. Overall, traditional retail stocks have taken a hit this year as more people shift to online shopping outlets, helping Amazon increase its market share.

The SPDR S&P Retail exchange-traded fund (XRT) is down 5.8 percent for 2017.

U.S. markets were closed on Thursday due to the Thanksgiving holiday, but equities finished the shortened trading week with strong gains. The S&P 500 and Dow rose 0.9 percent, while the Nasdaq posted a 1.6 percent weekly gain.

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