U.S. stocks rose modestly on Friday, with investors wary of making big bets in a short post-holiday session, though the S&P 500 is set for its longest weekly winning streak in 10 years.
Volume was light, with slightly over 1.1 billion shares traded on all U.S. platforms, according to BATS exchange data, as many U.S. investors remained out following the Thanksgiving holiday. The U.S. stock market ended its regular session three hours early at 1 p.m., following an all-day closure on Thursday.
"It's just drifting up because at the moment, the path of least resistance is up. There is no news that is going to push it lower," said Ken Polcari, director of the NYSE floor division at O'Neil Securities in New York.
"There is nothing negative out there for anyone to take anything off the table."
Retail stocks were in the spotlight as the holiday shopping season gets under way. Many stores opened on Thanksgiving for the first time ever this year, but shoppers appeared to be making careful purchases.
Equities have rallied in recent weeks on the back of expectations for continued stimulus from the Federal Reserve. The Dow and the S&P 500 closed at record highs on Wednesday while the Nasdaq ended at a 13-year high.
Investors will focus on retail stocks in an attempt to get an early read on the strength of the holiday shopping season. "Black Friday" typically marks the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season, but many stores opened on Thursday and offered steep discounts.
The S&P retail index .SPXRT rose 0.4 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI
rose 46.77 points or 0.29 percent, to 16,144.10. The S&P 500 .SPX
gained 4.92 points or 0.27 percent, to 1,812.15. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC
added 22.418 points or 0.55 percent, to 4,067.168.
© Scripps Howard News Service