Stocks rise early with arrival of Black Friday11:28 am | November 29, 2013
NEW YORK — Stocks rose in a shortened trading day Friday following the Thanksgiving holiday.
Retailers were among the leading gainers as Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, got underway.
Investors and analysts will be following sales trends closely to get a read on the health of retailers as well as the wider economy. Consumer spending is a critical component of the U.S. economy. Shares of EBay, J.C. Penney and Amazon all advanced.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose three points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,811 in early trading. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 50 points, or 0.3 percent, to 16,147. The Nasdaq composite rose 13 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,057.
EBay rose 98 cents, or 2 percent, to $50.30, making it the biggest gainer in the S&P 500 in early trading. J.C. Penney rose 12 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $10.20.
Trading volumes were lower than average the day after Thanksgiving. The New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq will close early at 1 p.m. Eastern Time Friday.
There were no major economic reports scheduled.
The stock market has surged this year, pushing the Dow and the S&P 500 index to record levels. Stocks have risen as the economy has kept up a slow but steady recovery and corporations have kept earnings growing. Demand for stocks has also been bolstered by Federal Reserve policies, which have held down interest rates, making bonds less attractive investments than stocks.
In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.76 percent from 2.73 percent on Wednesday. In commodities trading, the price of oil rose 52 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $92.85 a barrel in New York. The price of gold rose $13.10, or 1.1 percent, to $1,251.10.