US stocks tread water on shortened trading day, Bitcoin soars


US stocks were mixed on Friday amid a low-volume day of trading following the Thanksgiving holiday.

Less than an hour before the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) moved up about 0.2%, or more than 50 points, while the benchmark S&P 500 (^GSPC) hugged the flatline. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) lagged, falling about 0.2%.

Retailers outperformed the broader market as Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season. The S&P retail sector (XRT) ticked up about 0.4% as companies like Home Depot (HD) and Best Buy (BBY) gained in the session.

Big box chains such as Target (TGT) and Walmart (WMT) also moved higher, despite warning that penny-pinching consumers are spending cautiously. Retailers are going earlier and longer on holiday promotions as shoppers turn picky.

Amazon (AMZN), meanwhile, traded flat as the the company prepares to debut the first-ever NFL Black Friday game in a bid to capture more viewers, lure in holiday shoppers, and attract higher-paying advertisers.

Read more: 6 ways to save money on your Black Friday shopping list

Discord at OPEC+ kept a lid on crude prices after the group of oil-producing countries said it will hold its next meeting online. The meeting to discuss output was delayed due to a dispute between Saudi Arabia and African members over quotas, Bloomberg reported.

Brent crude futures (BZ=F) ticked lower to trade below $82 per barrel, after falling 1.3% in the last two sessions. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down about 1% to trade at just above $76 a barrel, after the Thanksgiving break in trading.

Nvidia’s (NVDA) stock dropped about 1.5% after Reuters reported the company has pushed back the launch in China of an AI chip designed to comply with US export curbs. In its earnings this week, Nvidia noted the new US restrictions would drag on its results.

Cryptocurrencies saw a big boost with Bitcoin (BTC-USD) rallying to trade above $38,000 a coin at one point in the shortened holiday trading session— its highest level since May 2022. Shares in crypto broker Coinbase (COIN) also moved higher on the news, up about 6%.

Tesla (TSLA), another leading ticker on the Yahoo Finance homepage, climbed more than 1% higher after CEO Elon Musk said it is “insane” how a strike that started with seven repair shops has started to spread in the country of Sweden, with postal workers now refusing to deliver to Tesla offices.

The strike comes after Shawn Fain, president of the United Auto Workers union, aims to target Tesla next.

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