Stocks rose in an abbreviated session today, cutting losses for the week as early-bird Christmas shopping gave reason for optimism. "The fact that Black Friday is not a disaster and is off to a modest but healthy start is just a relief,'' one analyst told Bloomberg. The Dow closed up 181.84 at 12,980.88, the Nasdaq up 34.45 at 2,596.60, and the S&P 500 at 1,440.70, up 23.93.
Wal-Mart, Target, and JC Penney rallied on the busiest day after Thanksgiving in 8 years, dampening recent speculation that "the retail world is coming to an end," said the analyst. Others predicted that, with US currency near an all-time low, exports will be big this holiday season. Meanwhile, Citigroup, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo rebounded after sinking to 2-year lows.