Stocks open mixed on holiday-shortened trading day

Shares opened mixed on a short trading day on Black Friday.

Around 9:35 am the S&P 500 fell by less than 0.1%, the Dow by 0.2%and the Nasdaq by around 0.5%.

The US stock market closes on Friday at 1 p.m.; US financial markets were closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving.

Stocks finished up on Wednesday, the last full trading session of the week, after the minutes of the Fed’s latest meeting signaled a likely slowdown in the pace of rate hikes at the central bank’s meeting in December.

US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell attends a news conference in Washington, DC, the United States, on Nov. 2, 2022. The US Federal Reserve made its fourth consecutive three-quarter point rate hike on Wednesday amid its worst inflation in four decades. (Photo by Liu Jie/Xinhua via Getty Images)

No major economic data or earnings reports are expected for release in the US, though investors and analysts will likely remain alert for early reports on how consumer demand is holding up over the Black Friday holiday.

Data from Adobe Analytics released earlier this week showed that consumer spending in the first three weeks of November was up 0.1% year over year.

Energy markets remain in the sights of investors, with WTI crude up about 0.5% after an earlier rise of nearly 3% early Friday, a rebound following Wednesday’s drop in oil prices to lows from 2022.

On the overseas markets, the shares in Europe were well on their way to make a win for the sixth time in a row.

Investors also broke the news overnight that the People’s Bank of China would cut its reserve requirement for the second time this year in a bid to stimulate the economy.

After being weakened earlier this week, the dollar started a modest rally at the start of Friday’s trade session.

In company news, shares of Manchester United (MANU) rose as much as 9% early Friday after gaining 25% on Wednesday as reports continue to swirl about a possible sale of the English football club by the Glazer family, which also owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

As investors in the US look forward to late November and the end of a challenging year in financial markets, Yahoo Finance’s Jared Blikre writes in Friday’s Morning Brief that history suggests more positive times could be ahead for market bulls.

From the Tuesday before Thanksgiving through the second trading day of the new year, the S&P 500 has been higher 81% of the time since 1950. And in years in which shares rise during this period, the index rises by 3.8%, on average.

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