(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia) U.S. stocks rallied higher Friday buoyed by encouraging economic data as American consumers headed to stores to take advantage of Black Friday sales.
Equity trading though was thin with the market only open for a half-day, following the market closure on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.
By the close the Dow Jones had soared 173 points (1.35%), while the NASDAQ jumped 40 points (1.38%) to 2967.
Black Friday is the traditional start to the shopping season, putting the focus squarely on retailers as many consumers were expected to take part in the biggest shopping day of the year.
Leading retailers such as Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Target (NYSE:TGT) opened at 8 pm on Thanksgiving night with big crowds were reported at the stores.
According to reports, about 11,000 shoppers were in lines outside of Macy's (NYSE:M) flagship store in New York City's Herald Square when it opened at midnight on Black Friday. Gap (NYSE:GPS) opened more than 1,100 of its U.S. stores across its Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic outlets on Thanksgiving, up from nearly 1,000 locations in 2011.
Asia / Europe news
Europre: In Greece there is optimism that a debt deal may be done tomorrow. Germany's Ifo index of business sentiment beat expectations with a November rise to 101.4 against forecasts that called for a drop to 99.5, according to media reports.
ASIA: The HSBC purchasing-managers index showed that China's manufacturing sector expanded in November for the first time in 13 months, indicating that growth will pick up in the fourth quarter.
Research In Motion on the rise
Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSE:RIM) stock surged as high as 18 per cent in early NASDAQ trading Friday on rising optimism over the BlackBerry maker's newest smartphones.
Thursday, Kris Thompson, a National Bank Financial analyst, suggested investors pick up RIM stock ahead of the launch of the new BlackBerry 10 in the new year.