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Nasdaq ends lower as investors watch Black Friday selling, infections in China

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By Carolina Mandl and Ankika Biswas

(RockedBuzz via Reuters) – The Nasdaq closed lower on Friday as Apple Inc pressed into a shortened trading session on Wall Street over the holiday as investors watched Black Friday sales and COVID-19 cases in China.

Apple fell 2.0% on news it reduced iPhone shipments from a Foxconn plant in China in November as manufacturing was hit by COVID-related worker unrest.

The session focused on retailers as Black Friday sales kicked off against a backdrop of stubbornly high inflation and declining economic growth.

Shoppers were expected to show up in record numbers to purchase the Black Friday deals, but with inclement weather, crowds outside the shops were sparse on the traditionally busiest shopping day of the year.

US retail stocks have become a barometer of consumer confidence as inflation bites. So far this year, the S&P 500 retail index is down just over 30%, while the S&P 500 is down 15%.

Shares in retailers Target Corp, Macy’s Inc and Best Buy Co Inc were mixed, while the S&P consumer discretionary index rose slightly.

“It’s such a low volume trading day since most people are at home that I never count the Friday after Thanksgiving,” said Ed Cofrancesco, chief executive officer of International Assets Advisory, in Orlando, Florida.

Volume on US exchanges was 4.54 billion shares, compared to an average of 11.25 billion full sessions over the past 20 trading days.

Starting next week, investors will focus on retail sales, the new COVID outbreak in China and the Federal Reserve’s next steps, Cofrancesco said.

Wall Street’s major indexes rallied sharply from their early-October lows, with the S&P 500 up more than 15% on a better-than-expected earnings season and, more recently, on hopes of less interest rate hikes. aggressive by the US Federal Reserve.

Analysts now see a 71.1% probability that the Fed will raise its key policy rate by 50 basis points in December, with rates peaking in June 2023.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 152.97 points, or 0.45%, to 34,347.03; the S&P 500 lost 1.14 points, or 0.03%, to 4,026.12; and the Nasdaq Composite fell 58.96 points, or 0.52%, to 11,226.36.

All three indices finished the Thanksgiving week with gains, led by the Dow, which rose 1.78%.

Activision Blizzard Inc plunged 4.07% on a media report that the US Federal Trade Commission likely filed an antitrust lawsuit to block Microsoft Corp’s $69 billion takeover bid for the video game publisher.

US stock markets closed at 1 PM ET, following the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.

Advancing issuance outpaced declining issuance on the NYSE by a ratio of 1.81 to 1; on the Nasdaq, a ratio of 1.35 to 1 favored the advanced.

The S&P 500 posted 22 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 89 new highs and 83 new lows.

(Reporting by Ankika Biswas and Shubham Batra in Bangalore; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Richard Chang)