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US: Stocks boosted by open of holiday shopping season


[NEW YORK] Shares of leading retailers rose in opening trading Friday, lifting US stocks as the holiday shopping season kicked off amid expectations of solid sales.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores rose 0.4 per cent, while Target gained 0.7 per cent and Macy's 0.1 per cent. However, Best Buy lost 1.2 per cent.

Leading forecasters have projected that US holiday shopping sales will rise around three to four per cent compared with last year.

Five minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 19,128.44.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.2 per cent to 2,208.04, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced less than 0.1 per cent to 5,382.98.

The Dow and S&P 500 closed at records on Wednesday prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. Markets will close early Friday.


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