US stocks little changed in shortened session, retailers gain

US stocks slightly dropped on Friday in a shortened session, while posting a gain for the whole week, lifting the S&P 500-stock index to its longest rally of weekly advances in almost a decade.

The S&P 500 fell 0.1% to 1,805.81, reversing an earlier gain of as much as 0.4%. The benchmark rose 0.1% for the week, extending its winning streak to eight weeks, the longest since 2004. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 10.92 points, or less than 0.1%, to 16,086.41 today. Trading in S&P 500 stocks was 8.9% below the 30-day average. U.S. markets were closed on Wednesday for the Thanksgiving holiday and trading ended at 1 p.m. on Friday.

The last trading session this week capped a month in which the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 3.5% and set 12 closing records. The Dow and the S&P 500 each have risen in eight consecutive weeks, the longest such streak for the Dow in two years.

Investors will focus on data releases on manufacturing and home sales next week, and the November release of non-farm payrolls on Dec. 6. In addition, Janet Yellen, who will replace Ben S. Bernanke as chairman of the Fed, has said she would ensure monetary stimulus isn’t removed too soon to support economic recovery in the US.

“Its hard to see anything specific to bring stocks down or to hold them back for the rest of the year,” said to Wall Street Journal, John Kvantas, who helps manage $16 billion as executive director at USAA.

In corporate news, ADM slumped 3% to $40.25. Australia’s rejection of the agricultural commodities producer’s takeover prompted a record 22% drop in GrainCorp, the biggest crop handler on Australia’s east coast, and a slide in the local currency.

E-Bay rose 2.5% to $50.52 and Amazon.com jumped 1.8% to $393.62 as online sales are projected to climb as much as 15% to $82 billion during the holidays, more than three times faster than the total gain of 3.9% to $602.1 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.

Apple rose 1.9% to $556.07. The company accounted for 76% of smartphone sales in Japan last month after the country’s largest carrier, NTT Docomo Inc., began offering the iPhone, market researcher Kantar Worldpanel ComTech said on Friday.

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