The major averages closed mixed with on the Dow Jones notching a gain during the holiday-shortened trading week. The Dow rose 152 points, or 0.45% to 34,347, marking the third consecutive session of gains. The S&P 500 fell a point to end the day at 4,026. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 58 points or 0.52% to 11,226, weighed down by shares of Activision Blizzard, which fell 4% on news that the FTC could block Microsoft from taking over the gaming company.
All three indexes ended the week higher. The Dow is up 1.78%, and the S&P 500 is up 1.53% during the short week. The tech-heavy Nasdaq is lagging the other two indexes but is still up 0.72% in the same timeframe.
Stocks were muted at the start of the week as traders waited for minutes from the Federal Reserve's November meeting. The minutes showed that the central bank anticipates slowing the pace of interest rate hikes going forward, which gave stocks a boost into the end of the week even amid choppy sessions due to low trading volumes.
A slew of solid retail earnings reports signaling some consumer strength even amid worries of economic weakness also lifted stocks.
Worries about continued lockdowns in China kept markets in check. The country is ramping up Covid restrictions after seeing climbing case counts in recent days. Earlier in the week, China reported its first Covid deaths since May.
Next week, investors will be watching for more earnings reports from companies such as Kroger and Ulta Beauty on deck. On the economic front, traders will be watching further comments from Fed officials, as well as the release of the personal consumption expenditure report on Thursday — the central bank's preferred inflation indicator. The November jobs print is due Friday.
China internet ETF slides. The KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF has dropped more than 4% on Friday as investors fret about the path of the Chinese economy.
China continues to be more strict in its fight against Covid than other major countries. Many apartment buildings in Beijing have told residents to stay in their homes in recent days. A citywide lockdown has not been announced, however.
Of the ETF's top holdings, JD.com lost 5.4%, while Tencent and Alibaba each fell more than 3%. The fund is down 34% year to date.
Retail sales data and corporate earnings have offered investors a mixed picture, but the landscape has some bright spots for investors, according to Cowen.
"There are many crosscurrents with the consumer," Oliver Chen, senior equity research analyst at Cowen covering retail and luxury goods, said on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" Friday.
Chen named three stocks as some of the firm's favorite picks for this shopping season that offer "very strong value" to the consumer. Read the full story on CNBC Pro.
These are some of the stocks making the biggest moves during Friday's shortened trading session:
Apple — Apple's stock shed 2% on Friday after protests occurred at the iPhone maker's major Foxconn supplier in China earlier this week. Analysts and investors have also feared that recent manufacturing shutdowns could dent supply this holiday season.
Activision Blizzard – Shares of the video game company slid more than 4% after Politico reported the Federal Trade Commission is likely to sue to block Microsoft's $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Microsoft shares traded flat.
Coupa Software – Shares of the software company popped 7, building on a 28.9% surge on Wednesday after Bloomberg reported that Vista Equity Partners is exploring an acquisition of Coupa.
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