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NEW YORK, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Wall Street stocks advanced and
the Nasdaq closed at a record high on Friday in a
holiday-shortened week, as retailers kicked off the year-end
shopping season amid record COVID-19 hospitalizations.
The Nasdaq outperformed as investors favored tech-related,
market-leading stocks that have fared well during the pandemic,
while economically sensitive cyclical stocks weighed.
All three indexes rose for the week, in which the S&P 500
reached a new closing high and the blue-chip Dow ended
above 30,000 for the first time ever.
"It's an abbreviated session and volume is light, so the
only conclusion is that the rally is not faltering for now,"
said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital
Securities in New York.
"It does bode well for next month," Cardillo added. "Will we
see a Santa rally? Most likely. Will it be as robust as
November? That's a big question mark."
Retailers opened their doors to Black Friday shoppers, with
social distancing practices and other measures put in place to
mitigate infection risks, while offering steep discounts.
"Black Friday has been somewhat tarnished - traffic is down
due to the pandemic - but the good news is e-commerce sales have
reached a new record," Cardillo said. "That's encouraging."
In the latest development on the road toward developing a
vaccine against COVID-19, Britain gave drugmaker AstraZeneca
the green light after experts raised questions about the
vaccine's trial data.
As U.S. hospitalizations for coronavirus set a grim record
of more than 89,000, the race for a medical solution to the
pandemic has led to promising vaccines from Pfizer Inc,
Moderna Inc and others, fueling optimism for light at
the end of the tunnel.
Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose
38.56 points, or 0.13%, to 29,911.03, the S&P 500 gained
9.04 points, or 0.25%, to 3,638.69 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 111.44 points, or 0.92%, to 12,205.85.
Chipmaker stocks, which have been resilient throughout the
global health crisis, once again outperformed the broader
Shares of Walt Disney Co dipped after the company
said it would lay off about 32,000 workers, up from the 28,000
announced previously. Jobs will be cut mainly at Disney's theme
Tesla Inc built on its recent rally, its shares
advancing even as U.S. regulators opened an investigation into
front suspension issues in about 115,000 Tesla vehicles.
U.S.-listed shares of iQIYI Inc fell after Reuters
reported Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent Holdings
Ltd had put on hold talks to buy a controlling stake
in the video streaming service.
(Reporting by Stephen Culp; Editing by Richard Chang)