* Russell 2000 small-cap index hits record high
* Amazon, Wal-Mart lead gainers among retailers
* NRF expects holiday sales to grow 3.6 pct
* Online spending surges 14 pct on Thanksgiving-Adobe
* Indexes up: Dow 0.22 pct, S&P 0.15 pct, Nasdaq 0.04 pct
(Updates to open)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Nov 25 The S&P 500 and the Dow hit record highs
on Black Friday, helped by gains in consumer stocks at the start
of the crucial holiday shopping season.
The small cap Russell 2000 also hit a record intraday
high on a day when trading volumes are expected to be relatively
thin as the market closes at 1:00 p.m. ET (1700 GMT).
The S&P 500 consumer staples index rose 0.7
percent, giving the biggest boost to the broader index. That was
followed by the consumer discretionary sector, which
gained 0.3 percent.
The Dow Jones U.S. retailers index was up 0.34
percent, led by a 0.5 percent gain in Amazon.com and
Wal-Mart's 1 percent increase. Amazon gave the biggest
boost to the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.
Since the U.S. election, the three main U.S. indexes have
hit all-time highs and closed at record levels multiple times in
the past few days, most recently on Wednesday, when industrials
boosted the Dow and S&P to record-high closes.
"Trump's stock market honeymoon continues as the indices
push higher this morning, and the focus now shifts to holiday
sales," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First
Standard Financial in New York.
The holiday shopping season is crucial for retailer as it
accounts for as much as 40 percent of their annual sales. But
they have been struggling to pull shoppers into stores as people
increasingly prefer the ease and year-long deals available
The National Retail Federation, which has been overly
optimistic with projections in the past, expects holiday sales
to grow 3.6 percent this year to $655.8 billion.
Online spending surged almost 14 percent to top $1 billion
by Thanksgiving evening, according to Adobe Digital Index.
At 9:42 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was
up 42.66 points, or 0.22 percent, at 19,125.84, after hitting
The S&P 500 was up 3.33 points, or 0.15 percent, at
2,208.05. It hit a high of 2,209.39
The Nasdaq Composite was up 2.15 points, or 0.04
percent, at 5,382.83. The index is about 10 points away from its
"At one point or another this market is going run into a
brick wall, but right now it's still being supported by the
enthusiasm of Trump's pro-growth program," Cardillo said.
Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors were trading higher, led by
a 1.08 percent rise in utilities.
The laggards were led by the energy sector, which
was pulled down by a 1.3 percent drop in oil prices amid
uncertainty that the OPEC would arrive at a decision to cut
production during a meeting next week.
Among non-retail stocks, China's Ctrip.com jumped
9.5 percent to $44.89 after agreeing to buy UK travel search
website Skyscanner in a deal valued at around $1.74 billion.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,461
to 1,136. On the Nasdaq, 1,101 issues fell and 1,096 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed 29 new 52-week highs and no new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 112 new highs and five new lows.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by