* Wall St closes higher for third week in a row
* Consumer staples gain led by P&G, Coke
* Utilities top percentage gainers among S&P sectors
* Energy stocks drop along with oil prices
* Indexes up: Dow 0.36 pct, S&P 0.39 pct, Nasdaq 0.34 pct
(Updates to close)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Nov 25 Wall Street's three main indexes closed
at record highs on Friday, helped by gains in consumer staples
and technology stocks as investors hunted for bargains in a
The stock markets closed early for Black Friday, while
trading volumes were thin.
The three major indexes closed higher for the third week in
a row, extending their rally since the U.S. election. The S&P
500 marked its seventh record close since Nov. 8.
However, the defensive consumer staples and
utilities sectors have been the worst performers in
The consumer staples sector gave the S&P 500 the biggest
boost on Friday, closing up 0.79 percent, led by gains in
Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola.
"People are looking for value in the market. While many
stocks have risen quite briskly, investors are looking for some
forgotten names in the rally," said Andre Bakhos, managing
director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
"These orphaned stocks are being hunted today."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 68.96 points,
or 0.36 percent, to 19,152.14.
The S&P 500 gained 8.63 points, or 0.39 percent, to
2,213.35 and the Nasdaq Composite added 18.24 points, or
0.34 percent, to 5,398.92.
For the week, the Dow and the Nasdaq gained 1.5 percent and
the S&P 500 gained 1.4 percent.
Ten of the 11 major S&P sectors closed higher Friday, led by
a 1.43 percent rise in utilities.
The technology sector rose 0.37 percent, boosted
by Cisco and Apple.
The energy sector closed down 0.39 percent, due to a
2.8 percent drop in oil prices amid uncertainty that the OPEC
would arrive at a decision to cut production during a meeting
Johnson & Johnson closed up about 1 percent after
the company confirmed that it was in talks to acquire Swiss
biotechnology company Actelion.
About 2.96 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges on
Friday compared with the 7.88 billion average for the last 20
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,840
to 999. On the Nasdaq, 1,728 issues rose and 965.
The S&P 500 index posted 46 new 52-week highs and no new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 276 new highs and 12 new lows.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by