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Markets closed for Thanksgiving Thursday, so stocks posted modest gains on Wednesday that dampened the week's losses for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite. During the holiday weeks, the trading volume tends to be low.

Government bond yields rose this week, putting pressure on high-growth stocks. The Nasdaq is down 1.3% for the week, while the S&P 500 is up less than 0.1% and the Dow is up about 0.6%.

The last few weeks of the year are typically a busy time for the market, with the so-called Santa Claus rally usually bringing happy holidays for Wall Street. The S&P 500 is up 25% since the start of the year.

Friday also marks the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season as investors look to Black Friday insights to set US consumer sentiment.

Retail stocks have seen dramatic moves both ways this earnings season. Gap and Nordstrom stocks were down more than 20% on Wednesday, but Kohl was up more than 10% a week ago after reporting strong sales growth.

Retail executives discussed how to deal with supply chain issues and inflation during the quarter. It also remains to be seen whether the discussion of supply chain issues caused consumers to start their Christmas shopping earlier, potentially hurting fourth-quarter sales.

"I wouldn't be surprised if that was a dynamic around the holiday season," said Sarah Henry, portfolio manager at Logan Capital Management. She added that her firm was looking for companies with long-term strategic advantages rather than trying to bet on the best Christmas sales results.

There were also several strong economic reports on Wednesday, with personal income and consumer spending higher than expected for October and initial jobless claims reaching their lowest levels since 1969. However, the core PCE, the Fed's preferred inflation indicator, remained high at 4.1%.

No major business news is planned for Friday. The exchange closes at 1 p.m. ET on Friday due to the bank holiday weekend.

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