What to Watch For in the Short Trading Week

Markets are coming off a couple of tough weeks, but the holiday-shortened week will give investors a bit of a break. Markets are closed on Thursday to observe the Thanksgiving holiday, and Friday will be a shortened trading day to recover from the overeating that is sure to happen the day before.

This week, there's not a lot of economic data being released, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) and S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  ) will be driven by continued concerns coming from Washington and an all-important holiday shopping season.

What to watch for this week
Black Friday was formerly the big indicator of consumer spending in the holidays, but this year the mania will spill into Thanksgiving day. Target (NYSE: TGT  ) and Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) are both opening on Thanksgiving night in hopes of extending the sales season.

Last year, sales grew 6.6% to $11.4 billion on the biggest  shopping day of the year. But you may want to look beyond 4:00 a.m. shoppers to get a pulse of the consumer near the end of this week. Online shopping accounted for 40% of the $52.4 billion spent in Black Friday weekend last year, so Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) and others will certainly get a big chunk of the sales. 

Everyone knows Amazon is the big bad wolf in the retail world right now, but at its sky-high valuation, most investors are worried it's the company's share price that will get knocked down instead of its competitors'. We'll tell you what's driving the company's growth, and how to know when to buy and sell Amazon in our new premium report. Our report also has you covered with a full year of free analyst updates to keep you informed as the company's story changes, so click here now to read more.

Look for cheap deals on the market
Some of the best shopping deals this week may be on the stock market, where fears of a fiscal cliff have been sending stocks lower. But consumer confidence is very high and housing is improving rapidly, which will be a big boost to the economy. I think we're in for a strong bull run, and a good shopping season may be just the catalyst we need to move stocks higher. 


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