Thanksgiving has come and gone. That can only mean that, just a day after giving thanks to the family and friends who surround us, the time has come to put on your hockey gear and clamor tooth and nail in lines stretching around the corner for megadeals on electronics, clothes, and other popular knick knacks.
The holiday fervor known as Black Friday appears to, once again, be rejuvenating the belief in investors that retailers could be in for a better-than-expected holiday season. 'Tis the season for giving, and traders gave the broad-based S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC ) a nice bump on this holiday-shortened half day of trading. The S&P 500 whisked higher by 18.12 points (1.30%), to 1,409.15.
In what's not a huge shock, tech stocks Dell (Nasdaq: DELL ) , Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ ) , and Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD ) led the charge higher on a percentage basis today.
It's not too difficult to understand why this trio moved higher. For one, these are some of the most beaten down companies within the S&P 500, so today's big move higher on light trading volume had an amplified bullish effect on these companies. Also, there's hope that newer and lighter laptop designs from Dell and Hewlett-Packard, as well as the simple realization that they're extremely cheap on a forward earnings basis, may have invigorated value investors to take the plunge into these companies. From a chip aspect, AMD shareholders will be crossing their fingers for a robust Christmas in terms of PC sales as it copes with laying off 15% of its workforce in the coming months.
With not a single company within the S&P 500 falling more than 1%, the biggest laggard -- but hardly a disaster -- was Exelon (NYSE: EXC ) , closing down 0.97%. The electric utility has struggled mightily due to its large position in nuclear -- a clean energy that also happens to be more costly to operate than coal, natural gas, and many alternative energies. Exelon is making strides in many states to lessen its cost structure, but the time and money it takes to make those changes is taking its tolls on Exelon's share price.
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