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Why the Dow Shot Higher on Black Friday

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) loved Black Friday, rocketing to triple-digit highs for today's shortened trading session. The index closed higher by 173 points, or 1.35%, with every single stock on the Dow in the green. One big winner on Black Friday and one surging sector drove the highest gains but, overall, it's been an investor's joy today across every industry.

Black Friday Bonanza
Retailers across America opened stores for Black Friday shoppers -- some before Friday had even started. Walmart (NYSE: WMT  ) certainly has done well as a consequence: Shares of the retail giant rose almost 2% on the day. Retail, as a whole, posted gains on the industry's biggest day of the year, with competitors, such as Target (NYSE: TGT  ) , also moving higher.

Outside of the shopping frenzy, tech led all sectors higher, with several stocks posting strong gains. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) led all Dow members higher, as shares rose more than 4%. Black Friday sales no doubt pushed up the PC seller's fortunes, despite the market having been on the decline for quite some time. Investors looked past the company's recent troubles of the past few days, as H-P had earlier in the week released disappointing earnings results and posted a massive writedown of its purchase of Autonomy.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) and Intel (Nasdaq: INTC  ) , both heavily invested in the PC game, also ranked among the top Dow leaders, with gains of 2.8% and 1.8%, respectively, to close out the day. Intel's gains managed to push the stock up from the 52-week lows it brushed back on Wednesday as the chipmaker struggles to adapt to the expansion of the mobile market.

Industrial conglomerates also posted a strong day, as shares of both GE (NYSE: GE  ) and United Technologies (NYSE: UTX  ) rose higher, each by 1.6%. Hopes of a Congressional deal on the fiscal cliff have gained stream recently. For these companies and other major industrial players, the fiscal cliff's impact on the economy would greatly damage their businesses; thus, any further sign of a deal in the works in coming days should be a boon to industrials.

Time to do some stock shopping

With markets on the move, it might be time to pick out a few stocks yourself to prepare for the new year. Intel's recent lows have many investors wondering whether or not it's a good idea to buy into the stock's dip. However, the semiconductor company's PC-oriented market is maturing, and Intel finds itself in a precarious situation longer term if it doesn't find new avenues for growth. In this premium research report on Intel, our analyst runs through all of the key topics investors should understand about the chip giant. Better yet, you'll continue to receive updates for an entire year. Click here now to learn more.

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