Why the Dow's in the Green on Black Friday

On the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S., investors are mostly focused on working off their food comas and getting some holiday shopping done. But the stock exchanges are open for business until 1 p.m. EST today, and despite light volume, the market is making decent-sized moves. Analysts are pointing to encouraging data from Germany and China as catalysts for this morning's big jump in the Dow Jones Industrials  (INDEX: ^DJI  ) , which are up about 113 points as of 11 a.m. EST.

On retail's most important day of the year, it's only logical to focus on how the retail stocks in the Dow are doing. Wal-Mart  (NYSE: WMT  ) is up about 1.2% despite facing striking workers and protesters who see ever-earlier Black Friday sales as just one example of problematic labor practices. Yet Wal-Mart has a long history of overcoming such challenges, suggesting its low prices are the result of its practices.

Home Depot  (NYSE: HD  ) is up about 0.6% in morning trading. The home improvement retailer may not be the first place you think of for Black Friday deals, but it sees a decent amount of traffic. More important will be follow-through from Hurricane Sandy rebuilding efforts, which will inevitably play a huge role in how the retailer performs in the current quarter.

Finally, AT&T  (NYSE: T  ) and Verizon  (NYSE: VZ  ) both rose strongly, with gains of 0.72% and 0.86%, respectively. Smartphones and mobile devices are popular items this holiday season, and with an increasing number of them offering wireless options, both Verizon and AT&T stand to cash in from their roles in selling them.

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