U.S. stocks opened sharply lower Friday, as concerns over European sovereign debt and tensions between North and South Korea persisted, overshadowing the kick-off of the holiday shopping season. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 110 points to 11,077, with all but one of its 30 components trading lower. The S&P 500 index dropped 9 points to 1,189, weighed down the most by the materials sector. The Nasdaq Composite lost 12 points to 2,531. Typically this is an up week, but not recently and not this year. The mergers and acquisition departments didn't take the holiday off. Del Monte Foods is higher after agreeing to be acquired for $4 billion. A small firm CPI International is jumping 33% after agreeing to be acquired. Other than that, not much news today. The tension overseas has the US dollar trading higher and commodities lower. The fertilizers are lower on cautious comments from one analyst. Freeport McMoran is down 2%. The retail sector is quiet even though the whole country is out shopping like crazy. Chipotle Mexican Grill and the holding company for IHOP and Applebees are trading higher at new 52 week highs. Toymaker, Mattel is up a percent. Ford opened lower, but is now up a percent after announcing a new dealership in China. Apple is one of the few tech stocks trading higher. I'm sure their stores are jammed packed. After the first hour the averages remain solidly in the red, but off the lows. The Dow is down 60 points as only two Dow components are higher, Cisco Systems and 3M. The Nasdaq is down just 3 points. Through the morning the averages sold back off. No buyers are showing up for this abbreviated session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 95 points at 11092. The S&P 500 index dropped 9 points to 1,189. The Nasdaq Composite lost 8 points to close at 2,534. All three averages fell less than 1% for the week.
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