US stocks end week at fresh records

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks climbed to fresh records on Friday (Nov 25), with all three indices closing at new highs on optimism about stronger US growth following the presidential election, albeit amid light holiday volume.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished at 19,152.14, up 0.4 per cent and its fourth straight record close.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 0.4 per cent to 2,213.35, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced to 0.3 per cent to 5,398.92.

Analysts said trading volume in the holiday-shortened session was light, allowing stocks to drift higher based on the positive sentiment that has sparked several records since Donald Trump's election Nov 8.

"This is all about Trump and the new presidency," said Hugh Johnson of Hugh Johnson Advisors.

"The strategists and economists have been trying to refine their forecasts based on the changes he represents. Most are raising their forecasts for the US economy in 2017 and 2018."

Retailers were mixed on the Black Friday start of the holiday shopping season.

Wal-Mart Stores rose 0.6 per cent and Target climbed 0.2 per cent, but Best Buy lost 0.8 per cent and Macy's sank 1.7 per cent. Amazon was flat.

Johnson & Johnson rose 0.9 per cent following reports it had approached drugmaker Actelion with an eye towards acquiring the Swiss company.

Actelion, which confirmed that it had been approached by J&J about a possible transaction, jumped nearly 17 per cent in Switzerland.