Stocks Ended Flat in Light Trading

U.S. stocks ended little changed in light trading on Friday, as a selloff in energy stocks triggered by another drop in oil prices was offset by gains in defensive plays such as telecoms, utilities and consumer staples. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 14.90 points, or 0.08%, to 17,798.49 and posted a 0.1% loss over the week. The S&P 500 was down 1.24 points, or 0.06%, to 2,090.11 and was flat over the week.The Nasdaq Composite was up 11.38 points, or 0.22%, to 5,127.52 and gained 0.4% over the week.

Shoppers hit stores Friday for the annual national frenzy, drawn by deals on electronics, video games and toys, or just a chance to get out with the family, but some malls seemed less crowded this year, as buyers either made their trek after Thanksgiving dinner or opted to stay home and buy online.

Oil prices settled sharply lower Friday, pressured by a stronger dollar and the global oversupply of crude still clouding the outlook for the industry. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures fell $1.27, or 3.2% to $41.71 a barrel.

Britons splashed out on “Black Friday” bargains on Friday but many opted to go online rather than head to the shops for an event imported from the United States that has become a key feature of the UK retail calendar.

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