Stocks Opened Flat on Black Friday

U.S. stocks opened little changed on Friday as investors will focus on retailers’ Black Friday sales numbers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately slipped 40.79 points, or 0.23%, to 17,772.60. The S&P 500 was down 1.90 points, or 0.09%, to 2,086.97. The Nasdaq Composite was up 1.80 points, or 0.04%, to 5,117.94.

Crowds were thin at U.S. stores and shopping malls in the early hours of Friday, initial spot checks showed, as shoppers responded to early Black Friday discounts with a mix of enthusiasm and caution.

Consumers have plenty to be thankful for this holiday season: the job market has improved with the unemployment rate falling to 5% in October, wages are heading higher, and gas prices are at the lowest since 2008 according to AAA.

Crude oil futures fell on Friday, bringing losses this month to more than 8 percent. Brent crude fell by 5 cents to $45.41 per barrel by 1311 GMT, after settling down 71 cents at $45.46 in the previous session. It traded as low as $44.80 earlier in the session.

Rio Tinto has given a go-ahead to a $1.9bn project to build an Australian bauxite mine, defying a deepening commodities downturn. The investment is the largest that Rio has approved for more than two years.

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