The Nasdaq Stock Market sprinted to another record today as investors gave Internet retailers a boost at the traditional start of the holiday shopping season. But stocks overall delivered a mixed performance in light post-Thanksgiving trading.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 19.26 points, to 10,988.91.
Broader stock indicators were mixed. The Nasdaq composite index rose 27.31, to 3447.81, its 16th record close in four weeks. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index dropped 0.46, to 1416.62.
For the week, the Nasdaq rose 78.56 points, and is up 57 percent so far this year. The Dow dropped 14.98 for the week while the S&P 500 slipped 5.38.
"A tremendous pocket of strength in technology is pulling up the Nasdaq," said Richard McCabe, chief market analyst at Merrill Lynch. But he cautioned that, overall, declining stocks are outpacing advancing ones, which should raise a yellow flag of caution for investors.
Stock gains were held back by inflationary concerns spurred by a Commerce Department report today that Americans' personal income in October rose 1.3 percent, its biggest jump in more than five years, and had increased more than twice as fast as spending.
The latest sign of U.S. economic strength added to bond-market jitters that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates again early next year to hold down inflationary pressures.
Trading was listless as the stock market closed at 1 p.m. EST today, three hours earlier than usual, because of the holiday.
Benefiting from the traditional kickoff of the holiday shopping season on the day after Thanksgiving, online retailer eToys rose 2 1/4, to 66 5/8, and Amazon.com advanced 5 7/8, to 93 1/8. Wall Street has high hopes for brisk online selling in the next month. Toys R Us gained 1 1/4, to 18 3/8.
Technology companies benefited from institutional investors buying the year's hottest equities so they are included in their year-end portfolios, McCabe said. "Strength is begetting strength and for no particular fundamental reason," he said.
Texas Instruments rose 2-1/32, to 103-1/16, and other semiconductor makers gained after an industry group report said worldwide sales of equipment used to make computer chips almost doubled in September.