Stock prices slipped a little in today's truncated trading sessions, but not enough to mess up one of Wall Street's best two-month rallies in years.
The Dow Jones industrial average ended the month at 8,896.09 up 6.4 percent in November on top of a 12 percent gain in October. The Dow hasn't gained 18 percent in two months since the begining of 1975.
The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index closed at 936.31, up 5.6 percent for the month and ahead by 15 percent since the end of September, its biggest two-month gain since the first two months of 1987.
The Nasdaq Stock Market composite index, which closed at 1,478.80 was up 11 percent in November and has gained 26 percent since Sept. 30. Big moves are routine for the volatile Nasdaq index, which scored a slightly bigger gain in October and November of last year, when it was up 27 percent.
All three indexes were up for the week, which was the eighth consecutive weekly advance for the Dow and the sixth in the past seven weeks for the S&P and Nasdaq.
The broad two-month recovery has convinced many market mavens that the long painful bear market is over. All the indexes bottomed on Oct. 9 and have climbed, in fits and starts, since then.
The frequent pullbacks indicate that cautious traders are not simply making bets on the market and letting them ride. Instead they seem to be protecting their profits by watching stocks rise for a short time, then selling their winners. That brings prices back down, but each pullback has been followed by a stronger rebound that has kept the market moving ahead.
Some traders who study short term trends are predicting that there will be more profit taking in December, which will take some of the momentum out of the market.
Today's trading was too light to signify much of anything--except that markets don't do much when many traders take the day off and the whole system shuts down at 1 p.m.
For the day the Dow was down 36 points, the Nasdaq composite fell by 9 and the S&P lost a little less then 3.