Stock Market News Today: Dow Gains 150 Points; Markets Close Early For Black Friday – The Wall Street Journal


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The Wall Street Journal’s full markets coverage.
Stocks finished a holiday-shortened Friday session mixed, with the Dow rising and the other two major indexes lower to end the week. Catch up on the day's full markets coverage here.
Bitcoin prices continue to stabilize following the collapse of FTX. Here's our latest crypto coverage.
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Investors roused themselves from their turkey comas for an abbreviated U.S. trading day for stocks and a very abbreviated one for bonds. To the extent there was news, none of it was particularly good, but the damage was confined to the tech arena.
Videogame company Activision Blizzard's shares fell by about 4% following a report from Politico that the Federal Trade Commission is likely to sue to block Microsoft's $69 billion takeover of the company. And Apple shares fell after pictures emerged of anti-lockdown riots in China's "iPhone City."
Enough blue chips outside of the tech sphere rose, though, for the Dow Jones Industrial Average to eke out yet another gain. Dow components Boeing, Home Depot and UnitedHealth all had good days. The venerable index rose by 153 points, or 0.45%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite didn't do as well, falling by half a percent.
The Dow is now up by nearly 20% since just the beginning of October. Whether or not that remarkable strength can continue might be determined by news next week from various private and government surveys. The most significant of them all will be the government nonfarm payrolls report and unemployment rate due on Friday morning.
Any early sense of how Black Friday shopping went, with its implications for the health of the American consumer, might also affect sentiment. Heard published a number of related columns this week on retail inventories, discounted merchandise, credit card spending and the Lipstick Index.
This analysis comes from the Journal's Heard on the Street team. Subscribe to their free daily newsletter here.
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The major U.S. stock averages finished Friday's shortened post-Thanksgiving session with mixed results.
Still, all three indexes booked gains for the week.
Read Friday's full markets roundup here.
Shares of Manchester United extended recent gains on Friday, with the stock rising after the English soccer club's American owners, the Glazer family, said earlier this week that they were exploring the possible sale of the team.
The U.S.-listed stock was recently up more than 14% in Friday trading. It is up nearly 70% from last week's close, on track for its largest weekly increase on record based on data going back to 2012, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
United said Tuesday that it was "commencing a process to explore strategic alternatives for the club" and had engaged the Raine Group to advise the organization on a sale.
"As part of this process," the club said at the time, "the board will consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the company."
At Friday's intraday high, the shares were up more than 22%.
Metals prices are on pace to end the month higher, with gains sparked by steeper declines in the U.S. dollar.
Most commodities are priced in dollars, which means a falling dollar makes it cheaper for foreign buyers to invest in raw materials, boosting demand. The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of other currencies, is down 4.7% so far this month.
Here’s more on the performance of the most-actively traded metals futures contracts:
Meanwhile, aluminum traded on the London Metal Exchange has added 6.6%, on track for the largest monthly percentage gain since February.
The collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried's digital-asset platform continues to reverberate through the cryptocurrency world, though a post-Thanksgiving calm has descended on crypto prices.
For a roundup of the biggest names and players connected to the affair, here's a handy guide.
Here's some of our latest coverage:
And the market action:
Crypto exchanges have a particular problem right now: Their customers don’t trust them.
Customers are taking their assets out of crypto-exchange wallets and putting them into their own wallets at a rate that would equal about 172,700 bitcoins per month—worth $2.8 billion at current prices, according to research firm Glassnode. That is a record amount of outflows, the firm said.
Critics say this exercise doesn't prove that those assets belong to the exchanges' customers. In the traditional finance world, an investor’s assets are held by brokerages that are legally obligated to keep them separate from the rest of the brokerage’s assets, and they cannot be touched in a bankruptcy proceeding.
The crypto model doesn’t work like that. The exchange is also the custodian, but has no legal obligation to segregate assets. In May, Coinbase Global noted this dynamic in its quarterly earnings report. If Coinbase were to declare bankruptcy, the company said, rather than return those assets to users, they could become part of the bankruptcy estate.
Therefore, the proof of reserves exercise doesn’t tell customers that the assets they may believe are theirs actually are theirs.
“Do not get lulled into a false sense of security because your crypto exchange/custodian tells you they hold more crypto in aggregate than their clients have deposited,” said Ross Stevens, the founder of crypto-services firm NYDIG. “That’s irrelevant. Either your crypto is yours or it is not, period.”
Oil was on track to post a third-straight weekly loss, with prices driven down by slowing demand in China amid coronavirus outbreaks in the world's second-largest economy.
Uncertainty surrounding OPEC's meeting on Dec. 4 and sanctions due to hit Russia's energy industry the next day have fueled big moves in both directions in recent days. Still, at about $85 a barrel in recent trading, Brent-crude futures were heading for a 2.7% weekly decline.
Traders are focused on the price cap that the U.S., the European Union and their allies plan to impose on Russian crude on Dec. 5. The sanctions will ban traders, banks, insurers and shipping companies from dealing in Russian oil unless the price is at or below the cap.
With a week to go, though, the alliance has failed to agree on a cap. EU members including Poland are pushing for a low level, pitting them against Greece and other shipping nations that want to cap Russian prices at about $70 a barrel.
Stocks are mixed on Friday as the end of the holiday-shortened trading week nears.
Read Friday's full markets round-up here.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was recently trading 9% above its 50-day moving average, the widest such range since June 2020, according to FactSet and Dow Jones Market Data.
The blue-chip index has been at least 9% above its 50-day moving average seven other times since 1990, according to Bespoke Investment Group.
The 50-day moving average is a closely watched technical indicator. When an asset or index crosses its moving average, that can signal a shift in trend direction.
Read the full article
U.S. Treasury yields edged higher Friday when compared with Wednesday afternoon as the end of a holiday-shortened trading week approached. Bond yields rise as prices fall.
Read Friday's full markets round-up here. Bond markets will close at 2 p.m. ET today.
The dollar strengthened against other currencies on Friday, ending a run of greenback depreciation.
Read Friday's full markets roundup here.
Binance on Friday launched a system that it says will allow customers to check whether their tokens are covered by reserves in the exchange, a move its founder vowed to take after FTX collapsed.
Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, said the launch of the so-called proof of reserves system started with bitcoin and will include other tokens in the next few weeks. It included a link on its website that allows users to individually check if their holdings are covered by reserves.
It said a first batch of results showed Binance had a reserve-to-customer balance ratio for bitcoin of 101% as of Nov. 22. It said it plans to involve third-party auditors in the process. A spokesman for the exchange said it is working to finalize the contractual agreement with a firm.
Proof of reserves falls short of a full audit of the company’s books and only provides a snapshot of the situation.
Binance founder and Chief Executive Changpeng Zhao has called for more transparency from exchanges after rival FTX crashed earlier this month. The Wall Street Journal reported that FTX lent cryptocurrencies from its own customers to an affiliate, Alameda Research, creating a financial hole at the exchange. When customers tried to get their money out, they couldn’t.
Binance faced delays in getting its proof of reserves up and running, partly because the auditor it wanted to use was facing scrutiny for being one of two that audited FTX companies.
Shares of Activision Blizzard fell in early Friday trading after a late-Wednesday report said the Federal Trade Commission was likely to try to block its planned acquisition by Microsoft.
Activision shares were recently down 4% as broader markets wavered. Microsoft's stock was little changed.
The holiday quarter is vital for the videogame industry. This year, the Journal reported, it is facing the possibility of its first annual sales decline in years.
Read the full article
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