US blue-chip stocks wavered in holiday-light trade on Friday, but notched up a gain for the week as investors took heart from a dovish set of Federal Reserve minutes published earlier in the week. The benchmark S&P 500 closed little changed after a half-day trading session, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was down 0.5 per cent. Wall Street markets were closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday and activity is typically muted in the shortened Black Friday trading session. “The Fed is not behind the curve any more, or so it seems.”
Discounts are unlikely to save struggling retailers as consumers cut back spending by around £1.5bn in the last quarter of this year, according to new data.