Stocks rallied in an abbreviated Black Friday session today. Trading was light, but the Dow jumped 173 points to 13,010, closing above 13,000 for the first time since Election Day. The S&P 500 rose 18 points to 1,409 and the Nasdaq added 40 to 2,966.
- Retail analysts say Black Friday has grown into a two-day event, incorporating Thanksgiving this year and likely from now on. It won't be clear for a few days exactly how many shoppers took advantage of Thanksgiving hours, but a survey early this month suggested about 17 percent of shoppers planned to go to the store on the holiday. Meanwhile, experts estimate Black Friday sales will be up 3.8 percent this year.
- A union-backed group says Wal-Mart workers and supporters are protesting at 1000 stores in 46 states today. They are blasting the company's wages, benefits and treatment of employees. Wal-Mart says the group is grossly exaggerating the extent of the protests.
- The first day of the holiday shopping season will be the last full day of post-Superstorm Sandy gasoline rationing in New York City. Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the odd-even license plate system will end at 6 a.m. Saturday. He says more than 85 percent of gas stations in the city are now running, compared to 25 percent two weeks ago.
- The NHL is calling off all games through Dec. 14, plus the 2013 NHL All-Star Weekend schedule. The all-star festivities had been scheduled for late January in Columbus, Ohio. The league and the NHL Players Association had an unproductive negotiating session on Wednesday. The two sides have reached an impasse over how to split more than $3 billion in revenue and on player contracts.