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US stocks rise on holiday hopes

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US stocks climbed overnight, led by retailers as the US holiday shopping season kicked off in earnest, while oil prices rose slightly.

Trading was anemic, however, in abbreviated market sessions in the US the day after the Thanksgiving Day holiday and with Japanese markets closed for a holiday.

Retailers such as Target helped push stocks higher as consumers, many with the day off of work, loaded up their shopping carts during 'Black Friday' - the name for the day after Thanksgiving when many retailers once turned a profit and went into the black for the year.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 181.84 points, or 1.42 per cent, at 12,980.88, while the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ended up 23.93 points, or 1.69 per cent, at 1,440.70.

The Nasdaq Composite Index settled up 34.45 points, or 1.34 per cent, at 2,596.60.

Earlier in the day, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares shot up 1.52 per cent, or 22.13 points, to close at 1,476.16, after a gain of 0.7 per cent on Thursday.

US light sweet crude oil for January delivery rose 85 cents, or 0.8 per cent, to $US98.14 per barrel at the close of trade.

Spot gold prices jumped over 2 per cent to $US822.00 an ounce, a gain of more than $US17 on the day, as the dollar's weakness prompted gold bulls to make a fresh run toward the recent 28-year high of $US845.50 reached in early November. © 2007 Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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