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Stocks close mixed on holiday-shortened trading day

Stocks finished mixed during an uneventful, shortened day of trading on Black Friday.

When the closing bell rang on Friday, the S&P 500 was down 0.03%, the Dow was up 0.45%, and the Nasdaq fell 0.52%.

The U.S. stock market closed at 1:00 p.m. ET on Friday; financial markets in the U.S. were closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving.

Stocks finished with gains on Wednesday, the week's final full trading session, after the minutes from the Fed's latest meeting signaled a likely slowdown in the pace of rate hikes at the central bank's December meeting.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell attends a press conference in Washington, D.C., the United States, on Nov. 2, 2022. The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday implemented the fourth consecutive three-quarter point interest rate hike, amid the worst inflation in four decades. (Photo by Liu Jie/Xinhua via Getty Images)
U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell attends a press conference in Washington, D.C., the United States, on Nov. 2, 2022. The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday implemented the fourth consecutive three-quarter point interest rate hike, amid the worst inflation in four decades. (Photo by Liu Jie/Xinhua via Getty Images)

No major economic data or earnings reports were released in the U.S.

Energy markets remain in focus for investors, with WTI crude oil down about 1.5% after an earlier move higher by nearly 3% early Friday, a rebound that follows Wednesday's slide in oil prices back towards 2022 lows.

In overseas markets, stocks in Europe finished off their sixth-straight winning week.

Investors were also trading news out overnight that the People's Bank of China would cut its reserve requirement for the second time this year in an effort to stimulate the economy.

After weakening earlier this week, the dollar staged a modest rally early in Friday's trading session.

In company news, shares of Manchester United (MANU) were up 13% on Friday after a 25% gain on Wednesday as reports continue to swirl about a possible sale of the English football club by the Glazer family, which also owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

As investors in the U.S. look towards the end of November and the end of a challenging year in financial markets, Yahoo Finance's Jared Blikre writes in Friday's Morning Brief that history does suggest more positive times could be ahead for market bulls.

During the period that covers the Tuesday before Thanksgiving through the second trading day of the new year, the S&P 500 has been higher 81% of the time since 1950. And in years when stocks rise during this period, the index gains 3.8%, on average.

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