US stocks were poised for a largely muted open on Friday in a shortened trading session for Thanksgiving, while investors focused on retailers to assess consumer health as Black Friday sales kicked off amid signs of slowing economic conditions. The main three US stock indexes are set for their fourth consecutive weekly gains, driven by hopes that the Federal Reserve is done hiking interest rates and signs the US economy remains resilient. The benchmark S&P 500 is about 1% away from setting a new high for the year. Focus will be on retailers preparing for what they hope will be yet another record-setting global shopping spree on Black Friday, which usually marks the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season. “The drop in oil prices and the decline in inflation both increase purchasing power for consumers, which bodes very well for retailers,” said Greg Bassuk, chief executive officer of AXS Investments in New York. “Greater consumer spending and a strong earning season is going to be a strong foundation to reverse some of that retailer cautionary sentiment that we heard in the recent earnings report.” Shares of retail firms including Target, Macy’s and Home Depot were mostly flat before the bell. US stocks dip amid talk of ‘overbought’ market US stock markets were shut on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday and will open for a truncated session ending at 1:00 p.m. ET on Friday. The market ended higher on Wednesday after reports on jobless claims, durable goods, and consumer sentiment seemed to suggest the economy is easing but may stay strong enough to avoid a recession. S&P Global’s flash US Composite Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) due at 9:45 a.m. ET is expected to show factory and services sector activity eased very slightly in November. At 8:15 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 57 points, or 0.16%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 2.5 points, or 0.05%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 12.5 points, or 0.08%. Among single stocks, Nvidia fell 1.4% premarket after Reuters reported the chipmaker told customers in China it was delaying the launch of a new artificial intelligence chip to comply with US export rules until the first quarter of next year. iRobot rallied 27.8% following a report that Amazon is set to win unconditional EU antitrust approval for its $1.4 billion acquisition of the robot vacuum maker. US-listed shares of Chinese EV maker Xpeng rose 5.3% after Volkswagen said it will develop a new platform for entry-level electric vehicles in China.

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