November 24, 2017 / 12:20 PM / 23 days ago

US STOCKS-Futures higher on Black Friday, with focus on retailers

* Futures up: Dow 47 pts, S&P 6.25 pts, Nasdaq 7.25 pts

By Tanya Agrawal

Nov 24 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Friday, a day after the Thanksgiving holiday, with retail stocks likely to be in focus as Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season.

* While, the day is typically the busiest in the year for U.S. retailers, the stock market is expected to be relatively quiet, with an early close at 1:00 p.m. ET (1700 GMT).

* By Thanksgiving evening, U.S. shoppers had splurged more than $1.52 billion online, a 16.8 percent jump over the same period last year, according to Adobe Analytics.

* Surging online sales have eaten into the business of brick-and-mortar retailers, which get as much as 40 percent of their annual sales during the holiday shopping season.

* After two disappointing years, the crowds at stores in many locations around the country this year were reported to be strong, according to analysts and retail consultants.

* Shares of Macy’s were up 2.5 percent in thin premarket trading, while Wal-Mart and Target were little changed. Their biggest rival Amazon was up 0.8 percent.

* Wall Street closed little changed on Wednesday, with telecom services shares among the biggest movers while the energy sector rose in line with gains in crude oil.

* U.S. oil prices jumped to a two-year high on Friday as North American markets tightened on the partial closure of the Keystone pipeline linking Canada and the United States. Benchmark Brent crude was slightly higher.

* U.S. stocks have been hovering near record levels, with the benchmark S&P 500 up 16 percent so far this year, helped by strong earnings, an improving economy and hopes of tax cuts by the Trump administration.

* The S&P and the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average are up 0.7 percent so far this week and, barring a sell off, are set to end higher for the first time in three weeks.

* The Nasdaq Composite is up 1.2 percent this week, its best performance since the first week of October when the tech-heavy index gained 1.5 percent.

* Shares of China’s RYB Education tumbled 34 percent after claims of childcare abuse by teachers and staff surfaced at one of its kindergartens.

Futures snapshot at 6:36 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis were up 47 points, or 0.2 percent, with 40,828 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 6.25 points, or 0.24 percent, with 211,146 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 7.25 points, or 0.11 percent, on volume of 46,152 contracts. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Savio D‘Souza)

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