* Tech shares rise in light volume
* S&P 500 finishes its second-best week of the year
* Retailers in focus on busy Black Friday shopping day
* Greece says IMF relaxes debt-cutting target
* Indexes up: Dow 1.4 pct, S&P 1.3 pct, Nasdaq 1.4 pct
NEW YORK, Nov 23 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose for a fifth
day during a holiday-shortened, thinly traded session on Friday
as investors picked up recently beaten-down shares of large
Market participants were also encouraged by signs of
progress in talks about releasing aid to debt-saddled Greece and
piled into U.S. retail shares as Black Friday got the holiday
shopping season under way.
U.S. stock market trading ended early and was closed on
Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Volume was the lightest of the year, though the session was
abbreviated. Shares of big-cap technology companies climbed as
investors took advantage of the day's upward momentum to add to
positions, helping the S&P 500 rack up its second best week of
"Anyone that was on the sidelines waiting for a pullback
like the one we just had in some of the tech names, they're
looking for any glimpse of strong price action for 'permission'
to enter into those (stocks)," said Todd Salamone, director of
research at Schaeffer's Investment Research in Cincinnati, Ohio
Microsoft helped lift the Nasdaq, gaining 2.8
percent to $27.70, while Apple Inc rose 1.7 percent to
From mid-September to mid-November, the S&P tech sector
shed about 13 percent as the broader market also
Research in Motion surged on optimism about its
soon-to-be-launched BlackBerry 10 devices that will vie against
Apple's iPhone and Android-based smartphones. RIM was
up 13.6 percent at $11.66.
Greece said the International Monetary Fund had relaxed its
debt-cutting target for the country, suggesting lenders were
closer to a deal for a vital aid tranche to be paid. But other
sources involved in the talks cautioned the funding gap was far
bigger than Greece has suggested.
Euro zone finance ministers, the IMF and European Central
Bank (ECB) failed earlier this week to agree on how to shrivel
the country's debt to a sustainable level and will have a third
attempt at resolving the issue on Monday.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 172.79
points, or 1.35 percent, to 13,009.68. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index rose 18.12 points, or 1.30 percent, to 1,409.15.
The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 40.30 points, or 1.38
percent, to 2,966.85.
The S&P 500 broke a two-week losing streak to rise 3.6
percent. Stocks had tumbled earlier in the month on worries
about the impact of tax and spending changes set to take effect
from January, but hopes that politicians will reach a deal to
avert the so-called fiscal cliff helped the market recoup some
of those declines this week.
The Dow and S&P 500 both closed above key technical levels
for the first time since Nov 6, which could provide additional
support. The Dow ended above 13,000, while the S&P broke above
The Dow rose 3.3 percent for the week, while the Nasdaq
jumped 4 percent. The Nasdaq had ended lower for the previous
six weeks in a row.
Volume was about 2.8 billion shares on the New York Stock
Exchange, the Nasdaq and the NYSE MKT, compared with the
year-to-date average daily closing volume of over 6 billion.
Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,407 to 469
on the New York Stock Exchange. On the Nasdaq, advancers had the
lead, with 1,775 stocks gaining and 548 shares declining.
The retail sector rose as investors looked for signs of how
much consumers are spending as stores lured shoppers with Black
Friday deals and discounts.
Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, kicks off the U.S.
Christmas shopping season for retailers and is often the busiest
shopping day of the year. The National Retail Federation expects
sales during the holiday season to grow 4.1 percent this year
compared with last year's 5.6 percent increase.
If the traffic and sales numbers look strong early on, "it
usually gives a sense that the season will be in line with
expectations," said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T
Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.
"The way that could work against a stronger retail season is
if there's no follow-through, there could be discounting on the
part of retailers."
Wal-Mart rose 1.9 percent to $70.20, while Target
gained 1.2 percent to $64.48.