US stocks bounced higher as the market reopened Friday after the Thanksgiving break, with trading expected to be lighter than normal due to the holiday-shortened session.

Retail stocks could be in focus on Black Friday, when companies offer deep discounts to kick off the holiday shopping season.

The markets got off to a strong start. In the first five minutes of trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 61.75 points (0.48 percent) at 12,898.64.

The broad-market S&P 500 index advanced 6.35 (0.46 percent) to 1,397.38, while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 16.72 (0.57 percent) to 2,943.26.

“The fiscal cliff negotiations still hang over the market as the dominant issue, but today the talk is all about retail on one of the busiest shopping days of the year,” said Dick Green at

The US markets close early at 1:00 pm (20:00 SA time).

On Wednesday, stocks made modest gains in light pre-Thanksgiving trade after Israel and Hamas reached a cease-fire agreement. - Sapa-AFP