Stocks finish short, positive week...Holiday shopping season's start...Big jackpot

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Associated Press

Posted on November 24, 2012 at 5:02 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 24 at 5:02 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — A short trading week was a positive one for stocks. The Dow gained 173 points in a Black Friday rally, finishing the week above 13,000 with a 3.4 percent gain. The S&P 500 added 1.3 percent for the week, while the Nasdaq was up 4 percent.

UNDATED (AP) — It'll be a while before there are firm numbers, but anecdotal reports suggest the holiday shopping season got off to a strong start. Wal-Mart is calling its start "the best ever." The world's largest retailer estimates it sold some 5,000 items per second in the four hours from the time doors opened at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving until midnight.

NEW YORK (AP) — After easing on news of a cease-fire, oil prices climbed again yesterday after Israeli troops fired on crowds in Gaza. One man was killed and 19 others wounded, but the incident did not lead to further escalation. Benchmark crude ended the day 90 cents higher, settling at $88.28 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The governors of Missouri and Illinois are warning of an economic catastrophe ahead for companies that rely on the Mississippi River for shipping. The Army Corps of Engineers has begun reducing the flow of water from a Missouri River reservoir. The Corps says the move is needed to protect the upper Missouri basin, but businesses downstream say it could bring barge traffic to a halt sometime next month.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Tonight's Powerball drawing is the fourth largest in the game's history. The jackpot is worth $325 million, with a cash payout of nearly $213 million before taxes. Powerball jackpots have increased more rapidly since the price of a ticket doubled to $2 in January.

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