On Black Friday, it is all about retail.
Overall, the major averages gave up most of their gains in the final minutes of trading Friday.
The Dow Industrials (^DJI) edged 11 points lower, the S&P 500 (^GPSC) slipped a single point, but the Nasdaq (^IXIC) gained 15 in an abbreviated trading session. The closing bell rang three hours earlier than usual.
The Dow and the S&P also posted their eighth straight weekly gains. That equals the market's best streak this year.
Many leading retailers say their store traffic and sales were strong last night and today, but investors were not impressed. They always say that.
Walmart (WMT) edged up, Target (TGT) edged lower, and JCPenney (JCP) was little changed. Best Buy (BBY) continues to impress. It rose 2 percent on Friday.
Investors did snap up shares of online retailers. Amazon (AMZN) gained nearly 2 percent and eBay (EBAY) rose 2.5 percent.
Looking at the longer term performance of the sector, there have been some big winners and big losers.
On the winners side: Best Buy (BBY) has more than tripled in price over the past year.
Amazon (AMZN) is up 56 percent. Sears Holdings (SHLD) and TJX (TJX) both up more than 40 percent, and Macy's (M) up 36 percent.
Industry giants Walmart (WMT) and Target (TGT) are both higher, but have underperformed the overall market.
On the downside, JCPenney (JCP) has lost 44 percent of its value over the past 52 weeks. Teen retailers Aeropostale (ARO) and Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) have both lost more than 20 percent.
Airline stocks lost some altitude today. Southwest (LUV) fell 2 percent, while Delta (DAL), JetBlue (JBLU) and US Airways (LCC) all lost more than one percent. Late Wednesday, US Airways received clearance for its merger with American Airlines to take off.
Elsewhere, Archer Daniels Midland (M) lost 3 percent after officials in Australia rejected the company's nearly $3 billion acquisition of GrainCorp (GRCLF).
And shares of Zoom Technologies (M) nearly tripled in price to more than $6 a share, after Zoom (M) agreed to buy a Chinese IT company.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.