U.S. Markets closed

Nasdaq ends brief post-holiday session at 13-year high

A young boy works at a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange November 29, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Luke Swiderski

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Dow and the S&P 500 dipped in thin holiday trading on Friday, but technology stocks helped lift the Nasdaq to a 13-year high.

The Nasdaq got a boost from the technology sector, with Apple (AAPL) up 1.9 percent at $556.07, Microsoft Corp (MSFT) up 1.4 percent at $38.13 and Amazon Inc (AMZN) up 1.8 percent at $393.62.

"It's almost as if people are rotating into the bigger blue-chip names, especially the technology big caps. We wouldn't be shocked at all to see the small and mid-cap names lag a little bit," said Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategist with Schaeffer's Investment Research, in Cincinnati.

But with the both the S&P and Dow on an eight-week winning streak, investors may be cautious in adding new positions.

"We expect, and we recommend to our clients, that if they have exceeded their strategic allocation to equities, to take profit at these levels," said Paul Mangus, head of equity research and strategy for Wells Fargo Private Bank, in Charlotte, N.C.

Volume was light, with slightly over 2 billion shares traded on all U.S. platforms, according to BATS exchange data, as many U.S. investors remained out following the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. The U.S. stock market ended its regular session three hours early at 1 p.m..

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 10.92 points or 0.07 percent, to end at 16,086.41. The S&P 500 (^GSPC) slipped 1.42 points or 0.08 percent, to finish at 1,805.81. But the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) added 15.136 points or 0.37 percent, to close at 4,059.886.

Retail stocks were in focus as the holiday shopping season gets under way. Many stores opened on Thanksgiving for the first time ever this year, but stores had to resort to steep discounts and shoppers appeared to be making careful purchases.

The S&P retail index (.SPXRT) rose 0.3 percent. Among some of the most active retail names, Target Corp (TGT) declined 0.8 percent to $63.93, Best Buy Co Inc (BBY) jumped 2.4 percent to $40.55, and J.C. Penney Co (JCP) gained 1.1 percent to $10.19.

In the health-care sector, CVS Caremark Corp (CVS) shares gained 0.3 percent to $66.96 after Wednesday's news that CVS will buy drug infusion services provider Coram LLC for $2.1 billion. The transaction will let CVS Caremark bolster its pharmacy benefits management business by offering cost-effective delivery of specialty drugs.

(Editing by Jan Paschal)