Stocks rose in thin trade on Friday, rebounding from six days of losses as a buoyant start to the holiday shopping season offset some concerns about the euro zone's debt crisis.
But market analysts warned the rebound is hardly sustainable, considering investors' passive buying pattern as they continue to focus on developments out of Europe.
Reinforcing what some see as recent signs of strength in the U.S. economy, shoppers stateside flocked to stores, which opened early to offer a jumpstart to Black Friday, the traditional beginning of the U.S. holiday shopping season. The S&P Retail index <.RLX> rose 0.3 percent.
Yields on Italy's debt approached recent highs that sparked a sell-off in world markets. Italy paid a record 6.5 percent to borrow money over six months on Friday, and its longer-term funding costs soared far above levels seen as sustainable for public finances.
It's hard to qualify today as even a trading session, considering there is hardly anybody here to trade, said Kevin Kruzenski, head of listed trading at KeyBanc Capital Markets in Cleveland.
The market is oversold and there are some people hopeful of the shopping season and major retail stocks, but the overall sentiment is still weak. I wouldn't be surprised if the S&P tested the 1150 level next week when traders get back to their desks.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 72.81 points, or 0.65 percent, at 11,330.36. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 7.79 points, or 0.67 percent, at 1,169.58. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 6.15 points, or 0.25 percent, at 2,466.23.
Friday's moves looked to steer indexes away from ending with a second consecutive week of losses. The S&P 500 had lost almost 4 percent this week and given back almost two-thirds of its gains in October, the market's best month in 20 years.
A European Union conference in Strasbourg produced little to ease the market's fears, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York.
What they agreed to was not bickering in public, he said. The markets are going to continue to pressure the EU until they come up with a solution that is going to ease the crisis.
For many investors, that means the European Central Bank printing euros to buy larger amounts of European bonds and for Germany to accept the issuance of euro bonds. Germany currently opposes both of those options.
U.S. stock markets, closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, will end trading on Friday at 1 p.m. The day after Thanksgiving is typically one of the lightest trading volume days of the year.
(Reporting by Angela Moon; Editing by Jan Paschal)