Toys R Us, New York, Nov. 27, 2015
People ride an escalator at the Toys R Us Times Square store during the early opening of the Black Friday sales in the Manhattan borough of New York Nov. 27, 2015. Reuters/Andrew Kelly

(Reuters) -- Wall Street was slightly lower Friday, an abbreviated trading day, as investors turn their focus to the crucial U.S. holiday shopping season and Walt Disney Co. weighed on indexes. Trading was relatively quiet just after the opening bell, with volumes expected to be light as the market is scheduled to close at 1 p.m. EST. U.S. markets were shut Thursday for Thanksgiving.

Dow component Disney fell 3.3 percent to $114.80, after the media giant said late Wednesday that its ESPN sports network lost 3 million subscribers in 2015. The stock was the biggest drag on the Dow and the S&P 500.

The shopping season spanning November and December is crucial for many retailers because the two months can account for anywhere between 20 percent and 40 percent of annual sales.

However, shoppers are expected to be cautious with their spending again this year. The National Retail Federation is expecting holiday sales to rise 3.7 percent, less than last year's 4.1 percent increase. Shoppers appeared to respond to early Black Friday discounts with a mix of enthusiasm and caution.

Amazon's shares were up 0.45 percent at $678.21, while Target rose 1 percent to $73.85.

"I expect some sideways action today with low volume, with traders focused on Black Friday sales ahead of next week's busy economic calendar," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York.

At 9:38 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 22.58 points, or 0.13 percent, at 17,790.81, the S&P 500 was down 0.5 points, or 0.02 percent, at 2,088.37 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 1.51 points, or 0.03 percent, at 5,117.65.

Five of the 10 major S&P sectors were higher, with the telecommunications index leading the advancers with a 0.52 percent gain.

A barrage of economic data is scheduled for release next week, culminating in the November employment report, the last one ahead of the Federal Reserve's December meeting. "A strong jobs report will probably seal a December rate hike," said Cardillo.

Traders on Friday priced in a 78 percent chance of a rate hike in December, up from about 52 percent last month, according to the CME Group's FedWatch.

Global markets were mainly lower, with the Chinese markets registering their biggest one-day drop in more than three months due to regulatory worries and a slowdown in profits at big industrial firms.

Crude oil futures were lower Friday, bringing losses this month to over 8 percent as disappointing Chinese data and worries over a supply glut overshadowed geopolitical concerns. The energy index fell 0.80 percent and was the biggest decliner.

KaloBios Pharmaceuticals jumped 55.3 percent to $41.69 after CEO Martin Shkreli tweeted he will stop lending out his shares in the company.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,533 to 1,085. On the Nasdaq, 1,290 issues fell and 894 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed five new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 17 new highs and 14 new lows.

(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)