Wall Street opens the shortened trading week on an up note.
Stocks staged a modest rally Friday, handing the major averages their biggest gains in nearly two weeks, after congressional leaders said budget talks with the White House to avert the impending fiscal cliff were constructive.
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The Dow advanced 46 points, the Nasdaq gained 16, and the S&P 500 added about 7. Stock-index futures are pointing higher Monday morning, with Dow futures up nearly 90 points.
This week is cut short with markets closed Thursday for Thanksgiving and closing early the following day.
The truncated week won't stop the economic reports from coming in; sales of previously-owned homes are due out today, and housing starts plus a speech from Fed chief Ben Bernanke are on tap for tomorrow. Plus, Wall Street gets earnings from Lowe's (NYSELOW), Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HPQ) and Best Buy (NYSE:BBY).
Twinkie lovers, some good news. Bankrupt owner Hostess will ask a judge at 2 p.m. ET today to liquidate its assets, but a buyer may still emerge. Hostess is home to iconic brands Wonderbread, Ding Dongs, Twinkies and Ho Hos, among others, which together bring in some $2.5 billion in annual revenue. RetailSails, a retail and consumer goods consulting firm, says Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is the most successful retail store. With 372 locations worldwide, the tech giant sells at a rate of more than $6,000 per square foot of floor space. The next most successful company, Tiffany (NYSE:TIF), sold less than half that per square foot. Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) -- the Canadian company known for its yoga apparel -- comes in at No. 3. Coach (NYSE:COH) and Michael Kors (NASDAQ:KORS) round out the top 5.