As millions of Americans braved long Black Friday lines to score steep discounts on a huge variety of consumer goods, investors showed their own "Black Friday cheer." The Nasdaq and Dow Jones Industrial Average each rose 1.4 percent, and the S&P 500 climbed 1.3 percent, giving the latter index its biggest weekly gain since December 2011. Black Friday wasn't the only reason for the rally, but it certainly helped. Consumer spending makes up some 70 percent of America's economic activity, and the holiday shopping season accounts for 40 percent of many retailers' annual revenue.
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