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Asian Crisis Overshadows Positive News

Investors mostly stayed on the sidelines Friday, as U.S. financial markets conducted an abbreviated session following a day off Thursday for Christmas.

With no new economic news, the focus continued to be the financial crisis in Asia. The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 19.18 to 7,679.31, trimming the week’s loss to 79.98.

In economic reports this week:

The Commerce Department reported that the gross domestic product increased 3.1 percent at an annual rate during the July-September period, little changed from the previous quarter’s robust 3.3 percent advance.

In a separate report, the Commerce Department said orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket durable goods shot up 4.8 percent in November to a seasonally adjusted $195 billion, the steepest jump in five years.

Americans’ personal incomes shot up 0.8 percent in November, but spending rose only half as much and analysts say it remained restrained as the holiday shopping season ended.

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Kim Jong Un will walk across border for summit with Moon

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon-Jae-in will plant a commemorative tree and inspect an honor guard together after Kim walks across the border Friday for their historic summit, Seoul officials said Thursday.