US STOCKS-Wall Street rises on Greece deal hopes, retailers gain

Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:43am EST
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* Retailers in focus on busy Black Friday shopping day

* Greece says IMF relaxes debt-cutting target

* RIM shares surge on new product optimism

* Indexes up: Dow 0.9 pct, S&P 0.9 pct, Nasdaq 1 pct

By Leah Schnurr

NEW YORK, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Wall Street rose on Friday on signs of progress in talks about releasing aid to Greece and as investors bid up retail shares on hopes consumers will scoop up bargains on Black Friday, which heralds the start of the holiday shopping season.

U.S. equity market trading will end early at 1:00 pm ET (1800 GMT) after closing Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday. With many investors on holiday, trade volume got off to a slow start.

Greece said the International Monetary Fund had relaxed its debt-cutting target for the country, suggesting lenders were closer to a deal for a vital aid tranche to be paid. But other sources involved in the talks cautioned the funding gap was far bigger than Greece has suggested.

Euro zone finance ministers, the IMF and European Central Bank (ECB) failed earlier this week to agree on how to get the country's debt down to a sustainable level and will have a third attempt at resolving the issue on Monday.   Continued...