Cyber Monday saw a big retail push following a Black Friday that expanded into Thanksgiving Day. The big question now is whether all the early shopping will boost total holiday sales or just push them up earlier on the calendar.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairwoman Mary Schapiro is stepping down. She took over the agency in 2009 as it was reeling from criticism over the financial crisis and the Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme. Schapiro is credited as a consensus builder who restored some stability to the SEC. She is being replaced by SEC commissioner Elisse Walter.
Shoppers line up in a Best Buy store in Rockville, Md., during a Black Friday sale. Thanksgiving weekend sales jumped nearly 13 percent from last year, the National Retail Federation says.
Credit Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty Images
For merchants, the stars are lining up — at least so far.
Online shopping jumped more than 28 percent on Cyber Monday compared with a year ago, according to IBM Benchmark. And the National Retail Federation says Thanksgiving weekend spending shot up to $59.1 billion, nearly 13 percent more than last year's $52 billion.
"Google has bought an operator of Wi-Fi hotspots in high-traffic locations such as airports, hotels and fast-food restaurants. Google Inc. is paying $400 million for ICOA Inc., a Warwick, R.I., company, as part of the search company's efforts to diversify its portfolio."
It was so wrong, in fact, that the AP later moved a "KILL BULLETIN" saying it was:
Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro.
Credit Kevin Dietsch / UPI /Landov
(We updated the top of this post at 11:50 a.m. and 12:15 p.m ET):
Moving quickly after the announcement that Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro is leaving on Dec. 14, the White House just said that President Obama has designated SEC Commissioner Elisse Walter to be her replacement.
OK. If you love is not into Legos, you might consider buying the gifts from the song "The 12 Days of Christmas." But it's going to cost you. Today's last word in business is: Christmas Price Index.
Each year, PNC Wealth Management adds up all 364 items in the old Christmas carol, you know, the swans, the geese, the golden rings - and comes up with a price tag. This year the presents will set you back more than $107,000. That's up more than six percent from last year.
NPR News business news starts with a shopping bonanza.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: American shoppers turned out in record numbers over the holiday weekend. The National Retail Federation says that since Thursday some 247 million people - that would be most of us - visited brick and mortar stores and retail websites spending more than $59 billion - up 13 percent over last year. And now, with Black Friday and Small Business Saturday behind us, online retailers get to take center stage with Cyber Monday.
Ahmed Jama was running a successful Somali cafe in southwest London when he decided it was time to go home. Against the urgent advice of friends, he returned to Mogadishu three years ago and started cooking.
Jama epitomizes the spirit of rebirth in the city that has been brutalized by 21 years of civil war. As expatriates return to take their homeland back from warlords, terrorists and looters, Jama is doing his part to revive Mogadishu one prawn at a time.
Lots of good business ideas have emerged from kids' play. Seattle-area resident Will Chapman could thank his youngest son. At the age of 9, he wanted to know all he could about World War II and was using Lego toys to act out history. But his son was stymied — he couldn't find all the pieces he wanted.
Each year Lego turns out 19 billion plastic bricks, figures and gears for building things. But sometimes, it seems, even 19 billion isn't enough.