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Doubling down on Black Friday sales


amny Credit: (GETTY)

It is a shortened week of trading and economic data releases because of the Thanksgiving holiday, but it’s certainly an important one for retailers, as Black Friday marks the beginning of the crucial holiday sales season, which can account for as much as 40% of annual sales of retailers like Macy’s and Best Buy.
Black Friday is also usually the busiest shopping day of the year.
Will Americans be generous with their credit cards on Friday? If October retail sales figures were any indication, perhaps not, although some of the weakness last month could be attributed to Hurricane Sandy.
We’ll have a better idea once retailers release their sales reports over the weekend.
Retailers are certainly not taking any chances, with many big names moving up their opening times. Wal-Mart, which kicked off Black Friday proceedings at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving night last year, will open two hours earlier this year. Toys ‘R’ Us will also open at 8 p.m. on the holiday evening, while Target will open stores at 9pm.
Even J.C. Penney, which traditionally avoids Black Friday promotions, will offer
discounts and open over 1,100 stores at 6 a.m. on Friday.
Meanwhile, after meeting with President Obama last Friday, Congressional leaders said that they plan to fast-track a deal with the White House to prevent a series of potentially recessionary tax increases and spending cuts from automatically kicking in at the end of 2012.
The stock market would definitely welcome a resolution as soon as possible. Since the elections, with the balance of power restored in Washington, the Dow Jones Industrial Index has dipped close to 2% on worries of further partisan gridlock over this so-called 'fiscal cliff.’

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