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Business Highlights

November 23, 2018

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Black Friday shoppers ditch their computers, flock to stores

NEW YORK (AP) — Retailers are offering much of their Black Friday deals online, but shoppers still showed up at malls and stores around the country looking for discounts — and to take in the scene. Black Friday is expected to be the busiest shopping day of the year, according to ShopperTrak. Sales are expected to hit $23 billion on Friday, up from $21 billion during the same year-ago period, according to MasterCard SpendingPulse, which tracks all forms of payment, including cash.

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A holiday miracle? Stores try to cut down on long lines

NEW YORK (AP) — Retailers will once again offer big deals and early hours to lure shoppers into their stores for Black Friday. But they’ll also try to get shoppers out of their stores faster by minimizing the thing they hate most: long lines. At Macy’s, shoppers can scan and pay for goods on their own smartphones. And at Target, Walmart and others, workers will be sent to store aisles to check customers out on mobile devices. Retailers hope the changes will make in-store shopping less of a hassle.

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Adults want cozy, kids want gross: 4 holiday trends to watch

NEW YORK (AP) — Cozy sweaters and soft pajamas are in for adults. Kids, meanwhile, are asking for board games featuring fake poop and pimples. Those are just some of the trends expected this holiday season, when shoppers are projected to spend as much as $720 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. Kohl’s, for example, is pushing soft sweaters and fuzzy mules. And gross-out games like Pimple Pete are popular.

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S&P 500 slides into ‘correction’ for second time this year

U.S. stocks closed lower Friday, bumping the benchmark S&P 500 index into a correction, or drop of 10 percent or more from its recent all-time high in September. Energy companies led the market slide as the price of U.S. crude oil tumbled to its lowest level in more than a year, reflecting worries among traders that a slowing global economy could hurt demand for oil.

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Japan’s Osaka to host 2025 World Expo, beating Russian city

PARIS (AP) — The Japanese city of Osaka will host the World Expo in 2025, after beating out cities in Russia and Azerbaijan. They all wanted to attract an event expected to draw millions of visitors and showcase the local economy and culture. Shouts of joy in Japanese rose up in the Paris auditorium where the 170 member states of the Bureau International des Expositions voted Friday in favor of Osaka’s bid.

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GM under investigation for faulty brake vacuum pumps

Regulators are investigating poor brake performance on 2.7 million GM pickups and SUVs. The NHTSA has received reports of nine crashes and two injuries

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Nissan board fires Ghosn as chairman following arrest

TOKYO (AP) — Nissan has fired Carlos Ghosn as chairman in a dramatic end to the powerful executive’s nearly two decade reign at the Japanese automaker. The company says its own investigation detected serious misconduct, including under-reporting of Ghosh’s income and misuse of company assets. Nissan Motor Co. said its board of directors met for several hours Thursday and voted unanimously to dismiss Ghosn. Prosecutors say he is suspected of under-reporting $44.6 million in income from 2011 to 2015.

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Cyber Monday shoppers will see more sites charging sales tax

WASHINGTON (AP) — Shoppers heading online to purchase holiday gifts will find they’re being charged sales tax at some websites where they weren’t before. The reason: the Supreme Court. A June ruling gave states the go-ahead to require more companies to collect sales tax on online purchases. Now, more than two dozen have moved to take advantage of the ruling, many ahead of the busy holiday shopping season.

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The S&P 500 index fell 17.37 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,632.56. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 178.74 points, or 0.7 percent, to 24,285.95. The Nasdaq composite dropped 33.27 points, or 0.5 percent, to 6,938.98. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 0.40 points, or 0.03 percent, to 1,488.68.

The benchmark U.S. crude contract slid 7.7 percent to settle at $50.42 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 6.1 percent to close at $58.80 per barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline plunged 7.9 percent to $1.39 a gallon. Heating oil lost 4.8 percent to $1.88 a gallon. Natural gas fell 3.2 percent to $4.31 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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