Money Minute: Consumers Rein In Spending; FedEx Girds for Cyber Monday

Stores were packed during Thanksgiving weekend, but shoppers were cautious about how much they spent.

The National Retail Federation says total spending over the four-day holiday weekend fell 2.7 percent from last year. That has to be unnerving for retailers, but it could lead to even more sales that could benefit consumers.

Despite the unusual drop in spending, the retail trade group still expects sales for the entire holiday season to rise by nearly 4 percent. Some analysts say the decline may be due to the earlier than usual sales, spreading out the buying binge that customarily starts on Black Friday.

But online sales have been strong, and are expected to be better than ever today, which is known as Cyber Monday. Almost half of the people surveyed by Nielsen say they plan to shop online. That's up substantially from last year.

ComScore (SCOR) says online sales during the Thanksgiving/Black Friday period rose a better-than-expected 17 percent from a year ago. The most visited sites were Amazon (AMZN), eBay (EBAY), Walmart (WMT), Best Buy (BBY) and Target (TGT), according to ComScore.

FedEx Cyber Monday
Mark Lennihan/AP
FedEx (FDX) says Monday will be its busiest day ever, with 22 million packages handled. By the way, the term Cyber Monday is just 8 years old. Not surprisingly, it was coined by the online industry.

On "60 Minutes" Sunday, Amazon offered an intriguing glimpse of the future that promises delivery of your purchase within minutes of placing your order. CEO Jeff Bezos said the company has been working on a plan to deliver your packages by drone. He said the company has the technology, but regulatory approval is still an issue. The story lit up on Twitter, with mostly negative comments.

Here on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) edged just slightly higher in last week's holiday-shortened trading, while the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) rose 1.7 percent. But for all of November, the Dow jumped 540 points, or 3.5 percent.

And historically, December is the best month of the year for the Dow and it's second best for the S&P.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

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33 Comments

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Iselin007

Like that guy said on CNBC " I want to see some jobs"

December 02 2013 at 5:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

Scrap drone delivery it will never pass in densely populated areas where there are over head wires etc. The age of the Jetsons is just that a cartoon.

December 02 2013 at 4:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Iselin007's comment
dweeeb.buster

Overhead wires?

LOL!

While you're at it, don't forget about all the buggy whips in urban areas too!

December 02 2013 at 7:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

If your unwilling to spread the wealth among the average worker this nation will continue on the downward spiral. No good jobs= No deal.

December 02 2013 at 4:40 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Iselin007's comment
jdykbpl45

Blame Obama, Reid, and Pelosi.

December 02 2013 at 4:43 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

I am optimistic the people shall overcome and the chislers will be take to the gallos making a happy time for everyone.

December 02 2013 at 5:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brickhead

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December 02 2013 at 4:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
burgesswv

I see in the news that the High Court has ignored the internet tax problem. I dont shop there noways, as my local taxes help pay for our local needs. I prefer to haggle down store prices. This way, I dont pay any shipping charges. and help our locals stay in business.

December 02 2013 at 4:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

Things are getting out of hand thanks to the evil that has crept into the corporate world.

December 02 2013 at 4:28 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Iselin007's comment
jdykbpl45

Are you an evil corporate type? Sounds like it.

December 02 2013 at 4:44 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jasherrin

Its Easy STOP having Kids !

December 02 2013 at 3:40 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jasherrin's comment
Iselin007

Maybe your right if our birth rate drops we can import workers on visas to work the front lines on the battlefield during war saving our own people for jobs.

December 02 2013 at 4:12 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
sam59USN

A well run business would already be anticipating a drop in sales every year, for at least another decade. As the children of many of us Boomers age, our gift buying drops, as our children have what they need. In a decade, that ends, and the children of our children will again begin to drive up sales.

December 02 2013 at 1:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to sam59USN's comment
Iselin007

Consumers can not save in this economy of job shortages and rising crime. People have less to spend and cyber sales won\'t lower your taxes and increases for food stamps and other assistance. We need jobs under the tree or opened for Chanuka.

December 02 2013 at 12:39 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Iselin007's comment
mily469

rising crime you say? freedom!

December 02 2013 at 3:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jdykbpl45

Blame the democrats for our lousy economy. Hope? Change? Time for a change.

December 02 2013 at 4:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
toosmart4u

I will not shop at any brick and mortar store for they do NOT have American made products. I shop on line and can find American made putting Americans to work. Brick and Mortar stores are putting foreigners to work.

December 02 2013 at 12:37 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply