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MarketWatch for Friday, November 29, 2013

If you're keeping on top of the stock markets this morning, Friday, November 29, 2013...
If you're keeping on top of the stock markets this morning,  Friday, November 29, 2013...

The Nikkei is down 65 points today in trading in Tokyo
On Wall Street, the Dow and Nasdaq were closed Thursday for Thanksgiving.

Black Friday is upon us...an estimated  97-million Americans are heading to stores and malls across the country. 

The holidays will be happy for many families finding new work. The Labor Department is reporting that jobless claims are down to pre-recession levels. Hiring continues to go up, with employers adding more than 200,000 jobs in the month of October.

And if all those Black Friday crowds just make you want to hide at home, try shopping online . Forbes is predicting that internet sales will grow at a double digit pace for the third year in a row with total on-line sales topping $78 billion this holiday season. According to the National Retail Federation, 140 million people will do their holiday shopping partially or entirely online  over the holiday weekend. The average consumer will spend $423 on Black Friday alone.

And falling gas prices are shaping up as a big holiday gift to retailers. History shows that when gas prices drop consumers become more likely to splurge.

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