PODCAST: Black Friday begins, inside the Skechers warehouse

Shoppers are seen inside of a Best Buy store during their Black Friday sale which started at midnight on November 23, 2012 in Rockville, Maryland.

Today, Black Friday, is supposed to be the day that retailers wait the whole year for. The day consumers line up early to be the first ones to get those Black Friday specials. But this year, the sales started early. And the National Retail Federation expects today's turnout will actually be lower than last year's.

Retailers will be hoping today that consumers are not going to hold back spending because of concerns over the fiscal cliff -- that package of spending cuts and tax hikes has many industries on edge. And they want to make sure their concerns are heard by members of Congress. So which industry has done the most lobbying so far?

If some of the ingredients in your Thanksgiving feast were a little more expensive than usual, it might have been due to the drought that hit the U.S. over the summer. It impacted 80 percent of the nation's agricultural land. And food is likely to get even pricier by Christmas.

While you were eating that Turkey, two giant companies were inching ever closer to a $33 billion marriage. Glencore, the Swiss commodities trading firm, is trying to takeover a mining company called Xstrata, and the deal just got a stamp of approval from European regulators.

To a branding issue down in Mexico -- or I guess I should say the United Mexican States. That's the official name of the country. But President Felipe Calderon wants to, if you will, get the United States out of Mexico, and change the name to just plain old Mexico. Only potential hitch in the plans: Calderon leaves office a week from tomorrow.

And now that Hostess Brands is liquidating, it's become very difficult to get Twinkies in this country. But -- BUT -- you can still get them in Canada. That's because, according to Bloomberg News, Canada's largest dairy processor has the brand rights
up north. But if you do buy a lot of them, it might be nice to give one to the customs agent on your way back in.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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