PODCAST: Consumers fight back in shopping

Customers leave Wal-Mart with their purchased items Thanksgiving day on November 28, 2013 in Troy, Michigan. Black Friday shopping began early this year with most major retailers opening their doors on Thanksgiving day as consumers took advantage of discounted prices to prepare for the holiday season.

Stores are counting receipts from the four-day shop-o-rama.  Five days if you count so-called Cyber Monday, when everybody used work computers to get through their holiday list digitally.  IBM reports the online sales were up 20 percent from a year ago.  Juli Nieman, analyst at Smith Moore and Company in St Louis, says consumers are holding the line on some things.

Also, China is responding to an American trade grievance by taking the issue to the World Trade Organization. U.S. officials believe China has sold solar panels and other goods below cost and has hit $8 billion worth of Chinese imports with punitive anti-dumping duties. China will argue that's not fair.

They call them "native ads." Advertisements that wear camouflage. They blend in with the main content of the site … like a sneaky promotional Tweet from a smartphone company about the awesomness of its phone. Now, the Federal Trade Commission digs into native advertising. 

About the author

David Brancaccio is the host of Marketplace Morning Report. Follow David on Twitter @DavidBrancaccio


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