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Steve Chiotakis: Retail sales plunged in October. The Commerce Department says the record decline beat the period just after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Here's Alisa Roth with the rundown.

Alisa Roth: It's hard to believe. But it looks like Americans may have quit shopping. Retail sales fell nearly 3 percent in October. And that's the biggest drop since the Commerce Department started keeping track back in 1992.

Ken Perkins is the president of Retail Metrics. He says this is really bad news. And not just for the people who are trying to sell stuff.

Ken Perkins: It's going to spill over into all kinds of services. And we pretty much have a service-based economy here in the U.S., so it's more than just a drop in the bucket. It's very, very concerning.

He says the holiday shopping season will probably be pretty dreary. The official start comes two weeks from today. And there are already warnings Black Friday will leave stores in the red.

In New York, I'm Alisa Roth for Marketplace.