Business week: Shoppers open their wallets

Bank account looking a little thinner than usual after Thanksgiving? This is not surprising. Those who enjoy the classics at the table on Thursdays — turkey, gravy, stuffing, potatoes and, of course, lots of butter on almost everything — are paying 41 percent more for dinner this year than last year. But many dipped deeper into their pockets on Friday, kicking off a multibillion-dollar holiday shopping season. With inflation climbing and showing no signs of easing until recently, interest rates rising and pandemic fears largely receding, retailers have struggled to keep up with consumers’ changing habits. Some have had success rolling out holiday merchandise in late summer and early fall and rolling out more early discounts.

On Sunday night, Disney unexpectedly fired Chief Executive Officer Bob Chapek and announced the return of its predecessor, Robert A. Iger, who left late last year after leading the company for 15 years. growth and profit. But this string of good fortune ended with Mr. Chapek: Last quarter, Disney reported a loss of $1.5 billion, missing analysts’ expectations for revenue and EPS, which is almost unheard of for Disney. gentlemen. Iger signed a two-year contract and will remain CEO until the end of 2024, during which time Disney’s board expects him to get the company back on track and develop a successor. Investors cheered the decision, sending Disney shares soaring Monday morning — even though the stock is still down by more than a third this year.

When Ticketmaster’s website was thrown into disarray after sales of Taylor Swift concerts began, it quickly became apparent that Ms. Taylor wasn’t the only one at fault. Swift’s huge popularity. The Justice Department has opened an investigation into the owners of ticketing company Live Nation Entertainment, trying to determine whether it is effectively a monopoly in the multibillion-dollar live music industry. The company also faces scrutiny from lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust and Consumer Rights, which will hold hearings on the lack of competition in the ticketing industry. Live Nation said it “takes seriously its duty under the antitrust laws not to engage in conduct that would be a defense to antitrust litigation.”

The November jobs report is expected to show job growth slowing again, inching closer to the Fed’s target of creating fewer than 100,000 jobs per month. Such dovishness would ease central bankers’ concerns about wage growth and a subsequent wage-price spiral, which can happen when higher wages help push prices up, leading to more wage growth. It also shows that the Fed’s efforts to cool the economy by raising interest rates are starting to pay off. But the latest data may still fall far short of that goal. Employers added 261,000 jobs last month, suggesting labor market resilience in the face of efforts by Fed officials. While layoffs have engulfed the tech industry, layoffs have generally remained low. The number of job vacancies remained high, with about 1.7 unemployed workers for every available position, near a record high.

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