Latest Discretionary spending News

Anonymous donations pay off $70K in layaway purchases

Dec. 13, 2019 1:59 PM EST

ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) — Walmart shoppers in Alabama got a happy holiday surprise when donations paid off $70,000 in layaway purchases at two stores, the company said Friday. Someone paid off $45,000 in purchases at a store in the east Alabama city of Anniston on Monday, according to Casey Staheli, a...

Holiday shopping off to slow start, US retail sales up 0.2%

Dec. 13, 2019 10:03 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. retail sales rose at a modest pace in November as the holiday shopping season appeared to have a slow start. The Commerce Department said Friday that retail sales increased a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in November, down from 0.4% in the previous month. Healthy car sales lifted the...

Millennial Money: How procrastinators can win at gift-giving

Dec. 10, 2019 10:39 AM EST

Check the calendar. No, this isn’t a dream. It really is December, and Christmas Day is staring you straight in the face. And if you celebrate Hanukkah, it’s coming even sooner. Where did the holiday season go? Well, no time to reminisce now. It’s down to the wire, but there are still methods...

US firms keep hiring, easing worries of weakening economy

Dec. 6, 2019 5:45 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — American businesses have complained for years that they can’t find the workers they need to fill available jobs. November’s robust hiring gain suggests that at least some have found a way to do so. With the unemployment rate now at a half-century low of 3.5%, many economists...

Amazon says delivery times back to normal after delays

Dec. 6, 2019 3:32 PM EST

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon said Friday that it's back to delivering its packages on time after bad weather and a rush of orders caused some delays earlier in the week. “We quickly re-balanced capacity and it’s all systems go now,” tweeted Amazon executive Dave Clark, who oversees Amazon's...

ASK A DESIGNER: Design-friendly holiday gifts they'll love

Dec. 6, 2019 12:50 PM EST

Home decor accessories can make great hostess gifts or holiday gifts, but how do you choose something you know the recipient will want? Unless you're sure of someone's personal style, it can be hard to choose larger things like vases or candlesticks, says New York-based interior designer Jenny Dina Kirschner....

Season’s greetings at Sears: Dingy shops, sparse shelves

Dec. 4, 2019 3:08 PM EST

NEW YORK (AP) — Nearly 10 months out of bankruptcy, Sears is limping into the holiday shopping season. Eddie Lampert, the hedge fund billionaire who promised to save 425 Sears and Kmart stores and roughly 45,000 jobs when he bought the company out of bankruptcy, has seen his $5.2 billion lifeline wither. ...

Asylum seekers jam US border crossings to evade Trump policy

Dec. 3, 2019 7:04 PM EST

PHOENIX (AP) — For months, asylum seekers have been prohibited from filing their claims at U.S. border crossings under a much-criticized Trump administration policy. Now some are sprinting down vehicle lanes or renting cars to try to make it inside the U.S. The migrants’ efforts are causing traffic...

Merry Clickmas: Black Friday online sales hit record $7.4B

Nov. 30, 2019 1:42 PM EST

NEW YORK (AP) — This year’s Black Friday was the biggest ever for online sales, as fewer people hit the stores and shoppers rang up $7.4 billion in transactions from their phones, computers and tablets. That’s just behind the $7.9 billion haul of last year’s Cyber Monday, which holds...

Dutch police arrest suspect in stabbing of 3 teens

Nov. 30, 2019 12:38 PM EST

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch police arrested a 35-year-old homeless man Saturday on suspicion of stabbing three teens on a street in The Hague that was crowded with Black Friday shoppers. The man, whose identity wasn’t released, was detained in The Hague early Saturday evening and taken to a...