Discretionary spending

FILE- In this Sept. 12, 2018, file photo Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses the new Apple iPhones and other products at the Steve Jobs Theater during an event to announce new products in Cupertino, Calif. Apple Inc. reports earnings Thursday, Nov. 1. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
November 01, 2018 - 7:16 pm
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple's faithful customers aren't snapping up iPhones quite as enthusiastically as anticipated heading into the crucial holiday shopping season. But the latest models costing $1,000 and more are popular enough to keep propelling profits ever higher for the world's most...
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FILE- In this Nov. 23, 2016, file photo, pedestrians make their way through the arrival terminal as bags are delivered on a carousel at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in Atlanta. Major airlines including American Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines integrate buy-now-pay-later concepts into their online booking. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
April 12, 2018 - 11:11 am
Dreaming of a spring getaway with white-sand beaches and a cool drink in your hand? A search for airline tickets can bring your dream down to earth, if the steep fares charged by many airlines outstrip your savings. What if you could book your trip today and pay for it later — without maxing out...
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FILE - This Sept. 20, 2011, file photo shows a box of General Mills' Fiber One cereal, in Philadelphia. General Mills is buying Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc. in a deal valued at about $8 billion. General Mills Inc. will pay $40 per Blue Buffalo share. That's a 17 percent premium to the pet food company's Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018 closing price of $34.12. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
February 23, 2018 - 1:33 pm
NEW YORK (AP) — The maker of Cheerios also wants to fill dog bowls. General Mills said Friday that it plans to buy high-end pet food maker Blue Buffalo for $8 billion. It's a return to the pet business for the more than 150-year-old company, which used to sell food for cats, dogs and birds back in...
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In this Tuesday, May 9, 2017, photo, a package from Amazon Prime moves on a conveyor belt at a UPS facility in New York. Online shoppers will pay close attention to at least two things this holiday season: shipping costs and return deadlines. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
December 25, 2017 - 10:51 am
Online shoppers will pay close attention to at least two things this holiday season: shipping costs and return deadlines. Nowadays, free shipping during the holidays is more of a requirement than a competitive advantage for retailers, according to Christopher Newman, an assistant professor of...
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December 04, 2017 - 10:36 am
WASHINGTON (AP) — A top Republican senator is defending GOP efforts to reduce the hit to the wealthy from the federal estate tax because it helps those who invest rather than people who spend their money on "booze or women or movies." Seven-term Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, a senior member of the...
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FILE - In this Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017, file photo, people wait in line for a Best Buy store to open for a Black Friday sale on Thanksgiving Day, in Overland Park, Kan. On average, Americans plan to spend more than $550 on gifts for friends and loved ones this holiday season, according to a recent NerdWallet survey conducted by Harris Poll. But budgets are tight. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
November 29, 2017 - 10:54 am
The holiday season is supposed to be about joy, giving and spending time with our favorite people. But just as you might pack on a few extra pounds over the holidays, you might pack on some extra debt, too. On average, Americans plan to spend more than $550 on gifts for friends and loved ones this...
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November 28, 2017 - 3:29 pm
NEW YORK (AP) — A retail trade group says people who shopped both online and in stores from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday spent more than those who picked one or the other. The National Retail Federation said Tuesday that more than 174 million Americans shopped in stores and online during those five...
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Shoppers walk back to their cars at the Garden State Plaza on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, in Paramus, N.J. Parking lots were full and shopping bags were plentiful in some places Saturday as holiday gift-seekers were out looking for bargains, even as the competition among retailers to offer earlier deals and snag customers first has pulled sales forward. (AP Photo/Anne D'Innocenzio)
November 26, 2017 - 12:22 am
Parking lots were full and shopping bags were plentiful in some places Saturday as holiday gift-seekers were out looking for bargains, even as the competition among retailers to offer earlier deals and snag customers first has pulled sales forward. At the Woodbury Common outlets north of New York...
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A boy looks over a Black Friday sale item at a J.C. Penney store, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, in Seattle. Black Friday has morphed from a single day when people got up early to score doorbusters into a whole season of deals, so shoppers may feel less need to be out. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
November 24, 2017 - 6:41 pm
NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on Black Friday (all times local): 6:30 p.m.: Macy's says it has "fully resolved" problems on Black Friday related to its processing some gift and credit cards. The chain blamed the glitch on "overcapacity" that caused some transactions to take longer to process. It says...
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Joey Ellis adds to his armful of items while shopping for deals at a J.C. Penney store, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, in Seattle. Black Friday has morphed from a single day when people got up early to score doorbusters into a whole season of deals, so shoppers may feel less need to be out. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
November 24, 2017 - 5:28 pm
NEW YORK (AP) — Retailers worked hard to attract shoppers to stores on Black Friday, offering in-person deals meant to counter the ease of shopping by phone on Amazon. A better economy and colder weather helped, to be sure. But stores have also tried to improve the store experience and offer better...
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