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  • Stocks were slightly higher heading into the close of trading Friday, but the late-session boost may not be enough to push the markets higher for the week. Disney and Boeing fell, while HP rose.

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    This holiday season is setting up to be a real nail biter. Most holiday forecasts call for flat or just slightly higher sales than last year. But several factors may tip the scale. On the plus-side: there is a more upbeat mood among affluent consumers as well as a strong appetite for gadgets and electronics. On the downside: there is an uncertain economy, with unemployment stubbornly high, and a consumer who looks at spending quite differently than in the past. What will shift the balance?

  • Macys at Jersey City decorated for holidays

    Times are tough, and retailers are getting creative, wrapping their marketing campaigns in some unlikely packaging this year, from new “grab-and-go” gift shops at Macy’s to new flexible payment options at Sears.

  • Stocks declined, although prices were off their lows of the session, on news that China would take a second step to tighten monetary conditions.  Disney and BofA fell, while GE rose.

  • U.S. stock index futures fell ahead of the open Friday after China announced a second measure to tighten monetary conditions in two weeks. China's decision was released at the same time Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke was speaking in defense a Federal Reserve policy to stimulate the economy.

  • Stocks shed losses from earlier this week to close broadly higher Thursday, lifted by the successful return of General Motors to the U.S. stock market and relief that Ireland was addressing its debt crisis. Alcoa and Boeing rose, while Intel fell.

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    What follows is a roundup of corporate earnings reports for Thursday, Nov. 18.

  • U.S. stock index futures rallied ahead of the open Thursday as General Motors shares looked set to jump on their return to the New York stock market, and jobless claims came in as expected.

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    In the new book, SPEND SHIFT: How the Post-Crisis Values Revolution is Changing the Way We Buy, Sell, and Live the authors John Gerzema and Michael D’Antonio, say since 2007 — even before the crisis — there has been a spending revolution in the making.

  • Stocks fell in the last few minutes of trading Monday to close mixed despite being higher most of the day after an upbeat retail sales report, and news that firms were beginning to spend cash on acquisitions. Caterpillar rose, Disney fell.

  • Stocks fell on Monday as investors recouped from last week's selloff to focus on an upbeat retail sales report, and news that firms were beginning to spend cash on acquisitions. Caterpillar rose, Disney fell.

  • Stocks gained amid news of strong retail sales in October and acquisitions by Caterpillar and EMC, and despite continuing worries over debt troubles in periphery European countries. Caterpillar rose, while Disney fell.

  • Gap store in China

    With sales in the United States sluggish, one of America’s best-known apparel brands — Gap Inc. — is joining the rush to enter China’s fast-growing consumer market.  The New York Times reports.

  • See what's happening, who's talking and what will be making headlines on Friday's Squawk on the Street.

  • Stocks surged to two-year highs on Thursday as all the major indexes rose beyond their closing highs for the year in the wake of the Federal Reserve's decision to buy $600 billion in Treasury bonds to boost the economy and news that President Obama said he was open to extending the Bush-era tax cuts to all income levels. JPMorgan and BofA gained.

  • Stocks continued to soar to new highs for the year Thursday, with banks getting a boost from news the Fed will allow "healthy" institutions to raise their dividends. BofA and JPM gain.

  • Victoria's Secret Pink Collection

    There are a couple of key takeaways from October sales: sure it was a month that relied heavily on markdowns to drive sales, but shoppers also need to see something fresh and new at the store. A look at Limited Brands, and what they're doing right.

  • Stocks gained after President Barack Obama said he was open to extending the Bush-era tax cuts to all income levels.  Boeing and Caterpillar gained.

  • Parents shop in the toy aisle at a Target store, Kingston, Massachusetts

    Retailers largely reported better-than-expected sales in October, providing some momentum heading into the Christmas holiday shopping season.

  • Fed policy captures traders' attention. Also: October retail same-store sales were a mixed bag: some tricks, some treats. It's important to note that estimates have been coming down all month, and only about half have beat the consensus.