Metro-East News

Business Briefing: Falling gas prices should boost Black Friday sales

Will Buss
Will Buss

Paying less at the pump should mean more for retailers this holiday season.

According to a new survey of consumers by the National Association of Convenience Stores, 42 percent of all regular Black Friday shoppers expect to spend more on Christmas gifts this year, because they won’t have to spend as much on gas.

Across the metro-east, per-gallon prices at many gas stations have recently dropped below $2 a gallon for regular unleaded fuel.

One in four U.S. consumers polled — 25 percent — expect to shop more this holiday season than they did a year ago, while 96 percent said they expect to buy as much, if not more.

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Global markets are responding with resilience in early trading Monday, following the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday as most stock markets in Europe were trading higher. The CAC-40 in Paris is just 0.2 percent lower at 4,796. Read more here.

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Insurance company Anthem’s proposed $48-billion acquisition of fellow competitor Cigna has been approved. Proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services has OKed the move that calls for Indianapolis-based Anthem to pay $103.40 per share in cash and a portion of its stock for each Cigna share in a deal valued at $54.2 billion, counting debt. Anthem shareholders will also have to approve the deal. Learn more here.

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In New York City, the mayor’s office will dedicate $10 million to combat illegal hotels during the next three years. Housing laws prohibit renters to rent their apartments for less than a month, except some exceptions are made for single and two-family homes. The mayor’s office has recognized many in the city operate illegally and are a drain on the city’s economy. Find out more here.

-Will Buss, BND business writer

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