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Nov 27 2014, 11.10am GMT


The traditional Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the US straight after Thanksgiving are when shoppers look to spend big bucks.

However the latest figures on the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index are down 2 points. Bankrate.com reports a statement by Lynn Franco, the Conference Board's director of economic indicators; "With such uncertainty prevailing, this could be a challenging holiday season for retailers." When looking six months ahead, "consumers expressed greater concern about future job and earning prospects, but remain neutral about economic conditions."

Black Friday was first recognized in the US on September 24, 1869, when two speculators, Jay Gould and James Fisk, attempted to corner the gold market on the New York Gold Exchange. It was in the mid-1970s when the term “Black Friday” began to be widely used to refer to the big shopping day on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

According to a survey by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, 28% of Americans plan to shop on Black Friday tomorrow, while 25% of Americans anticipate making an online purchase on Cyber Monday.

Cyber Monday is used as a marketing term to persuade people to shop online on the Monday after Thanksgiving in the United States. According to Fundivo, in 2013, Cyber Monday online sales grew by 20.6% over the previous year, hitting a record $2.29 billion, with the average order value during Cyber Monday 2013 at $128.77. According to score.com, the figure was 18% up on the previous year and in 2014, the average planned expenditure is $361 per person, with 46% people expecting to pay with credit cards and 43 percent expect to pay with debit cards.

In anticipation of the two shopping days, credit card company shares are seeing a rise.

VISA: up from 255.47 to 257.45 in one day

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MASTERCARD: up from 84.19 to 86.47 over the week

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