CNBC Daily Open: Is record Black Friday sales surge a false dawn?

Black Friday

This report is from today’s CNBC Daily Open, our new, international markets newsletter. CNBC Daily Open brings investors up to speed on everything they need to know, no matter where they are. Like what you see? You can subscribe here.

What you need to know today

Post-Thanksgiving breather
U.S. stocks fell on Monday as traders took a breather after the major averages clocked a four-week winning streak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 56.68 points, or 0.16%, to 35,333.47. The S&P 500 shed 0.20% to 4,550.43. The Nasdaq Composite edged lower 0.07% to 14,241.02.

Shein IPO
Fast-fashion retailer Shein has confidentially filed to go public in the U.S. and is moving ahead with its long-awaited IPO, CNBC has learned. Founded in China, Shein was last valued at $66 billion and could be ready to start trading on the public markets as soon as 2024, people familiar with the matter told CNBC on Monday.

Cryptic no more?
The crypto industry can finally close the chapter on a litany of scandals and problems after Binance was hit with a historic settlement by the U.S. Department of Justice, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said Monday. The government accused Binance of violating the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act and of breaching sanctions on Iran. Armstrong pushed back on the suggestion that crypto is mainly used for nefarious purposes such as fraud, money laundering and terrorist financing, a common refrain from financial firms that have avoided jumping into the space due to compliance concerns.

The last dance
TikTok parent ByteDance is cutting hundreds of jobs in its gaming division, Nuverse, a person familiar with the matter told CNBC. This would mark a significant retreat from a segment ByteDance has invested billions of dollars into to challenge market leader Tencent. Nuverse will not shut down completely but will be significantly scaled back.

Climate concerns
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said on Monday the oil and gas industry was being unjustly vilified ahead of a pivotal United Nations conference on the climate crisis later this week. OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais pushed back against accusations that the industry was not doing enough to reduce carbon emissions. Meanwhile, OPEC member and COP28 host, the United Arab Emirates, plans to use its role as the host of the biggest and the most important annual climate conference as a platform to lobby foreign government officials for oil and gas deals, according to a cache of internal documents obtained by a not-for-profit investigative journalism organization.

[PRO] Squeezing more out of your cash
If you’re settling for stingy yields on your idle cash, it’s time for an overhaul. The Federal Reserve’s latest rate-hiking cycle has been generous for savers stashing money in safe havens. CNBC Pro identifies where to get the biggest bang for your idle buck as 2023 winds down.

The bottom line

The post-Thanksgiving shopping season numbers are eye-popping.

Black Friday online spending reached a record $9.8 billion in the U.S., up 7.5% from a year earlier, according to Adobe Analytics. Online sales on Cyber Weekend, the days between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, surged 7.7% to $10.3 billion. Cyber Monday sales are expected to have hit $12.4 billion, making it the biggest U.S. online shopping day of the year, according to Adobe.

Bumper sales came as a boon for many e-commerce-focused retailers and boosted their shares Monday.

But these spending rates also run somewhat counter to the cautious earnings guidance by the likes of toymakers Hasbro and Mattel during their third quarter earnings late October.

A slew of recent economic indicators also appear to be pointing to U.S. consumers running out of excess cash, while household savings are coming under pressure.

So, shouldn’t spending be weaker? What does this then say of the impact of the Federal Reserve’s rate hikes on the broader economy? Or is it too much to read based on one data point?

The fine print may offer some clues.

The strong post-Thanksgiving retail figures have been driven by consumers turning to buy-now-pay-later features as a way to stretch their wallets against the backdrop of still-high prices. Buy-now-pay-later services such as Affirm, Klarna and Afterpay drove $5.9 billion in online spending between Nov. 1 and Nov. 23, up 13.4% from last year, according to Adobe.

Economic data due later this week should also offer more insight. The consumer confidence report is slated for Tuesday, while the personal consumption expenditures price index is scheduled to be released on Thursday.

— CNBC’s Annie Palmer contributed to this report.

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