Holiday Spending Higher Outside US, Consumer Sentiment Jumps in December

Christmas is less than 2 weeks away, and it appears consumers outside the US are spending more of their income on holiday gifts this year. For example, new data shows South Africans will spend 15% of their income on gifts this holiday - nearly triple that of Americans.

However, consumer sentiment in the US is on the rise - in fact, it's the best it has been since January 2007. A new report shows sentiment increased to 93.8 this month, up from the 88.8 in November.

With all the controversy clouding Uber lately, the taxi service has received some good news: it is close to securing hundreds of millions in financing from Baidu, China's top Internet search engine.

Starboard Value Investment took a 5.1 percent stake in office supply company Staples Inc., but also increased its holding in Staples rival Office Depot. This news reportedly could put added pressure on the two retailers to merge.


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