Bad news for your neighbor who started putting up holiday lights as soon as the pumpkin pie was digested: Christmas trees are expected to cost 30% more this season.
Stocks plunged sharply on Friday after South Africa raised concerns over a fast-spreading new Covid strain dubbed “Omicron.” Experts worry it poses a higher risk of reinfection than other variants, and dozens of countries have started restricting travel to and from South Africa. The Dow had its worst Black Friday, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq index fell a whopping 3.5% for the week.
Consumer prices jumped the most in 31 years last month. Three-quarters of Americans say they’re feeling the pinch, and more than half blame President Biden, knocking his approval rating to an all-time low of 41%. But high prices haven’t stopped US consumers from splurging, and holiday spending’s expected to hit a record $860B. Analysts expect inflation to stay high for years, so Biden’s stepping in. Last week, he tapped into national oil reserves to lower gas prices and renominated Fed Chair Jerome Powell, hoping he’ll fight surging prices.