Economic Outlook overshadows Blockbuster Cyber Monday

An estimated $7.8 billion was spent on Cyber Monday, which is a record spending, consequently boosting a strong holiday shopping season. Top items purchased by consumers include Little Live Pets, animal dolls that kiss and lick, the Nintendo Switch and Beats headphones.

According to an analyst at DA Davidson & Co, Tom Forte, fears about a consumer spending slowdown has outweighed the positive signs of a strong holiday.

“Many of the tariffs will likely be borne by consumers in the second half of 2019 in the form of higher prices on products,” he said. “Higher interest rates may dampen spending on big-ticket items.”

Some technical issues on Black Friday revealed the struggles of traditional stores when it comes to accommodating the hoards of internet shoppers. Even with relatively huge investments in technology, big retail companies like Walmart, Lowe’s Cos. and Kohl’s Corp had glitches on their websites on Friday, reiterating the challenges encountered in matching the demands of customers on their e-commerce platforms.

Amazon is projected to capture almost 50% of all spendings online in 2018, making it the biggest beneficiary of the e-commerce switch. However, the hike in warehouse worker wage could have a negative effect on the company’s earnings, said Jitendra Waral, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. The shares of the online retail giant went up more than 4 percent Monday, even as it remains down for the month.

“Yes, it’ll be a great Cyber Monday but investors are looking beyond what happens over the holiday,” he said.

However, the incredible weekend sales does not seem to be helping retailers from the selloff in their shares in the previous week, which led to shares tumbling by as much as 15 percent. However, the stocks of Walmart and Kohl rose by less than 1 percent in Monday training, with Target gaining 1.7 percent.

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