Morning Business Memo

Dec 1, 2011 8:10am

More Americans are using credit cards to pay for holiday shopping, reversing a three-year trend towards greater use of debit cards. MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse says retail sales for the four-day holiday weekend, starting with Thanksgiving Day, rose 8.7 percent from a year earlier. First Data, a payroll processing firm, says on black Friday, payments made with credit cards rose 7.4 percent from last year, versus a 3.4 percent rise for debit card payments. USA Today reports an analysis by a marketing company forecasts credit card payments for online purchases will increase more than 60 percent in the next five years.

Stock market euphoria spread to Asia after the Dow Jones index gained 490 points yesterday or more than 4 per cent. That was the biggest one-day gain since March, 2009. Stock futures are down slightly this morning. The shakeup for markets came after the Federal Reserve and other central banks acted decisively to reduce the threat of a global credit freeze up. Some banks – especially in Europe – were finding it harder to get short term funds. This morning’s bond auctions by Italy and Spain went relatively well, with strong demand. Italian 10 year interest rates are below 7 percent.

Tough talk today from the new head of the European Central Bank. Mario Draghi says the 17 eurozone nations must link their economies more tightly together – and avoid a repeat of the recent debt crisis. Draghi says the regions may have a bigger role to play in the future but stricter budget policies must come first, as governments act to reduce deficits….Next week European government leaders will consider a new fiscal pact that would impose much tougher spending discipline.

Fresh bids for Yahoo. Two Asian companies are reported to be making an offer to buy the online firm for more than $25 billion. Two big US investment firms, Bain Capital and the Blackstone Group, may join the bid…

Richard Davies, Correspondent ABC NEWS Radio, twitter.com/daviesabc

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