Consumer

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U.S. stock index futures indicated a lower open on Friday as traders digested the release of key inflation data.

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Time is running out for customers of Verizon Communications and Sprint to claim $158 million in refunds from a settlement over mobile “cramming.”

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A willingness to use the word “Christmas” in seasonal advertising is just one of many criteria the brand strategy firm Faith Driven Consumer employs as it rates companies for its Faith Equality Index.

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Have someone on your Christmas list who’s never happy with their gift? Be careful where you shop. According to Optoro, a reverse logistics company, roughly a quarter of retail returns take place during the holiday season — meaning an ill-advised purchase can turn from bad to worthless if it’s bought at a store with a …

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Gift cards are displayed for sale at a Kroger Co. store in Peoria, Illinois.

Seven in 10 people plan on purchasing at least one gift card this season, an end-of-year-surge that will bring sales of the most-convenient of presents to more than $131 billion for the year, according to the National Retail Federation. But shoppers aren’t the only ones interested in gift cards — thieves are also cashing in …

The new consumer goods company

Newell Rubbermaid announced plans to acquire Jarden Brands for $16 billion.

Package theft on the rise

Morgan Brennan tells us what’s being done to prevent all of those packages sitting on porches from getting stolen.

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Holiday shoppers at Macy's in New York.

As Americans head to the malls this holiday shopping season, they are less optimistic on the economy than they were a year ago, and that could depress their spending plans. The CNBC All-America Economic Survey finds that just 22 percent of the public sees the economy improving, a 5-point drop from more buoyant levels a …

Dangerous driving habit

Phil LeBeau tells us the one thing that’s become a bigger risk on the road than texting while driving.

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What is the hottest-selling tech gadget this holiday season? Hoverboards. On Black Friday, deal-seekers bought more than 5,000 of these ultracool self-balancing scooters on eBay. The online marketplace claims they are now selling one every 12 seconds. Yet there is mounting concern over the safety of this latest craze, as dozens of injuries, some serious, …

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In the ongoing battle to get more drivers to put down their phones while they’re behind the wheel, a new report from State Farm insurance company is a sobering reminder that there’s still a long road ahead. But while the biggest culprit for these distractions continues to be texting and driving, another dangerous habit is …

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Auto loans stretching six or seven years are often criticized as a poor choice because they leave borrowers underwater for years before they finally get to a point where the vehicle is no longer in negative equity. Still, the latest snapshot of America’s booming auto market shows these longer auto loans are quickly becoming a …

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Trampolines and hoverboards are among the hottest holiday toys this year, in part, because of the thrill of the ride. But that element of danger comes at a price if your insurance agent has something to say about it. This holiday season, a quick-folding indoor trampoline for 6-year-olds and a skateboard without wheels made the …

Anna Zielinska | Getty Images

With the proliferation of price-comparison apps that give mobile device users a competitive edge, there’s no excuse these days for getting had online or in the store. Many enable bar-code scanning to compare the best deals, plus price-drop alerts on everything from technology and travel to groceries and gasoline. As mobile app technology evolves, others …

Black Friday auto sales

Phil LeBeau explains why this weekend could pave the way for record-breaking November auto sales.