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Stores open Christmas Eve, government shutdown: 5 things you need to know Monday


(Photo: DIEGO AZUBEL, EPA-EFE)


If you still have Christmas gifts to buy Monday, you're late but not alone: According to the National Retail Federation's December survey, more than 7 percent of Americans will finish holiday shopping on Christmas Eve. Catering to true procrastinators, the majority of stores and malls across the nation are opening early Monday and will close by dinner time, with a few exceptions. Amazon is offering same-day Christmas Eve delivery for Prime members in more than 10,000 cities and towns across the country. Many stores will also accept online orders for in-store pickup Monday. To help plan your last-minute shopping down to the minute, here are Christmas Eve store hours for department stores, discount retailers and grocers.


Federal employees off during Christmas shutdown


President Donald Trump last week signed an executive order declaring that “all executive departments and agencies of the federal government shall be closed” on Monday, continuing a loosely followed tradition when Christmas falls on a Tuesday. That was before a partial government shutdown unfolded Saturday — the third shutdown this year — with nine federal departments and several smaller agencies putting more than 380,000 federal workers on furlough and forcing another 420,000 employees to work without pay. The Senate adjourned Saturday for the holidays with no plans to return until Thursday, ensuring the shutdown will drag on for several more days (at least).


Will Santa deliver a stock market rally?


With gloom spreading on Wall Street and the stock market down nearly 10 percent in 2018, hopes are fading for the late-year rally that normally delivers the gift of gains. Normally, the seven-day stretch that spans the final five days of trading of the year and the first two trading sessions of the new year is bullish for the stock market. This year’s “Santa Clock” starts ticking on Monday and ends Jan. 3, says Ari Wald, a technical analyst at Oppenheimer. Expect coal: A naughty stock market that's on track for its worst December since 1931 is at fault, spooking investors and turning sentiment decidedly bearish.

THE USA TODAY


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