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Record crowds over weekend, but spending declined

NEW YORK (AP) - They came. They shopped. They didn't buy as much.

That's the assessment of the first weekend of holiday shopping based on a survey from The National Retail Federation.

The survey suggests there were a record number of shoppers online and in stores for the four-day period. But that did not translate to record spending.

One analyst says shoppers can expect an increase in markdowns from retailers as they try to boost sales through the rest of the season.

Meanwhile, the stock market is little changed is early trading after eight straight weeks of gains and the long holiday weekend. Traders are weighing early results from Thanksgiving shopping.

Traders will also look at data this week on manufacturing, home sales and jobs. The reports could provide clues on when the Federal Reserve will pull back its economic stimulus.

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