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Retailers rolled out holiday promotions earlier in November this year, denting sales growth over the Thanksgiving weekend that typically marks the beginning of the holiday spending period, according to data released on Dec. 3 by ShopperTrak. The retail tracking firm said total in-store sales between Thanksgiving Day on Thursday and Sunday rose 1 percent compared to the same period last year while the number of visits to stores fell 4 percent. The company has forecast sales at stores will rise 2.4 percent for the season. ShopperTrak said during "Black Weekend" 2013, shoppers spent an estimated $22.2 billion, compared to last year's $22 billion. December is not just about the start of winter, buying gifts and spending time with loved ones. Historically, it's also a good time to be in the stock market and make some money. When it comes to stock market seasonality, December ranks right up near the top. It's the No. 1-performing month for the Dow Jones industrial average over the past 100 years, posting average gains of 1.4% and finishing up 73% of the time, according to Bespoke Investment Group. While the last month ranks fourth in performance in the past 20 years, the Dow has finished in the black in December the past four years. A quickGoogleGooglesearch on the phrase “Amazon drone” yields 637 million hits. If the online retail giant never delivers a single package via drone aircraft, CEOJeff Bezos’ appearance on 60 Minutes and the ensuing publicity has already done its job for Amazon. WhileIBMIBMreports that “Cyber Monday” sales were up 17.5% over a year ago, Amazon’s numbers blasted 44% skyward, according to ChannelAdvisor. “ “I don’t want anybody to think this is just around the corner,” Bezos said of the drone plan. But that didn’t stop absolutely everyone from talking about it yesterday. They can keep talking. Amazon’s futuristic plan for robotic aircraft delivering goods in 30 minutes sounds too good to be true mostly because, well, it’s too good to be true...