RETAIL SALES: Americans spent more online in November to start the holiday season and began to replace cars and rebuild in the Northeast after Superstorm Sandy.
SALES UP: Retail sales rose 0.3 percent in November from October, erasing the previous month's decline. And when excluding a big drop in gas station sales that reflected lower gas prices, retail spending rose a solid 0.8 percent.
OUTLOOK: The report offered a mixed signal for the holiday shopping season. Sales that include online shopping surged by the largest amount in 13 month. But department stores sales tumbled and looming tax increases could weigh on sales in December.