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A USPS worker unpacks packages from a truck on Dec. 02, 2019 in San Francisco. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Cyber Monday has never been more meaningless, given the kickoff of the holiday season this year has been more virtual than ever thanks to the pandemic.

Why it matters: Consumers spent roughly $9 billion online on Black Friday, a 22% jump from last year's previously record high, according to Adobe Analytics.

  • Still, Adobe anticipates even bigger online sales: Cyber Monday sales are estimated to hit between $10.8 billion and $12.7 billion, which would represent growth of 15% to 35% from 2019.

Between the lines: Real-time shopping data from both RetailNext and Sensormatic Solutions showed in-store traffic plunged by roughly 50% compared to last year's Black Friday.

  • Keep in mind: In-store traffic on Black Friday was already on the decline. Per Sensormatic Solutions, foot traffic fell over 6% in 2019 from the prior year. In 2018, in-store shopping fell by 1.7% compared to 2017.

Yes, but: The stronger-than-expected Black Friday may not be enough to boost overall holiday sales.

  • "To avoid stockouts and delivery delays, many consumers are pulling their holiday spending forward, which could result in disappointing sales in December," Sarah Wyeth, lead retail analyst at S&P Global Ratings, wrote in a note.
  • S&P estimates holiday sales will grow at a "meager" 0.3% rate this year.

Go deeper

The resegregating (and diversifying) of U.S. schools

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

School segregation between Black and white students has returned to 1968 levels, even as the nation grows more diverse.

Why it matters: Black and white school segregation has deepened toward pre-Civil Rights Movement-era numbers despite decades of strides.

48 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Stalemate over filibuster freezes Congress

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell's inability to quickly strike a deal on a power-sharing agreement in the new 50-50 Congress is slowing down everything from the confirmation of President Biden's nominees to Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

Why it matters: Whatever final stance Schumer takes on the stalemate, which largely comes down to Democrats wanting to use the legislative filibuster as leverage over Republicans, will be a signal of the level of hardball we should expect Democrats to play with Republicans in the new Senate.

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Biden opts for five-year extension of New START nuclear treaty with Russia

Putin at a military parade. Photo: Valya Egorshin/NurPhoto via Getty

President Biden will seek a five-year extension of the New START nuclear arms control pact with Russia before it expires on Feb. 5, senior officials told the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The 2010 treaty is the last remaining constraint on the arsenals of the world's two nuclear superpowers, limiting the number of deployed nuclear warheads and the bombers, missiles and submarines which can deliver them.

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