Consumer Biz Cheat Sheet: Macy’s to Increase Holiday Hiring, PayPal Predicts Thanksgiving Couch Commerce

Macy’s (NYSE:M) has announced plans to increase holiday hiring by 4% this year, contradicting analysts’ forecasts for sluggish seasonal hiring. Though most of the positions are only part-time, the news helps boost consumer sentiment in the retail sector.

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Chairman Jay Schottenstein purchased 1 million shares of American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO) last week for roughly $11.2 million, while Director Michael Jesselson purchased roughly 120,000 shares, according to SEC filings.

Dollar Thrifty (NYSE:DTG) has announced will increase its share repurchasement program from to $400 million from $100 million, and has reaffirmed its third quarter and fiscal 2011 guidance. The auto rental service is expected to grow 2% in the third quarter, with a transaction day growth of 3% to 4% partially offset by a decrease in daily revenue.

The United Auto Workers union and Ford (NYSE:F) have begun “high-level financial discussions” in an effort to reach a new 4-year labor deal that is expected to beat that reached with General Motors (NYSE:GM). The GM contract would keep or create roughly 6,000 jobs, raise wages for entry-level workers, and guarantee all workers bonuses of at least $11,500 over the next four years.

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An eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) PayPal exec has said that data suggests this year’s Black Friday shopping will get started on Thanksgiving, after dinner, as shoppers take to their mobile devices and tablets for “couch commerce,” and that retailers should consider extending offers and deals to mobile users, rather than simply in-store shoppers, in order to capitalize on the new demographic.