Good morning, friends and Fortune readers.
We hope you have successfully wakened from your turkey-induced food coma and are ready to read up on the top news of the day. The nation’s retailers are entering the week with a bit of a holiday hangover, as it looks like total spending and store visits declined pretty sharply from last year. And a security breach has escalated this weekend at Sony Pictures Entertainment, with five movies reportedly leaked online. Here’s what else you need to know about today.
1. Retailers whacked early in holiday season
With more and more holiday deals appearing ahead of the long Thanksgiving weekend, it appears the biggest shopping weekend of the year has lost some of its luster. Total spending for the four-day weekend that started on Thanksgiving is expected to reach $50.9 billion, down 11% from last year’s estimate, according to the National Retail Federation. The NRF also reported that 133.7 million shoppers visited stores this weekend, down 5% from 2013’s level. The trend is expected to continue into Cyber Monday, with the NRF expecting 127 million people to shop online today, down from 132 million last year.
2. Russia’s currency tailspins on oil prices rout
The dollar surged nearly 4% against the ruble–the Russian currency’s worst one-day drop since 1998. Fortune and others note that the currency has been stung by an ongoing rout in world oil prices, which has been dropping since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries refused to cut output last week in order to bring the market back into balance. The commodity’s decline is affecting energy companies and perhaps more significantly, the economies of nations (like Russia) which depend on oil for their budgets and foreign debt payments.
3. Sony Pictures stung by security breach
Five titles from the entertainment studio, including a remake of the musical “Annie” and a Brad Pitt World War II drama called “Fury,” have reportedly been leaked online according to Variety and other media outlets. The leak is the largest piracy incident the industry has experienced since July, when Lionsgate saw “Expendables 3” pop up online three weeks before it was released in theaters, Variety reported. Sony sadly isn’t a stranger to hack attempts — the company’s PlayStation network was temporarily offline in August after the system was stung by an attempt to overwhelm the network.
4. Boeing, Ryanair finalize $11 billion order
Boeing (BA) and Ryanair finalized an order for 100 Boeing 737 MAX 200s, an order that was initially announced in September and could include an option for an additional 100 aircraft down the road. Though that purchase price looks steep, the Wall Street Journal notes that the actual price will be lower after steep discounts that are customarily given to large customers. The 737 MAX 200 can accommodate up to 200 seats, and was specifically designed to address the needs of low-cost carriers like Ryanair. The aircraft provides airlines like Ryanair with up to 11 more seats of potential revenue and up to 5% lower operating costs than the 737 MAX 8.
5. Hong Kong pro-democracy protests escalate
Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong escalated early Monday, as thousands of protestors clashed with police at the demonstration’s main encampment near government headquarters in the Admiralty district. Police in riot gear fought back with the use of batons and pepper spray, and at least 40 people were hospitalized in the incident. The protestors are calling for free elections for Hong Kong’s next chief executive, rather than being forced to only consider Beijing’s pre-screened candidates.