Shoppers snap up Black Friday deals as stores vie for their money

NEW YORK (AP) - Malls are crammed to the rafters with bargain

hunters as retailers cross their fingers that Black Friday lives up

to its name.

The hoards are out for the annual shopping frenzy after

Thanksgiving, called Black Friday because stores hope it's the day

the sends them into the black.

Retailers have been heavy-handed with the discounting, Best Buy

is offering a 49-inch Panasonic plasma HDTV for $899.99, while Toys

"R" Us knocked up to 60 percent of some of its merchandise.

But the question remains whether anyone will be spending much

money on holiday gifts as a recession nears, credit markets remain

frozen, layoffs loom and consumer spending shrinks.

At a Best Buy in Syracuse, N.Y., people lined up eight hours

before the store's 5 a.m. opening. The mall's manager estimated

about 1,000 people were waiting for the electronics store to open.