peHUB First Read

CofeeWho’s hiring (and who’s not) in Asia?

* Bing’s top searches for 2009: Michael Jackson bests Twitter and Swine Flu

* Comscore: Black Friday online spending up 11% (Amazon took the top spot, edging out Walmart.com)

* Morning Call: U.S. futures point higher, London falls early, European shares slip on oil, the Nikkei jumps 2.9% and both China and Hong Kong rise.

* Michael Arrington: What if Steve Jobs hadn’t returned to Apple in 1997?

* James Surowiecki: Why the Chinese don’t spend

* Knowledge @Wharton: Managing layoffs, and motivating those left behind

* TechFlash: There is “a growing sentiment in the tech industry that the big social networks have achieved a critical mass that makes them practically untouchable to potential competitors (though perhaps not to potential acquirers). That affects the strategies not just of Microsoft but also of Amazon.com and countless tech startups.”

* Heard about the relationship between Libya and the rest of the world has thawed? Well, oil companies still feel a deep chill.

* The Top 50 brands that are making the best use of Facebook.

* The economics of bolt-on acquisitions

* One out of every eight Americans now uses food stamps, including one out of every four children.