Mastercard profit tops Street on holiday shopping rush; shares hit record


(Reuters) - Mastercard Inc's quarterly profit topped estimates on Thursday, boosted by a busy holiday shopping period that saw more people swiping credit and debit cards for larger sums.The company's shares rose as much as 4.4 percent to an all-time high of $176.52 in early trading.

Growth in the U.S. economy over the last quarter also helped the world's No. 2 payments network, which, like bigger rival Visa Inc largely banks on the health of the economy and customers' willingness to loosen purse strings in order to generate revenue from credit-.

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