Morning Business Memo:
Facebook’s stock has plunged to a new low, and the boss is making a promise. CEO Mark Zuckerberg is pledging to keep all of his stock for at least a year. The value of Facebook shares is down 53 percent since the company’s IPO in May. Another stock dump might be coming sooner than expected. Many rank-and-file employees can start selling stock they own Oct. 29 instead of the previous date of Nov. 14. A Facebook filing also reveals that co-founder Dustin Moskovitz is shedding another 450,000 of the social networking company’s shares, for a take of about $8.3 million. Moskovitz has been selling 150,000 shares a day and disclosing the sales every three days. Moskovitz, 28, was Zuckerberg’s Harvard roommate when they founded Facebook in 2004. He left in 2008 and started the software company Asana.
Shrinking factory output is a worry for most major economies and many U.S. exporters. FedEx is the latest big company to take a hit. The world’s largest air cargo shipper says a decline in manufacturing output would cut its profits for this quarter. The latest monthly reading on U.S. manufacturing activity from the Institute for Supply Management indicates a contraction. The U.S. report comes amid shrinking factory activity in almost every major economy, including the 17-country eurozone, Britain, China, Japan and Brazil. In China, factory activity fell last month to its lowest level in more than three years. New numbers today show even booming Australia is not immune. Quarterly growth slowed to 0.6 percent, compared with 1.4 percent expansion for Australia during the first quarter. Its annual growth through June slowed to 3.7 percent.
Hold the Big Mac! McDonald’s is going all vegetarian at some restaurants in India. McDonald’s says its kitchens in India are already separated into sections for cooking vegetarian and non-vegetarian food and its restaurants there do not sell any beef or pork. They also have menu items that cater to local tastes, such as the Maharaja Mac, a Big Mac made with chicken patties. Yum.
Score one for Amazon in its video battle against Netflix. A new Amazon licensing deal with Epix threatens to undercut Netflix’s leadership in the growing video-streaming market. The multiyear deal eliminates a key competitive advantage for Netflix, which had been paying about $200 million annually during the past two years for the exclusive online rights to show movies from Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate 90 days after they appeared on Epix’s pay-TV channel. The exclusive window closed on Netflix at the end of August, requiring the company to either renegotiate the terms with Epix or allow the rights to be sold to other Internet video services. After Netflix decided that holding the exclusive rights to Epix was no longer worth the cost, Amazon.com pounced on the opportunity to expand its Internet video service.
How much are your kids learning about money? Most schools teach little about financial responsibility. Trae Bodge, senior editor of retailmenot’s Insider Magazine, says that’s a mistake. “We’re sending our kids out there with no financial training of their own,” Bodge said, and that might be one reason many college students make poor choices about debt and credit cards. “I think it’s really crucial when kids go out into the world on their own that they have a very solid foundation of financial responsibility.”
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC NEWS Radio ABCNews.com twitter.com/daviesabc