Morning Money Memo…
Time Warner Cable is licking its wounds after the dispute with CBS that resulted in a month-long blackout of several channels. The cable company reports a reduction of more than 300,000 TV subscribers in the 3rd quarter – its biggest loss of customers ever. The results were worse than Wall Street analysts had expected and underscore the risks to cable companies when they get into a dispute with programmers. The cable industry is facing greater competition from Netflix, Hulu and other streaming TV providers.
This could be the weakest holiday shopping season since 2008. That’s the gloomy forecast from the financial firm Morgan Stanley. Consumer confidence has dropped recently. Morgan Stanley is forecasting an annual rise of just 1.7 percent in same-store sales. But this contrasts with rosier forecasts from The International Council of Shopping Centers and The National Retail Federation. Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, is getting an early start on the holidays, launching a series of deals on TVs and tablets. They were originally reserved for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping four weeks from now. Customers will be able to purchase the items online starting today. Wal-Mart declined to say whether it would be repeating the discounts during the Thanksgiving weekend.
It’s sweet and salty. The chocolate potato chip is the next big thing for Lay’s. The largest snack maker is announcing plans to roll out Lay’s Wavy Potato Chips Dipped in Milk Chocolate. It’s the latest entry in the $31 billion snack food market and part of a growing trend for salty and sweet products. Popular examples are chocolate covered pretzels, maple barbecue potato chips and salted caramel.
The stock market was down for a second day in a row. The S&P 500 index fell 7 points, but rose 4 and a half percent in October – its best month since July. Stock futures are up this morning… The price of oil is down for a third straight day, finishing October with a second consecutive monthly decline. The trend is helping to bring down gas prices for motorists.
Fannie Mae is suing nine big banks. The mortgage giant alleges it lost hundreds of millions of dollars after the banks rigged the LIBOR global interest rate. The banks include Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and others that set the London interbank offered rate – the basis for trillions of dollars in contracts, including mortgages and bonds.
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesnow