Morning Money Memo…
Geeky-looking Google Glass may soon be much more stylish. Luxottica Group, the Italian firm that makes Ray-Ban and Oakley sun glasses, has signed a partnership with Google to design frames for Internet-connected eyewear. The announcement comes just days after news that Fossil will have a hand in a forthcoming wristwatch set to run on Google's revamped Android mobile operating system. Shares in Luxottica soared nearly 5% today in Rome. CEO Andrea Guerra told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica that the push to market will be in 2015 and that the Google partnership should help guarantee the eyewear maker annual growth of 5 to 10%. Google Glass is a computing device that includes a thumbnail-sized screen above the wearer's right eye to view Internet content.
Many low-income Americans who take out payday loans end up paying more in fees than the original amount they borrow. The finding comes from a report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which also shows that four of five payday loans are extended, or "rolled over," within 14 days. Additional fees are charged when loans are rolled over. Payday loans, also known as cash advances or check loans, are short-term loans at high interest rates, usually for $500 or less. They often are made to borrowers with weak credit or low incomes.
A change of direction for the stock market? Some of the year's hottest stocks tripped up the latest round of trading. Netflix plunged 7% yesterday, Facebook fell 5%, and Google and Amazon.com each fell more than 2%. Biotech firms also took it on the chin. Over the past 12 months, the high-technology Nasdaq gained more 30%.
Five former employees of imprisoned financier Bernard Madoff have been convicted at the end of a six-month trial. Prosecutors argued that the defendants had spun an elaborate web of lies to hide a fraud that enriched them and cheated investors out of billions of dollars. The trial was one of the longest in the history of Manhattan federal court.
The U.S. Coast Guard is hoping it will be able to open the Houston Ship Channel three days after a barge collision dumped as many as 170,000 gallons of heavy oil into the water. Crews have been working to clean up the oil, scouring the sand for quarter-sized tar balls that have washed ashore and using cannon booms to scare away birds. The channel is one of the nation's busiest seaports. Officials believe most of the oil that spilled Saturday is drifting out of the channel into the Gulf of Mexico. That should limit the impact on bird habitats around Galveston Bay as well as beaches and fisheries important to tourists.
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesnow