Money Minute: Extreme Cold Grounds Flights; Heat, Food Bills Set to Soar


The extreme cold could take a bite out of your wallet.

For the big swath of the country in the grip of the cold snap, heating bills are almost certain to go up. The price of natural gas in some mid-Atlantic states has soared to record highs. And the price of some food items -- especially produce -- could jump, as crops could be ruined.

Deep Freeze JetBlue
Charles Krupa/APThousands of air travelers were affected by several airlines' decision Monday to cancel flights due to extremely cold weather.
It's also interfering with thousands of flights in and out of Chicago, New York and many other cities. And a number of businesses are telling their employees to stay home and not risk being outside in the life-threatening cold, and that could hurt profits. Even some ski resorts have been forced to close.

The cost of renting an apartment is also on the rise, but that has nothing to do with the weather. The real estate research firm Reis says the average rent per month across the country rose by nearly 1 percent in the fourth quarter to $1,083. The issue is supply and demand. More people have needed to rent rather than buy ever since the housing crisis began. But there is good news. A lot of new rental units are coming on line this year.

Here on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 45 points Monday, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) lost 18 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) edged 4 points lower.
As the economy improved last year, far fewer businesses filed for bankruptcy.

The American Bankruptcy Institute says business filings fell by 24 percent from a year earlier. Personal bankruptcies declined by 13 percent.

And the business of marijuana sales in Colorado has created some murky legal issues for other businesses who work with the pot sellers. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Justice Department is working on new guidelines for banks and credit card companies that deal with these businesses. The focus will be on broader criminal activities, such as diverting pot sales to other states and using proceeds to cover other illegal activities.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

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if we boycott a lot of items , years ago meat and milk were so high. we all stood up to these people. things changed. The airplane prices are high. prices are high. boycott

January 13 2014 at 7:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Obama's ethenol is increasing food costs!

January 07 2014 at 4:17 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Just think how bitter cold it wold be if not for Global warming....

January 07 2014 at 12:43 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bchrist751's comment

You mean climate change? That explains things better for the them.

January 07 2014 at 1:20 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Looks like things aren't going to get better soon for the working class American. Maybe instead of focusing on lies and obamacare, the president could have worked on getting people back to work. But that would take some effort and I'm sure he really doesn't care anyway!

January 07 2014 at 12:29 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

is this global warming?

maybe we shouldn't be total consumers? maybe we should save some?
and maybe The Fed should be audited and ended to stop them from printing and diluting our dollar and manipulating stock prices, gold prices and interest rates? maybe?

January 07 2014 at 11:43 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Silence DoGood

An explanation of how to use the stock market as a means of saving. Good luck.

January 07 2014 at 11:41 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
Tom Harrell

A "Natural Disaster". the Perfect time to Raise Prices and Stick it to the Consumers. Wages are Dropping, inflation is on the Rise, Temperatures are Plummeting, Unemployment Insurance is GONE, Taxes are Increasing (on the Average Joe), Jobs are Disappearing, Homelessness is RAMPANT, But "NEVER FEAR" -----------The Rich are RICHER and the Corporations are making "RECORD Profits".

I guess we've Always got "TRICKLE DOWN" to keep us Warm throughout these Trying Months. It's just that that Warm "TRICKLE" is feeling and SMELLING like someones URINE down our BACKSIDES.

January 07 2014 at 11:40 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Tom Harrell's comment
Donald Harwell

How do you know all of this?

January 07 2014 at 1:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Get off the bandwagon. If you don't like the rich or dealing with them, go to Somalia. I hear it's pretty this time of year.

January 07 2014 at 1:21 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Global Warming ? That's a joke. It's colder now than it's been in 50 years.
You can reduce your heating bill by using electric throws (Wal Mart $24.88).
This would be a great time to take a culinary course.
A good chef can make anything taste good. When chicken wings became $3.69 a pound I switched to legs at 99 cents a pound and make Hotlegs instead of Hotwings. The Hotlegs are meatier. Today you can go online and learn about anything, even the food arts.

January 07 2014 at 11:06 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to alfredschrader's comment

just make sure you Made in China Wally World electric blanket don't short circuit and burn your house down.....
But as an aside to that I remember as a child in the 50's seeing huge chunks of ice flowing down the Hudson river every winter and that was at the Narrows where the Hudson enters the bay into the Atlantic Ocean ...Havn't seen that since then..and the winters were way colder then they have been since...I'm no climatologist but something changed........

January 07 2014 at 11:33 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I'm no farmer, but what crops are planted in the mid west this time of year?

January 07 2014 at 10:58 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Where's the copy on food bills set to soar?

January 07 2014 at 10:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lyleva's comment

"And the price of some food items -- especially produce -- could jump, as crops could be ruined"
Comprehend much? Crops and cattle depend on the weather to survive and produce. There is no "copy". With blizzards and -0 temps, crops are going to die out and the prices will go up but it's only temporary. The government did NOT raise the prices, the farmers did.

January 07 2014 at 10:49 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply