Money Minute: Wintry Weather Worries Retailers; Diet Soda Sales Fizzle

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The weather rains on retailers' parade.

There are now just two weekends left before Christmas for holiday shoppers, and retailers are starting to get nervous -- especially after snow and ice in many areas of the country reduced the traffic at stores. So far, analysts say this has been a disappointing season for most brick-and-mortar retailers.

Severe Weather
Brandon Wade/APCrews spray deicing solution onto an American Airlines 737 before departure at Dallas-Fort Worth International airport.
The weekend storms also played havoc on airline schedules and on package delivery services UPS (UPS) and FedEx (FDX). Airlines were forced to cancel thousands of flights over the weekend, especially American Airlines flights coming and going from Dallas.

Better news for American on the merger front, as it completes the deal to merge with USAirways (LCC). Changes for fliers will come slowly, as both brands will continue to exist for at least another year.

Ski resorts might appreciate the snow, but middle and lower-income skiers are getting priced out of the sport. CNBC reports that a number of the most popular slopes -- Vail (MTN), Jackson Hole, Sun Valley and others -- are charging $100 or more for lift tickets at peak times.

Health concerns are causing more and more people to cut back or give up on diet soda. The Wall Street Journal says in-store sales of diet brands have plunged nearly 7 percent over the past year. For many, there are new concerns about the health impact of aspartame and other artificial ingredients used by Coca-Cola (KO), Pepsi (PEP) and Dr. Pepper (DPS).

Here on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 0.4 percent last week and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) edged just slightly lower. Both snapped streaks of 8 straight weekly gains, despite Friday's huge rally. The Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) edged a bit higher for the week.

Market watchers will be paying attention to a series of speeches today by Federal Reserve governors. Everyone is looking for new clues about when the Fed will start tapering on the massive bond-buying program that's been one of the key drivers behind the market's big rally this year.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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11 Comments

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myenta9345

BENEFIT OF CHRISTMAS SHOPPING;WE ARE JEWISH

December 09 2013 at 4:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
myenta9345

I AM CURIOUS,WHAT DID EVERYONE DO BEFORE MEDICARE;STOP COMPLAINING

December 09 2013 at 4:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cnmcnm

what about COMCAST?????

December 09 2013 at 11:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
toosmart4u

Oops, seniors have money to spend for we worked very well at good wages our whole lives. These young people today to not have that same opportunity. I know the republicans will not help out the working persons.

December 09 2013 at 11:36 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to toosmart4u's comment
dave.smith138

You aren't too smart, Obama is a Democrat, and his administration has been dragging the economy downhill.
The new healthcare law for one is responsible for big manufactures not hiring full time and only hire on a contract basis if they do, while the retail sector is in it's glory offering only part time jobs. That law was the pride and joy of the democrats.
Republicans are only one factor of the two party battle that plagues America today. Maybe you should open your eyes a little wider.

December 09 2013 at 12:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
toosmart4u

The good paying manufacturing jobs went over seas, millions of them. Now we have service jobs taking their place, goes to show you people do not have the cash to spend.
Diet pop going down. I buy diet pepsi, caffeine free when I buy pop.

December 09 2013 at 11:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to toosmart4u's comment
dave.smith138

If you have a job at all in this economy, consider yourself lucky.
We have geniuses on capitol hill that come up with laws like NAFTA too.

December 09 2013 at 12:19 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to dave.smith138's comment
jdykbpl45

Nafta was a Clinton Crime!

December 09 2013 at 2:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
dave.smith138

Very true. Mr. Clintoon sold us out to Mexico and Canada

December 09 2013 at 2:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
gtemplene

It is this countries economic situation that is effecting Christmas shopping, not the weather. Nice try.

December 09 2013 at 10:59 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
scottee

our whole country and economy should not be based on shopping.

December 09 2013 at 10:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply