Money Minute: Yahoo Reduces Outlook; Fitch Places U.S. on Ratings Watch


A potentially costly warning to the U.S. That's one of six money stories you need to know this Wednesday.

The credit ratings agency Fitch has placed the United States on its watch list with the chance of a downgrade if officials in Washington fail to break the budget and debt ceiling deadlock. You'll remember the market reaction two years ago when Standard & Poor's cut its rating on U.S. debt: the Dow plunged more than 600 points in one day. Fitch says the failure to end the standoff would cast "doubt over the full faith and credit of the U.S." A ratings downgrade could cost the government tens of billions of dollars in extra interest rate payments.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) lost 133 points Tuesday, as investor concern ramped up when the U.S. House threw up new obstacles to a compromise deal. At the same time, the uncertainty has sent the yield, or interest rate, on short-term Treasury bills to the highest level in nearly five years. And the closer we get to tomorrow's debt ceiling deadline, the higher the anxiety level will go.

Key Speakers At The TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2013 Summit
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesYahoo CEO Marissa Mayer

Yahoo's (YHOO) recovery still has a ways to go. The Internet company reported lower earnings and sales in the third quarter. Yahoo also reduced its outlook for the year. Marissa Mayer has now been CEO for more than a year -- and her honeymoon with Wall Street may be coming to an end.

Walmart Stores (WMT) has cut its sales outlook. It's worried about the impact of the government shutdown on consumer spending, especially during the holiday season.

Twitter has decided to list its much-ballyhooed initial public offering at the NYSE, instead of the Nasdaq. The company didn't say so, but the Nasdaq's fumble on Facebook's (FB) IPO last year may have been a factor.

And, are you ready for some more football? The Wall Street Journal reports the National Football League is considering a second game on some Thursday nights. The double-header game could be sold to a new TV partner, boosting revenue for the league. Thursday has always been a big night for TV viewing, but the games now being shown on the NFL Network haven't generated the buzz the league had hoped for.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.