Dec. 4 - Summary of business headlines: Stocks watch fiscal cliff debate; Coach moves up its dividend; L.A. port strike cost escalating; Olive Garden owner warns; Netflix signs exclusive Disney deal. Bobbi Rebell reports.
No progress on a fiscal cliff deal- and not much movement for U.S. stocks. The major U.S. indexes closed lower but not far from where they opened, trading in a narrow range on Tuesday. Coach joined the growing list of companies changing dividend plans ahead of possible tax hikes in the new year- advancing the date of their next payment to December 27th. The economic impact of the Los Angeles port strike- now in its 8th day- is estimated at a billion dollars a day - and retailers are diverting their goods to other ports. The ports handled more than $400 billion of goods arriving or leaving the West Coast by ship last year, and the ports directly or indirectly support about 1.2 million jobs. Chris Lytle is the executive director of the Port of Long Beach: SOUNDBITE: CHRIS LYTLE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR PORT OF LONG BEACH, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The thousands of workers that are laid off and not working the billion dollar a day of cargo that comes over these docks in this basin now aren't moving and the impacts are huge." Shares of Olive Garden owner Darden restaurants plunged more than 10 percent. It says it's had a steep fall-off in business at that restaurant as well as its Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse chains, and lowered its financial expectations for the year. Netflix has inked a new exclusive deal with Disney. Starting in 2016 it will get exclusive TV distribution rights to its movies- becoming the first major TV studio to stream its movies on Netflix instead of premium TV channels like HBO. In Europe, equity indexes closed mixed on Tuesday. Technology stocks among the worst performers.