Would Tim Tebow Prevent the 'Fiscal Cliff'?

Tim Tebow
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Tim Tebow

"Coach [Rex] Ryan, he's got a problem. He has three quarterbacks. [Mark] Sanchez. He's got Tim Tebow. He's got a guy named [Greg] McElroy. He can't decide who their quarterback is going to be. That's the same problem the Republicans have."

—Harry Reid on the GOP

Market Musings With CNBC Market Guru Robert Hum

Recap: Dow 39.55 ( 0.30%) at 13074.04, S&P 4.66 ( 0.33%) at 1413.94, Nasdaq 15.57 ( 0.52%) at 2989.27/

After choppy morning, major averages close with small gains ahead of Friday's jobs report.

Dow, S&P 500 close at high end of a narrow trading range.

Nasdaq snaps losing streak: Nasdaq has first gain in 5 days after Apple reverses early losses and bounces off a 9-month low.

While S&P 500, Nasdaq remain down for the week, the Dow is on pace for its third straight weekly gain.

Euro has worst day in a month vs. the Dollar after the ECB cuts Euro-zone growth forecast.

The Word on The Street Tonight

Benefits Leader Reins In 401(k)s/WSJ – Kelly Greene: "International Business Machines., a bellwether for employee benefits, is overhauling its retirement program to contribute once a year to employee 401(k) accounts in a lump-sum payment. Starting next year, IBM's contributions, which generally range from 6% to 10% of pay, will take place Dec. 31. Workers who leave the company before Dec. 15 won't qualify for the match, unless they retire. IBM's switch is the latest in a series of moves big companies have been making to rein in retirement-plan expenses in recent years—and the financial implications for employees could be significant. Many U.S. companies cut their 401(k) match in 2009 during the economic slowdown, and some of them have only partially restored it. In 2011, 7% of employers made no contributions at all to their plans, up from 2% in 2001, according to benefits consultant Aon Hewitt."

Don't Expect Ford Hybrid MPG Dispute to Slow Sales/CNBC – Phil LeBeau: "Ford CEO Alan Mulally has said it himself: Fuel economy is the number one factor for people when deciding what car to buy. Just a few days after Mulally made that claim while making the rounds on morning TV shows, the miles per gallon (mpg) ratings of two Ford hybrid models are being questioned. Consumer Reports says it tested both the Ford Fusion Hybrid and the Ford C-Max Hybrid and found both models got 8-10 miles per gallon less than the automaker promises. Ford and the EPA say both models get 47 mpg. Consumer Reports says the Fusion Hybrid gets 39 mpg (city/highway combined) while the Ford C-Max Hybrid gets 37 mpg (city/highway combined)."

SEC Warns Netflix CEO Over Facebook Post/WSJ: "The Securities and Exchange Commission said it may bring a suit against Netflix and Chief Executive Reed Hastings for potentially violating the agency's disclosure rules with a Facebook post that Mr. Hastings made in July. The post by Mr. Hastings on his Facebook page boasted that Netflix exceeded 1 billion hours of streaming in a month for the first time. The post may have violated rules of fair disclosure, the SEC said. The SEC said it may also issue a cease-and-desist proceeding against Netflix and Mr. Hastings.

Why There Is Urgency To End an NHL Lockout/WSJ – Matthew Futterman: "… a growing number of teams are owners or operators of their arenas. As arena operators relying on revenue from events other than hockey games to support their investments, owners want as much lead time as possible to fill open dates with alternate events, such as concerts and family shows. So the sooner New York Rangers owner Jim Dolan knows the Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins won't be playing at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 31 for instance, the sooner he can find someone else to rent out the so-called World's Most Famous Arena."

PokerStars in Talks to Buy Casino/WSJ – Alexandra Berzon: "PokerStars is in advanced talks to buy an Atlantic City casino, a move that could position the one-time gray-market online poker company to benefit should New Jersey legalize online gambling. The company is discussing a deal to buy the struggling Atlantic Club casino from investment firm Colony Capital, several people familiar with the matter said. One of these people said the purchase price being negotiated is less than $50 million. The deal is still weeks away from coming together and could still fall through, that person said. … The New Jersey legislature is considering a bill that would legalize online gambling in that state—but only on sites operated by Atlantic City casinos."

Martha Stewart to Shut Down 'Whole Living'/WSJ – Keach Hagey: "Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is shutting down Whole Living, its healthy-eating magazine, having failed in its attempts to sell it, the company said. The company will wrap Whole Living's content into its flagship publication Martha Stewart Living. The move comes a little more than a month after the company announced it planned to either sell or shut down the magazine by the end of the year as part of a broader restructuring aimed at cutting costs. There was some interest from buyers, including a roughly $2.5 million offer from veteran publishing executive Jack Kliger, backed by private equity firm OpenGate Capital, according to people familiar with the matter. But that deal fell through, the people said."

Washington Post Plans a Paywall/WSJ – Keach Hagey: "The Washington Post, one of the last holdouts against the trend of charging readers for online access to newspaper articles, is likely to reverse that decision in 2013, according to people familiar with the matter. While details are being finished, people familiar with the matter said that a metered paywall—meaning a website that allows casual readers to read a certain number of stories free before charging a subscription fee -- is likely to be rolled out in 2013, along with increases to the print newspaper's newsstand price. One person familiar with the matter said the paywall will be introduced no earlier than next summer. The Post is dealing with a steep decline in its core business of print advertising. Its newspaper division reported an operating loss of $56.3 million for the first nine months of the year, reflecting a 14% decline in revenue to $160.7 million. The company lost its chief revenue officer in the spring, and the search for a replacement continues."

Schwab eyes commission-free ETF supermarket – sources/Reuters Exclusive: "Charles Schwab has been quietly meeting with exchange-traded fund providers to try to persuade them to join a new network that would make ETFs available commission-free to the brokerage's 8.6 million customers. ETF providers, however, have been reluctant to sign on to Schwab's plan because they would have to pay the firm a marketing fee they say is too high, according to people with knowledge of the discussions."

Google Shopping Now Includes the Amazon Kindle (And Why That's a Big Deal)/All Things D: "One of the big holdouts from Google's new shopping experience has been Amazon, which has been refusing to pay to have its products listed in the search engine. ut there are signs that the freeze between the two companies is starting to thaw. Over the past couple of weeks, Amazon's Kindle devices have started appearing in search results on Google Shopping. While that may not sound very significant, it means that Amazon realized it could no longer afford to ignore the search engine — even if it means it has to pay. An Amazon spokesman declined to comment on the Kindle's sudden appearance in Google Shopping, and a Google spokesperson also had nothing to say."

Local Restaurateurs Feed Wall Street's Hungry Deal Makers/DealBook – William Alden: "After leaving Wall Street more than four years ago, David Kostman recently returned. But Mr. Kostman, a former banker at Lehman Brothers, wasn't doling out deal advice. He was dishing up lunch at Goldman Sachs — or more specifically hummus, salads and wraps. "A lot of the really senior people are friends of mine," said Mr. Kostman, 47. "They like to say the managing director from Lehman is serving them hummus. Mr. Kostman, the co-founder of the Mediterranean chain Nanoosh, is among a stable of local restaurant owners periodically invited to set up shop in Goldman's cafeteria. During a week in October, Nanoosh served hundreds of employees in the firm's Lower Manhattan headquarters. Corporate cafeterias have become a side business for many local dining spots. Aramark, the Philadelphia-based food services company that runs Goldman's cafeteria, recently tapped Rosa Mexicano, Hot Clay Oven and Fresco by Scotto, an Italian restaurant with a to-go location near the investment bank's old headquarters on Broad Street. A local sushi place, Mai, has a chef working in Goldman's cafeteria on a daily basis. Restaurant Associates, which runs the cafeterias of financial firms like Bank of America, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, follows a similar strategy, setting up pop-up stations with local chefs. … Goldman has developed a reputation as a corporate foodie. The cafeteria tries to offer seasonal ingredients and features items like cage-free eggs and organic meats. On Friday, the menu will include tandoori chicken with mint raita and croque-monsieur sandwiches."