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By Jason Stipp | 03-18-2011 03:00 PM

Five Spending Patterns in the Market

Morningstar markets editor Jeremy Glaser tracks spending changes and developments for online news, the Fed, the Oracle of Omaha, and more.

Jason Stipp: I am Jason Stipp for Morningstar, and welcome to the Friday Five.

This week on the Friday Five, we are talking about spending patterns. Who is spending, how are they spending and how might that change?

Here with me to offer the details is Morningstar markets editor, Jeremy Glaser.

Jeremy, thanks for joining me.

Jeremy Glaser: Jason, glad to be here.

Stipp: So, what do you have for the Friday Five this week?

Glaser: Well, this week, we're going to take a look at The New York Times, FedEx, the Federal Reserve, Warren Buffett, and finally, we'll take a look back at Tax Week.

Stipp: So, there is going to be a certain amount of spending for people who look at The New York Times; maybe they are not used to that. How is that going to play out for them?

Glaser: It looks like online news connoisseur spending habits are going to be changing pretty soon. Starting March 28, The New York Times is going to start charging for access to its content, over 20 articles a month. This is a big change for them. I think they've in the past tried to monetize some of their content online, not particularly successfully, and this is a real drawing a line in the sand and saying, we are going to need to pay for this content in order to stay as a business, in order to make money going forward.

Are people going to be willing to spend the money, or are they going to just go to other sites to get news or try to find links from blogs and through other search engines where The New York Times content will still be available freely? Nobody really knows.

They are charging a pretty penny, $15 for online and smartphone, and up to $35 when accessed across all of your devices, including the tablet. That's pretty steep. It's going to be free for current subscribers. Trying to convince people to spend that much money for what's quality content might be somewhat of a challenge for them, but I think really the future of a lot of the newspaper companies is going to depend on if this trial is successful.

Stipp: It will be certainly something that we'll be watching very closely.

The second one, Jeremy, we heard from FedEx this week. They are often seen as somewhat of a proxy for how the economy is doing, how people are spending out there in the world. What did they tell us to get a handle on what the situation with spending is?

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