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Mar 12, 2013

Analysis: Many people curb spending in two-speed economy

By Martinne Geller and Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – The Dow Jones industrial average is at an all-time high, the jobless rate has fallen to a four-year low and the housing market is seeing a recovery, but for many lower income and middle class Americans, the improving economy has yet to take hold.

Instead, they are anxious enough about higher gasoline prices and a payroll tax increase to slash their spending.

Mar 12, 2013

Many people curb spending in two-speed U.S. economy

March 12 (Reuters) – The Dow Jones industrial average is at
an all-time high, the U.S. jobless rate has fallen to a
four-year low and the housing market is seeing a recovery, but
for many lower income and middle class Americans, the improving
economy has yet to take hold.

Instead, they are anxious enough about higher gasoline
prices and a payroll tax increase to slash their spending.

Mar 11, 2013

Yum China sales up in February amid turnaround, shares jump

March 11 (Reuters) – KFC parent Yum Brands Inc on
Monday reported an unexpected 2 percent rise in February sales
at established restaurants in China, its top market, as it
recovers from a steep business decline sparked by a food safety
scare there late last year.

The average of three analyst estimates was for a decline of
8.7 percent in February, according to Consensus Metrix.

Mar 8, 2013

Whole Foods: GMO disclosure labels on all its food by 2018

LOS ANGELES, March 8 (Reuters) – Whole Foods Market Inc
will require all products sold in its U.S. and Canadian
stores to carry a label by 2018 saying whether they contain
genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the organic and natural
grocery seller said on Friday.

The United States is the world’s largest market for foods
made with genetically altered ingredients. Many popular
processed foods – including soy milk, soup and breakfast cereal
- are made with soybeans, corn and other biotech crops whose
genetic traits have been manipulated, often to make them
resistant to insects and pesticides.

Mar 8, 2013

McDonald’s February sales fall less than feared, shares up

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said February sales at established restaurants around the world fell less than expected, giving investors hope that new Chief Executive Don Thompson’s strategy is paying off, and lifting shares to an 11-month high.

Global sales at McDonald’s restaurants open at least 13 months fell 1.5 percent in February, slightly less than analysts’ average estimate for a 1.63 percent decline, according to Consensus Metrix.

Mar 7, 2013

Kroger says sales holding up despite tax, gas pressure

March 7 (Reuters) – U.S. supermarket operator Kroger Co
reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit and said
business remains strong despite higher taxes and gasoline
prices, sending shares to their highest point in more than four
years.

The Cincinnati-based company, which is the biggest U.S.
supermarket operator said sales have been highly variable, but
remain on a strong trend despite consumer anxiety about the
tepid U.S. economic recovery, fluctuating gas prices, higher
payroll taxes and continued uncertainty around federal policies.

Mar 6, 2013

Safeway forecasts 2013 profit above Street view

March 6 (Reuters) – Safeway Inc issued a 2013
forecast on Wednesday that suggests profits at the
second-largest U.S. grocery store operator will surpass Wall
Street’s expectations, and its shares touched their highest
level in nearly two years.

Safeway forecast 2013 earnings of $2.25 to $2.45 per share,
above Wall Street’s average estimate of $2.24 per share,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Mar 1, 2013

McDonald’s dropping Fruit & Walnut Salad, Chicken Selects in U.S.

LOS ANGELES, March 1 (Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp,
under pressure from resurgent U.S. rivals, is cutting its Fruit
& Walnut Salad and Chicken Selects from U.S. menus and weighing
whether to keep its “premium” Angus burgers, a spokeswoman said
on Friday.

The menu shake-up comes at a time when hamburger chains such
as Burger King Worldwide Inc and Wendy’s Co have
been closing the gap with McDonald’s.

Feb 27, 2013

Profit beat, dividend send DineEquity shares up

Feb 27 (Reuters) – Applebee’s and IHOP restaurants owner
DineEquity Inc posted better-than-expected quarterly
profit on Wednesday and announced a generous dividend, sending
its shares up almost 5 percent.

Those two servings of good news helped investors shrug off a
decline in traffic at both Applebee’s and IHOP during the fourth
quarter.

Feb 22, 2013

Darden diners squeezed as payroll tax, gasoline costs up

Feb 22 (Reuters) – Darden Restaurants Inc warned on
Friday that profits at its Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains
were being squeezed as customers retrenched because of the U.S.
payroll tax hike and higher gasoline prices.

Orlando-based Darden, which has struggled to find a way to
appeal to frugal diners, also lowered its fiscal 2013 profit
forecast on worse-than-expected quarterly results.

    • About Lisa

      "Lisa writes about restaurants and grocery stores. She is based in Los Angeles and previously has covered computer software, Internet companies, video games, prescription drugs and municipal bonds."
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