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Nov 26, 2012

US retail stocks muted after strong holiday sales start

NEW YORK, Nov 26 (Reuters) – U.S. retail stocks were off to
a weak start on Monday as questions about the strength of
consumer spending and fears about the “fiscal cliff”
overshadowed an apparently strong Black Friday kickoff to the
holiday shopping season.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Macy’s Inc,
which analysts said did well over the weekend, were down because
investors see those stocks as proxies for the overall economy,
given the wide breadth of the retailers’ customer bases, said
Morningstar analyst Paul Swinand.

Nov 23, 2012

Early start to U.S. “Black Friday” shopping frenzy

NEW YORK/BLOOMINGTON, Minnesota, Nov 23 (Reuters) – The U.S.
shopping frenzy known as “Black Friday” kicked off at a more
civilized hour, with some shoppers welcoming decisions by
retailers such as Target Corp and Toys R Us Inc
moving their openings earlier into Thursday night.

While the shift was denounced by some store employees and
traditionalists as pulling people away from families on
Thanksgiving (held on the fourth Thursday of November), many
shoppers welcomed the chance to shop before midnight or in the
early hours of the morning.

Nov 23, 2012

Early start to “Black Friday” shopping welcomed by some, not all

NEW YORK/CHICAGO (Reuters) – The shopping frenzy known as “Black Friday” kicked off at a more civilized hour welcomed by some shoppers this year, with retailers like Target Corp and Toys R Us moving their openings earlier into Thursday night.

While the shift was denounced by some store employees and traditionalists as pulling people away from families on Thanksgiving, many shoppers welcomed the chance to shop before midnight or in the wee hours of the morning.

Nov 23, 2012

“Black Friday” on Thursday kicks off U.S. holiday shopping

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. shoppers took advantage of retailers offering a Thursday night start to the traditional post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping season, lining up at stores to get deals on electronics and other items or to just see what the fuss was about.

This year, Target Corp joined Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Gap Inc in being open at least part of the day on Thursday and some retailers will be open throughout the day, a trend that began to take hold in 2011.

Nov 22, 2012

Twinkies maker Hostess wins court OK to close

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Hostess Brands Inc won permission from a U.S. bankruptcy judge on Wednesday to begin shutting down and expressed optimism it will find new homes for many of its iconic brands, which include Twinkies, Drake’s cakes and Wonder Bread.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain in White Plains, New York, authorized current management, led by restructuring specialist Gregory Rayburn, to immediately begin efforts to wind down the 82-year-old company, a process expected to take one year.

Nov 22, 2012

Twinkies bakers say they’d rather lose jobs than take pay cuts

/NEW YORK, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Enough is
enough, say bakery workers at Hostess Brands Inc.

After several years of costly concessions, the Bakery,
Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union (BCTGM)
authorized a walk-out earlier this month after Hostess received
bankruptcy court approval to implement a wage cut that was not
included in its contract.

Nov 21, 2012

Twinkies maker facing end, but life seen for brands

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Hostess Brands Inc on Wednesday appeared headed toward a liquidation, though its lawyers and advisers expressed optimism that they will find new homes for many of its iconic brands, which include Twinkies, Drake’s cakes and Wonder Bread.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain in White Plains, New York, held a hearing to consider initial approval of the 82-year-old company’s plan to wind down over the next year.

Nov 20, 2012

Twinkies not dead yet, judge tries to save Hostess jobs

WHITE PLAINS, New York (Reuters) – Hostess Brands Inc agreed in court on Monday to enter private mediation with its lenders and leaders of a striking union to try to avert the liquidation of the maker of Twinkies snack cakes and Wonder Bread.

Hostess, its lenders and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) agreed to mediation at the urging of Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain of the Southern District of New York, who advised against a more expensive, public hearing regarding the company’s liquidation.

Nov 19, 2012

Tyson posts higher profit, issues bullish forecast

By Martinne Geller

(Reuters) – Tyson Foods Inc (TSN.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) posted higher-than-expected quarterly earnings and gave an upbeat forecast on Monday as the nation’s largest meat company adds more higher-priced prepared foods to its portfolio.

Shares of Tyson rose nearly 9 percent in morning trade.

The worst U.S. drought in more than half a century earlier this year made animal feed more expensive, leading meat producers to reduce the size of some of their herds.

Nov 15, 2012

McDonald’s replaces U.S. chief after sales disappointment

By Martinne Geller

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is replacing the president of its U.S. business a week after it reported disappointing global restaurant sales amid a loss of customers to rival fast-food chains like Burger King and Taco Bell.

The company said on Thursday that Jan Fields, 57, who has been with the company for more than 35 years and drove the expansion of its McCafe drink menu, will be succeeded by Jeff Stratton, currently global chief restaurant officer. The change is effective December 1, McDonald’s said.