In The News:
Would you like Veggies with that Burger?
McDonald’s (MCD) announced Thursday at the Clinton Global Initiative, as part of their partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation; the fast food giant will start offering the choices of vegetables, fruit and side salads instead of fries in its value meals. The company will also offer only water, milk and juice as beverage options in its children’s Happy Meals. The Happy Meal packaging itself will go through a makeover to emphasize themes related to healthy eating and wellbeing called “fun nutrition.”
When will this exciting new menu be available? That is the question. McDonald’s did not disclose an exact date that the new healthy value meals will be available. The company did say that the new program will roll out in 20 countries, including the US, over the next few years and expects to have all changes implemented across all 20 markets by 2020.
Bottom Line: Offering fresh fruits and vegetables is an outstanding idea; however, it will be interesting to see if the company plans on upping their prices to cover this new health fare. A price increase could discourage McDonald’s core audience to flock to other fast food restaurant.
Steady Growth, Slow Down Ahead ….
The Commerce Department released its final GDP (Gross Domestic Product) calculations for the spring on Thursday. The original estimate made last month of 2.5% growth remained unchanged. The number represented a steady improvement in the months April through June over the first three months of the year. Now here’s the bad news… economists are concerned growth has begun to slow down and the next GDP reading may not show as much improvement.
Early activity for the quarter has been discouraging, as consumers spent more cautiously starting in July. Government spending cuts, which weighted on defense spending and business investment, led to incomes barely increasing. On top of all that, you had higher mortgage rates, which slowed down the housing recovery, which had been a solid contributor to growth in the first half of the year.
Bottom Line: As we all know the country’s economy has some bumps in road ahead which may take its toll on us, the consumer. I will always maintain a little growth is better than no grow however; many will disagree with that statement.
According to several media reports this week, Wal-Mart (WMT) is struggling to restock inventory in its stores and has thus been forced to cut new orders. According to regulatory files, the US workforce for Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club warehouse chains has fallen by 120,000 employees in the past five years. In the same time period, the company has added 500 US stores though July 31, 2013. The drop in employees has caused the retail chain to leave store shelves un-stocked and in some stores put Christmas out on the floor early because there is no room left in the back to store it. The company’s reported fix to the issue is to slash product orders for the next two quarters of fiscal 2013. Yep, we’re still scratching our head’s on that one…
In The Markets:
Asian stocks closed mixed on Friday with the Nikkei being the lone loser. Chinese markets closed in the green as China’s free trade zone opens this weekend.
European stock markets closed down on Thursday. Renewed political uncertainty in Italy and continued bickering in Washington had investors feeling jittery.
US markets closed up on Thursday snapping a 5 day losing streak for the DJIA and S&P. Lower than expected weekly jobless claims proprelled the markets out the losing duldrums. DJIA: +55.23 15,328.49 S&P: +5.90 16,98.67 NASDAQ: +26.33 3,787.43
In Dinner or Drink:
1 shot of Kamora® coffee liqueur
1 shot of Frangelico® hazelnut liqueur
2 shots of Bailey’s® Irish cream
Fill glass with ice pour in ingredients and stir.
Have a safe and wonderful weekend, yall!