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BUSINESS NEWS MAY 13TH, 2016


WALL STREET FALLS AS STOCKS TAKE A HIT

U.S. stocks fell on Friday as a decline in oil prices added to pressure from consumer companies after gloomy earnings reports from Nordstrom and J.C. Penney overshadowed upbeat April retail sales data.The decline in the department stores' shares marked the end of a week that highlighted the expanding clout of Amazon.com (AMZN.O) and the plight of brick-and mortar retailers struggling to keep up.Crude prices slipped on Friday as a strong dollar weighed and investors cashed in on gains from a three-day rally.

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DOLLAR RISES TO TWO-WEEK HIGH ON POSITIVE U.S. DATA

The dollar climbed to a two-week peak against a basket of currencies on Friday, as stronger-than-expected U.S. economic data appeared to boost expectations the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates more than once this year.The move was the best two-week gain for the dollar since late February. The greenback also rose to a two week-high against the euro and Swiss franc.

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MCDONALD’S NEW VENTURE: FRESH MEAT

Fourteen McDonald’s restaurants in Dallas are conducting limited tests on fresh beef in their burgers. The beef will be used on the quarter pounders, and the tests have been conducted since last November. It’s a departure from McDonald’s traditional burgers, which are frozen and packaged quickly in a process known as “flash freezing”. The fast food chain has also been experimenting with lower calorie breakfasts. It is still too early to determine whether these new menus will be implemented.

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ALCOHOL EXPERIENCES FIRST FALL IN 20 YEARS

For the last two decades, alcohol sales have been positive. People have been drinking and companies kept selling. However, global volume of alcohol consumed dropped by 0.7%, despite an overall dollar rise in alcohol sales by 2%. The last time the industry experienced a drop was during the Asian financial crisis of the 1990s. China, which has the largest alcohol consumption in the world by far, saw that figure drop by 3.5%. Despite this drop, Irish beers are still performing well and have even experienced a surge in popularity.

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