McDonald’s Changes Menu & Prices
In an effort to improve their struggling operations in the U.S., McDonald’s Corp. (MCD, -0.73%) has taken the bold step to revamp prices as well as to simplify their menu. During a webcast on Monday, executives at McDonald’s announced that in order to speed up orders in its drive-through business, only top selling items from their menu will be displayed on the menu boards outside. Added to this, in their efforts to appeal to a broader range of customers, McDonald’s will increase the variety of mid-priced items, those between $1.50 and $3. More items will also be added to the Dollar Menu while less will be added to the more expensive products available on the menu. McDonald’s also announced their plans to add a double burger with tomato and leaf lettuce as well as a McChicken sandwich. These items will be sold by the fast food giant for about $1.50 each which is slightly more expensive than the current range which is available from $1.19 to $1.39. These changes mark the latest efforts by the Golden Arches to improve their performance in the country after major criticism regarding the complexity of their menu. McDonald’s is currently trading at $97.51 a share.
On Monday, stocks in the U.S. gave back some of the gains made on Friday after the jobs report, to end the trading session slightly lower. Interestingly, according to FactSet, trading activity on the day was thin and the total composite volume marked the 5th lowest this year. At the close of trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dropped 0.5%, or 85.94 points, to 18,105.17. Twenty four out of the blue chip index’s components ended lower. The top performer of the session was Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT), which rose 1.46 points, or 1.67%, to trade at 88.77 at the close while American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) also gained 0.72 points, or 0.91%, to trade at 79.70. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite index (COMP) also declined by 0.2%, or 9.98 points, at 4,993.57 while the S&P 500 index (SPX) dropped 0.5%, or 10.77 points, to 2,105.33. The energy sector of the SPX declined more than 2 percent will all the ten main sectors posting losses. Also, the CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of SPX options, was at 13.83, up 7.54 percent.
On Monday, in currency trading, the U.S. dollar (USD) remained supported yet gains were trimmed. This came as the positive employment data out of the U.S. on Friday continued to support the greenback while trading in general was quiet with no economic reports due on the day. The EUR/USD traded lower at 1.1163, down 0.33 percent. The single currency remains vulnerable as Greece continues its attempt to reach an agreement on a package of economic reforms which will enable the country to access fresh bailout funds. On Tuesday, Greece is expected to repay the International Monetary Fund approximately €750 million. Meanwhile, the USD/JPY traded at 119.92, up 0.13 percent while the GBP/USD traded at a 4-month high of 1.5560, up 0.68%. On the downside was the New Zealand dollar with NZD/USD down 1.88% to 0.7354 while the U.S. dollar index was at 95.01, up 0.15%.
On Tuesday, in early morning Asian trading, crude oil prices rose slightly. This comes as investors shift their attention to the industry data on stockpiles expected out of the U.S. today. Also, gasoline is in focus with the summer driving season approaching in the U.S. Today, the API (American Petroleum Institute) will report last week’s supplies of gasoline, crude and distillates which will then be followed by the same report by the U.S. Department of Energy on Wednesday. Meanwhile, WTI crude oil for delivery in June traded at $59.28 a barrel, up 0.06% on the NYMEX. Also, on Monday, Brent crude oil for delivery in June traded at $64.93 a barrel, down 0.70%, or 0.50, on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).