McDonald’s To Stop Monthly Reporting
On Wednesday, the CEO of McDonald's Corp. (MCD, +0.29%) announced that from the 1st of July this year, the fast food company will no longer report monthly sales results. Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook spoke at the Sanford C. Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference where he explained that the move was done in order to enable investors to rather focus on the long term steps which have been taken by the company in order to meet their turnaround plan. Added to this, Easterbrook went on to say that McDonald’s is recommitting to providing tastier food which he explained will include how the beef patties are prepared to make them juicier while buns will be toasted for longer. It is important to note that the lack of the monthly reports means that investors will no longer have a key gauge of the progress McDonald’s is making with regards to their turnaround efforts as well as the broader health of the consumer in the U.S. But McDonald’s is not alone when it comes to discontinuing monthly reports. Other retailer such as Wal-Mart and Starbucks also do not report monthly data. In morning trade on Wednesday, the shares of McDonald’s advanced 0.6%. Year to date, the shares of this fast food giant have gained 5.8% compared to the 1.7 percent gained by the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA).
In U.S. trading on Wednesday, stocks gained making up for the losses seen on Tuesday. This increase came in response to a rally in tech stocks which pushed the Nasdaq Composite Index (COMP) to a record close. The Nasdaq gained 1.5%, or 73.84 points, to 5106.59. This marked the highest level ever for the tech heavy index while its heaviest weighted component, Apple Inc. (AAPL, +1.87%) also advanced 1.9 percent. Also, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) gained 0.7%, or 121.45 points, to 18,162.99 while the S&P 500 index (SPX, +0.92%) rose 0.9%, or 19.28 points, to 2,123.48. This benchmark index was only several points away from its previous record and gains were led by healthcare and technology stocks while the energy sector finished lower. The best performer of the session on the DJIA was Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), which rose 2.19% or 1.02 points to trade at 47.61 a share while the top performer on the SPX was Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ:BRCM) which rose 21.76% to trade at 57.13.
In currency trading on Wednesday, the U.S. dollar (USD) traded lower during the quiet trading session. While investors locked in gains from the greenback's recent upward trend, the USD remained supported by investor expectations regarding the Federal Reserve and interest rate hikes this year. The EUR/USD traded at 1.0886, up 0.13% while the USD/JPY traded at 123.68, up 0.47%. This marked the highest level for this currency pair since the middle of 2008. Meanwhile, the USD traded mixed against the Australian dollar, the Swiss franc and the British pound with AUD/USD down 0.24% to 0.7717, USD/CHF down 0.26% to 0.9510 and with GBP/USD down 0.27% to trade at 1.5340. Also, the U.S. dollar index was at 97.53, up 0.15 percent.
On Thursday, in early morning Asian trade, crude oil prices gained. This increase was surprising after data showed that the stockpiles of crude oil in the U.S. last week were higher than expected. In their weekly report, the American Petroleum Institute said that supplies of crude rose by 1.268 million barrels. This marked an increase of more than the 2 million barrels from the decline seen over the last few months. Added to this, stockpiles of distillates dropped by 51,000 barrels while gasoline stocks dropped by 3.591 million barrels. Today, the Energy Information Administration will release their weekly inventory report. WTI crude oil for delivery in July traded at $57.72 a barrel, up 0.36%, on the NYMEX. Meanwhile on Wednesday, Brent crude oil for delivery in July traded at $62.11 a barrel, down 2.53% or $1.61, on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).