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McDonald's Finds the Beef


New burger offering pits innovation against recession.

Minyan Morning Memo

One to Watch:
McDonald's (MCD) starts selling bigger burgers for $4 today. The timing of its premium Angus offering may seem odd in light of a recession and America's avowed intent to lose weight. Will a clientele conditioned to value meals trade up? It's a tall order but the company's constant innovation is commendable and a reason it was one of only two Dow components, along with Wal-Mart (WMT), to make investors money in '08. Shares are down year-to-date but with its yield investors are paid to wait.

What Just Happened: Yesterday saw stocks start the second half eking out gains in light trading amid mixed messages on the economy. Sony's (SNE) Walkman turned 30 to offer wistful proof portable music predates 2001, when another product became the Apple (AAPL) of our iPod. Last month was confirmed as New York's second wettest June on record. Something no meteorological marvel predicted and a redundant reminder weathermen were created to make economists look good.

What's Happening: Asia, ex China, ended down. Europe is trading lower after employment on the continent touched a ten year trough. Here at home futures are in the red ahead of key payroll data. The dollar is off from its three week lows. And incomparable Karl Malden has been called home, remembering to leave with American Express (AXP) travelers checks. May a class act, and actor, RIP.

What Will Happen: A holiday shortened week comes to a close, notwithstanding the nursery rhyme which assured us "Thursday's child has far to go." The June jobs report at 8:30 AM Eastern towers over all others with continued deterioration expected. Factory orders for May are out at 10:00 AM before everyone hits the beach in earnest. And earnings span the alphabet with companies from Acuity Brands (AYI) to Zep Inc. (ZEP) among those releasing results.

Happenstance: The final trading day before July 4th is ordinarily an antidote to insomnia but it doesn't often coincide with the month's most important economic report. A critical employment gauge combined with wafer thin trading could make for fireworks.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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