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Quick Hits: Starbucks Out of Hot Water?


Brief scrutiny of today's headlines.

The economy contracted in the third quarter: The US Commerce Department says the nation's gross domestic product fell at a 0.3% annual rate between July and September. Economists expected a 0.5% rate.

However, it's still the economy's weakest performance since the third quarter of 2001.

But in a non-scientific worm's eye (yuppie's eye?) view of the economy, Starbucks (SBUX) says it may have gotten through the worst of a downturn in sales.

The company had expected US fourth-quarter comparable store sales to about match third-quarter totals. The company said fourth quarter sales continued to slump, but October comparable store sales improved slightly over fourth quarter figures due primarily to higher average cost per transaction.

Might? May? That's weak tea in a sour economy, but if people pony up for frou-frou drinks at Starbucks, perhaps the end of the world has been postponed after all.
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