McDonalds will be offering free coffee to attract new breakfast customers. Consumer spending rose slightly. Alli is recalling its fat-blocking pills due to tampering. Corporate profits hit a new high. Wal-mart sues Visa over swipe fees.
McDonalds to offer free coffee at breakfast
Beginning Monday through April 13, McDonalds will be offering customers free coffee during breakfast hours. The Associated Press indicates that this is the first time that McDonalds has ever offered free coffee nationwide. The company is hoping that the coffee giveaway will attract new customers and make existing customers come in more frequently. Breakfast represents 20 percent of McDonalds US sales. The coffee giveaway follows a decline in McDonalds' overall sales by 1.4 percent.
Consumer spending up 0.3 percent
The Associated Press is reporting that Americans spent more in February but the gain was only modest, held back by severe winter weather. Consumer spending rose 0.3 percent in February following a 0.2 percent increase in January. Analysts say that consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, slowed significantly in the first quarter but is expected to rebound in the second quarter. After tax income was up 0.3 percent in February, the same as January. The savings rate edged up slightly to 4.3 percent from 4.2 percent in January.
Alli fat-blocking pill recalled
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare says it is conducting an investigation and believes that its fat-blocking diet pill, Alli, may have been tampered with. GSK, according to USA Today, is recalling all of the weight loss products from the US and Puerto Rico. The investigation began when consumers in seven states inquired because the capsules in their bottles did not look like the previously taken product. Consumers should go onto the website to see if any product in their possession matches the description and pictures on the website. If they feel their product has been tampered with they should call 800-671-2554.
Corporate profits hit new highs
US corporate profits hit new highs last year, driven by lower expenses and lower hiring, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Commerce Department said that corporate profits were 11.1 percent of gross domestic product, up from the prior quarter. The 6 percent increase in corporate profit compared to a year ago outpaced the 4.1 percent GDP growth, after adjusting for inflation. Experts indicate that corporations are sitting on cash, however, many are choosing to invest in greater technology rather than more people.
Wal-mart sues Visa over swipe fees
The Wall Street Journal indicates that Wal-mart has sued Visa for more than $5 billion, claiming the card network has charged unreasonably high sweep fees when customers have paid with credit cards. Wal-mart says that the way Visa sets its swipe fees violates anti-trust regulations and has generated more then $350 billion for card issuers. Retailers argue that fees have been set too high due to the lact of competition between the two industry giants. Wal-mart also claims that the data breaches experienced over the past year are due to Visa’s failure to adopt technology that uses computer chips rather than magnetic stripes.
Catherine S. McBreen is President of Millionaire Corner. McBreen plans and develops content for Millionaire Corner. Catherine balances editorial content to meet the informational needs of both new and seasoned investors. She designs special monthly surveys on topical issues affecting the economic environment.
McBreen has a B.S. in speech communications from Northwestern University and a J.D. from DePail University College of Law. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association.
Well-known for her expertise in the affluent and retirement arenas, McBreen is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. She has been quoted widely by the financial media, including The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Research, Private Asset Management, On Wall Street, Reuters, Bloomberg News, The Dow Jones Newswires and Worth. Cathy has appeared as a guest on CNBC Closing Bell, First Business Morning News, Neal Cavuto at Fox Business News, ABC and CBS radio.
McBreen is co-author with Spectrem President George H. Walper, Jr. of the book "Get Rich, Stay Rich, Pass It On: The Wealth-Accumulation Secrets of America's Richest Families" (Portfolio, January 2008)
Catherine is the mother of four and is involved in many school and community events.