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National business briefs for Nov. 9

National business briefs for Nov. 9.
By The Associated Press Published: November 9, 2012

Business briefs


Nestle recalls Nesquik mix

Nestle USA is recalling some of its Nesquik chocolate powder due to a possible risk of salmonella exposure. The food maker said Thursday that it is recalling Nesquik sold in its 10.9, 21.8 and 40.7-ounce canisters across the country in early October. The affected products have an expiration date of October 2014. Nestle says it is issuing the recall after its ingredient supplier decided to recall some of the calcium carbonate used in the product due to possible salmonella contamination. The company says there are no reported illnesses associated with the product. Salmonella can cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever. It can be life-threatening in infants, the elderly, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems.

McDonald's says sales are down

McDonald's Corp. is having a tough time stomaching the competition. The world's biggest hamburger chain said Thursday that a key sales figure fell for the first time in nearly a decade in October, as it faced the double whammy of a challenging economy abroad and intensifying competition at home. The company, based in Oak Brook, Ill., says global revenue at restaurants open at least 13 months fell 1.8 percent for the month. The last time it dropped was in March 2003. The figure is a key metric because it strips out the impact of newly opened and closed locations. It's a snapshot of money spent on food at company-owned and franchised restaurants and does not reflect corporate revenue.

Jobless applications slide

The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell last week by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 355,000, a possible sign of a healing job market. But officials cautioned that the figures were distorted by Superstorm Sandy, which likely delayed some claims. The Labor Department said Thursday that the four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, rose by 3,250 to 370,500. The storm could affect weekly applications for up to four weeks, a Labor spokesman said.

Exports hit record levels

The U.S. trade deficit declined to the lowest level in nearly two years as exports rose to a record high. The gain may not last given the global economic slowdown. Still, the narrower trade deficit could lead the government to revise its July-September economic growth estimate slightly higher than the 2 percent annual rate reported last month. That's because U.S. companies earned more from overseas sales while consumers and businesses spent less on foreign products. The deficit narrowed to $41.5 billion in September, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That is 5.1 percent below the August deficit and the smallest imbalance since December 2010.

Drink maker to pull product

7-Up with antioxidants will soon be off the market, after an advocacy group accused the drink maker of making misleading health claims. Dr Pepper Snapple Group says its 7-Up varieties that tout antioxidants will be off the market by early 2013. The company said it made the decision to reformulate the drinks in 2011. The announcement was made after an advocacy group on Thursday filed a lawsuit saying the drink's claims are misleading because they give the impression the antioxidants come from fruit rather than added vitamin E. The Center for Science in the Public Interest, which advocates for food safety and nutrition, also noted that the Food and Drug Administration prohibits companies from fortifying candies and soft drinks with nutrients. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in California on behalf of a California man who bought the drinks but said he didn't know the antioxidants didn't come from juices.

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