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- Aussie down 0.7% to 0.7387 per US$
- U.S. 10-year yield rose 4.8bps to 1.3715%
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- Australia 10-year bond yield little changed at 1.26%
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U.S. stocks slipped from near records after traders returned from the long weekend to worries that the economic recovery is faltering.
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average declined, while gains in heavyweight tech stocks including Netflix Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. pushed the Nasdaq 100 higher even as about seven out out of every 10 stocks in that gauge dropped. European markets slipped as investors speculated that euro-zone policy makers may get ready to roll back stimulus. The greenback strengthened for a second day amid rising bond yields and softer commodity prices. Bitcoin plunged as El Salvador became the first country to adopt it as legal tender Tuesday.
Can the FTC help get you your McFlurry?
As many who eat at McDonald’s know all too well, the fast-food chain has struggled for years to keep its ice cream machines working. Without them, people can’t get a milkshake, a soft cone or above all a McFlurry, a cup of soft ice cream with candy and cookies that is whipped about in a blender with a specially designed hollow spoon.
Late-night TV comics joke about the problem. Rivals Jack in the Box Inc. and Wendy’s Co. have roasted McDonald’s for it on social media. An online tracker called McBroken monitors McDonald’s ice cream machine outages across cities.
Enter the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC reached out to McDonald’s franchisees this summer seeking information on what, exactly, is going on with the broken ice cream machine problem, according to a letter it sent, viewed by The Wall Street Journal, and people familiar with the matter. The FTC declined to comment.
For McDonald’s devotees, not to mention the company, a dysfunctional ice cream dispenser is no small matter. The shiny metal machines crank out concoctions that account for about 60% of the chain’s dessert sales in the U.S., according to a consumer survey by research firm Technomic.
The machines require a nightly automated heat-cleaning cycle that can last up to four hours to destroy bacteria. The cleaning can fail, making the machines unusable until a repair tech can get them.
McDonald’s said it understands the frustrations and has a team to working on it. It said it is introducing solutions including new training for crew members. It also has tried to add levity to the situation. “We have a joke about our soft serve machine but are worried it won’t work,” McDonald’s tweeted last year.
The National Owners Association, a franchisee group, said in a May message: “We are tired of being the butt of late night jokes. So are our customers and crews.”
Some owners have paid to train their staff to fix the machines. Others have contacted their primary manufacturer, Taylor Commercial Foodservice LLC.