Japan ends U.S.
Japan, the largest market for U.S. wheat exports, suspended imports from the United States and canceled a major purchase of white wheat after the recent discovery of unapproved genetically modified wheat in an 80-acre field in Oregon. The strain was developed by Monsanto to make wheat resistant to the company's own industry-leading weed killer, but it was never approved for commercial use.
OPEC oil ministers have decided to keep the organization's output target at 30 million barrels a day. The decision by the 12-nation oil cartel was expected. The price for internationally traded benchmark oil is over $100 barrels a day, which is a level most OPEC countries are happy with but that is roiling consumers.
Boeing gets big
The U.K.-based TUI Travel company has a commitment to purchase 60 narrow-bodied Boeing 737 jets. It also has the option and right to buy another 90 Boeing 737s. It said the list price for the 60 jets is $6.1 billion, but it indicated it obtained significant discounts. Delivery is expected to begin in January 2018 and continue until March 2023.
Starbucks customers will soon have to stamp out their cigarettes before approaching the company's cafes. The company says it will start banning smoking within 25 feet of its stores, beginning Saturday, where permitted by its leases. It said the intent is to expand the indoor no-smoking policy to its outdoor seating areas.
Online buzz aside, there's a reason why Wendy's impending rollout of a pretzel burger has the company excited the profit margins. The burger reflects Wendy's emphasis on offering more premium breads that raise perceptions about the quality of its food without raising its costs too much. Specifically, a distinctive bun is cheaper than giving customers more meat, particularly at a time when beef prices have been climbing.
Even though the new Chevrolet Malibu has been on sale for just a year, General Motors is giving it a makeover. The updated version will come out in the fall as a 2014 model. Sales are down 12 percent so far this year, while the Malibu's main competitors, the Ford Fusion and Honda Accord, are up 25 percent.