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  • LOS ANGELES, Feb 21- U.S. West Coast ports will resume full operations from Saturday evening after a tentative labor deal was reached between a dockworkers union and a group of shippers, easing months of disruptions to trans-Pacific trade that have hit businesses from automakers to meat exports. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez arrived in San Francisco to broker a...

  • LOS ANGELES, Feb 21- A group of shipping companies and a powerful dockworkers union reached a tentative labor deal late on Friday after nine months of negotiations, settling a dispute that disrupted the flow of cargo through 29 U.S. West Coast ports and snarled trans-Pacific maritime trade with Asia. The White House called the deal "a huge relief" for the economy,...

  • CHICAGO, Feb 20- Slumping demand for meat on the U.S. Friday's USDA report showed January pork inventories totaled 596.5 million pounds, up 18 percent from December, partly due to increased production. Ron Plain, a University of Missouri livestock economist, attributed the bulge in cold storage to the inability to move meat off the West Coast.

  • WASHINGTON— The modest raises that Wal-Mart has said it will give its lowest-paid workers provide a glimmer of hope for lower-wage workers in other companies and industries. Wal-Mart's move follows a sustained campaign for higher wages by some of the company's employees and a nationwide debate over whether to raise the federal minimum wage.

  • WASHINGTON, Feb 20- Sysco Corp is not holding settlement talks with the U.S. government to resolve a lawsuit aimed at stopping a $3.5 billion merger of the food distributor and its largest rival, a lawyer for Sysco said on Friday. The Federal Trade Commission has filed a complaint aimed at blocking Sysco's purchase of U.S. Foods Inc. The FTC said the deal would give...

  • European stock markets hover near multi-year highs Friday, 20 Feb 2015 | 6:17 AM ET

    *Europe enjoying best earnings season in 3-1/ 2 years. LONDON/ PARIS, Feb 20- European stock markets steadied near multi-year highs on Friday, as euro zone finance ministers prepared another attempt at reaching a deal on Greece. With EU paymaster Germany and Greece's new radical leftist-led Syriza government digging their heels in over demands that Athens stick...

  • Feb 19- Fast-casual restaurant chain operator Noodles& Co forecast 2015 adjusted profit that missed analysts' estimates, sending its shares down 25 percent in after-market trading. Noodles& Co's fourth-quarter profit also missed Wall Street's estimates, hurt by lower sales at its restaurants in the all-important holiday quarter. Net income rose to $3.5...

  • NEW YORK/ WASHINGTON, Feb 19- The U.S. government filed a lawsuit on Thursday seeking to block Sysco Corp's proposed takeover of rival food distributor US Foods Inc, saying the $3.5 billion deal would "eliminate significant competition" in the sector. Sysco's share price was down 3.4 percent for the day, initially on concerns that the Federal Trade Commission was...

  • NEW YORK/ WASHINGTON, Feb 19- The U.S. government filed a lawsuit on Thursday seeking to block a merger of the nation's two largest food distributors, US Foods Inc and Sysco Corp, which said it will fight the Federal Trade Commission action. Sysco and US Foods unveiled their $3.5 billion deal in December 2013. The FTC announcement sent Sysco's stock price lower, with...

  • West Coast port impasse beefs up U.S. meat stockpile Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 | 2:44 PM ET

    CHICAGO, Feb 19- U.S. meat exporters caught in the middle of the West Coast port labor standoff diverted millions of pounds of chilled pork and beef into cold storage facilities over the last few weeks, creating an oversupply of meat, analysts said. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's cold storage report for January at 2 p.m. CST on Friday will confirm the impact of...

  • UPDATE 1-FTC sues to block Sysco-US Foods merger Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 | 2:29 PM ET

    NEW YORK/ WASHINGTON, Feb 19- The Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday it has filed a lawsuit seeking to block a merger of Sysco Corp and US Foods Inc. Sysco and US Foods, the largest U.S. food distributors and the only ones with national reach, announced the $3.5 billion deal in December 2013. The tie-up has been controversial because Sysco and US Foods are the...

  • U.S. sues to stop proposed merger of Sysco, US Foods Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 | 2:15 PM ET

    WASHINGTON, Feb 19- U.S. antitrust regulators filed a lawsuit on Thursday aimed at stopping food distribution giant Sysco Corp from purchasing smaller rival US Foods, the Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday. Sysco and US Foods, the largest U.S. food distributors and the only ones with national reach, announced the $3.5 billion deal in December 2013.

  • CARACAS, Feb 19- The U.S.-based owner of a supermarket chain taken over by Venezuela's socialist government hopes to recover his business despite accusations of hoarding goods to inflate shopping lines. Dia Dia owner Jose Vicente Aguerrevere, a Venezuelan who now lives in Boston after spending most of his life in Europe and the United States, told Reuters by...

  • *Carrefour to open first Kenya store this year. *Kenya seen as gateway to regional trade. Kenya, with a GDP of $53.4 billion, is a gateway to regional trade, but it holds other attractions for retail investors.

  • UPDATE 2-Nestle forecasts improvement in 2015 Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 | 5:38 AM ET

    *Working to fix North American frozen, China businesses. VEVEY, Switzerland, Feb 19- Nestle, the world's largest packaged foods maker, forecast sales growth around 5 percent this year, at the low end of its long-term goal, as it grapples with deflation in Europe and a slowdown in China. The goal includes improvements in margins, helped by cost savings and efforts to...

  • Annual sales fell in Swiss franc terms due to hesitant consumers in Europe and shifting exchange rates. Swiss-based Nestle reported weak sales growth in Europe, saying business conditions there were volatile, "with deflationary pressure increasing during the year." Sales in Europe rose only 1.5 percent stripping out currency effects and acquisitions.

  • China's chocolate sales to grow 60% by 2019: Hershey Wednesday, 18 Feb 2015 | 10:00 PM ET

    China's chocolate sales will grow to $4.3 billion by 2019, up nearly 60 percent from 2014, driven by a growing urban population, a Hershey official said.

  • NEW YORK, Feb 18- Chocolate sales in China should grow to $4.3 billion by 2019, up nearly 60 percent from $2.7 billion in 2014 and driven by demand from the growing urban population, a senior Hershey officer forecast on Wednesday. He projected the company's China sales would grow by 35 percent to $450 million in 2015. Based on that figure, chocolate sales in China...

  • Nestle chocolates going au naturel Tuesday, 17 Feb 2015 | 4:17 PM ET
    Nestle Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cups.

    The change will affect more than 250 products across 10 brands, including Butterfinger, Nestle Crunch and Baby Ruth.

  • TORONTO, Feb 17- Restaurant Brands International Inc, the parent of Burger King and Canadian coffee and doughnut chain Tim Hortons, reported robust quarterly sales growth on Tuesday, crediting new menu items for driving traffic. Restaurant Brands executives credited new menu items like Burger King's A1 ultimate bacon cheeseburger and Tim Horton's dark...