Last Update on December 09, 2013 18:09 GMT
HOUSTON (AP) -- Sysco is buying the food distributor US Foods for about $3.5 billion in cash and stock.
Houston's Sysco will pay $3 billion in common stock and $500 million in cash. It will also assume or refinance about $4.7 billion in debt.
That puts the total value of the deal at about $8.2 billion. When the acquisition closes, Sysco will have annual sales of about $65 billion.
US Foods shareholders will own about 87 million shares, or about 13 percent, of Sysco's common stock. Representatives of majority shareholders at US Foods, based just outside of Chicago in Rosemont, Ill., will join Sysco's board.
Shares of Sysco Corp. jumped 30 percent in premarket trading to $44.35. That would be an all-time high if it holds when the market opens.
OAK BROOK, Ill. (AP) -- McDonald's says a key sales figure rose 0.5 percent in November, even as the world's biggest hamburger chain faced tough competition and basically flat traffic in the U.S.
Its global sales performance was the same as in October.
The stock slipped in today's premarket trading.
The company, based in Oak Brook, Ill., says the metric fell 0.8 percent in the U.S. In Europe, it increased 1.9 percent on strong performances in the U.K., France and Russia. It declined 2.3 percent in the region including Asia, the Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.
McDonald's Corp. says the figure includes sales at all restaurants open at least 13 months, including those temporarily closed.
Shares of the Oak Brook, Ill., company fell 71 cents to $96.10 before the market open.
LONDON (AP) -- Eight major tech giants have called for tighter controls on government surveillance, joining forces to argue there should be reforms in the way the United States snoops on people.
The companies, including Google, Facebook and Twitter, issued an open letter to President Barack Obama, saying that while governments have a duty to protect citizens, recent revelations have "highlighted the urgent need to reform government surveillance practices worldwide."
The letter published today says: "The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favor of the state and away from the rights of the individual -- rights that are enshrined in our Constitution."
The letter follows revelations by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked details of the secret programs that critics say violate privacy rights.
LONDON (AP) -- Reports say British and American intelligence officers have been spying on gamers across the world, deploying undercover officers to virtual universes and sucking up traffic from popular online games such as World of Warcraft.
Stories carried today in The New York Times, the Guardian, and ProPublica suggested that U.S. and U.K. spies have spent years hunting the fictitious worlds of Second Life and World of Warcraft looking for terrorists or informants.
Important details -- such as how much data was gathered, or how many players' information was compromised -- were not clear, the reports said.
The reports were based on documents provided by Edward Snowden, a former contract employee of the U.S. National Security Agency.
The British intelligence agency GCHQ, which monitors communications, did not immediately comment.
THE NEW RICH
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Survey results provided to The Associated Press find that 21 percent of U.S. adults become rich for parts of their lives, earning a household income of $250,000 or more at some point.
The group is made up largely of older professionals, working married couples and more educated singles. Even outside periods of unusual wealth, members of this group generally hover in the $100,000-plus income range, keeping them in the top 20 percent of earners.
Washington University in St. Louis professor Mark Rank says these people see affluence as "very attainable, even if the dream has become more elusive for everyone else."
They are liberal on issues such as abortion and gay marriage, but they're wary of any government role in closing the income gap.
DEPARTMENT STORE DISCRIMINATION
NEW YORK (AP) -- The Rev. Al Sharpton says a coalition of major retailers has agreed to create a customer "bill of rights" that will be posted in stores to help prevent racial profiling.
Sharpton says civil rights leaders met today with representatives from retail chains including Barneys, Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Lord & Taylor and The Gap.
He says the bill of rights will be posted in stores and on retailers' websites this week.
The agreement prohibits profiling and unreasonable searches. It states that workers who violate their employers' prohibition on profiling will be disciplined and could be fired.
The two groups first met last month after several black shoppers alleged they were racially profiled at Macy's and Barneys New York. The stores deny they had policies that targeted black customers.