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McDonald’s is sued for $10 billion for alleged bias against Black-owned media



McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N) was sued on Thursday for at least $10 billion by two organizations owned by media entrepreneur Byron Allen, who accused the fast-natural way of life of racial discrimination for not advertising enough with Black-owned media outlets.

The complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court said McDonald’s violated federal and state civil rights laws through its “racial animus and racial stereotyping” in allocating ad dollars.

According to the complaint, Chicago-based McDonald’s has refused to advertise with Allen’s Entertainment Studios Networks, which claims a few lifestyle channels, or his Weather Group, which possesses The Weather Channel.

The complaint said Blacks contain about 40% of McDonald’s customers, but the organization devoted under $5 million of its $1.6 billion U.S. ad budget in 2019 to Black-owned media.

“McDonald’s, similar to much of corporate America these days, publicly touts its commitment to diversity and inclusion, but this is nothing more than empty rhetoric,” the complaint said.

Allen sued around the same time McDonald’s said it would boost its national ad spending with Black-owned media to 5% from 2% by 2024, and also spend more on Hispanic-, Asian-American, women-and LGBTQ-owned platforms.

“We have doubled down on our relationships with different owned partners,” McDonald’s said in a statement. It said it will “review and respond accordingly” to Allen’s lawsuit.

In April, General Motors Corp (GM.N) pledged to advertise more with Black-owned media, after Allen and other entrepreneurs took out full-page newspaper ads accusing the automaker of ignoring those media.

A former stand-up comic and co-host of the NBC reality TV show “Real People,” Allen also sued Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) for $20 billion out of 2015 over its refusal to convey his channels.

He settled in June, three months after the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Comcast in setting a high burden for Allen to prove he was discriminated against.


India’s April industrial output jumps to 134.4% because of low-base effect



India’s industrial production in April jumped pointedly to 134.4 per cent in comparison to the corresponding month a year ago, according to government data released Friday.

The sharp recovery in industrial output is basically because of the low base effect, which is a result of the nationwide lockdown that hit economic activity last year. It may be noted that the factory output, measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), rose 22.4 per cent in March 2021.

In the year-ago period, factory output contracted by a sharp 57.3 per cent because of the strict nationwide lockdown.

The manufacturing sector output registered a growth of 197.1 per cent in April 2021, compared to a contraction of 66 per cent in the year-ago period.

The government has also said that the numbers are not comparable to the figures for the year-ago period because of the impact of the nationwide lockdown last year. It said so because many units reported ‘nil’ production in April 2020.

In the mean time, mining activity observed a growth of 37 per cent in April 2021 compared to a contraction of 26.9 per cent in the corresponding period a year ago. Electricity generation grew 38.1 per cent compared to a de-growth of 22.8 per cent in April 2020.

Capital goods output that signals private investment registered a growth of over 1,000 per cent in comparison to a 92.7 per cent contraction in production in April 2020. The consumer durables output saw the sharpest jump of 1,943 per cent in April 2021 in comparison to a fall of – 96.6 per cent last year.

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China’s highest producer inflation in over 12 years highlights global value pressures



China’s May factory gate prices rose at their fastest annual pace in over 12 years because of surging commodity prices, highlighting global inflation pressures at a time when policymakers are trying to revitalize COVID-hit growth.

Investors are increasingly worried pandemic-driven stimulus measures could supercharge global inflation and force central banks to tighten policy, potentially curbing the recovery.

China’s producer cost index (PPI) increased 9.0%, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Wednesday, as prices bounced back from last year’s pandemic lows.

The PPI ascend in May – the fastest on-year acquire for any month since September 2008 – was driven by significant cost increases in crude oil, iron ore and non-ferrous metals, the NBS said.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had expected the PPI to rise 8.5% after a 6.8% increase in April.

Shortly after the inflation data, the National Development and Reform Commission said China will closely monitor value movements of commodities and step up value forecasts to maintain market order.

“The concern is PPI may hover at an elevated level for an extended period of time, which would create economic headaches if mid-or downstream firms fail to absorb higher costs,” said Nie Wen, chief economist at Hwabao Trust.

The PPI surge still can’t seem to substantially feed through to consumer inflation, which means the People’s Bank of China is probably not going to stress for now.

Consumer prices rose 1.3% in May – the biggest year-on-year increase in eight months – but came in below expectations for a 1.6% addition. Consumer inflation remained well below the government’s official target of around 3%.

“Producer value inflation is probably close to a peak…we don’t expect (consumer value inflation) to transcend 2% in the coming quarters. All things considered, (the data) is probably not going to trigger any shift in monetary policy,” said Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at Capital Economics.

But there are some signs Chinese factories, facing already tight edges, are giving higher raw material costs to overseas clients, which could reinforce the global inflation loop.

The release comes as U.S. inflation data on Thursday is being closely watched by investors, who stress another high reading might put pressure on the Federal Reserve to start thinking about tapering its stimulus.

Chinese coal and resource shares rose after the NBS’s producer value inflation data, driving the broader stock market higher.

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Bitcoin sinks after Colonial Pipeline ransom recovery



Bitcoin sinks after Colonial Pipeline ransom recovery. Bitcoin slumped to a two-week low, with analysts pointing to a technical breakdown just as the recovery of Colonial Pipeline Co’s. ransom as evidence that crypto isn’t beyond government control.

The largest token tumbled as much as 9.9% to $31,036 in New York trading. The wider Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index fell as much as 15%, with altcoins, for example, Ether, Litecoin and EOS dropping more.

The fact that investigators “could trace the untraceable and hold onto it might be undermining the libertarian, free-of-government-control case,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at Oanda. The implications of that may have provoked the selling, he said.

The U.S. recovered almost all the Bitcoin ransom paid to the perpetrators of the cyber attack on Colonial last month in a sign that law enforcement is capable of seeking after online criminals in any event, when they operate outside the nation’s borders.

The FBI had the option to discover the Bitcoin by uncovering the digital addresses the hackers used to transfer the funds, according to an eight-page seizure warrant released by the Justice Department on Monday.

While the FBI’s ability to track and recoup the crytocurrency may go against the anti-establishment ethos that led to the development of Bitcoin, it can also been seen as a positive sign for the sector as it seeks broader mainstream acceptance.

To Bloomberg Intelligence’s Mike McGlone, Tuesday’s decline is “linked to fears of the Feds holding onto people’s Bitcoins,” he said. Simultaneously, “we’ve been in a down-stage for a month now and this is part of it. It’s a continuation of the latest downtrend and this is the latest spark. I thought Bitcoin would be up today on the Colonial news so I’m befuddled.”

In the interim, strategists are also watching key technical levels for the cryptocurrency.

On the off chance that Bitcoin doesn’t continue creating higher lows, it could retest $30,000, which it briefly touched last month during a brutal selloff. Assuming the coin breaches that round-number level, another wave of selling could follow given the lack of technical support between $20,000 and $30,000. In any case, Bitcoin’s 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) is approaching the oversold level, currently at 32, indicating the coin may discover some reprieve.

On the off chance that the coin continues to decline and $31,000 and $30,000 are taken out, it could retrace its entire breakout from $20,000 and fall back to that level, according to Tallbacken CEO Michael Purves. “This type of ’round trip’ would not be unusual for an asset (or a stock) which put in an exponential rally,” he wrote in a note, adding that something comparable happened after its 2017 rally.

Other market-watchers agree. “The significant price support stands at the $30K level, and a slide below this handle could run into stops and accelerate the auction in the short run,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote.

Oanda’s Halley also says that a break below $30,000 could lead to “another capitulation.” Evercore ISI’s Rich Ross sees a test of support around $29,000.

Bitcoin is still up 9% this year but the token has plunged from a pinnacle of almost $65,000 in mid-April, casting a pall over the cryptocurrency sector. The recent selloff was exacerbated by billionaire Elon Musk’s public rebuke of the amount of energy used by the workers underpinning the token. Unforgiving Chinese regulatory oversight also soured the mood.

“You had this phenomenon where Bitcoin got extended, but nothing goes up in a straight line,” said Dan Russo, portfolio manager at Potomac Fund Management. “That’s something to be expected — you’ve seen throughout its short history these bouts of deep drawdowns. It just got extended to the upside and started to roll over.”

The virtual currency — which has more than tripled over the past year — is now in a “cooling off period” that could last “a couple of months” longer, said Vijay Ayyar, head of Asia-Pacific at crypto exchange Luno Pte.

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