McDonald\u2019s Bathroom Inspections

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By Ross Douthat

Opinion Columnist

Oil Futures Settle Sharply Lower

Crude oil prices fell on Friday and pushed the most active crude futures contract to a more than one-week low, amid uncertainty about the outlook for oil demand.

Profit taking after recent gains and indications that oil supply from Russia will see a surge weighed on oil prices.

Oil prices climbed higher earlier in the session, riding on hopes about Chinese economic growth, and data showing a stronger than expected increase in U.S. GDP.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for March ended down $1.33 or about 1.6% at $79.68 a barrel. WTI crude futures shed about 2.4% in the week.

Brent crude futures were down $1.09 or 1.25% at $86.38 a barrel.

According to reports, oil loadings from Russia’s Baltic ports are likely to rise by 50% this month as sellers gear up to meet strong demand in Asia.

OPEC and allies are scheduled to meet next week to review crude production levels. The Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting, scheduled to take place on January 31 and February 1 is eyed as well.

Gold Futures Settle Slightly Lower

Gold futures settled slightly lower on Friday, but still managed to record a gain for a sixth consecutive week.

The dollar index dropped to a low of 101.58 before rallying to 102.19. However, the index eased to 102.00 subsequently.

Gold futures ended down $0.60 at $1,929.40 an ounce.

Silver futures for March ended lower by $0.398 at $23.622 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $4.2225 per pound, down $0.0450 from the previous close.

On the U.S. economic front, a report from the Commerce Department showed personal income inched up by 0.2% in December after rising by a downwardly revised 0.3% in November.

Economists had expected personal spending to edge up by 0.2% compared to the 0.4% increase originally reported for the previous month.

The data said personal spending dipped by 0.2% in December after slipping by 0.1% in November. The modest decrease matched economist estimates.

The report also said core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy prices, rose by 0.3% in December after inching up by 0.2% in November.

The inflation reading, which is said to be preferred by the Fed, was expected to show another 0.2% uptick.

The Commerce Department said the annual rate of growth in core consumer prices slowed to 4.4% in December from 4.7% in November.

A separate report from the National Association of Realtors showed an unexpected rebound in pending home sales in December, while the University of Michigan upwardly revised its reading on consumer sentiment in January.

Westbound I-70 closed from Dotsero to Bair Ranch by a crash CDOT says

Interstate 70 westbound is shut down from Dotsero to Bair Ranch in Eagle County by a crash.

The Colorado Department of Transportation expects the closure will be for an extended time and drivers are advised to plan alternate routes.

CDOT announced the closure, about a six-mile stretch of highway from Exit 133 to Exit 129, in an initial 11:36 a.m. Friday tweet.

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Stretch of Interstate 70 shut down in Eagle County by semi jackknife

A stretch of Interstate 70 near Eagle is shut down by a jackknifed semi truck.

Traffic is being detoured, drivers should expect delays in the area, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

The highway is closed eastbound at Eagle, according to the Colorado State Patrol, and it’s closed westbound at Wolcott because of a commercial vehicle crash with a hazardous materials response and cleanup. U.S. Route 6 is the detour.

The westbound lanes are closed for a vehicle recovery, according to CDOT.

Biotech Stocks Facing FDA Decision In February 2023

As we move into the shortest month of the year, let’s take a look at some of the regulatory news reported during January.

Eisai/Biogen’s Leqembi was granted accelerated approval by the FDA for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease on Jan.6. It is the second new drug meant to slow the progression of the disease after Aduhelm, which was approved in June 2021.

The FDA issued a draft guidance on the proposed action levels for lead in processed baby foods on Jan.24. The guidance supports the regulatory agency’s objective of decreasing intake of lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury through diet and reducing the associated health risks, while still allowing access to nutritious foods.

On Jan.24, the FDA issued marketing denial orders for R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co.’s Vuse Vibe Tank Menthol 3.0% and Vuse Ciro Cartridge Menthol 1.5% as these two menthol e-cigarette products do not meet public health standards.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the biotech stocks facing FDA decision in February.

McDonald\u2019s Bathroom Inspections

McDonald’s has over 13,000 locations in the US. Most are owned by franchisees. McDonald’s does not control their operations directly. It has stringent rule for franchises, but no way to know day to day whether they are honored.

Presumably, since there is one set of rules for franchises, each location should operate the same as all others. A bathroom test tells a different story.

What does a dirty bathroom say about a location’s operation and commitment to customers? A great deal, and at least as much as quick service and polite treatment.

A look at dozens of locations show that some bathrooms are extraordinarily clean while others do not appear to have been serviced for hours. Since bathroom cleaning work should take little time or effort, it is extraordinary that any owner would not put it near the top of the list of employee priorities

What does a dirty bathroom mean? A lack of care about a location in general. Who wants to eat food for a McDonald’s if cleanliness is not one side of the customer transaction?

These are the top five McDonald’s menu items in every state.

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