* The World Health Organization expects the number of males using tobacco around the world to decrease by 2 million in 2020 to 1.091 billion and by another 4 million in 2025 to 1.087 billion, down from a peak in 2018 of 1.093 billion male tobacco users. According to the WHO report, the number of male tobacco users will decline for the first time on record after years of steady increases.
* Spanish food delivery app Glovoapp23 SL hit a valuation of over $1 billion after it raised €150 million in a fresh funding round, led by Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund Mubadala, as well as other existing investors including Germany's Delivery Hero SE, CNBC reported. The latest funding round reportedly would be used for hiring and expansion into new territories.
* CKE Inc., owner of fast-food chains Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, is expanding its partnership with Beyond Meat Inc. by offering plant-based meat products during breakfast, lunch and dinner across its restaurants in the U.S.
* Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd. has raised its stake in Chilean milk processor Prolesur to 99.9% from 86.2% to streamline its operations in the South American country. New Zealand-based Fonterra said it purchased the 13.6% stake from Fundación Isabel Aninat for NZ$29.3 million.
* U.S. food company The Kraft Heinz Co. and Tesco PLC are recalling jars of Heinz by Nature baby food sold at the British grocer's stores over risks that they may contain fragments of sharp metal.
* Irish packaged food company Greencore Group PLC said it appointed Gordon Hardie as nonexecutive director of the company, effective Feb. 1, 2020. The company also announced the retirement of John Moloney as the nonexecutive director at the conclusion of its annual meeting, slated for Jan. 28, 2020.
* The Hershey Co. said it promoted Chuck Raup as president of the chocolate-maker's U.S. operations. Raup, who will succeed Todd Tillemans, is vice president of its candy, mint and gum unit. The company also named Kristen Riggs, vice president of its innovation and strategic growth platforms, as senior vice president and chief growth officer. Riggs will succeed Mary Beth West. Both promotions are effective Jan. 1, 2020.
* New Zealand's Fonterra Co-operative Group said it appointed Teh-Han Chow as interim CEO of its China operations. Chow previously was commodity trader Louis Dreyfus Co. BV's CEO of its China unit.
* Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. started piloting a sidewalk window in a new Chicago location in the week of Dec. 16, as part of its plan to boost digital sales, Bloomberg News reported, citing an interview with CFO Jack Hartung. The 2,000-square-foot restaurant is slightly smaller than average Chipotle stores, and the walk-up window is part of its redesign that it will launch at a few dozen restaurants in 2020, the report added.
* Arcos Dorados Holdings Inc., McDonald's Corp.'s Latin America franchisee, said it will keep all 29 branches of McDonald's in Peru closed until it finalizes inspections following the deaths of two teenaged employees, Reuters reported. The inspections could take a matter of "hours or days," an Arcos spokesman told Reuters, while McDonald's said it was working with its local partner regarding the investigation.
* Vaping marijuana and nicotine is on the rise among U.S. teenagers, according to data from the 2019 Monitoring the Future survey. According to the survey, the percentage of teenagers who reported that they tried vaping marijuana in the past year more than doubled in the past two years, increasing to 7% for eighth graders, 19.4% for 10th graders and 20.8% for 12th graders. Marijuana remains the most commonly used illegal drug by adolescents.
* The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it is extending the public comment period on proposed hemp regulations to Jan. 29, 2020, to grant more time for stakeholders to give feedback.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a mixed opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng decreased by 0.30% to 27,800.49, while the Nikkei 225 was down 0.29% to 23,864.85.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 increased by 0.21% to 7,558.69, and the Euronext 100 increased by 0.01% to 1,140.42.
On the macro front
The jobless claims report, the Philadelphia Fed business outlook survey report, the current account report, the existing homes sales report, the leading indicators report, EIA natural gas report, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.
Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.
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