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Kweichow Moutai Q3 profit up 17.1%; Mich. judge halts flavored e-cigarette ban


* Chinese liquor distiller Kweichow Moutai Co. Ltd. posted a 17.1% year-over-year increase in third-quarter earnings on the day its shares hit an all-time high. For the quarter ended Sept. 30, the maker of the premium grain liquor baijiu reported GAAP net profit of 10.50 billion yuan, up from 8.97 billion yuan a year earlier. Its GAAP EPS rose to 8.36 yuan from 7.14 yuan in the same period a year ago.

* A Michigan judge temporarily stopped the state from imposing a ban on flavored electronic cigarette products, adding that the emergency provision sidestepped normal legislative procedures, Bloomberg News reported.


* Walmart Inc.-owned Flipkart Online Services Pvt. Ltd. is in the final stages of applying for a food retail license that will enable the e-commerce company to sell locally produced food, The Times of India reported, citing regulatory documents. Flipkart reportedly expects to inject about 20 billion Indian rupees in the first stage of investment under its newly formed Flipkart Farmermart unit.

* Associated British Foods PLC-owned discount store chain Primark Stores Ltd. has urged its customers not to buy Primark-branded products sold on Inc., saying it does not have a commercial agreement with the U.S. e-commerce giant.

* US Foods Holding Corp.'s executive vice president and chief supply chain officer, Tim Connolly, has resigned from the company, effective immediately. The Illinois-based company said it will begin a search for Connolly's successor.

* Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG's U.K. arm plans to inject £15 billion in British food, farming and production over the next five years, Retail Gazette reported. The discounter's investment aims to support its suppliers in improving their own businesses.

* Carrefour SA said it completed the sale of its entire ownership in Cargo Property Assets to French real estate company Argan SA, as a part of the grocer's plan to divest €500 million of nonstrategic real estate assets by 2020. Carrefour said it received €288 million in remuneration from the disposal. Following the deal, Carrefour now holds about 5% of Argan's share capital.


* Cannabis producer Canopy Growth Corp.'s Spectrum Therapeutics pharmaceutical unit has secured a license from the U.K. Home Office, allowing it to import medical cannabis into the country, the Canopy division told the Financial Times. Canopy is the first company to be given the medical cannabis bulk import license by the U.K., the report added.


* U.S. meat processor Lamb Weston Holdings Inc. established a joint venture with Argentinian holding company Sociedad Comercial del Plata SA to cater to the South American market. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

* JBS SA-owned Pilgrim's Pride Corp. said it completed its £290 million acquisition of meat producer Tulip Ltd. from Danish Crown AmbA.

* Ingredient-maker Ingredion Inc. said it detected suspicious activity affecting certain data centers and has taken steps to identify and contain the situation. The company added that there is no evidence suggesting that data has been improperly accessed by any third party.


* Restaurant Brands International Inc.-owned Burger King Corp. said it will start offering deliveries via Uber Technologies Inc.'s Uber Eats service across the U.S.

* Restaurant operator West Coast Ventures Group Corp. said it is adding Beyond Meat Inc.'s plant-based burgers to its Illegal Burger chain's menu.

* Taco Bell Corp. said it issued a recall of about 2.3 million pounds of seasoned beef from its restaurants and distribution centers after a customer reported finding a metal shaving in a menu item. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said there have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of the recalled products.

* Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. said Tony Weisman, chief marketing officer at its Dunkin' Donuts USA Inc. unit, is leaving the company Dec. 1. The company will immediately begin a search for his successor.

* U.K. bar and café chain operator Loungers PLC said total revenue for the 24 weeks ended Oct. 6 was £79.8 million, up 22% year over year.


* China wants the U.S. to first reduce the trade war tariffs in place for Chinese goods before it can proceed with the purchase of up to $50 billion worth of American farm products as part of a partial trade deal touted by President Donald Trump, Bloomberg News reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

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The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng increased 0.61% to 26,664.28, and the Nikkei 225 went up 1.20% to 22,472.92.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 lost 0.12% to 7,201.94, and the Euronext 100 was essentially flat at 1,100.88.

On the macro front

The retail sales report, the Atlanta Fed business inflation expectations report, the business inventories report, the housing market index, the Beige Book and the Treasury international capital 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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