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Business Beat for Monday, Nov. 17, 2014

Why airfare keeps rising despite lower oil prices

Airlines have no compelling reason to offer any breaks. Planes are full. Investors want a payout. And new planes are on order.

United gets more departures than it expected

United Airlines says 2,500 flight attendants have accepted payments of up to $100,000 to leave, about 400 more than expected.

McDonald’s won’t buy Simplot’s GMO potato

The USDA has approved J.R. Simplot Co.’s new genetically modified potato. But McDonald’s, one of the company’s oldest business partners, hasn’t.

Boeing expands Toray carbon fiber contract

Boeing will use composite material from Japan’s Toray Industries for its upcoming 777X as well as the 787 Dreamliner.

Now you can send money over Snapchat using ‘Snapcash’

Snapchat has jumped into the growing ‘pay your friends’ app market with Snapcash.

S&P 500 index ekes out a record

Major U.S. indexes managed to close marginally higher, setting another high for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.

The maker of Hellmann’s mayonnaise has some egg on its face

Eggs. Vegetable oil. All the ingredients you need for a spat over product labeling.

Dealers forecast US auto sales of 16.9 million in 2015

The National Automobile Dealers Association predicts U.S. sales of new cars and trucks will hit a 10-year high in 2015.

Food broker Hanson Faso buys Cheese and Deli Sales

Lombard-based Hanson Faso says acquiring the Elmhurst company will expand its retail perishable and premium food service businesses.

Zoetis buys Abbott’s pet drugs in $255 million deal

Zoetis got 36 percent of its $4.56 billion in 2013 sales from drugs for pets. [Bloomberg]

Walgreen outsources site selection, lease work

The Deerfield company recently laid off about 16 in-house real estate managers and outsourced the work to SRS Real Estate Partners. [Crain’s]

Mike Myers stars in Sears ad with his brother, who works there

A Sears ad featuring comedian Mike Myers and his older brother, a longtime employee of the struggling retailer, is racking up the hits on YouTube. [MarketWatch]

GM compensation expert extends claims deadline

The deadline for victims of crashes caused by faulty General Motors ignition switches has been extended for a month as the death toll rose to 33.

Reynolds launching heat-not-burn cigarette

The nation’s second-biggest tobacco company is launching a cigarette that heats tobacco rather than burning it.

Actavis to spend $66B on Botox-maker Allergan

Actavis’ pricey offer is a new wrinkle in the monthslong takeover battle waged by Valeant Pharmaceuticals for the Botox maker.

Halliburton buying Baker Hughes in $34.6 billion deal

Halliburton’s deal for rival oilfield services company Baker Hughes shows just how quickly falling prices can upend the energy industry.

US factory output increases 0.2% in October

U.S. manufacturing output grew modestly in October, as autoworkers churned out fewer cars and trucks.