Business Beat for Monday, Nov. 3, 2014

SHARE Business Beat for Monday, Nov. 3, 2014

Red Lobster goes back into its shell

The struggling chain is planning another revamped menu that removes dishes including Spicy Tortilla Soup and a Wood-Grilled Pork Chop.

Sears to get earlier start on Black Friday sales

The Hoffman Estates retailer will open its stores at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving day, two hours earlier than last year.

David’s Tea to open Saturday on Michigan Ave.

The Millennium Park store will be the David’s Tea chain’s four store in Chicago.

Burger 21 planning Rosemont restaurant

Burger 21 plans to open by fall 2015. The restaurants feature 21 burger creations including Angus beef, chicken, turkey, vegetarian, shrimp and tuna.

Aetna buys Chicago-based Bswift for $400M

Bswift could strengthen Aetna’s push into a small but growing area of private insurance exchanges that let workers choose their own plans.

CNA offers to pay 11,000 ex-employees to exit pensions

CNA Financial Corp. has offered lump-sum payments to 11,000 former employees to encourage them to give up their pensions. [Bloomberg]

Dow, S&P 500 indexes edge back from record highs

Stocks closed mostly lower Monday, bringing major indexes slightly below the record highs reached last week.

Analyst expects $89 billion in online holiday sales

Analyst Sucharita Mulpuru expects 3.4 million Americans will try holiday shopping online for the first time this year.

McDonald’s could use a loyalty program

The Oak Brook hamburger giant might turn to a loyalty program to bring in more customers more often. [Bloomberg Businessweek]

Skip check-in; latest hotel room key is your phone

New programs are helping speed up the check-in process for busy travelers, sometimes by using their smartphone to unlock doors.

Beats Music takes flight on Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines will offer the Beats Music streaming service to passengers at no charge. [CNet]

Ford faces lawsuit over sexual-harassment charges at Chicago plant

The lawsuit alleges a pattern of sexual harassment and discrimination at the Chicago Assembly plant that spans more than two decades, [Crain’s]

Lower gas prices boost US SUV sales in October

GM, Toyota, Chrysler, Nissan, Volkswagen and Honda reported sales gains. Ford’s sales fell 2 percent as it gets ready to launch its new F-150.

Hyundai-Kia to pay US $100M for overstating mpg

The civil penalty ends a two-year U.S. investigation into overstated gas mileage figures on window stickers of 13 models.

Cruise line Carnival rolls out faster Internet

Carnival announced Monday it will offer a long-range, broadband wireless Internet network on all of its 101 ships across nine cruise line brands.

Diageo sells Bushmills Whiskey to Mexico’s Cuervo

British drinks company Diageo is selling its Bushmills whiskey brand to tequila king Jose Cuervo and gaining sole ownership of the Don Julio brand.

Ad group Publicis to buy Sapient for $3.7 billion

French advertising group Publicis says it is to buy Boston-based marketing, communications and consulting firm Sapient for $3.7 billion.

Ryanair raises outlook, soars to record high

Ryanair sharply raised its profit outlook on surprisingly strong first-half profits, sending shares in Europe’s biggest budget airline higher.

LabCorp to spend $6.1 billion on Covance

LabCorp will pay about $6.1 billion in cash and stock to buy Covance in a tie-up that aims to improve clinical trial research for pharmaceuticals.

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