Business news for Monday, December 9.


Joe Raedle, Getty Images

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks have edged higher but have been bouncing around a bit this morning. Stocks rallied Friday following the government's latest employment report, which showed solid job growth for the fourth straight month. Today, the Dow has been up as much as 35 points. The broader indexes are also higher.

HOUSTON (AP) — Sysco is buying the food distributor US Foods for about $3.5 billion in cash and stock. It will also assume or refinance about $4.7 billion in debt, pushing the total value of the deal at about $8.2 billion. News of the deal has caused Sysco shares to surge.

OAK BROOK, Ill. (AP) — McDonald's says a key sales figure rose 0.5 percent in November. It says sales at restaurants open at least 13 months were basically flat in the U.S., but increased 1.9 percent in Europe on strong performances in the U.K., France and Russia. Sales declined percent in the region including Asia, the Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.

LONDON (AP) — Google, Facebook, Twitter and five other major tech companies are joining forces in a call for tighter controls on government surveillance. The companies have sent an open letter to President Barack Obama, saying the balance between national security and individual freedoms has, in many countries, "tipped too far in favor of the state." They say the government should lay out "sensible limitations on their ability to compel service providers to disclose user data."

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 20 percent of American adults earn a household income of $250,000 or more at some point. Survey data suggests the group is made up largely of older professionals, working married couples and more educated singles. Members of this group generally hover in the $100,000-plus income range.

NEW YORK (AP) — Traders appear less concerned about the possibility the Federal Reserve will pull back its stimulus soon. That's because hiring is now showing consistent strength. Stocks rose sharply Friday after the government reported a fourth straight month of solid U.S. job gains. The Dow closed up nearly 199 points. The S&P 500 rose 20 points. And the Nasdaq climbed 29 points. Futures point to gains at this morning's opening.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — International stock markets were mostly higher today as signs of U.S. economic recovery offset concerns that the Federal Reserve may reduce its monetary stimulus this month. Benchmark crude oil rose to near $98 a barrel. The dollar fell against the euro and the yen.

NEW YORK (AP) — A survey of business economists finds a majority predict the Federal Reserve will begin to pull back on its massive economic stimulus program in the first three months of 2014. The survey by the National Association of Business Economists also shows a majority of economists believe the United States' economic recovery will accelerate next year.

UNDATED (AP) — American Airlines emerges from bankruptcy protection and US Airways concludes its long pursuit of a merger partner today when the two complete their deal creating the world's biggest airline. The merger survived a challenge from the government and criticism from consumer groups, who fear it will lead to higher prices. It's the latest in a series of mergers that will leave four airlines controlling more than 80 percent of the U.S. air-travel market and with more power than ever to limit seats and boost profits.

TOKYO (AP) — Japan slashed its estimate of economic growth for the July-September quarter today as investment by companies slowed more than first estimated. The government said the world's third-largest economy grew an annualized 1.1 percent last quarter, less than half the pace of the previous quarter. The initial estimate had put growth at 1.9 percent.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)