Money Minute: U.S. Whiskey-Maker Turns Japanese; Pork Prices Plump

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Bringin' home the bacon may get more costly.

Hogs are in short supply sending pork prices sharply higher in the future pits, and that could lead to higher consumer prices, too. The Wall Street Journal reports a virus that kills young pigs has spread to farms in 22 states. The virus doesn't threaten food safety, but it could send pork prices to record levels.

We recently reported that beef prices are also on the rise due to cattle shortages. The problem there is the severe drought in Texas and other big cattle states that has thinned the herds.

Liquor-maker Beam (BEAM) has agreed to be acquired by Suntory Holdings of Japan for $16 billion. In addition to its Jim Beam bourbon, the company also makes Canadian Club, Maker's Mark, Courvoisier Cognac and Cruzan Rum.

Here on Wall Street, trading last week held within a pretty narrow range, but we could see more action this week, as earnings season heats up. Most major banks report --
including JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC) -- as well as General Electric (GE) and Intel (INTC). We'll also get some key economic reports, including retail sales for the all-important month of December.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) edged lower last week, but the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) and posted modest gains.

Dunkin' Donuts (DNKN) is planning a big push west. The coffee and doughnut chain has most of its stores in the Northeast, but sees growth potential in California, Texas and other Western states. It tried that strategy once before but had distribution chain problems.

And we'll continue to track Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT), which had one of the biggest rallies in recent memory last week. The stock soared 530 percent on Thursday and Friday after the little-known biotech company stopped a clinical trial of its liver therapy earlier than planned because of its success. But now the National Institutes of Health says the drug did lead to some abnormal spikes in cholesterol.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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24 Comments

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Randall Mabe

I will be cancelling my Ambassadorship to makers mark today

January 13 2014 at 4:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
vettfixer

Well no more Jim Beam and Makers Mark. I won't send any profits to Japan.

January 13 2014 at 3:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mimpossibl

"skcarcomed_0"

badsomey
The Koch Brothers are doing everything possible to destroy unions, are they not?" Yes; and because they have a one world view that presents only their "kind" with power, their agenda includes other matters that are destructive to the U.S. itself. Could they declare to protect and defend the Constitution were they to understand that this Constitutions purpose is defined by the Preamble, it's very meaning.

January 13 2014 at 3:12 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
mimpossibl

usaindacrapper : What would really help the U.S. economy and the people would be if people making these cuts, cuts, cuts demands would at least take Economics 101 and some other things that tell him why terms like "circulation", "demand", "Capital", and many other terms mean. We have a real problem with people never having a class in civics or economics declaring for actions that may be harmful.

January 13 2014 at 3:09 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
kdf821

there are plenty of wild pigs destroying peoples property all over the us lets get rid of them

January 13 2014 at 1:39 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to kdf821's comment
usaindacrapper

"STAND UR GROUND"~"STAND UR GROUND"

January 13 2014 at 3:28 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
PRAISE GOD!

I think thay'll be other alternitves if thay price them selves out of a job.

January 13 2014 at 1:33 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
WILLS

Beef will remain up this year but I doubt the diherrea killing the piglets will be extensive enough to diminish the pork supply. Actually, severe heat or cold does more damage as hogs a temp sensitive.
As to booze, plenty of producers just like beer and wine. Driink a different brand.

January 13 2014 at 1:27 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ivyteainn

Food prices wouldn't be high if big business hadn't modernized the Third World like it has for more customers. Americans will go hungry because of corporate greed. It's too late now, with a billion Chinese using cars and eating beef, some Americans will starve.and pay outrageous sums of money for gas.

January 13 2014 at 1:23 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
laptop603

I'd rather keep my money here, no more jimbeam.

January 13 2014 at 1:17 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
anthonygolfbones

I quit drinking Jim Beam when they lowered the proof now they want to let China make it, to bad CC got caught up in the sale, a whiskey I still drink on special ocasions.

January 13 2014 at 1:05 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply