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Face-Off on Stocks: McDonald's, Yum, Wendy's/Arby's

fast-food restaurants appear to have put the worst of the downturn in consumer discretionary spending behind them, but new industrywide challenges have emerged for 2011. That got us wondering if there's fast money to be made in fast-food stocks -- or if shares are too hard to swallow at current levels.

McDonald's to Close Hundreds of Outlets in Japan

McDonald's is closing 430 restaurants in Japan, the latest sign of the faltering economy in the Asian country. The world's largest restaurant chain plans to take a charge of $40 million to $50 million in the first half of the year. McDonald's Holdings Co. (Japan) has 3,700 stores.