When the going gets tough, people get cheap. McDonald's (MCD), home of the dollar menu, has benefited more than any other fast-food restaurant from the faltering economy.
The company reported impressive October results, overcoming concern that a stronger dollar would hurt international business. Global same-store sales rose 5.5%, and U.S. and Europe sales increased 5.3% and 9.8%, respectively. A revamped menu and attractive prices outweighed health concerns as consumers had less money in their pockets.
Since the health-food craze began in the 1990s, McDonald's has faced criticism for its unhealthy menu, culminating in the documentary movie "Super Size Me" in 2004. However, the restaurant remains a safe haven during turbulent times because of its convenience and affordability. The stock may extend its five-year advance if the economy continues to recede.
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