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Market turmoil caused by obscure strategy?
44 million tried Apple Music in its first month
When do markets close for Labor Day?
Amazon to buy video software company
ISM services index slows, but tops forecast
Jobless claims rise to two-month high
U.S. trade deficit shrinks 7.4% to $41.9 billion
L.L. Bean longtime CEO Leon Gorman dies
Treasury's Lew irked by China's FX move
Kentucky clerk jailed over marriage licenses

Oops — Rick Perry says broken clock right once a day

Six actors who were almost cast as James Bond

Sizeable outflow from China adds to fears

Ad war over oil exports heats up as vote nears

What it’s like to play tennis with a ‘smart’ racket

Tom Brady’s ‘Deflategate’ suspension overturned
The real Deflategate verdict? NFL’s in trouble

Immigration to Germany hits highest mark since 1992

Chaos at Budapest train station as migrants rush trains
Budapest and Europe face a migrant crisis
Syrian refugees reach Norway — via the Arctic
Father of drowned Syrian boy describes voyage

Gates: How we can avoid worst of climate change

Watch China’s    90-minute parade in 60 seconds
Xi talks peace, but China parade flexes power
China markets close for war anniversary

Blame Marissa Mayer for maternity-leave shrink

Karl Lagerfeld is coming to a store near you

These are the college majors that are dying

They tangled with student debt all summer
College help for low-income families

Investment risk has changed, so this must change too
Volatility is driving foreign buyers to Treasurys

The search for 1,000 angels to help women startups

43% of U.S. homes are at high risk of natural disaster

Why the U.K. Hugo Chavez will be good for its economy

Why India is worth a look if you’re cooling on China

Apple’s biggest challenge: Topping the iPhone 6
Apple set to join content contest
What to expect from the Apple event on Sept. 9
/conga/frontpage.html 354117

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109.73MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 113.10M
Unchanged
224
Decliners
2653
Advancers
3709
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
  • 1 Day
  • 5 Days
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year
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Dow
/quotes/zigman/627449/realtime 16,375 +23 0.14%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,733 -16 0.35%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,951 +2 0.12%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,324 +1 0.03%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/662444/delayed 1,125 0 0.00%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2331095/delayed 46.68 -0.07 0.15%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 6,194 +111 1.82%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 10,318 +270 2.68%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 4,654 +99 2.17%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 22,177 +565 2.62%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 10,042 +104 1.05%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 362 +8 2.37%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 2,708 -5 0.19%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 18,064 -118 0.65%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 20,935 -250 1.18%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 3,160 -6 0.20%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 25,765 +311 1.22%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 2,906 +28 0.98%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/16008136/realtime/sampled 1.11 +0.00 0.04%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/16008150/realtime/sampled 119.86 -0.21 0.17%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/16008140/realtime/sampled 1.53 0.00 0.05%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/16008115/realtime/sampled 0.70 0.00 0.14%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 96.33 -0.08 0.08%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/41508961/realtime 88.80 -0.01 0.01%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 2.16 0.00 0.08%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.73 -0.06 7.14%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 1.92 -0.07 3.70%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 2.11 -0.04 1.85%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 1.80 -0.02 0.97%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.39 -0.01 1.94%
Crude Oil
/quotes/zigman/2331095/delayed 47 0 0.15%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/662444/delayed 1,125 0 0.00%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/7599553/delayed 361 0 0.07%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/38649152/delayed 16,282 -66 0.40%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/30356461/delayed 1,938 -8 0.40%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/3134148/delayed 15 0 0.32%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 88.15 -1.74 -1.94%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 110.37 -1.97 -1.75%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/30194416/composite 606.25 -8.09 -1.32%
BAC /quotes/zigman/190927/composite 15.94 0.09 0.57%
C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 51.79 0.04 0.08%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 13.84 -0.03 -0.22%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 33.04 0.22 0.67%
BP /quotes/zigman/247026/composite 32.41 0.21 0.65%
GE /quotes/zigman/227468/composite 24.51 -0.06 -0.24%
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Rates »

5 yr CD
1.5%
2 yr CD
0.8%
1 yr CD
0.6%
MMA $10K+
0.3%
MMA $50K+
0.4%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 11.62% 11.62% 11.53%
Business 12.85% 12.85% 12.85%
Student 13.14% 13.14% 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.12% 14.12% 14.00%
Airline 15.10% 15.10% 15.15%
Reward 15.14% 15.14% 14.99%
Cash Back 15.27% 15.27% 15.26%
Instant Approval 18.00% 18.00% 17.93%
Bad Credit 22.73% 22.73% 22.48%
Source:CreditCards.com

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Pay Dirt
A daily look at what we buy, how we spend, and the companies that do right - and wrong - by their customers.

Chick-fil-A’s Gay Marriage Stance: Good Branding?

Chick-fil-A has taken a lot of heat in recent weeks for its opposition to gay marriage. But when the current controversy finally cools, experts say, the brand may do better than ever.

Alex Wong / Getty Images
A Chick-fil-A in Springfield, Virginia.

The fast-food chain’s president and COO, Dan Cathy, made several public comments in recent weeks reiterating his opposition to same-sex marriage—those who support it, he said in one interview, were “inviting God’s judgment.” Since then, the Jim Henson Co. and Chick-fil-A ended a licensing agreement for a children’s “puppet meal.” The company’s contributions to groups that oppose gay marriage have gotten more public exposure, and political backlash has followed. The public is weighing in too, of course. On Wednesday, a group of activists is organizing a “National Marriage Equality Day” at Starbucks, a company that supports gay marriage. And last week, thousands of people stood in line for “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” an event kick-started by Mike Huckabee, the radio and TV host and former Republican presidential candidate.

The impact on Chick-fil-A has been mixed. The privately held company said it saw “record-setting” sales after the appreciation day last week, but opinion of its brand nationwide has tumbled, according to a survey by YouGov’s BrandIndex, a measure of brand perception among the public. Chick-fil-A’s brand rating has declined to 28 from 65 on YouGov’s index, far below the average score of 43 for other fast-food chains.

Still, the company has no shortage of outlets in typically conservative states where its stance resonates. The majority of its 1,600 franchises are located in the Midwest and South. Chick-fil-A’s BrandIndex rating in the Midwest temporarily spiked to 70 after one round of public comments by Cathy, though it has fallen since then.

Chick-fil-A declined to comment for this article, directing Pay Dirt to a statement on the company’s website saying it has always operated on “biblically-based principles.” But two branding industry pros — Martin Lindstrom, author of “Brandwashed,” and consultant Rob Frankel — say the company may have ultimately strengthened itself by remaining true to its core base. We asked them where the company should go from here.

Pay Dirt: Do you think Dan Cathy knew what he was doing when he made that statement the first time?

Martin Lindstrom: It seemed like an off-the-cuff comment.

Rob Frankel: I’ll bet next week’s paycheck that it was not deliberate. There are few if any brands that possess the strategic intellectual or creative capacity for plotting something like this. This is like a contained nuclear explosion. You’ve really got to know what you’re doing.

How will this impact the company?

Lindstrom: There are a lot of people who had never even heard of Chick-fil-A before. With the help of social media, millions more people in the U.S. and around the world know about the brand. All those people showing up in favor of the fast-food chain last week is a sign of that.

Frankel: The brand of Chick-fil-A will benefit tremendously from this. In most cases, the actions of the CEO have very little to do with the overall performance of the brand. I predict it will actually increase its revenue and growth in one to two years.

Why do you think this controversy is a good thing?

Lindstrom: It creates a sense of belonging for consumers. Supporting a brand defines who you are and who you are not. That’s why people turned up in the thousands to buy [sandwiches] at Chick-fil-A. What has that got to do with sexual relationships and marriage? Not a lot. But it’s a way for people to show their opinion and be part of a community.

Frankel: More people have now heard about Chick-fil-A. They won’t necessarily go hunting for a Chick-fil-A sandwich, but when there are four fast-food chains to choose from, they will be curious about their sandwiches. Are they as crunchy as the chicken you get at KFC? Some people will want to find out.

Cathy’s statement upset a lot of people who regard same-sex marriage as a civil right.

Lindstrom: With a civil rights issue, the brand risks getting left behind, so normally I would say this was a stupid thing to do. But there is some logic from a branding point of view. An estimated 44% of people still oppose gay marriage; that’s a huge target group.

Frankel: This isn’t close to a civil rights issue. It’s a hot topic for the presidential elections. This is way more about freedom of speech than gay marriage.

What should Chick-fil-A do now?

Lindstrom: Brands should stand up for what they believe. Consumers don’t respond to bland branding. There’s too much of that perfect stuff out there. If they do it right, the company will attract more conservative customers and others who don’t care one way or the other.

Frankel: They should stick to their knitting. In this case: selling chicken.

J.C. Penney shows same-sex couples in its catalogs. Microsoft, Amazon, Nike and Starbucks have all come out in favor of gay marriage in an upcoming referendum in Washington state. Bud Light, Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson are among the companies that have sponsored gay pride parades. Are brands becoming more politicized?

Lindstrom: In the future, we’ll see two types of brands: Those appealing to the general masses, and those that aim to raise awareness on certain issues. People will either love or hate them. Some brands have done that successfully. Ben and Jerry’s and The Body Shop were very opinionated and politically left wing. Both were bought out by multinationals.

Frankel: The activists and media like to think that people care. But you will barely see the needle move in the short- or long-term. Anita Bryant, known for her strong views against homosexuality, was a spokeswoman for the Florida Citrus Commission. Her contract lapsed in 1979 and most people did not stop drinking Florida orange juice.

What is your position on Dan Cathy’s comments?

Lindstrom: Same-sex marriage is perfectly fine. This has been allowed for 15 years in my native Denmark. The U.S. is 15 years behind.

Frankel: I don’t like to get tagged on a particular issue like this. But I am as strong an advocate for personal freedom as you’ll ever find.

You’re hungry, you’re at a crossroads, there’s a Chick-fil-A on one corner and a KFC on the other. Which way do you turn?

Lindstrom: I’m curious enough to go into the Chick-fil-A to see how the staff is handling it because I’m a branding guy, but unfortunately I’m not going to buy anything in there.

Frankel: I think I’d let my taste buds decide. Ultimately, that’s what most customers will do.

Comments

We welcome thoughtful comments from readers. Please comply with our guidelines. Our blogs do not require the use of your real name.

Comments (5 of 43)

View all Comments »
    • time will tell if there are enough supporters or detractors… i sincerely hope everyone votes with their pocket book and chooses not to support them. i for one will never eat there again… i can only hope others will join me. the idea of the profits going to organizations that support discrimination is unacceptable.

    • chick fil a is not gay yay!

    • Who is really backwards and old fashioned? The truth is, sodomy is much much much older than Christianity, and even Judaism whether you start counting from Moses or from Abraham. Judaism and then Christianity is the NEW WAY! The superior way that leads to life and peace. Sodomy is a celebration of death and infertility: the symbolism of a man’s organ of life ejaculating into a poop chute is all you need to understand.

    • Over 1600 Chick-fil-A franchise owners received an amazing GIFT, a proof Dan Cathy’s hatred is killing THEIR business. Franchise owners work 60-80 hours/week standing in pools of melted lard ruining their knock off brand sneakers, just to make a living. Dan Cathy is worth 4.5 BILLION. It’s like Christmas morning for these owners dividing 4.5 BILLION into 1600 pieces.
      Can you say CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT?

    • Dan Cathy was CAUGHT on Twitter cheering he had LIT UP Facebook with angered gays.
      THIS was HIS HATE STUNT.
      OK, now you’ve angered gays….deal with it.

About Pay Dirt

  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to quentin.fottrell@dowjones.com or tweet @SMPayDirt.

MarketWatch - Stock Market Quotes, Business News, Financial News
Bulletin
Investor Alert

Tokyo Markets Close in:

need to know
Market turmoil caused by obscure strategy?
44 million tried Apple Music in its first month
When do markets close for Labor Day?
Amazon to buy video software company
ISM services index slows, but tops forecast
Jobless claims rise to two-month high
U.S. trade deficit shrinks 7.4% to $41.9 billion
L.L. Bean longtime CEO Leon Gorman dies
Treasury's Lew irked by China's FX move
Kentucky clerk jailed over marriage licenses

Oops — Rick Perry says broken clock right once a day

Six actors who were almost cast as James Bond

Sizeable outflow from China adds to fears

Ad war over oil exports heats up as vote nears

What it’s like to play tennis with a ‘smart’ racket

Tom Brady’s ‘Deflategate’ suspension overturned
The real Deflategate verdict? NFL’s in trouble

Immigration to Germany hits highest mark since 1992

Chaos at Budapest train station as migrants rush trains
Budapest and Europe face a migrant crisis
Syrian refugees reach Norway — via the Arctic
Father of drowned Syrian boy describes voyage

Gates: How we can avoid worst of climate change

Watch China’s    90-minute parade in 60 seconds
Xi talks peace, but China parade flexes power
China markets close for war anniversary

Blame Marissa Mayer for maternity-leave shrink

Karl Lagerfeld is coming to a store near you

These are the college majors that are dying

They tangled with student debt all summer
College help for low-income families

Investment risk has changed, so this must change too
Volatility is driving foreign buyers to Treasurys

The search for 1,000 angels to help women startups

43% of U.S. homes are at high risk of natural disaster

Why the U.K. Hugo Chavez will be good for its economy

Why India is worth a look if you’re cooling on China

Apple’s biggest challenge: Topping the iPhone 6
Apple set to join content contest
What to expect from the Apple event on Sept. 9
/conga/frontpage.html 354117

Markets »

109.73MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 113.10M
Unchanged
224
Decliners
2653
Advancers
3709
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
  • 1 Day
  • 5 Days
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year
  • 2 Years
Dow
/quotes/zigman/627449/realtime 16,375 +23 0.14%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,733 -16 0.35%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,951 +2 0.12%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,324 +1 0.03%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/662444/delayed 1,125 0 0.00%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2331095/delayed 46.68 -0.07 0.15%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 6,194 +111 1.82%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 10,318 +270 2.68%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 4,654 +99 2.17%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 22,177 +565 2.62%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 10,042 +104 1.05%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 362 +8 2.37%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 2,708 -5 0.19%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 18,064 -118 0.65%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 20,935 -250 1.18%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 3,160 -6 0.20%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 25,765 +311 1.22%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 2,906 +28 0.98%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/16008136/realtime/sampled 1.11 +0.00 0.04%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/16008150/realtime/sampled 119.87 -0.20 0.17%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/16008140/realtime/sampled 1.53 0.00 0.05%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/16008115/realtime/sampled 0.70 0.00 0.14%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 96.33 -0.08 0.08%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/41508961/realtime 88.80 -0.01 0.01%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 2.16 0.00 0.08%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.73 -0.06 7.14%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 1.92 -0.07 3.70%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 2.11 -0.04 1.85%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 1.80 -0.02 0.97%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.39 -0.01 1.69%
Crude Oil
/quotes/zigman/2331095/delayed 47 0 0.15%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/662444/delayed 1,125 0 0.00%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/7599553/delayed 361 0 0.07%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/38649152/delayed 16,282 -66 0.40%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/30356461/delayed 1,939 -8 0.39%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/3134148/delayed 15 0 0.32%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 88.15 -1.74 -1.94%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 110.37 -1.97 -1.75%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/30194416/composite 606.25 -8.09 -1.32%
BAC /quotes/zigman/190927/composite 15.94 0.09 0.57%
C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 51.79 0.04 0.08%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 13.84 -0.03 -0.22%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 33.04 0.22 0.67%
BP /quotes/zigman/247026/composite 32.41 0.21 0.65%
GE /quotes/zigman/227468/composite 24.51 -0.06 -0.24%
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Rates »

5 yr CD
1.5%
2 yr CD
0.8%
1 yr CD
0.6%
MMA $10K+
0.3%
MMA $50K+
0.4%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 11.62% 11.62% 11.53%
Business 12.85% 12.85% 12.85%
Student 13.14% 13.14% 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.12% 14.12% 14.00%
Airline 15.10% 15.10% 15.15%
Reward 15.14% 15.14% 14.99%
Cash Back 15.27% 15.27% 15.26%
Instant Approval 18.00% 18.00% 17.93%
Bad Credit 22.73% 22.73% 22.48%
Source:CreditCards.com

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