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Business Briefs

Roundup: US pending home sales slip in November; more

| Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, 12:01 a.m.
Oprah Winfrey details her weight loss struggles in her first ad for Weight Watchers.
Weight Watchers UK
Oprah Winfrey details her weight loss struggles in her first ad for Weight Watchers.
The world's largest McDonald's restaurant, on the corner of I-Drive and Sand Lake Road in Orlando, has undergone decades of remodeling, add-ons and upgrades since it opened in 1976.
Orlando Weekly
The world's largest McDonald's restaurant, on the corner of I-Drive and Sand Lake Road in Orlando, has undergone decades of remodeling, add-ons and upgrades since it opened in 1976.

Pending home sales slip in November

Fewer people signed contracts to purchase homes in November, as the real estate market appears to have cooled after sales gains for much of 2015.

The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index fell 0.9 percent to 106.9 last month. It was the lowest reading in 10 months. Still, the index has risen 2.7 percent from a year ago.

Steady hiring and low mortgage rates lifted home sales for much of this year. But the pace of buying slowed after the end of the summer, with inventories tight and home values rising faster than incomes.

Drugmaker seeks bankruptcy protection in wake of arrest

KaloBios, the troubled drugmaker taken over by Martin Shkreli last month, is seeking bankruptcy protection less than two weeks after his arrest for securities fraud.

It is the second pharmaceutical company with ties to the former hedge fund manager now in turmoil after his indictment on charges unrelated to his involvement with them, though the drugmakers are not lacking for problems of their own

The other company, Turing Pharmaceuticals Inc., is cutting jobs and seeking a new CEO after Shkreli resigned the position because of his arrest.

Weight Watchers stock soars as Oprah ad begins to air

Weight Watchers is getting another boost from Oprah Winfrey.

The weight loss company's shares soared Wednesday as a TV commercial starring Winfrey began to air.

The commercial shows past videos of Winfrey working out and referencing her struggle with weight, a frequent topic of her former talk show. The ad ends with Winfrey asking viewers if they're ready to join her. “Let's do this together,” she says.

World's largest McDonald's to close; bigger one planned

The world's largest McDonald's is preparing to close but is expected to be replaced with a bigger McDonald's next door in a couple of months.

The Orlando McDonald's building, which looks like a giant box of french fries, opened in 1976. Besides the restaurant itself, the McDonald's offered other activities, such as bowling, slides and video games.

Officials with Oerther Foods Inc., the company that owns and operates the restaurant, say construction of the 19,000-square-foot complex will begin in February.

— Wire reports

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