MULTINATIONAL BOOST. Of course, some sectors stand to do better than others. The biggest winners from a typical dollar decline are suppliers of consumer staples, energy, materials, and technology, while laggards tend to be financial services, utilities, and telecom, Merrill says.
Better results are already showing for U.S. multinationals such as McDonald's Corp. (MCD ), which reported on May 13 that its sales in Europe rose 19% in April. Most of that was the result of foreign-currency translation, not because the Oak Brook (Ill.) giant sold more burgers and fries in Europe.
With higher profits have come an improved stock market and increased investor wealth -- another plus for the economy. Fatter corporate profits should also relieve some of the pressure on companies to slash costs to boost earnings.
COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE. Over time, manuf