Sales of Hershey chocolate can predict where the stock market is heading, analyst Brian Stutland claims. "Your basic thing that everybody loves is chocolate," Stutland said. "If chocolate sales are falling -- if you hate chocolate -- you definitely hate real estate or whatever big-ticket purchases you want to make." While the focus on Hershey is novel, it is not uncommon for trends in staple product sales to be examined to predict greater economic trends.

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