NEW YORK —Restaurant stocks finished 2008 with some of the weakest performances that industry veterans can recall. The new year, however, has started with a bang, and many point to the sector’s pending upturn once an economic recovery begins. For 2008, the market-weighted Nation’s Restaurant News Stock Index fell 18.4 percent, compared with a decrease of 32.7 percent for the Dow Jones industrial average and a 37.6-percent slide for the S&P 500. —Restaurant ...

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