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Mar 21

Highlights:

New Toy…

Apple rolled out its second-generation AirPods on Wednesday. The tech giant added hands-free Siri access, 50 percent longer talk time and optional wireless charging to the product. Apple fans have been eagerly awaiting a follow-up to the original AirPods, which were launched in 2016. The new version looks like the old but has several new features. Apple added a new H1 processor that will increase talk time and the ability to summon Apple’s voice assistant simply by saying, “Hey Siri,” without touching the ear buds. The new chip will allow the Apple AirPods to connect twice as fast to other devices. Your new toy will set you back $159, unless you want the new wireless charging case which will set you back $199. The new model will be available in stores next week. Headphones are a key way for Apple to expand revenue as it sells fewer iPhone. AirPods are a key component of Apple’s growing Wearables, Home and Accessories segment, which generated more than $17 billion in revenue last year.
Out With Old, In With The New…

Starbucks announced Wednesday, it will target two areas to boost future growth: start-ups and improving its in-store experience. The coffee giant has made a $100 million investment in a new venture fund with Valor Equity Partners, which has previously invested in Tesla and SpaceX. The fund will give the coffee giant the first look at food and retail start-ups. The investment marks the first time that Starbucks has made this kind of investment. Investing in start-ups has become increasingly popular in the last few years among other food companies who are trying to adjusting to changing consumer tastes. The Seattle-based company also announced plans to update its stores starting with New York City locations this summer. Starbucks did not share how it plans to refresh the cafes nor how it will finance those plans.

Markets:
Asia: Asian stocks closed higher on Thursday, after Fed Head Powell announced no rate hikes for the rest of the year.
Europe: European markets closed lower as Brexit drama continues.
U.S: U.S. markets closed mostly lower on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve announced it will continue to pause interest rate hike through the res of the year. DJIA: -141.71 25745.67 NASDAQ: +5.02 7728.97

Word Of The Day…

Seasonal Adjustment

A statistical technique used to even out periodic swings in statistics or movements in supply and demand related to changing seasons.

Dinner or Drink:
Ski Season

2 scoops of ice cream
2 oz. half-and-half
1 oz. cherry juice
3 oz. Frangelico® hazelnut liqueur
3 cherries

Frappe all the above ingredients EXCEPT the cherries pour into the Mason jar and top with the cherries.

 

Mar 18

Highlights:

White Wine Spitzer…

Constellation Brands is in advanced talks to sell some of its low-end wine brands to E. & J. Gallo Winery. Constellation, which also sells Corona and Modelo beers, had hoped its wine business would fetch $3 billion. However, the sale is expected to be around $2 billion or less. Constellation put its U.S. wine business, which includes brands like Clos du Bois, Mark West, Arbor Mist, up for sale last year as part of its push to move further into cannabis. Sales of non-premium wine have slowed, as millennials focus increasingly on health and alternative indulgences like cannabis. When millennials do drink, they increasingly turn to premium wine or other drinks like spirits and craft beer. Constellation’s premium wine lines which sell for more $11 a bottle and include brands like Kim Crawford, Meiomi and Prisoner, continue to do well. Constellation is the third largest beer company in the United States, behind Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors. In November, it closed a $4 billion investment in the Canadian marijuana company Canopy Growth. While merger talks seem to be going well there are still several points that need to be ironed out like which brands will be part of the sales.

Trouble…

On Friday, U.S. regulators charged Volkswagen and former CEO Martin Winterkorn with defrauding investors during the companies diesel emissions scandal. The charges come two years after the German automaker settled with the U.S. over criminal and civil charges, as the company tries to distance itself from one if its darkest eras. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, between April 2014 and May 2015, Volkswagen issued more than $13 billion in bonds and asset-backed securities in U.S. markets when senior executives knew that more than 500,000 vehicles in the country grossly exceeded legal vehicle emissions limits. The SEC claims Volkswagen made false and misleading statements to investors and underwriters about vehicle quality, environmental compliance, and the company’s financial standing, which gave Volkswagen a financial benefit when it issued securities at more attractive rates for the company. Winterkorn resigned saying he took responsibility for the fraud, but insisted he personally did nothing wrong. Volkswagen said Friday that the SEC is simply repeating unproven claims about Winterkorn. The company has paid some $20 billion in fines and civil settlements. It has also pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the United States and several managers, including Winterkorn, were charged there. The SEC’s complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, charges Volkswagen AG, its subsidiaries Volkswagen Group of America Finance, LLC and VW Credit, Inc., and Winterkorn with violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities law

Markets:
Asia: Asian markets closed higher on Monday as investors await this weeks Federal Reserve Meeting.

Europe: European stocks ended higher, after U.K. lawmakers voted on Thursday night to seek a delay in the exit from the European Union for at least three months.

U.S: U.S indexes rallied on Friday as investor felt more optimistic about the ongoing trade talk’s with Russia. DJIA: +138.93 25848.87 NASDAQ: +57.62 7688.49 S&P: +14.00 2822.48

Word Of The Day:

Asset Classes

A group of securities that have similar characteristics, behave similarly in the markets, and are subject to the same laws and regulations. The three main asset classes are equities (stocks), fixed-income (bonds), and cash equivalents (money market instruments).

Dinner or Drink:

Stop Light

3 shots vodka
1 splash Midori® melon liqueur
1 splash orange juice
1 splash cranberry juice

Line up three shot glasses. Pour 1 shot of vodka into each glass. Add a splash of midori to one, a splash of orange juice to another and a splash of cranberry juice to the third. Drink them down Red, Yellow, Green. It’s a stop light!



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