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Feb 26

Before 24.. Financial News You Can Use..

02.26.12

In The News:

And in this corner…. On Monday in the court fight over who really has exclusive rights over Martha Stewart and her products. Front and center was Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren expected to tell the Macy’s side of the story in court. At stake who really has the exclusive rights to sell certain Martha Stewart products. JC Penny claims they have the rights and were planning on opening mini Martha Stewart stores.Macy’s contenteds they have the exclusive rights given to them when they welcomed Martha into the Macy’s family in 2007. On side note Martha Stewart’s line at Macy’s increased sales 8% last year twice what Macy’s achieved as a company. hmmm I don’t think Martha should wait for an invite to appear in this years Macy’s Christmas commercials.

No more working from home.. Yahooer’s received official notification as of June 2013 they will no longer be permitted to work from home. Instead they will need to report to the office everyday. In the notification to employes  Yahoo stated  the reason for the new policy “To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side,”  “That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices.” In addition to causing a stir at Yahoo the policy has also angered mother’s groups.  Just remember kids.. If Mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.

But Goldman was my dream job…. Goldman Sachs announced Monday it will begin it’s spring cleaning. While Goldman usually culls the undesirables by 5% this year the number may be a slight bit deeper and include jobs deeper into it’s core business like equity traders.

New kid on the block… HP re-entered the tablet market. Costing $169  and powered by Android it is seen as competition to both Google Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire.

Will you join me for dinner…. CME (Chicago mercantile Exchange) has reacted out to Deutsche Borse to gauge potential interest in a merger of the two firms. The CME is the world largest market for futures and options. AKA it is the place the helps dictates the price of your oj, gas and other staples. Deutshe Borse is the losing suitor in a bid in 2011 for the New York Stock Exchange.

Pass the Pasta, please it’s going to be a long night.. An Election meant to push Italy further down the path of solvency and strength the Euro Zone reputation has instead brought the country more gridlock. As on late Monday it appears the left-wing coalition led by Democratic Party’s Pier Luigi Bersani has a razor-thin majority in the lower house over the scandal Mr. Berlusconi. Hopefully, day light will bring resolution.

Danger Zone, No More.. foreign Investors and their monies are returning to Greece as fear of an euro zone exit receded. In a show of confidence for the country that brought us such treats feta cheese or  foreign investors have pumped $143.8 million into the Greek stocks in the last six months.

In The Markets:

Europe: European market were down in their Monday trading as investors across the globe watched in disappointment at the results of the Italian elections.

US: US Markets tumbled on Monday as the political disappointment of the Italy elections sunk in. Stocks started out the trading session optimistic but fizzled fast as spooked investors locked in on Italy and Japan. Japan will announce this week the long-awaited name of the next BOJ governor.DJIA: -216.40  13784.17 S&P 500: -27.75 1487.85  NASDAQ: -45.87 3116.25

In Diner or Drink..

We choose Diner. In celebration of investors flocking back into Greece we are stirring up a batch of : Spanakopita- Greek Spinach Pie

What you will need:

  • 1 pkg Phyllo pastry
  • Melted butter or olive oil (to brush on the phyllo)

        For the Filling:

2 lbs fresh spinach, washed, trimmed, and roughly chopped

8 green onions, including green stems, finely chopped

4 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill

12 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

2 eggs, beaten

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp Olive oil

To prepare the filling:

Blanch the spinach in boiling water, drain thoroughly, remove to a bowl and allow to cool.  Add all the other ingredients and combine well.

To assemble the pie:

Preheat the oven to 350F,  Unwrap the phyllo pastry on a flat surface and cover with a damp tea towel.  Lightly oil a 12-inch square baking dish.  Place half the Phylo sheets in the bottom of the dish, brushing each sheet with the melted butter as it is added.  Add all the filling and then spread the remaining Phylo sheets on top, brushing each one with the melted butter.  Sprinkle a little water on top to prevent the Phylo from burning.  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown.  Eat either hot or cold.

Serves 6 to 8

Feb 25

In the News:

Greenlight… Apple on Friday said they would pull a controversial proposal at its annual shareholders’ meeting after a federal judge granted David Einhorn and his Greenlight fund an injunction to preliminary blocking a vote on the proposal. At stake, Apple’s shareholder proposal which bundled Apple’s articles of incorporation in three ways, including changing language about the election of directors, setting a minimum value of Apple shares and requiring a shareholder vote before issuing stock. Einhorn has not been quiet regarding his want of Apple to return some of its stock piles of cash to shareholders, opposed the last amendment requiring a shareholder vote before issuing stock.

What do a Scandalous Politician, Comedian, a Tycoon, and a Professor all have in common? They are all running for Italy’s Prime Minster. Italians are headed to the polls for parliamentary elections. The world is literal watching, not just because one of the candidates is former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, but the outcome of the election could affect the welfare of the Euro zone. Depending on which candidate wins and what solutions they bring to Italy’s debt crisis could cause Italy to be in the clear or in the same boat as Greece.

No, not a downgrade… On Friday, Moody’s cut the UK’s rating from Triple A down one notch to AA1 and changed the counties outlook to stable. The reason cited: worsening economic weakness will weigh down public finances for years to come. The downgrade is more a psychological blow to both the UK’s proud history of being a world power house and its elected officials, who have justified deep cuts were needed to keep the countries triple AAA rating.

And the prediction is… The European Union’s official economists on Friday reported their predictions/forecast for 2013. Their forecast calls for a 0.3% contraction causing the Euro Zone’s economy to shrink for a second year in a row. Less spending by business, consumers, and national governments will push euro-zone unemployment to new highs. Talk about spoiling a Friday…

Confidence can fix anything… On Friday the IFO German Business Confidence Index rose to 107,  expectations were 104, for a fourth month in a row.  The index, which gauges confidence in the business environment in Germany, showed business are feeling more encouraged about improvement in the overall economic picture.

This Message Will Self Destruct in 1 min… A new social media app, Snap Chat, allows users to send pics. or video’s that self destruct at a set time. The app was created by two frat brothers from Stanford.

Oscar we love you and the money you bring us..ABC is charging as much as $2 million for a 30. sec commercial. The highest rate charged in six years. Estimated revenue for ABC and it’s Oscar presentation $85 Million. That’s a wholata buckets of popcorn.

In The Markets:

European: Stoxx 600 +1.3% 288.57
Friday saw European shares rallied. Inventors took advantage of the lower prices caused from the previous day’s steep fall. Investors were still playing it safe, seeking protection against the potential risk of political stalemates next week’s Italian elections could bring.

US: DJIA +119.95 14000.57 S&P +13.18 1515.60 NASDAQ +33.33 3161.82
All three US indices closed in the green as better than expected German confidence numbers and corporate earnings from AIG and Hewlett Packard. Only cloud in the sky: the S&P, who despite an up day, broke its seven straight week winning streak.

In Dinner or Drink:
It’s Friday so to honor Greenlight victory over Apple today we pick Drink:

Apple Martini

1 (1.5 fluid ounce) jigger best-quality vodka

1 (1.5 fluid ounce) jigger apple schnapps

1 (1.5 fluid ounce) jigger frozen lemonade

1 (1.5 fluid ounce) jigger chilled lemon-lime soda

1 Lime wedge

1 Maraschino cherries

Directions:
Pour the vodka, schnapps, lemonade, and soda into a cocktail shaker over ice. Cover, and shake until the outside of the shaker has frosted. Strain into a chilled martini glass, and garnish with a lime wedge and maraschino cherry to serve.

Feb 16

Before 24.. Financial News you can use..

02.13.12

The Who: Asian Markets

The What: Nikkei -117.71 11251.41

Why: The Nikkei inched lower on Wednesday.  Comments on Tuesday from the G-7 created a weaker Yen which  took its tool on exporters and spooked investors.

Government intervention a BIG NO NO… Tuesday the G-7 countries made their stance clear on the currency questions by releasing a statement stating markets not governments should dictate currency valuations. Also, adding stimulus should only be used to spark domestic demand. In a nut shell the G-7, who is gearing up for the currency questions to come up in the G-20 summit held next weekend, felt the need to shoot over the bow first. A lot of chatter has been heard about “currency wars” from Japan to the Euro Zone in the last couple weeks as pressure to globally competitive become more of a concern. Many feel like the statement was directed at Japan and the Yen, which has aggressively moved in the last several months. These moves have helped stimulate Japan’s economy by making products they export to other countries less expensive and more competitive.

The Who: European Markets

The What: +0.5% 287.07

The Why: European stocks gained ground  as investors applauded Barclay on their profit figures and plans to overhaul the company. And I mean overhaul everything from corp structure to company culture. The markets are hoping Barclay’s new game plan will amaze and inspire its peers in the financial services industry to follow suit.

And your safe… ECB Mario Draghi on a visit to Spain Tuesday declared Spain to be on the right track therefore, they do not need a bailout.

Currency Wars= overused… ECB (European Central Bank) President Mario Draghi also used Tuesday as day to finally way in on the France vs Germany Euro currency wars. If you remember France thinks the Euro is overvalued and hurting struggling economies. Germany on the other hand thinks the Euro is valued where it should be. Draghi agrees with Germany. In a statement Draghi said the term “Currency War” is way overdone. The strength of the Euro is a sign of returning confidence in the Euro zone.  You tell’em Mr. ECB President…

The Who: US Markets

The What: DJIA +47.77 14019.01 NASDAQ -5.51 3186.49 S&P 500 +2.43 1519.44

Why: Markets closed in the green on Tuesday boosted by corporate profits and anticipation what President Obama’s State of the Union will bring. Both the S&P and DJIA closed to multi-year highs with the DJIA closing, for the second time this year, over the all important 14,000 mark inching closer to the all time high.

Love me some Micheal Koors.. Shares of the fabulous clothes maker soared up 8.8% on news from the company its profit for fiscal ’13 would be more than double what was reported last year.

I need a drink? Makers Mark has confessed they are having to reduce the amount of alcohol in their bourbon in order to keep up with demand. Manhattan anyone?

My way is better than your way.. Shareholder activist David Einhorn, head of Greenlight Capital, is threatening to sue Apple over what it’s doing with the spare cash it has. Einhorn called Apple’s way of handling its spare cash a Depression Era mentality.  Einhorn thinks Apple should issue perpetual premium shares allowing shareholders a better return for their equity stake. Grab your popcorn and enjoy the show.

16

Before 24… Financial News you can use..

02.14.12

The Who:Asian Markets

The What: Nikkei + 55.87 11307.28 Hang Seng +198.09 23413.25 Shanghai- Closed for Holiday

The Why: Asian Markets ended their Valentine’s Day trading session higher despite dismissal economic news from Japan and investors concern over this weekend’s G20 meeting in Moscow. The Heng Seng, who had been off for the year of the snake festivities, gained on merger news from Cnooc. The Nikkei continued its run up as investors put money into companies with better than expected corporate earnings.

Whose Zooming Who? Cnooc, the offshore oil producer, received approval from the US for its $15.1 billion acquisitions of Canadian oil and gas company Nexen. The good news caused shares to rise  by 1.9%.

GDP? Japan’s Q4 GDP (Gross Domestic Product) contracted for a third straight quarter.

No suprise: With Japan’s weak GDP numbers it came as no surprise the Bank of Japan announced no change to their monetary policy. The Bank of Japan did say the feel like the worst is over and Japan’s economy has bottomed out.

The Who: European Markets

The What: Stoxx 600 +0.4%  288.27

The Why: Wednesday’s trading session saw shares on the rise. European markets were boosted upward by a bumper crop of positive corporate earnings reports and investors feeling a bit more at easy with the euro zone debt crisis. An increase in the Euro Zone’s industrial productions (0.7% in December vs. a 0.7 drop) helped ease investors confidence that there might actually be a light at the end of the Euro Zone debt crisis tunnel after all.

What’s better than a deal? A trade deal.. The US and the 27 member European Union have announced they are engaging in negotiations aimed at reshaping global trading standards. The meetings could start as early as June of this year. The deal would cover half the world’s economic output. It could take two years of negotiation to work through all the legal mumbo jumbo, however ultimately the hope is a far-reaching agreement model for international trade deals.

What kind of sale is this?? One of the many ways a county can pay for its debt is to sell bonds (aka IOU’s)  at a bond actions. A country will hold an actions were investors can loan them money (aka purchase a bond). In return for the loan they promise to pay the investor their money back at a set time in the future and make some interest payments. Always remember the higher the risk the higher the interest you have to pay to get someone to buy your bond. Bond auctions are particularly exciting when the country selling the bonds is a little more risky causing many to ask will anyone show up,will anyone what to buy what I am selling, and how much will it cost me to borrow some moolah.  Wednesday, Italy held its bond auction. Here’s the results. The interest that has to be paid for someone to purchase their three-year government bond was higher than the previous sale in January. The interest that has to paid for someone who purchase their bonds  for a longer time frame were lower than the previous sale in January.  Why is this important? It showed investors are feeling a bit more confident about Italy’s long-term outlook and will put their money where their mouth is.

The Who: US Markets

The What: DJIA -36.10 NASDAQ +10.38  S&P 500 0.87 1520.30

The Why: US Markets closed mixed on Wednesday. For months we have all wondered what effects the payroll tax would have on the economy and today we got a small glimpse. January retail sales were released showing a  small increase of 0.1%.  The report showcased consumer, who are getting double whammied by less in paychecks and higher fuel prices, don’t spend as much.

There’s a new bird in the sky…. After what seemed like years US Air and American have made it official. US Air and American will merger creating the world’s largest airline.

Taking Control…The parent company of NBC Universal, yes that NBC, will have a new owner. Comcast will buy GE’s remaining 49% stake in NBC Universal for $16.7 billion. The cash GE will receive will help the company continue their share buy back from current share holders. Don’t you just love a merger that make all involved happy,happy, happy?

A new stream? Amazon Prime announced Wednesday it will stream most of CBS programing at no extra cost. Also announced plans for Amazon to carry an exclusive CBS summer series. hmm what would we do without streaming?

Feb 12

Before 24.. Global Financial News you can use..

02.12.12

Who: Asian Markets

What: Nikkei +215.96 11,369.12   Most Asian Markets were closed today for the Chinese New Year celebration.

But Why? Despite being one of the only Asia Markets open today, the Nikkei added to its recent rally. Exports again led the rally as the Yen continues to weaken against the US Dollar. Comments from prospective Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda saying he is open to further easing this year caused the Yen to weaken against both the US Dollar and Euro.

OH No you didn’t.. North Korea has confirmed they tested a nuclear missile early this morning.

Who: European markets

What:Euro Stoxx 500 -7.69 2622.61

But Why? European markets closed in the red on Monday as investors took profits, a major European drug company coped with rejection and worries about what drama was going on in the Euro zone Finance Meeting.

Sorry Charlie, no better living through chemistry for you..Novo Nordisk share plunged 13 percent Monday. The shares took their  worst fall in four years on the announcement its new insulin drug will be required to supply additional test before U.S. regulators will give their stamp of approval. The potential approval process could last several years and threaten the company’s long-term financial picture.

Shall we dance, Cyprus.. One of the many topics on the agenda of euro-zone finance ministers, currently meeting  in Brussels, a proposal for an aid package for Cyprus. Making this a bit more tricky  Cyprus  has a large exposure to Greece’s banking and financial sectors. Despite the risk, Eurogroup Chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem, commented Monday work would continue towards drawing up an aid package. Stressing however, no final decisions would be happening until March after the country had their general elections.

Who: US Markets

What: Dow – 21.73 13971.24   Nasdaq -1.37 3192.00  S&P 500 15147.01 -0.92

But Why? US Markets lost some ground on Monday. Investors seemed to be hang out on the sidelines as they took some profits and anxiously waited for the President’s State of the Union. Investors and most Americans will be watching  Tuesday  as President Obama makes his state of the union address.  Many are hoping the speech will  provide hints how a budget deal may be reached and what his potential plans for future economic recovery will be.

Crackberry.. We’re going to have to give you up.. Home Depot announced today it would swap out 10,000 blackberry and replacing them with I-Phones.

You sold what?? Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt sold 42% of his share of Google recently. The sale could net him $2.5 billion. Wall Street had mixed reviews what this the Google big picture. One half believes Schmidt when he said he need the money for his next big adventure. The other half believe it doesn’t bode well for confidence in Google. It could have been worse if Google current CEO or other exec had sold their shares.

Feb 9

Before 24.. Financial News you can use.

Who: Asian Markets
What: Nikkei +416.83  Hang Seng +108.40  Shanghai +1.34

But Why:Asia markets closed in the green Wednesday morning. Leading the way the Nikkei (Japan), who jumped too a four-year high.A less expensive Yen helped propel export stocks as investors bet on the effects of a cheaper yen: better profits. The Shanghai (China) composite closed flat on lower volume as millions of Chinese get ready for the national week-long New Years celebration holiday next week.  The Hang Seng (Hong Kong) added triple digits as the New Chinese leadership wants to narrow the gap between the have’s and the have not’s.

Really those pesky exchange rate places in the airport can cause a market move? Yes, they can. Because the Yen is less expensive than the Dollar right now Japan exporters are ridding high. Essentially it is cheaper to buy something made in Japan than most anywhere in the world. Investors are betting Japan’s corporations profits will rise.

It’s always political..Investors also are banking on Japan’s version of free money( also know as QE).  Earlier this week an official with the Bank of Japan, Governer Massaaki Shirakawa, said he would resign in March earlier than end of his five-year term in April.  Speculation for the cause of earlier retirement..  Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (Japan’s new sheriff)  has put the central bank under relentless pressure to do more to pull the economy out of the doldrums aka. monetary easing.  Prime Minster Abe has made it clear that  his pick for the Bank of Japan governor will help promote his mission of  aggressive monetary easing  to help stimulate Japan’s economy. Here’s to things that make you go hmmmmm.

Who: European Markets
What: Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.6% to 285.56
But Why:

Sometime Bad news is really Good News? According to Markit’s January Composite PMI (Purchasing manufacturing Index) the Euro Zone activity shrunk at a rate smaller than it had in the previous 10 months. The Index was helped by a steady increase in growth from Germany. The index also  measured  the Euro zones services sector which rose to 48.6 in January from 47.2 in December. (Any figure below 50 indicate contraction. Figures over 50 indicate expansion) This gave the markets and investors a reason to dream of the good old days of the past when the Euro zone was thriving.

It’s a small world after all.. Also adding to the dream machine news from the  U.S and China show the world’s economic picture is improving.  In the US data released in the am stated non-manufacturing sector remained in expansion territory last month while beating forecasts.  China economic data, the  HSBC China Services Purchasing Managers’ Index,  rose to 54.0 in January from 51.7 in December.
But wait.. Lurking in the shadows: The Euro zone debt crisis soap opera.  With a political scandal in Spain and a banking scandal in Italy spooked  investors to avoid bonds and stocks in Europe’s southern countries. Money moved out of weak country bonds like Spain and Italy into more secure countries like Germany. European Finance ministers are meeting this week. ECB Chief Banker Mario Draghi is still trying to convince the world the Euro zone is making a speed recovery from the depths of financial ruins.
What does this  mean? The European markets aren’t buying what the ECB is handing out. I smell nervous investors coming soon.

US Markets
WHAT: DJIA: +99.22 13979.30 Nasdaq: +40.41 3171.58 S&P:+15.58 1511.29

But Why:  US stocks rallied across the board  on better than expected economic data, new deals, and increase in profits.

Nothing makes you smile more that economic data… The US service sector expanded in January and on the hou frsingont prices hit a 6 year high.

Show me the money.. Technology stocks led the rally across all 10 sector groups.  The largest rally in tech came from Computer Sciences who jumped $3.84 a share after better than expected earnings.  Why is this important? It shows companies are investing in their infrastructure aka they are investing in their future.

We have a deal: Those are the four best words in Micheal Dell’s world. After months of speculation Dell’s CEO confirmed he will be taken the tech giant private in a deal worth $24.4 Billion dollars. Financing for the deal came from fund affiliates of Silver Lake Partners, Microsoft and the big guy himself Micheal Dell.

Fraud? ..After four years of investigation the US Justice Department formally announced it will  sue S&P for fraud over their mortgage ratings, which some belief contributed to the financial crisis. The Justice Department claims S&P inflated ratings on  mortgage investments which in turn made it seem they were less risky and more attractive to investors large and small.

Backstory: S&P or ratings companies  rate companies, bonds, or other investment vehicles. This rating acts like a Good Housekeeping seal of approval. The ratings are supposed to tell investors if the investment vehicle is safe or risky helping the investor determine if it is suitable for their investment dollars.  S&P is charged with inflating ratings so more companies would ask them to rate future investment vehicles therefore making them more moolah.  If your memory is sharp you may be asking: wasn’t  S&P one of the first ratings agency to downgrade the US government ratings?  Yes you would be correct, causing some on wall street to say paybacks are hell and Karma will eventually catch up to you.

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