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Apr 9



In The News:

Out with the old and in with the new… that’s what the Board of Directors of JCPenny said as they fired CEO Ron Johnson and replaced him with former CEO Myron Ullman. The new CEO will have a tough battle in front of him bring JCPenny back to his former self.

It’s Earning Season… Yep, we are back for another installment of Earnings Season starting as always with Alcoa. Alcoa, the aluminum company, reported a 59% profit for Q1 and reaffirmed its outlook for global aluminum demand to rise 7%. T is earning season did show a new side of Alcoa, a side where profits came more from value-added operations downstream such as designing automotive and aerospace parts and less from smeltering and mining.

Hooray for FORD… The car company had three of their cars pick up as world best-selling according to the data research firm Polk. The Ford Focus picked best-selling in the world with sales of 1.02 million vehicles, the F-Series won World Best-selling pickup and the Ford Fiesta took top prize for the best subcompact.

Google Unfair?  Microsoft and 17 other companies filed an antitrust complaint against Google in Europe. The companies content Google is using unfair practices in an effort to monopolies internet usage on smartphones.

Unlawful cuts: Germany stepped up pressure on Spain to find other cuts that will help lower the countries soaring deficit after a judge found wage and pension cuts were unlawful.

In The Markets:

Asia: Asia markets were mixed as investors were still trying to digest the good and bad economic data received over the last couple of days.

Europe: European markets closed higher as positive Germany data spurred investors to go on a buying spree.

US Markets: US markets closed higher in Monday trading session as investors got giddy for earning season and what surprises might lay ahead. DJIA: +48.23 14613.48 NASDAQ: +18.39 3222.25 S&P: +18.39 3222.25

In Dinner or Drink:

Today we choose drink to help Ford celebrate it’s world best including honors for the Fiesta.


Stir over ice cubes in a mixing glass, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and serve.

Read more: Fiesta recipe

Apr 4




In The News:

Fuzzy math: China released data that have some claiming fuzzy math. For the three months through February China’s mainland customs reports $ 94.9 billion in exports to Hong Kong, however, Hong Kong reported only $58.7 Billion in exports. The discrepancy between the two reports was the greatest reported ever. The exact reasons for the discrepancy aren’t clear however, many economist believe it may be China’s system of controls which make it hard to move investment funds in and out of the country. It is common practice for companies or peeps in China to hike the value of their goods and sending them abroad allowing the money to come back into China in greater amounts.

Samsung Store: Best Buy has discovered a way to use empty space in its stores: Turn it over to Samsung. Beginning May 1 Best Buy’s big box stores will have mini Samsung boutiques located toward the front of the store. The boutiques will carry an array of Samsung’s mobile devices, camera, and accessories while be manned by recruits hand-picked and trained by Samsung.

No good news on the EZ home front: EZ PMI (Producers Manufacturing Index) dropped in March positing 46.5 vs. 47.9 in February. What does it all mean.. The slowdown has now hit the one source of bring light, Germany.

Phone Home: Facebook is set to unveil its new HTC-made phone Thursday. The phone will run on an Android operations system and incorporate Facebook functionality. Some of the perks include news feeds made for mobile and a new scroll that helps users find information based on their network.

Same ol’ Same ol’ - BOE (aka Bank of England) announced it will leave its monetary policy unchanged, its benchmark rate at 0.5%, and its QE program dormant. The decision came after the country’s service PMI (Producers Manufacturing Index) rose from 51.8 in February to 52.4 in March the highest in seven months.

Not so good Economic Data: First, came the ADP numbers (number of jobs the private sector alone added) reporting only 119K jobs vs. 192K expected. Second, ISM (Institute of Supply Manufacturing) Index down at 54.4 in March vs. February 56… The index showed weakest in the manufacturing sector in 7 months.

In The Markets:

Asia: Asian markets were mixed in their trading session as the Bank of Japan said it would double its asset purchase insuring it will hit its 2% inflation target in two years.

Europe: European markets slid as investor anxiously waiting news from BOJ and BOE about their monetary policy.

US: US markets slid on weak economic data and rising tension with North Korea.  Dow: -111.66 14550.35 Nasdaq: -36.26 3218.60 S&P -16.56 1553.69

Dinner or Drink:

Today we pick a drink worthy of China’s fuzzy math.. A fuzzy navel.

Fuzzy Navel

1 part peach schnapps

1 part orange juice

1 part lemonade

Mix equal parts of each ingredient in a highball glass, top with ice, and serve.

More awesome drink receipes click here.





In The News:

Job,Jobs,Jobs… Job’s Friday (the first Friday of every month when the NFP numbers are announced) left many disappointed. The NFP (Non Farm Payroll)report stated the economy only added 88K jobs in March, half of what experts expected. The report did provide a little good news.. February’s NFP jobs numbers were revised upward to 286K jobs added. Despite the low number the unemployment rate fell from 7.7% in February to 7.6% in March.

GE brings good things to life.. General Electric has agreed to buy Lufkin Industries, provider oil and gas industry equipment, for 3.3 billion or $88.50 a share.

UPS Appeal: UPS announced it would appeal the EC (European Commission) decision that blocked them from buying TNT Express, the overnight delivery service, in Europe for a proposed €5.16B. Despite dropping out of bidding due to the EU’s oppositions UPS is claiming the regulator’s case was “factually and legally erroneous.” Yep, we’re scratching our heads on that one…

BOJ gettin busy… The Bank of Japan is finally getting busy in it’s pursuit to pull the country out of deflation. The BOJ announced Friday its plan to start the QE experiment by buying 10.3B worth of JGB (Japanese Government Bonds) with maturity dates of 5-10 years along with a smaller quantity of JGB with maturities exceeding 10 years. The announcing of the plan caused the Nikkei to roar upward to it’s highest close since August 2008.

No photos available… The lights have gone down and the photographers have gone home with the closing of the family photograph studios at Sears, Wal-Mart and Babies R’Us. CPI, the company responsible for the studio found in big box retailers, announced they have closed the iconic studios where anyone born in the last 50 years have been tortured on several occasion getting their portraits made. Ugh… some of my finest photos with my mickey mouse were takin at those studios. What has the world come too?

In The Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed mixed Monday, with the Nikkei soaring to new heights while the Hang Seng and Shanghi closing in the red. Investors outside of Japan choose to react to the worse than expected jobs numbers from the US not Japan’s new game of QE.

Europe: European markets declined steeply on Friday as global investors reacted to the dismal jobs number out of the US.

US: US markets closed down Friday as it was their turn to react to the disappointing March job numbers.

DJIA: -41.17 14564.94, NASDAQ -21.12 3203.86, S&P 500 – 6.76.

In Dinner or Drink:

We pick something some may call dinner or desert. As we mourn the loss of a piece of childhood with the closing of the Sears’s Family Photograph Studio we will be eating these…

Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies…

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

1 cup chopped nuts


PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

PAN COOKIE VARIATION: Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.


PREPARE dough as above. Divide in half; wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Shape each half into 15-inch log; wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.* Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

* May be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 8 weeks.

FOR HIGH ALTITUDE BAKING (5,200 feet): Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups. Add 2 teaspoons water with flour and reduce both granulated sugar and brown sugar to 2/3 cup each. Bake drop cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and pan cookie for 17 to 19 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of

Apr 3


 In The Markets:

Jumpin Factory Orders… Activity in US factories jumped in February to 3% vs. 1% in January. A rush of orders for planes and defense before sequester, accounted for the increase causing many to think the jump is unsustainable.

Falling Activity…The Eurozone manufacturing sector fell in March to 46.8, the lowest level since December. The below 50 reading indicate, the Eurozone as a whole, is contracting and sliding deeper into recession. This is just the latest in a string of bad economic news for the Eurozone, causing some leaders to put additional pressure on the ECB (European Central Bank) to help figure out a way to get things moving in a better direction.

I’m Done… Cyprus Finance Minister, Michael Sarris, quit Tuesday after meeting with IMF (International Monetary Fund) and EU (European Union) leaders and securing a 10 billion euro bailout deal. The bailout deal will cause Cyprus depositors to lose parts of their deposits and slash its banking sector. Speculation for the departure, Sarris would have come under major scrutiny for his role in the crisis. He’s reasoning he had completed his task.

Twitter anyone.. SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) has opened the door for public companies to use social media to get the word out. On Tuesday, the SEC announced postings to social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook are as good as news releases or company websites for spreading company news to investors. The only catch companies must let peeps know which outlets they intend to use

Fannie Mae is having better days.. The behemoth mortgage lender, who needed a government bailout in a big way during the financial crisis, reported Tuesday its largest annual profit ever. 2012 brought a net income of $17.2 billion however, due to conditions set forth in the government bailout deal the company can only keep a small percentage of it profits handing the government over a huge chunk.

We have a buyer.. The Nasdaq OMX group (yes, that Nasdaq) is buying it’s self a new trading platform called eSpeed for $750 million in cash. eSpeed, a platform used to trade treasuries, will help Nasdaq break into the fixed income market. The purchase should help NASDAQ whose profits have been cut by lower trading volume in the last several years.

99 problems but getting clients ain’t one.. Rapper Jay-Z has officially thrown his hat into the sports agent ring signing his first high profile client, Robinson Cano of the NY Yankees.

In The Markets:

Asia: Asian markets were mixed in their early morning trading sessions. Investors were keeping a close eye on the BOJ new governor while digesting China’s better PMI (Purchasing Manufacturing Index) report.

Europe: European shares rallied as investors liked the news out of Cyprus that it’s creditors have given an extra year for the country to meet it’s budget expectations and new hope for increase Merger activity as a potential takeover of Vodafone was announced.

US: US Markets rallied on better than expected economic data from new car sales and increase factory orders.

DJIA: +89.16 14622.01 NASDAQ: +15.69 3254.86 S&P +8.08 1570.25

In Dinner or Drink:

Today we pick a drink to celebrate one of my favorite baseball players Robinson Cano and his new partnership with Jay-Z.

New York Cocktail

Here’s what you will need:

2 oz Canadian whisky

3/4 oz lime juice

1/2 oz sugar syrup

1 tsp grenadine syrup


Shake and strain into an old-fashioned glass three-quarters filled with broken ice. Garnish with a twist of orange.

Read more:


Apr 2


In The News:

Slow and Steady: Monday’s ISM (Institute for Supply Management) showed the US economy grew for a fourth straight month; however the numbers did show the economy grew at a slower rate than expected.

Shut Out: Commodities, who suffered their worst quarter since 2010, were shut out of the euphoria felt by the financial markets in Q1. In the past commodities and the direction of the US stock markets have gone hand in hand since the financial crisis of ’08. Investors and analyst suggest the large inventories or stockpiles of basic goods such as oil, corn, or cotton has led prices to remain low in Q1.

Apple Apology: Apple posted an apology letter to its China’s website. The letter written in Chinese and signed by Apple CEO, Tim Cook, apologized for misunderstandings created by poor communications regarding warranty policies.

Contraction: Eurozone PMI (Producers Manufacturing Index) dropped to 46.8, a three month low, in March vs. 47.9 in February. Contributing to the drop in monthly readings, a fall in output and new orders, bringing further job losses to the region.

Cleared for Bankruptcy: A federal judge has cleared the way for Stockton, California to continue with its bankruptcy, finding citing the city is eligible. The judge also allowed the city to keep its pensions intact while imposing losses instead to its Bondholders. Several municipalities such as Jefferson County, Alabama and San Bernardino, California have been keeping a close eye, as many feel the ruling has now set a precedent in municipality bankruptcies.


In The Markets:

Asia: Asian Markets were mixed as investors reacted to the possibility of slower growth in the US.

Europe: European markets were closed for Easter.

US: US markets were mixed on the first day of the month and the quarter on slower growth economic data.

DJIA: +5.69 14572.85 S&P: -7.02 1562.17 Nasdaq: -28.35 3239.17

Dinner or Drink:

Today we pick dinner. In honor of Stockton, CA home of the annual Asparagus Festival we will be feasting tonight on…

Spaghetti with Asparagus, Smoked Mozzarella and Prosciutto

Here’s what you will need:

  • 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
  • 3/4 pound spaghetti
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into strips
  • 6 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 6 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil leaves


Cook the asparagus in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. With a spider or slotted spoon, remove asparagus from boiling water to a bowl of ice water to cool and stop the cooking. When cool, strain, cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces, and set aside.

Return the water in the pot to a boil, adding additional water, if necessary. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add asparagus to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the pasta, and if needed, some of the reserved cooking liquid. Toss to coat. Add the prosciutto, mozzarella, and basil, and toss to combine. Turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.

Thank you Food for the excellent recipe.


Apr 1



*** US Markets were closed on Friday*******

In The News:

Open for Business..Cyprus banks finally reopened on Thursday after two weeks. The banks opened with little incident. Customers still faced restrictions such as no check cashing and a limit of $380 withdrawal from ATM daily.

Hittin a Snag.. The potential marriage between Sprint and Softbank may have hit a snag. Sprint may have to give control of its networks to the US government in order to get the US to give its blessing. The move is seen as a way to limit foreign control in a US company.

Not the List you wanted to be on…Bank of America topped the list of most complaints filed with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau within the last 16 months. Most complaints stemmed from their handling of mortgages.

Good Reads.. has agreed to buy Goodreads. Goodreads, a book recommendation website with more than 16 million members globally, should help significantly bolster the online retailer’s e-book business.

Final answer.. Q4 final read of the US GDP (Gross Domestic Product) was released Thursday. The final reading was revised up from 0.1% to 0.4%. The revision showed despite weaker overall economic growth business investment and exports still found a way to grow.

Chicago, Chicago- Chicago PMI (Producers Manufacturing Index) fell in March with a reading of 52.4 vs. 56.8 in February. The reading still above the magic 50 economic contracting mark shows conditions were a slight bit weaker in manufacturing sector.

In The Markets:

Asia: Asian markets were mostly down in their Monday trading session as markets digested news from Japan. Japan’s Tanken Survey of business conditions came in at -8 for Q1. A raise from the -12 from Q1 however, economist predicted improvement of -7.

Europe: European markets closed flat on Friday as investors digested worse than expected employment numbers from Germany while keeping an eye on the situation in Cyprus. The ray of sunshine in the markets, higher Q4 revision from the US.

US: US Markets closed higher on the last day of trading for Q1 as investors were handed a mixed bag of economic data. The DJIA hit another all-time high as did the S&P 500.

In Dinner or Drink:

Today we pick a drink to help celebrate a better Q4 GDP…


We you will need:

2 1/2 parts gold rum

1 part brandy

1 part triple sec

1 part lemon juice

5 drops orange bitters

In a cocktail shaker add ingredients and fill with ice. Shake with gusto for half a minute, and pour/strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon peel, or lime peel if you use fresh lime juice.

Read more: Celebration recipe



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