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Jun 24


In The News:

Google Fix or Fined: France has officially given Google 3 months to fix its privacy policy or face steep fines. The issue, Google’s privacy policy, which does not clearly state what user’s info is used for, how long Google plans to hang onto the data, or even it’s being why collecting it. France is the first big European nation to stand up to Google siting breach of the countries Data Privacy Act. European countries, such as the UK, Spain, Germany and Italy, are expected to join France’s bandwagon against Google and make the same type of recommendations. [Continue reading...]

Jun 7


In The News:

Unchanged with a hint included: The European Central Bank (aka ECB) left its benchmark interest rates unchanged today and refrained from any new measures to stimulate a shrinking euro-zone economy. The big story however, was the hint heard around the world. The central bank, who has been reluctant to implement measures to revive the economy and employment of the Eurozone, would now consider cutting interest rates if the region continues stagnant economic growth. This is the first clear-cut signal of potential rate cuts out of the mouth of the big banker in forever.

Let the QE Game begin: Bank of Japan finally made it official; we are joining the QE bandwagon on Thursday. The BOJ (Bank of Japan) delivered its plan to help spur the Japanese economy, a plan that is so aggressive in nature it caught the world by surprise. The Central Bank announced as part of its plan it will double its holdings of government bonds and the amount of yen in circulation. The object of the game like all QE is to punch down long-term interest rates (like the 10 year treasury) which will spur consumers and business to borrow, spend, and invest more. Can we say start the printers, Danno.

Home is where Facebook is… Facebook unveiled Thursday its newest adventure, Home. Home is software, created for Android devices that will take over the phone’s traditional display with populate posts, pictures, and messages from the user’s news feed. All news smartphones from HTC will come with Home pre-installed and will be available to everyone else April 12.

Used bulldozer? Think Recycling… Caterpillar Inc. recently bought a minority stake in Cat Action Services, a venture started by a group of independent Cat dealers, who action off machinery that has been used for rental or trade in’s they could not sell on their lots. Caterpillar sees it as an opportunity to expand its sales of replacement parts, warranty, insurance and customer financial. Can we say Full circle thinking…?

HP Quitter… HP Chairman, Ray Lane, has called it quits and resigned after he faced fierce criticism; from both investors and shareholder advisory firm ISS, over his role in the debacle involving Autonomy. Lane will remain on with HP as a director.

In The Markets:

Asia: Two of the three main Asian markets closed mixed as China’s markets were closed Friday. The picture was a good one with both the Hang Seng and the Nikkei in the green however, the closer to the end of the trading day and technically closure to the US jobless claim number the worse the markets became.

Europe: European markets dropped on comments from the ECB’s Draghi that the Eurozone was still at risk for a deeper recession.

US: US markets rallied higher as investor choose to look at the positive: new QE in China not the negative: a rise in the weekly jobless claims.

Dow: +55.76 14606.11 Nasdaq: +6.38 3224.98 S&P: +6.29 1559.98

In Dinner or Drink:

Today we choose drink in celebration in Caterpillar recycling gig we will be drinking…

Top Cat

35 ml vodka

35 ml peach Snaps

35 ml white rum

350 ml orange alco pop

Pure orange juice

Add all three spirits into the mixer, then pour in the contents of the Orange alco-pop, finally add as much Pure Orange as desired & shake vigorously. Serve into a pint sized glass, add straws & enjoy!

Read more: Top Cat recipe




Jun 5

ecconomic news

 In The News:

Abe’s Arrow misses Target: Japan’s Abe announced his third “arrow” to help stimulate the country’s economy. In case you lost track of the arrows (like most of us) below is a summary:

  • Arrow 1- Monetary Easing
  • Arrow 2: Government Fiscal Stimulus
  • Arrow 3: Long-Term Reforms

The third arrow was announce Wednesday, Long Term Reforms. This arrow covers helping the country’s infrastructure. Programs included:

  1. Fully liberalize retail electricity market separating distribution and transition of power.
  2. Powering back up the counties nuclear reactors.
  3. Allowing the sales of certain drugs on the Internet.

All good plans however, they all came with year targets like 2020 leaving most feeling they are too far in the future. Investors didn’t see the third arrow as a good choice and choosing to voice their opinions in the markets.

Rejected..Chrysler rejected a proposed recall of 2.7 million Jeep Grand Cherokees. Recall reason: a flaw in the fuel tanks design linked to fatal fires. The National Highway asked the automaker to recall 1993-2004 model year Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty. Chrysler disagreed saying the design of the fuel tanks was up to government standards and did not pose an unreasonable risk.

Fleet makeover.. FedEx announced it will retire 10 planes immediately from its fleet, phase out 76 more planes, and order new fuel efferent planes so the company can cut more costs. Why the need for the plane makeover slower than usual economic recovery causing peeps to not send as many expensive overnight packages.

Buying the cloud.. IBM agreed to buy Softlayer; a Dallas based Technology Company, that lets customers buy space on servers the customer does not own. IBM wouldn’t disclose the price tag however; the company previously was valued at $ 2 Billion. The move is seen at moving IBM into the cloud space.

And the winner is Samsung.. Cell phone maker Samsung won a significant victory against Apple in their continuing patent war. The victory threatens to stop sales of some of Apple’s iPhone and iPad. The US International Trade Commission on Tuesday, ruled Apple violated Samsung patents which covered the technology the phones use to send info over wireless networks like AT&T. Unless, vetoed by President Obama or blocked by an appellate court, the ruling will bar certain model like the iPhone 4S, iPhone 3GS and iPad 3G, the ipad 2 3G and iPad 3on AT&T network.

Risky bets are makin a comeback: In an effort to produce greater yield (aka returns) investors are choosing to go back to syndetic CDO (Collateral Debt Obligations). Yes, the same risky investments blamed for the final crisis. JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley bankers in London are starting to assemble the synetic CDO’s again. CDO’s will give investors a chance to bet on the creditworthiness of a basket of companies. Both companies have started lining up investors as banks for this type of security don’t like proceed without enough investors.

In The Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed lower on Wednesday as investors voiced their dislike of Abe’s #3 arrow.

Europe: European markets closed positive on Tuesday as the number of job seekers in Spain dropped causing investor to feel more optimistic there just might be a light at the end of the tunnel.

US: US Markets closed up Tuesday as investors look forward to the release of ADP (private sector) jobs report Wednesday morning.

In Dinner or Drink:

Today we choose a drink to toast IBM’s newest acquisition.

Cloud 9

1 oz Frangelico® hazelnut liqueur

3 oz vodka

1 oz chocolate syrup

4 cups coffee

1 cup milk

10 ice cubes

2 tbsp sugar

1 1/2 oz whipped cream


Mix all ingredients except whipped cream in a blender until ice is well chopped. Pour in coffee mug and top with generous portion of whipped cream.

More about this awesome drink click here.

2  tbsp sugar
1 1/2 oz whipped cream
Mix all ingredients except whipped  cream in a blender until ice is well chopped. Pour in coffee mug and top with  generous portion of whipped cream.

More about this awesome drink click here.







Jun 4



In The News:

Factory Weakness.. US Factories had there weakest month since the recession in May. The ISM (Institute of Supply Management) index slipped from 50.7 in April to 49 in May as weakness both domestic and international took a toll on the manufacturing sector. The weaker than expected economic data has some investors betting QE3 is here for a while longer.

You’ve been designated… US financial regulators stepped up to the daunting task of market vulnerabilities, Monday. The Financial Stability Oversight Committee, let by the Treasury, voted on a proposal which would designate several nonbanks such as AIG, Prudential Financial, and GE Capital as “systematically important”. The proposal set a clear path towards  the committee taken tougher oversights over the companies the government sees as systemically risky. Companies will have 30 days to appeal the designation.

Hittin the skids.. Zynga, the creator of such online games as Farmville, announced it will cut 18% of its staff and projected its Q2 outlook towards the lower end of the range (aka the side you don’t want to be on). Shares were halted twice during Monday’s trading session.

UR Approved: Shareholders officially approve the merger/marriage of the NYSE Euronext and ICE (International Continental Exchange).

Improved Sales: Auto sales gained in the month of May to 15.31 Million vehicles better than the 13.95 million one year ago. The pace if continued will put the auto sales on track for its best year since 2007.

Apple Radio- The New York Times is reporting that Apple is in the process of cutting licensing deals for its internet radio service which is set to be unveiled before its developer’s conference next week. Apple so far has struck deals with Universal Music and Warner Music however; they are still in talks with Sony.

Turmoil in Turkey.. Anti-Government protests in Turkey, which have been going on since Friday, have turned violent injuring thousands and two deaths. The protest has caused many to ask for the countries’ Prime Minister. The rallies were initially sparked by a plan in Istanbul to redevelop Taksim Square quickly spread across the nation.

In The Markets:

Asia: Investors getting anxious for Wednesday’s announcement of what Abe’s third arrow for the Japanese economy will be and growing concern about China’s growth had Asian market closing mixed. Nikkei +271.94 13,533.76 Shanghi -26.835 2272.41 Hang Seng +3.33 22235.52

Europe: European markets stumbled Monday on weak ISM data from the US and global worries over a lack of growth in China.

US: US Markets rose as investors placed bets the Fed won’t stop their QE anytime soon on a weaker than expected ISM report

DJIA: +138.46 15254.03  NASDAQ: +9.45 3465.30  S&P: + 9.68 1640.42

In Dinner or Drink:

Today we choose a drink the member of the ICE can sip as they celebrate the approval of their marriage to the NYSE.

Manhattan Ice Tea

Fill a collins with ice. Add and mix  all ingredients. Garnish with a lemon, and serve.

For more receipes like the Manhattan Ice Tea.

Jun 3


In News:

Who wants Hulu??? Obviously DirecTV and two other unidentified suitors since all three have reportedly submitted bids of $1 billion plus each for the company. Seven other companies have also submitted bids the streaming content provider. Current owners News Corp, Disney, and Comcast have let it slip that they will be cutting down to a “shortlist” over the next few weeks.

Better but not quite great.. What some may say about the latest EZ PMI Numbers reported on Monday. Euro zone manufacturing PMI (Producers Manufacturing Index, a measure of manufacturing strength) came in at 48.3 for May vs. 46.7 in April. The rise was a 15 month high but any number below 50 still shows an economy in contraction. There’s always next month…

Goin it Alone: Apple will head to court solo and fight allegations it conspired with five publishers to raise e-book prices. The five publishers decided to settle with the Justice Department pre-trial. Guess we will all have to stay tuned to see which side was smarter.

Shame on you.. French prosecutors have launched an investigation into the French arm of wirehouse UBS. The prosecutors are probing whether the unit’s parent company bankers encouraged (aka helped) French clients open Swiss Bank accounts allowing them to commit tax evasion.

Settlement, Maybe.. Bank of America heads to court on Monday. At stake, whether the court will approve the proposed $8.5 billion to settle claims over bad mortgage bonds. If the settlement were to be agreed Bank of America can move toward their ultimate goal of cleaning the inherited Countrywide mess up. One hurdle standing in the way… AIG opposition of the deal, saying the bank in fact owes them $8.5 Billion in damages. Luv court room drama.

Mixed Bag: Friday brought a mixed bag of economic data out of the US. On the not so good side Consumer spending was down in 0.2% in April, the first decline since May 2012. On the good/better side of the bag Chicago PMI (Producers Manufacturing Index) was up in May to 58.7 a jump from May 49.0. Also, Consumer Sentiment rocked at 84.5 in May vs. 76.4 in April. But why is this bad? Better economic data=Better economy=sooner end of QE, Weak economic data=Bad economy= QE (Quanatative Easing) not ending in the near future.

In Markets:

Asia: Asian markets tumbled in their Monday session. It was the fourth major fall in eight sessions. Global optimism over Abenomics is starting to fade on concerns that his three arrows will fall short of expectation and not getting the job done. The Nikkei has not wiped out 17% of its value since its rally in midNovember 2012 which brought gains of 80%.

Europe: European markets closed deep in red territory on Friday. Investors took profits on the final day of the month while starting to worry what the future will be like if the Fed stimulus program starts to taper off  because of the US growing economy.

US: US markets followed Europe’s footsteps tumbling Friday on better than expected economic data. Investors got a lot more squeamish thinking about how soon the fed might start tapering off as the economic is looking better

DJIA: -208.96 15,115.57  NASDAQ: -32.38 3455.91 S&P: -23.67 1630.74

In Dinner or Drink:

We pick a drink today that global investors may have been drinking after Friday’s tumble.

Harvey Wall Banger

1 oz. Stolichnaya® vodka
1/2 oz. Galliano® herbal liqueur
2 oz. orange juice

Pour the Vodka, Galiano, and orange juice in to a shaker with ice and shake until well mixed. Then strain in to an appropriately sized glass filled with ice and serve.

For more info on our drink today.

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