In The News:
For the second time in two trading sessions, shares of Blackberry were halted. Each time the halt has been caused by “big” news. On Friday, the “big” news wasn’t positive; this time, the “big” news was positive for the company. Blackberry announced it has finally found a buyer for the struggling phone maker. Fairfax Financial, a Canadian investment firm, has made a bid of $4.7 billion to purchase all of Blackberry, contingent on Fairfax getting financing and performing due diligence. Rumors had been swirling that the company, in an effort to stay afloat, would start to break itself into pieces, making a sales easier. The idea of splitting up the company may still be in the cards. Fairfax could, after the purchase is official, still decide to chop the parts up. However, as of right now, the company is still whole.
If the deal goes through, shareholders would receive $9.00 a share, a premium to the share’s Monday closing price of $ 8.80.
Citigroup became the latest mortgage lender, cutting its workforce as the end of the refinancing boom continued and housing markets slowed down due to rates increasing. On Monday, Citigroup said it will lay off 1,000 workers from its mortgage business. That brings the total to more than 7,000 jobs lost this year as home loans continue to slump. The affected positions included jobs in sales fulfillment, mortgage underwriting and mortgage default functions, primarily based in Las Vegas, NV and Irving, TX.
A weakening mortgage market is the latest headwind for banks that are already struggling to pump up profits in a sluggish economy, in addition to weak loan demand for both corporate and consumer borrowers and costly regulatory requirements. Several top banks, including Wells Fargo, have warned of lower earnings this year. Citigroup (C: NYSE) was down $1.64 in Monday trading.
On Monday, at an event held in New York, Microsoft unveiled two new versions of its Surface tablet. The new Surface 2 will start at $449 and comes either in 32 gigabytes (GB) or 64 gigabytes of storage. The Surface Pro 2 starts at $899 with a choice of 65GB or 512GB of storage. Pre-orders will start Tuesday with retail outlet sales starting on October 22. Microsoft’s first attempt at the tablet market, Surface RT, was a huge disappointment for the company. Analysts seem to think that this new round of Surface 2, which is thinner, lighter and faster, may bring more success to the company. Shares of Microsoft (MSFT: NASDAQ) closed down at a $.05 loss in Monday trading.
On Tuesday, Burger King Worldwide Inc. (BKW) will roll out lower-calorie, lower fat, fries in all U.S. locations. The fries, called Satisfries, have largely the same ingredients as Burger King’s classic fries, but a less porous batter to keep out more oil during cooking. The new fries have 30% fewer calories and 40% less fat than McDonald’s fries, coming in at only 190 calories.
In The Markets:
Asian shares tumbled on Tuesday as investors start to dial up taper concern, again.
European stock markets dropped Monday. Investors digested mixed economic data and worries re-elected German chancellor Angela Merkel will struggle to form a new coalition government.
US markets fell for a third day on comments from the Fed tapering did not happen in September because the economy didn’t meet the Fed’s strength criteria. DJIA: 49.52 15,401.57 NASDAQ: -9.44 3765.29 S&P 500: -8.02 1701.89
In Dinner or Drinks:
- 1 oz. Bulleit® Rye
- 0.5 oz. Earl grey infused sweet vermouth
- 2 dash(es) bitters
- 1 piece(s) orange zest
Glass: Rocks Glass
1. Combine BULLEIT® 95 Rye Whiskey, infused vermouth and bitters in a rocks glass over ice.
2. Express the orange zest over and around the rim of glass and place it on top of the drink.
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