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Oct 31

In Business and Financial News:

Stay the Course…
Wednesday, Federal Reserve officials emerged from their two-day meeting with their easy money program still intact and no clear indication when they would begin to start the pull back. In a statement after the policy meeting wrapped up, the central bank said that it will keep buying $85 billion a month in bonds to keep long term interest rates low and encourage more borrowing and spending in the economy. The Fed said that the U.S. economy still needed its support of the low interest-rate policies, as it is growing only moderately. The only real notable change from the committee’s policy statement in September was the panel’s thought that the housing market has slowed somewhat in recent months.

More Strain…
On Friday, retailers and grocers get a new strain on the bottom line to worry about. Friday is the day that the temporary boost in food-stamp benefits expires. The change in benefits will leave 48 million American with less than an estimated $16 billion to spend over the next three years.
On the business side, the cut will impact the grocers, discounters, dollar stores and gas stations that depend heavily on low-income shoppers. Weaker spending from the already stressed low-income shopper has already had an impact on retailers, including Walmart and Target, as the chains have lowered their sales forecast for the rest of the year ahead of the holiday shopping season.

Less Jobs…
ADP announced its monthly private sector jobs report for October on Wednesday. The report showed U.S. businesses added 130,000 jobs, way under the 150,000 jobs economists had forecasted. The 16-day partial government shutdown slowed an already weak job market. The report also included a revision for September from 166,000 to 145,000 jobs that were created, showing the job market was already weaker before the shutdown on Oct. 1. The September revision of 145,000 jobs created was the fewest jobs created for the ADP survey since April.

In The Markets:

Asia:
Shares in Asia were down on Thursday. Investors were spooked by lower earnings and the Fed staying status quo because of continued weakness in the US economy.

Europe:
Europe closed mostly flat on Wednesday as investors waited to see if the Fed would keep QE going.

US:
US markets closed in the red Wednesday. After the Fed’s statement showed little change in wording investors are back on the speculation train. Will taper start this year or next year? DJIA: -61.78 15618.57 S&P: -8.66 15618.57 NASDAQ: -21.72 3930.62

In Dinner or Drink:

Black Witch

1/4 oz. apricot brandy
1/4 oz. dark rum
1 1/2 oz. gold rum
1/2 oz. pineapple juice

Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Like our spooky drink, click here for more.

 

Oct 30

In Business and Financial News:

Stop Trading…
The $24.9 billion buyout of Dell (DELL) by Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners has been completed. The computer company announced Tuesday that its shares will stop trading at the end of Tuesday, closing out a 25 year era of being a public company. Michael Dell, company founder, hopes to turn around the struggling computer maker as a private company.
Under the buyout deal, Dell stockholders got $13.75 a share for each share of common stock held. That, in addition to a special cash dividend of 13 cents per share, bought the share price up to $13.88 a share.

No Cookies…
The end of cookies, those tiny pieces of code that marketers deploy on web browsers to track your online movements to serve you with target advertising , could be coming soon.
Facebook (FB), Microsoft (MSFT) and Google (GOOG) are in the mist of developing systems to plug into and control the river of data in ways that will bypass the more than a thousand software companies that place cookies on websites. The trio, who between them produce email, browsers and operating systems, will position themselves with the new system to potentially learn far more about people’s activities than cookies ever could. If the three companies are successful and get rid of cookies, it would radically impact the $120 billion global digital ad industry.

Visitor Visa or Work Visa…
The US government is prepared to slap Infosys Ltd. with the largest immigration fine ever. Accusing the Indian outsourcing giant illegally placed workers on visitor, rather than work, visas at big corporate clients across the U.S.
Expected to announce Wednesday, the government will fine Infosys about $35 million, according to sources. An investigation by the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department found the company used inexpensive, easy-to-obtain B-1 visas meant to cover short business visits-instead of harder-to-get H-1B work visas-to bring an unknown number of its employees for long-term stays.
The probe came amid the debate, earlier this year, over whether foreign workers, particularly in the software sector, are displacing qualified Americans because they are cheaper. This practice would have enabled Infosys to undercut competitors in bids for programming, accounting and other work performed for client. Infosys clients have included such giants as Walmart and Goldman Sachs. The investigation has spurred the government to say it intends to tighten regulations that critics say allow employers to abuse the immigration system.

In The Markets:

Asia:
Asian markets rallied on Wednesday as global investors place bets the Fed will keep QE going for the near future.

Europe:
European stocks move higher on Tuesday as investors were received encouraging earnings reports and look ahead to the US Fed’s two-day meeting.

US:
US stocks closed higher on Tuesday as investors bet the Fed will keep its foot on the QE pedal after a mixed bag of economic data was released. DJIA: +112.26 15681.19 NASDAQ: +12.21 3952.34 S&P 500 +9.90 1772.01

In Dinner or Drink:

Grandma’s Cookies
1 oz. cinnamon schnapps
1.5 oz. DeKuyper® Buttershots liqueur
1.5 oz. Bailey’s® Irish cream

Pour all ingredients into a shaker of ice. Shake until cold, pour through strainer into martini glass. Must be shaken, not stirred!

Like our drink today, click here for more.

We apologize for the late edition of the Daily Digest yesterday. We left AJ in charge and unfortunately technology was not kind to him.

Oct 29

In Business and Financial News:

Good News, Bad News…
The good news: Apple (AAPL) reported its earnings after the bell on Monday. The company reported revenue of $37.5 billion and a net profit of $7.5 billion, or $8.26 a share. Both revenue and profit beat analyst expectation.
The bad news: Apple’s latest earnings topped analyst expectations but the company’s profits were down 8.6 percent from a year ago. Most of this quarter’s sales growth was likely due to the popularity of its more expensive new iPhone models. By contrast, sales of iPads were flat and fewer people bought the company’s Mac computers.
Apple shares fell 1.8 percent in after-hours trading, to $520. Should be interesting to watch the price during Tuesday’s trading session to see which side of the news investors will take.

Slam Dunk…
Samsung Electronics announced Monday that it has signed a wide-ranging $100 million deal with the National Basketball Association to bring technology courtside at their games. Samsung, as the official provider of tablet and televisions, will supply the courtside monitors that referees use to review close calls. The three year deal will make Samsung one of the most visible companies out there. It is expected that the league will customize video content for Samsung devices, including their television, allowing Samsung to set itself apart from rivals by building unique offerings around a company’s or entity’s needs.
This is not the first time Samsung and the NBA have crossed paths. Miami Heat forward LeBron James endorsed Samsung’s Galaxy Note II smart phone last year.

Tweet a Gift…
Starbucks (SBUX) said Monday that customers can now “tweet-a-coffee” to their friends as long as both have accounts on Twitter and Starbucks. Customers of the coffee chain can tweet a $5 gift card that the recipient can redeem by printing it or showing it to a Starbucks barista on his or her mobile device. Starbucks hopes that this collaboration will cause their customers to develop the habit of spontaneously e-gifting each other.
This is not the first time Twitter has ventured into e-commerce. Earlier this year, Twitter partnered with American Express, allowing Amex members to buy products by tweeting out a corresponding hash tag, creating a kind of virtual shopping cart.

In The News:

Asia:
Asian stocks closed mixed on Tuesday as investors anxiously wait for Wednesday’s Federal Reserve meeting and a mixed bag of corporate earnings.

Europe:
European markets closed lower Monday. A broker downgrade of car makers and caution ahead of the Fed meeting Wednesday had investors in a selling mood.

US:
US shares were mixed on Monday. Investors wait anxiously for Wednesday’s Federal Reserve meeting. Lower than expected home sales has investors betting there will be no taper surprise out of meeting.

In Dinner or Drink:

Slam Dunk
1 1/2 oz. Southern Comfort® peach liqueur
2 parts orange juice
1 part cranberry juice

Start with a rocks glass filled with ice.

Add southern comfort. For the mix, add 1 can of cranberry juice with half a can of orange concentrate into a pitcher. Use this mix to fill the glass.

Like our drink today, click  for more.

 

Oct 28

In Business and Financial News:

Play It Again, Sam…
2013 just isn’t going to be a great year for JPMorgan (JPM). On Friday, the U.S.’s largest bank agreed to a $5.1 billion settlement with mortgage-finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The deal unveiled by the Federal Housing Finance Authority will settle accusations that the bank lied about the quality of some 129 securities, which the two mortgage giants bought, totaling $33 billion. The $5.1B settlement included about $1 billion from claims filed against JPM itself, $1.2 billion from claims against Washington Mutual (JPMorgan bought them in 2008), and about $1.8 billion from claims filed against Bear Stern. What was not part of the deal? … JPMorgan admitting to any wrongdoing.

Up and Away…
United Parcel Service (UPS) announced Q3 earnings on Friday of $1.16 per share, modestly beating expectations of $1.15. The company reported Q3 revenue of $13.52 billion, barely missing expectations for $13.59 billion. Stronger growth in Europe helped UPS deliver over 1 billion packages in the third quarter, an increase of 4.6% year over year.
UPS also announced on Friday its predictions for Christmas. Like its rival FedEx, the company expects to break records during the season, starting with 32 million packages delivered thanks to Cyber Monday, December 2. The only thing that could spoil the two companies’ wishes of a great Christmas: the weather. Thanksgiving is the last Thursday in November; therefore, not only is the holiday shopping season a week less but it is also a week closer to December, and the possibility of a winter storm hitting is greater.
KJ’s Takeaway: UPS is thought of as a bell weather stock because they deliver globally and across all different industries. A shorter Christmas season this year has the potential to have ripple effects across a number of industries, like the big box retailers, restaurants and of course our time management for gift shopping. We will all have to tune into Q4 earnings next year to see just what effect the shorter season will have.

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do…
On Friday, McDonald’s Corp (MCD) announced plans to end its 40-year relationship with H.J. Heinz Co. (HNZ), maker of ketchup. Heinz is now being led by Bernardo Hess, the former chief executive of rival Burger King Worldwide (BKW). The ketchup switch will be more apparent overseas than in the United States, as only Pittsburgh and Minneapolis serve the branded ketchup. Most Mickey Ds handout ketchup packets with only the word’s “fancy ketchup” on them, and in-store dispensers are not branded. One happy hamburger that could benefit is Heinz’s rival Hunt’s, owned by ConAgra Funds (CAG) and Del Monte (FDP).

In The Markets:

Asia:
Asian markets started out the week positive. A good hand off from the US and no real news to get in the way had the markets and investors seeing nothing up green.

Europe:
European markets ended the week slightly positive taking a breather from its record breaking run. Better GDP numbers from the UK helped calm investors and give them a little reassurance the country’s economy is back on the right track.

US:
US markets closed in the green on Friday with the S&P hitting another all-time high. An increase in durable goods along with better corporate earnings from Microsoft and Amazon had investors pushing the buy button. DJIA: +61.07 15570.28 S&P 500: +7.70 1759.77 NASDAQ: +14.40 3943.36

In Dinner or Drink:

Wild Pitch
•1 oz. Bulleit® Rye
•0.5 oz. earl grey infused sweet vermouth
•2 dash(es)bitters
•1 piece(s) orange zest

GLASS: Rocks Glass
Combine BULLEIT® 95 Rye Whiskey, infused vermouth and bitters in a rocks glass over ice.
Express the orange zest over and around the rim of glass and place it on top of the drink.

Oct 25

In Business and Financial News:

Bucking the Trend….
Microsoft (MSFT) bucked a recent trend among major sellers of technology to corporations when it announced on Thursday that it posted double-digit percentage increases in both revenue and profit last quarter. Microsoft reported for the quarter ending September 30 revenue from software and other services sold to corporations—which generated roughly two-thirds of Microsoft’s gross profit—increased 10% compared with the same period a year earlier. The company also said its “cloud” business sales more than doubled, though it remains a small piece of the overall revenue of the company.Microsoft did have less success selling to consumers. Revenue from products and services sold to consumers, which include PCs and the company’s Surface tablet and Xbox videogame systems, rose 4%. Microsoft said that it sold more than twice as many Surface devices than it did the prior quarter, an important development for a product that had a rocky sales start. If you remember, last quarter the company took a huge write off for its failed first attempt in the tablet world. Overall, Microsoft posted a net income of $5.2 billion, or 62 cents a share, beating analyst expectations of 54 cents a share.

Microsoft still faces several big challenges in new computing areas, including the web, tablets and smartphones. The company is also trying to diversify its business away from PCs and servers; however, the shift isn’t coming easy. We will have to stay tuned in three months for the next report card to see if Microsoft has found the right track.

Housing Cuts…
Bank of America (BAC) announced that they are cutting about 4,200 jobs by the end of the year as the bank responds to changes in the housing market, echoing moves by other banks. The country’s second largest bank laid off 1,200 this week, primarily from the unit that handles mortgage origination, after the mortgage industry across the board experienced a significant drop in refinance applications. The other 3,000 jobs will be cut by year end. The bulk of the losses will be in the bank’s units that handle troubled mortgages, like foreclosure or loan modifications. According to the bank, many of the cuts affect contractors who were hired during peak demand. Bank of America declined to specify in what part of the county the job cuts would take place.

In The Markets:

Asia:
Asian markets closed negative the last trading session of the week. Continuing cash crunch fears in China had investors leaving the markets and starting their weekend early.

Europe:
European equity markets were higher on Thursday. Encouraging Chinese manufacturing data and better auto sales offset disappointing Eurozone economic news.

US:
US markets closed in the green Thursday on better earnings, hopes the Fed taper is delayed, and stronger economic data from China. DJIA: +93.37 15506.70 NASDAQ: +21.89 3928.96 S&P 500: +5.61 1751.99

In Dinner or Drinks:

The Smashing Pumpkin

2 ounces pumpkin and star anise infused 10 Cane Rum
1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
3/4 ounce St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
3/4 Massanez Ginger Liqueur
3/4 ounce Saffron Syrup
2-3 Dashes Cardamom Bitters
1 ounce fresh Meyer Lemon juice

Shake and strain into martini glass. Rim glass with spice mix of sugar, ground ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon. Float orange wooden pumpkin in drink as garnish.

Did you like our spooky drink, click here for more.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend, Yall!

Oct 24

In Business and Financial News:

A Zen Starbucks…
At a Starbucks (SBUX) store you can get a cup of tea, but you can’t get a cup of coffee at the chain’s first teahouse, Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bar. The new tea bar opens its doors on Thursday in Manhattan. Patrons expecting the new tea bar to be a clone may get disappointed. According to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz in a phone interview the difference between a Starbucks coffee shop and a Teavana teahouse “is like night and day,” describing the new tea bars as much more Zen-like. The store looks very different from Starbucks with fashionably gray walls, light wood and museum-esque lighting. The most striking feature visually in the store is the Teavana “Wall of Tea,” with a range of loose-leaf teas and tea blends. It’s a high-profile baby step into the $90 billion global tea market for the coffee brand.

Starbucks is scheduled to open a second Teavana in Seattle around Thanksgiving. Starbucks hopes to open at least 1,000 more of its own Teavana bars in North America and many more outside the U.S. in the next 5 years. [Continue reading...]

Oct 23

In Business and Financial News:

Sluggish Growth:
On Tuesday, the government finally released the September NFP (Non-Farm Payroll) Jobs report, after the closure delayed the U.S. Labor Department’s latest employment report by nearly three weeks. According to the report the economy added only 148,000 jobs in September, short of the 185,000 experts had projected. The job market seemed to have cooled last month even before the economy went into a freeze due to the government shutdown. Over the last 12 months the economy has added on average of 185,000 jobs per month.

The jobless rate dipped to 7.2 percent in September, down from 7.3 percent in August and 7.9 percent in January. The “official” unemployment rate, derived from a different survey than the payroll numbers, is falling as many discouraged workers have stopped looking for a job. September’s NFP report also showed job growth earlier in the year was more uneven than previously thought. Employers added 193,000 jobs in August, above an initial estimate of 169,000, however July’s data were revised downward to 89,000, from a first estimate of 104,000, the slowest pace of job-creation in more than a year. [Continue reading...]

Oct 22

In Business and Financial News:

First Child…
Nokia handset division, soon to become a part of Microsoft, will unveil six new devices Tuesday, including its first tablet computer and bigger smartphones designed to better compete with Samsung. The company, hosting an event for telecom operators and media in Abu Dhabi the same day Apple announces its new line up, will launch most of its new products in time for the holiday shopping season. In addition to its first tablet and two new phablets-smartphone-tablet hybrids, Nokia will unveil three new handsets under $100 for its more basic mobile-phone lineup. Here’s what we know about some of the new products:
• The Lumia 2520 will have a 10-inch screen and run Windows RT, a special version of Microsoft’s Windows 8. The tablet will retail for $499.
• The Lumia 1520, a phatablet, will run on Windows software and have a six-inch screen. The more expensive 1520 will be equipped with Nokia’s high-end camera. The phatablet will retail for $749.
• The Lumia 1320, also a phatablet, will be more basic and have few bells and whistles including a lower-resolution screen. The product is aimed at emerging markets, including Vietnam, China, and India. The Lumia will cost less than half the price of the Lumia 1520.

Time will tell if Nokia can compete with big boys again. [Continue reading...]

Oct 21

In Business and Financial News:

Luv my burrito…
Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (CMG) soared more than 15% on Friday, topping an all-time high of $510 a share, despite news from the company that they are planning a price hike next year due to increase in higher food costs. Thursday, Chipotle posted unexpected strong third-quarter sales at established restaurants, overshadowing profits that fell short of Wall Street’s estimate. Sales at already open restaurants for 13 months, also known as same-store sales and a gauge of performance were up 6.2% in the third quarter.
The Denver-based company, known for customers building their own burritos, tacos, salads and bowls, has long prided itself serving farm-raised meat and vegetables to its customers. The chain was the first major U.S. restaurant chain to disclose which of its ingredients contain GMOs. Part of the reason for the chain not raising prices earlier was that the company wanted to first secure ample supplies of natural meats and switch to cooking oil and tortillas that do not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). [Continue reading...]

Oct 18

In Business and Financial News:


Giddy…

Google (GOOG) shares surged Thursday after the company reported a 36% climb in earnings despite slumping average ad prices as more people connect to Google services through their mobile phones. The Mountain View, California-based company’s average ad price has declined from the prior year in each of the last eight quarters primarily because advertisers are not yet paying as much for mobile ads. Despite the slump in revenue, Google reported earnings of $8.75 per share, or nearly $3 billion during Q3. Revenue last year for the same period was $6.53 per share or $2.2 billion. [Continue reading...]

Oct 17

In Business and Financial News:

I’ll Take Some of That…

Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK.A) industrial arm, Marmon Group, announced Wednesday that it bought the drink dispensing and merchandise arm of IMI Plc (IMI). IMI’s beverage dispensing units manufactures the actual drink machines used in convenience stores, fast-food restaurants, hospitals and offices. The company’s merchandise business specializes in designing product displays for retailers. Berkshire is not new to the beverage business. They own a stake in both Dairy Queen and Coke (COKE).

The acquisition is the latest in a string of bolt-on acquisitions that Berkshire Hathaway has made in the U.S. and Europe. Mr. Buffet has encouraged his firm’s operating companies to seek out smaller deals which would carry less exposure to risk. [Continue reading...]

Oct 16

In Business and Financial News:

Negative Watch…
Fitch Ratings, one of the big rating agencies, has officially placed the U.S.’s all important AAA rating on downgrade watch. In a press release, Fitch said that the prolonged negotiations over raising the debt ceiling could potentially undermine the role of the U.S. dollar as the global preeminent currency by casting doubt regarding the full faith and credit of the U.S. If Fitch does cut the ratings it would potentially cause a small number of investors that are bound to invest only in AAA rated securities may have to sell their Treasury holdings. The larger issue, if the downgrade happens, is the effect that it may have on the dollar’s dominance in the global financial arena.

KJ’s Take: It is important to note that Fitch has only placed the U.S. on downgrade watch, nothing more. However, the announcement means that there is a greater possibility that a downgrade could come soon. If Fitch decides to downgrade, the other two ratings agency, S&P and Moody’s, will follow suit sooner rather than latter. [Continue reading...]

Oct 15

In Business and Financial News:

Yes, I Will Direct You…
Sony Television will become the first major TV production company to partner with Netflix (NFLX) to produce original programming. On Monday, Netflix announced that it will pair up with Sony early next year to produce a psychological thriller for the streaming programming company. Sony’s TV studio has made hit shows for traditional TV, like Breaking Bad or this year’s new NBC drama The Blacklist.
Insiders will be watching the deal closely to see whether a studio can make as much money producing shows for streaming services, like Netflix, as they do for traditional networks. Generally, studios license television shows to U.S. TV networks for a fee that is less than the production cost, and count on international distribution and back-end revenues like DVD sales and rerun airings to generate profits. Some studio executives in the past have said that they weren’t sure how robust the international and back-end market for Netflix originals could be. [Continue reading...]

Oct 14

In Business and Financial News:

Fed Sued…

A former bank examiner, Carmen Sergarra, is suing the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for pressuring her to water down her exam of Goldman Sachs (GS) and then firing her for saying, “No.” According to the complaint, Segarra was asked to look into potential conflicts of interest relating to a certain deal involving Goldman Sachs. After conducting a search of the firm, Sergarra found that the company did not have a conflict of interest policy and critized the company for it in an email to colleagues at the New York Fed. Her colleges didn’t seem to find her email very convincing and suggested in a meeting that she change her finding. Shortly after the meeting, Ms. Sergarra was fired after she refused.
Bank examiners first took up their post of “good cop” in 2008 when Goldman became a bank holding company during the financial crisis. Goldman’s conflict of interest policies, or potential lack of one, came under scrutiny by the Fed Bank examiners after a series of episodes involving complex mortgage-linked securities deals and the firm’s participation in a merger of El Paso and Kinder Morgan. Goldman provided advice to both parties in the merger despite owning an interest in one of them. Neither the Federal Reserve Bank of New York nor Goldman Sachs would comment on the matter. [Continue reading...]

Oct 11

In Business and Financial News:

Crackberry Owner…
Michael Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin, Blackberry cofounders, are considering making a bid for the struggling mobile tech company. The two cofounders have a combined 8% stake. In a filling Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Lazaridis and Fregin are “considering all available options” for their Blackberry shares, including “a potential acquisition of all the outstanding shares” of BlackBerry that the two don’t already own. Last month, Canadian private equity firm Fairfax Financial announced that it had struck a privatization deal with BlackBerry. BlackBerry (BBRY) shares were up nearly 1% in late afternoon trades. [Continue reading...]

Oct 10

In Business and Financial News:

Close Call…
The FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) released its meeting minutes for last month’s meeting, where the committee decided not to begin the taper. Here’s what we learned:

  • Members of the committee that were in favor of keeping QE (Quantitative Easing) going were concerned that a cut to the program could send interest rates higher if investors thought it was a sign the central bank was becoming less willing to use policy to spur economic growth.
  • Members of the Committee that were in favor of starting the taper were concerned that a delay could potentially undermine the credibility of monetary policy. The members also argued that holding the program steady could send a message to investors that the Fed had turned pessimistic about the nation’s economy.

The meeting minutes did show the difficulty that the Fed has experienced with anticipating how markets will react to their actions and how much angst they felt about the committee’s efforts to communicate effectively with the public. [Continue reading...]

Oct 9

In Business and Financial News:

New Bernanke…
Janet Yellen could be named as President Barack Obama’s nominee for Federal Reserve chair to replace current chairman Ben Bernanke as soon as Wednesday. The announcement should come around 3pm EST Wednesday. The nomination will be subject to Senate confirmation. If confirmed by the Senate, Ms. Yellen would become the first female Fed chief in its 100-year history. The timetable for confirmation hearings and a vote is unclear, given the current partisan gridlock in Congress. Ms. Yellen has held the perch of the Fed’s second-in-charge since 2010. From her position, she has been a close adviser to Mr. Bernanke as he devised his quantitative easing program aimed at supplying economic growth to the US. Some analysts feel that her nomination could make it unlikely that the Fed would start the much dreaded taper. [Continue reading...]

Oct 8

In Business and Financial News:

Buy Me…

Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC), the New York-based cable company, announced Monday that it will be buying DukeNet Communications. DukeNet, a fiber optic network company, provides data and bandwidth services to wireless carriers, data centers and other business. The $600 million in cash acquisitions will help the company enhance its existing fiber network and help it to serve its customers better. 

DukeNet is owned by Duke Energy Corp (DUK) and investment firm Alinda Capital Partners equally. The deal is expected to close pending regulatory approvals in the first quarter of 2014. [Continue reading...]

Oct 7

In Business and Financial News:

Idle Workers…

Lockheed Martin (LMT) announced Friday its plans to furlough 3,000 employees on Monday. Contractors have been warned that tens of thousands of the companies’ staff could be furloughed as the government shutdown continues. The shutdown has halted contract awards, payments and key work by civilian Pentagon inspectors on existing programs, such as the Lockheed’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Additionally, Boeing (BA) said Friday that it too may have to implement an unspecified number of furloughs amongst its workers this week because they have nothing to do until Pentagon inspectors can give them the “OK” on the fighters. United Technologies (UTX) was the first defense contractor to announce furloughs because of a shortage of government inspectors to inspector their part of the F-35. [Continue reading...]

Oct 4

In Business and Financial News:

Tweet, Tweet…

It’s finally official. Twitter has officially filed for its IPO. Late Thursday, the company filed the necessary paperwork. Twitter expects that the sale of shares, between those that the company offers and those held by insiders, could command as much as $1 billion. From the company’s filing, we were able to learn these interesting factoids:

  • Twitter’s primary user: mobile user;
  • Twitter’s revenue last year: $317 million;
  • The company lost $69.3 million in the first six months of 2013;
  • Sales in the first two quarters of the year outpaced that widening loss, with revenue more than doubling to $254 million, from $122 million a year ago;
  • As of June, Twitter has more than 200 million monthly active users that generate more than 500 million tweets a day.

Twitter will trade under the ticker “TWTR;” however, it has not announced which stock exchange it intends to list on. [Continue reading...]

Oct 3

In Business and Financial News:

Now Hiring…

The private sector added fewer jobs in September than expected. On Wednesday, the ADP (Automatic Data Processing) survey was released showing US business added 166,000 jobs in September, slightly more than July and August. Analysts, however, had expected the number to be closer to 180,000 jobs. The report also revised August to 159,000 and July to 161,000; both revisions was lower than previous estimates. Overall, the report showed hiring in the private sector slightly below the monthly average of 175,000 jobs for the year.

KJ’s Take: Normally there are two reports about jobs, the ADP and NFP (Non-Farm Payroll). Due to the government shut down, the NFP report will not be released on Friday. The ADP didn’t hold a lot of surprises. However you feel about ObamaCare, it was always common knowledge it would have some kind of effect on hiring and job creation until all of the details are ironed out. [Continue reading...]

Oct 2

In Business and Financial News:

Holiday Hiring…

Amazon (AMZN) announced Monday that it will be hiring 70,000 seasonal workers for its US warehouse network, a 40% increase from last year. Seasonal hires have become an annual ritual attributed to the need to meet an increase in demand. The US isn’t the only country that the online retailer is hiring for. The company plans on hiring 15,000 seasonal works in the United Kingdom, a 50% increase over last year.

The Seattle-based Amazon has been building its network of warehouses in major cities like San Francisco and San Antonio to help speed up delivery and to offer new services like grocery delivery. Amazon currently employs 20,000 full time employees. [Continue reading...]

Oct 1

In Business and Financial News:

We Are Hiring…

American Airlines (AMR) said Monday that it plans on hiring 1,500 pilots over the next 5 years in addition to bringing back all pilots that the airline had on furlough. The company will start the recruitment effort for new pilots this fall. American has resumed hiring pilots because a large number of its current pilots will hit the new mandatory retirement age of 65.  The age limit was raised from 60 to 65 over five years ago. In addition to hiring new pilots, American has already hired 1,500 flight attendants as the company prepares for life after bankruptcy. [Continue reading...]

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