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Feb 28

In The News:

On Thursday, International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) began dismissing U.S. workers as part of a $1 billion restructuring to help the company meet profit goals as it adapts to shifts in the technology industry. Workers in New York, Vermont, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma and North Carolina were let go. [Continue reading...]

Feb 27

In The News…

Build It And The Will Come ….
Tesla, the electric car maker, announced plans on Wednesday to raise $1.6 billion through a bond issue to fund what its founder calls a “gigafactory”. The gigafactory is expected to produce more lithium ion batteries annually by 2020 than were produced worldwide in 2013. Those batteries, and the reduction in their cost, will help the automaker to produce a cheaper car in numbers that could catapult the company into the ranks of the major automaker. The new factory could be located in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico or Texas. The Gigafactory will take up between 500 and 1,000 acres, employ about 6,500 people, and produce about 500,000 cars per year. Tesla recently increased its sales forecast for 2014, saying it expects global sales to reach 35,000 vehicles.
Currently, the automaker has only on model, the Tesla S, which has a starting price of $69,000 and can go more than 200 miles between charges.

I’m Too Sexy…
Adidas, an official partner of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, had to pull some of their tee shirts for the World Cup off of their website. The tees, which included an “I heart Brazil” with a heart resembling a woman’s buttocks in a thong flipped upside-down, were pulled after the company received complaints from both customers and the Brazilian government. The shirts were part of a limited edition collection only available in the U.S. Adidas (ADDYY) has been a FIFA partner for almost 40 years, and has supplied the official match ball for the World Cup since the 1970 tournament in Mexico. This year’s tournament will be held in Brazil from June 12 to July 13.

In The Markets:

Asian markets closed mixed on Thursday. The Shanghai closed up despite the PBOC (People’s Bank Of China) draining liquidity out of the markets. Both the Nikkei and Hang Seng lost ground as investors wait for Fed Head Janet Yellen testimony.

European shares closed lower on Wednesday on another set of not so great earnings reports.

US stocks finished Wednesday out slightly higher. A better-than-expected new home sales report helped investor feel a bit better about the effects of the winter storms in December and January. DJIA: +18.75 16198.41 NASDAQ: +4.48 4292.06 S&P 500: +0.04 1875.16

In Dinner or Drink:

Electric Kool-Aid
1 oz. amaretto almond liqueur
1 oz. raspberry schnapps
1 oz. Southern Comfort® peach liqueur
1 oz. triple sec
1 – 2 oz. cranberry juice
1 – 2 oz. sweet and sour mix

Fill glass with ice. Pour in shots and fill with equal parts cranberry and sour mix.
Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. –Albert Einstein

Feb 26

In The News:

It’s a New Crackbaby…
Ailing firm Blackberry (BBRY) unveiled its new Q20 smartphone on Tuesday. The company is no longer focusing on beating iPhone or Android but instead focusing on its own version of the smartphone. The new Q20 phone has a physical keyboard, an old-school track pad, menu, send, back and end buttons, along with an iPhone 4-like touchscreen. The Q20 will likely appeal to longtime Blackberry users but also draw in customers in another matter.

Hiding Out….
According to a two-year investigation by the US Senate permanent subcommittee on investigations, Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse (CS) helped more than 22,000 US customers avoid paying taxes on accounts that were worth as much as $12 billion. Sens. Carl Levin and John McCain blasted Credit Suisse’s role in hiding the accounts and the U.S. Justice Department’s effort to hold the bank and tax evaders responsible. The subcommittee will hold a hearing Wednesday morning where Credit Suisse Group AG Chief Executive Officer Brady Dougan is scheduled to testify, as are Robert Shafir and Hans-Ulrich Meister, co-heads of Credit Suisse’s private banking and wealth management unit. Romeo Cerutti, the bank’s general counsel, will also testify.

The Swiss bank has been seeking to settle charges it helped Americans avoid paying taxes for over a year. Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported talks between Credit Suisse and the U.S. had picked up and a deal could be struck in the first half of this year. A possible settlement could top $800 million, which would exceed the $780 million paid by Credit Suisse rival UBS AG (UBS) in 2009 to settle similar allegation.

In The Markets:

Asian markets closed mixed on Wednesday as the markets rebounded from yesterday’s losses. The Nikkei lost ground as investors digested weaker US data while the Shanghai and the Hang Seng enjoyed a buying spree from confident investors.

European stock markets closed lower on Tuesday as investors digested disappointing corporate earnings.

US markets closed lower Tuesday. Disappointing earnings, lower housing prices, and a drop in customer sentiment had investors feeling a tad bit jittery. DJIA: -27.48 16147.66 Nasdaq: -5.38 4287.59 S&P -2.49 1845.12

In Dinner or Drink:

Swiss Ass Kisser
1.5 oz. Captain Morgan® spiced rum
6 limes
1 oz. Sour Puss® raspberry liqueur
0.5 peach schnapps

Mix together in shaker with ice

If you like our drink today, click here for more.

It’s not what you’ve got; it’s what you use that makes a difference. – Zig Ziglar

Feb 25

In The News:

Bueno Breakfast…
Taco Bell (YUM) is launching a national breakfast menu on March 27. The menu will feature items such as the A.M. Crunchwrap. The chain says that breakfast will be available until 11am. Taco Bell has been testing and tweaking its menu in a handful of the chain’s nearly 6,000 U.S. locations over the past several months. For the national rollout, the company has hired additional staff, trained existing staff and purchased new equipment, including for the coffee it plans to start serving for the first time. It’s not clear how Taco Bell’s entry into breakfast will alter the fast-food landscape, since Starbucks also plans to roll out new and revamped breakfasts sandwiches, including a croissant sandwich with ham, cheese and egg.

More Cuts…
The nation’s largest bank, JP Morgan Chase (JPM) is planning additional job cuts in its mortgage business on top of the 13,000-15,000 positions already due to be slashed because of plunging demand for home loans. The announcement could come as soon as Tuesday’s JPMorgan’s annual investor day. The cuts are part of a new efficiency drive at the largest US bank by assets that also encompasses staffing branches with fewer employees. Profitability remains stronger than at competitors such as Bank of America and Citigroup but the bank is looking to find new savings, partly due to technology that allows greater automation of clerical functions in branches and partly because of a plunge in demand for mortgage refinancing.

New Kids On The Block….
HTC Corp. (2498), the unprofitable Taiwanese smart phone maker, unveiled a lower-priced smartphone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, as the company chases growth in cheaper devices. The Desire 816, a smartphone priced in the “mid-tier”, will be available in China starting in March and in other countries beginning in April. The company will also announce later this week its entries into the wearable phone gadget market.

In The Markets:

Asia was mostly higher Tuesday after a positive handoff from the US.

European markets closed at the highest levels in six years on Monday. Investors shrugged off worries over tighter credit in China instead feeling some US love as the S&P hit an intraday record.

U.S. stocks rallied on Monday, boosted by M&A activity, an upbeat German confidence report and bets that the S&P 500′s will reach new high ground spurred a buying spree. DJIA: +103.84 16207.14 Nasdaq: +29.56 4292.97 S&P 500: +29.26 4292.97

In Dinner or Drink:

Mexican Breakfast Casserole

1 bag (20 oz.) refrigerated cooked shredded hash brown potatoes
1 package (1 oz.) Old El Paso® taco seasoning mix
1 lb. bulk turkey or pork breakfast sausage
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
12 eggs
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (8 oz.)
¼ cup milk
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
1 ½ cups (from 16-oz jar) Old El Paso® Thick ‘n Chunky medium salsa

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9x2-inch (3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray. Place hash brown potatoes and 1 tablespoon of the taco seasoning mix in large bowl; toss to coat potatoes evenly. Pat in baking dish.
Spray 10-inch skillet with cooking spray. Cook breakfast sausage and onion over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain.
Meanwhile, beat eggs, cheese, milk, salt, pepper and remaining taco seasoning mix in same bowl with whisk until well mixed. Stir in sausage mixture and salsa. Carefully pour over hash browns in baking dish.
Bake uncovered about 40 minutes or until eggs are set in center. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.-Robert Collier

Feb 24

In The News:

We Will Pay…
The country’s largest cable and broadband provider, Comcast (CMCSA), has reached an “interconnection agreement” with Netflix (NFLX) to ensure that the streaming service videos would be stream directly to Comcast’s customers, thereby providing a faster and more reliable experience for the customer. Terms of the deal, which was announce Sunday, were not disclosed. [Continue reading...]

Feb 21

In The News:

Bye, Bye Bleach…

Thursday, Procter & Gamble’s (PG) CEO A.G. Lafley announced that the company will be selling off the company’s worldwide bleach business, a reorganization of the company’s global business units, and a new “smart” toothbrush to help people improve their brushing habits. Lafley also acknowledged that the potential sale of other non-core businesses is being considered; however, he provided no other details. [Continue reading...]

Feb 20

In The News:

Got Milk…
Picking up your gallon of milk has gotten pricier and could hit a record high price in March. Strong global demand and a decrease in production in other countries have led to an increase of U.S. dairy product exports in recent months. The good news the shortage has generated more money for dairy farmers. [Continue reading...]

Feb 19

In The News:

You Can Buy The Forest…
Actavis Plc (ACT), the world’s second-largest generic drug maker, is buying Forest Laboratories Inc. (FRX) for nearly $25 billion. Forest stockholders will receive cash and stock valued at $89.48 a share, 25% above the closing price on Feb. 14. With the purchase Actavis will add the Alzheimer’s drug Namenda and blood-pressure pill Bystolic to its product lineup. [Continue reading...]

Feb 18

In The News:

Apology Not Accepted…

1-800-Flowers (FLWS) is still trying to apologize to customers whose orders of flowers and candy never showed up on Valentine’s Day and for the lack of customer services their customers received. Frustrated customers took to social media after not receiving their deliveries or receiving wilted flowers. [Continue reading...]

Feb 14


In The News:

Hatchin’ a Plan…

Thursday, Verizon (VZN) announced its latest scheme in the company’s ongoing battle for customers with AT&T. This time, the company is using an increase in data allowances, storage and messaging ability, as well as discounts to lure new customers and keep the old ones. Verizon’s new plans includes:
·       an increase in the amount of data allowance;
·       25 gigabytes of cloud storage for each customer; [Continue reading...]

Feb 13

In The News:


We’re Want You…

On Thursday, Comcast (CCV) announced it had reached an agreement to acquire Time Warner Cable (TWC) in an all-stock transaction worth $158.82 a share. The new company would become the largest cable provider in the nation with over 33 million subscribers. Shareholders of Time Warner Cable will be offered 2.875 Comcast shares for each share they own, valuing Time Warner Cable at about $158.82 per share. [Continue reading...]

Feb 12

In The News:


You Have Klout…

On Tuesday, customer engagement service Lithium Technologies agreed to buy Klout, a service that measures users’ online influence.  The deal is said to be worth at least $100 million. Klout, ranks users’ social influence by using social media analytics. The service measures everything from the number of times users’ tweets are retweeted to the size and influence of their followers in order to assign a numerical “Klout Score.” Klout was launched in 2001 as social networks were gaining traction. Now, Klout is one in a crowded field of companies creating mechanisms for measuring social influence.

We Be Yellen…

The first women Fed Head, Janet Yellen, made her first appearance in front on Congress on Tuesday. Here’s some Yellen Highlights:

  • Yellen’s a “dove” which means she favors more easy money, all things equal, rather than less. Stocks have risen on the hope her dovish stance will keep interest rates near zero percent for longer (a strategy that’s been dubbed “forward guidance”).
  • Front and center in her prepared testimony was her belief that the job market, which has created nearly eight million jobs, remains far from fully healed.
  • Yellen defended the Fed’s use of extreme monetary policy easing. She however, avoided taking responsibility for the recent turmoil in emerging markets which was caused by the Fed’s steady tapering of its bond buying stimulus.


In The Markets:


Asian markets closed higher on Wednesday after better-than-expected Chinese trade data and confirmation from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yell she will continue support US monetary policy.


European shares continued their winning streak on Tuesday, buoyed by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen expectation the central bank to stick with its current approach to monetary policy.


US shares extended their four-day winning streak ending Tuesday with solid gains as Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen pledged to keep interest rates low and continue to taper the pace of bond purchases if the economy keeps improving. DJIA: +191.82 15993.61 Nasdaq: +42.87 4191.04 S&P 500 + 19.86 1819.70

In Dinner or Drink:


Little, Yellow, Different

1 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. triple sec
1/2 oz. apricot brandy
1/4 oz. banana liqueur
1 tsp. lemon juice


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

Like our drink today, click here for more.
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ― George Bernard Shaw



Feb 11

In The News:

Shedding Some Baggage…

Chrysler Group LLC, the American carmaker owned by Fiat SpA (F), will pay $5 billion to a United Auto Workers Trust, completing the final payments that the company owed as a result of its bankruptcy. Chrysler today closed a bond sale to reimburse the UAW health-care trust for a note it provided five years ago as part of the automaker’s financial rescue, the U.S. manufacturer said in a statement. Fiat last month bought the 41.5 percent Chrysler stake held by the trust, which was created to pay medical bills for union retirees, to gain full control of the U.S. business. The combination creates the world’s seventh-largest auto manufacturer. Fiat Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne, 61, wants to transform the company with a scale that can challenge the likes of General Motors Co. (GM) and Volkswagen AG.

Fiat, which owned 58.5 percent of Chrysler prior to the full takeover, relies on the U.S. for profit because of losses in Europe amid a six-year car-market contraction in the region. Fiat plans to move its primary listing to New York and rename itself Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV. The manufacturer aims to complete the New York listing by Oct. 1 and will also continue to have shares traded on the Milan exchange. Fiat fell as much as 1.4 percent to 7.20 euros and was trading at 7.23 euros at 4:26 p.m. Milan time, down 1 percent, valuing the carmaker at 9.04 billion euros ($12.33 billion).

Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa

Boeing’s reputation is taking a beating as Air India Ltd. voices its displeasure with the performance of Boeing’s 787 Deamliners after some of the planes suffered glitches and recent months. Citing the need for software upgrades and component replacements, a Boeing spokesperson acknowledged the glitches and lack of reliability. Last month, Japan Airline Companies, one of the biggest operators of the Dreamliner, found a battery cell in an empty jet smoking during preflight maintenance. Earlier this month, Air India diverted one of its 787s as a precaution after the plane developed software malfunctions on a flight. Boeing has since began upgrading software and changing components whenever the planes can be taken out of service. Additionally, Air India plans to seek compensation from Boeing after the carrier found that its 787s aren’t as fuel efficient as the planemaker had claimed while selling them. Boeing VP of 787 services and support acknowledged the need to improve reliability to satisfy customers, a mantra coming out of Boeing for the past month.

The Dreamliner’s introduction into service in 2011 ago for Tokyo’s ANA Holdings Inc. was beset with a 3 1/2 year delay due to production snags and other delays. Last year, an Air India 787 developed cracks in the windshield during landing.

Nevertheless, Boeing see potential aircraft deals in India later this year. Boeing will increase its prediction for India plane demand in the next couple of months. The company had forecasted last year that carriers in the Asian nation will need 1,450 new aircrafts, worth $175 billion over the next two decades

In The Markets:

Asian markets closed up on Tuesday as investors await the first speech from new Fed head Janet Yellen.

European stock markets closed positive for the fourth straight session on Monday. Investors welcomed better corporate news and a positive handoff from Asia.

US markets closed modestly higher on Monday. With no earth shattering economic news investors instead focused on Tuesday testimony of Federal Reserve Chairwomen Janet Yellen to Congress. DJIA: +5.08 15799.16 Nasdaq: +22.31 4148.17 S&P: +2.68 1799.70

In Dinner or Drink:

Orange Cream Dream

3-4 ice cubes
1 shot vanilla vodka
1 oz cream soda
1 oz orange juice pulp free
2-3 squirts whipping cream
1 chocolate syrup
1 peel of orange garnish

1. drop 2-3 ice cubes into glass

2. pour 2 ounces chilled vanilla vodka over ice cubes

3. pour 1 ounce low acid, pulp-free orange juice into vodka; the citrus flavor will shock the alcohol (even though it’s already flavored) and will lessen the alcohol taste

4. pour 1 ounce cream soda into glass

5. stir generously with swizzle stick

6. squirt desired amount of whipping cream on top of the mixture

7. drizzle with chocolate syrup if desired

8. garnish with orange slice/peel if desired

9. stick a straw in

10. enjoy!

Like our drink today, click here for more.

The only thing that stands between a man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try it and the faith to believe that it is possible.-Richard M. DeVos

A special Thank You to our own James Burleson-Porras for guest writing today.

Feb 10

In The News:

We Think We Found Something

On Friday, Fazio Mechanical Services of Sharspburg, PA confirmed in a statement that it was the third party vendor that cyber hackers used to orchestrate the holiday cyber-attack on Target (TGT). The company released a statement after internet security bloggers leaked the name of the company. Fazio has a heating and refrigeration contract that has serviced Target stores. Using the electronic system that the company uses to submit bills and contract proposals, the cyber hackers launched malware that eventually made its way to the Target’s Point of Sales system.  The cyber-attack at Target affected 40 million debit and credit card numbers and the personal information, including names, email addresses, phone numbers and home addresses of as many as 70 million customers.

January Jobs Report

On Friday the Department of Labor released its January NFP (Non-Farm Payroll) report, showing the economy added 113,000 jobs in January vs. a revised 75,000 in December. Also in January, the jobless rate went down to 6.6%. The report was not a spectacular one as hiring was weak for second straight months. Most analyst and investors chalked the report up to the winter snow storms which occurred across the nation in January.


In The Markets:


Asian stock markets closed higher on Monday as investors brushed off a worse-than-expected U.S. jobs report.


European stock markets moved higher Friday after U.S. data showed the unemployment rate fell in January.


US markets closed up on Friday as investors concentrated more on the positive details in the government’s report, like the unemployment rate ticked down while the labor force participation rate edged up, instead of lower actual number of jobs added. DJIA: +165.55 15794.08  Nasdaq: +68.74 41253.86  S&P:+23.59 1797.02


Feb 7

In The News:

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs…

The NFP (Non- Farm Payroll) was released early Friday morning showing the overall economy added [Continue reading...]

Feb 6

In The News:


The ADP jobs report , a private sector jobs survey, showed the private sector added 175,000 jobs in January, a sign that hiring may have rebounded after a disappointing figure in December. The 175,000 total was below ADP’s estimated 227,000 private-sector job gains in December. The report comes as fears are rising of a slowdown in the U.S. and global economies. [Continue reading...]

Feb 5

In The News…


On Wednesday morning the ADP (aka private sector jobs report) employment report was released showing 175,000 jobs were created in January. We will have a full recap of the report in tomorrow’s edition. [Continue reading...]

Feb 4

In The News:

Not a Good Idea...

Texting in your mittens not a good idea… just asks J.C. Penney (JCP). During the Super Bowl on Sunday J.C. Penny’s official twitter account tweeted “Who kkmew theis was ghoing tob e a baweball ghamle,” and Toughdown Seadawks!! Is sSeattle going toa runaway wit h this??? Answering back the tweets companies such as Kia Motors America writing, “Hey @jcpenney need a designated driver?”. [Continue reading...]

Feb 3

In The News:

New Man on Campus…
According to sources, Microsoft Corp (MSFT) is likely to appoint Satya Nadella, currently the company’s cloud-computing head and a 22-year Microsoft veteran, as its new CEO. An appointment would conclude a five month search to head the world’s largest software company. [Continue reading...]

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