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Apr 29

In The News:

We’re Moving…
On Monday, Toyota announced, after more than a half-century, it will move its U.S. headquarters from Southern California to Texas. The move to Plano, Texas will start in 2017. The new office complex will bring together employees who are scattered around the U.S. Currently, Toyota’s sales and finance arms [Continue reading...]

Apr 28

In The News:

New Moves…
Facebook (FB) wants to track your workouts. The social networking giant announced that it has acquired mobile-fitness app Moves. Moves is different from most mobile-fitness apps as it is able to decipher if a person is walking, running, biking or riding public transportation. [Continue reading...]

Apr 25

In The News:

Prime Shopping…
Amazon (AMZN) is taking aim at grocery stores, launching its own version of food shopping. Amazon announced its new service to Prime loyalty club members which will allow customers to fill up to a 45-pound box with groceries and get it shipped at a flat rate of $5.99. The new service called Prime Pantry will offer [Continue reading...]

Apr 24

In The News:

Going Postal…
On Thursday, Staples shoppers could face a postal workers’ picket line. The American Postal Workers Union has organized protests at 50 of the office supplies stores across the U.S. to oppose a deal where U.S. postal products and services are being sold at Staples. In November, 82 Staples stores began selling traditional mail services as part of a short-term “pilot project” [Continue reading...]

Apr 23

In The News:

Union…
JetBlue Airways (JBLU) pilots voted to unionize ending the carrier’s status as one of the last nonunion airlines in the US. More than 70% of JetBlue’s pilots voted on Tuesday to join the Air Line Pilots Associates, [Continue reading...]

Apr 22

In The News:

Buy A Little, Sell A Little…
Drug Maker Novartis unveiled Tuesday a sweeping overhaul of its product portfolio. The company announced it will sell two of the companies units and buying another in a series of transactions worth more than $25 billion. Basel-based Novartis will acquiring the oncology unit of Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.LN) for around $14.5 billion. [Continue reading...]

Apr 21

In The News:

Buying Breakfast…
Post Holdings (POST), yes the maker of Post cereals, will acquire Michael Foods for $2.45 billion. The sale will expand the cereal maker’s breakfast offerings to include eggs and dairy products. The deal will represents Post’s biggest acquisitions, nearly doubling the company size. Michael Foods, based in Minnetonka, Minnesota since 1908, produces and distributes food products including Abbotsford Farms eggs, Simply Potatoes, Crystal Farms cheeses, and liquid egg whites. [Continue reading...]

Apr 17

In The News:

Stop The Bleeding…

Bank of America (BAC) reported their Q1 results on Wednesday, and they weren’t good. For the first quarter of this year, the nation’s second largest bank reported a loss of $276 million, or five cents per share, compared with a profit of $1.48 billion a year earlier. Revenue slipped 3% as Bank of America, like other big banks, saw mortgage lending and bond trading fall. [Continue reading...]

Apr 16

In The News:

Yahooooo….
Yahoo (YHOO) announced its Q1 earnings on Tuesday, and investors will should like what they see. The company posted slightly ahead of expectations for both earnings and sales. Particularly noteworthy was the company’s success in stemming revenue declines from its search and display ads, which the company has been dinged for in past quarters. The future seems to look bright for Yahoo. [Continue reading...]

Apr 15

In The News:

We Want You…
On Monday, financial -services giant TIAA-CREF announced they are buying Nuveen Investments in an estimated $6.25 billion deal. The purchase is expected to lift New York-based TIAA-CREF, into the top ranks of U.S. mutual-fund firms. TIAA-CREF, a 96-year-old company, [Continue reading...]

Apr 14

In The News:

 

Real Thing, Baby…
PepsiCo (PEP) has announced plans to roll out three new sodas using real sugar, not their usual high fructose corn syrup. The company’s new offerings will include Pepsi Vanilla, Pepsi Wild Cherry, and good ol’ Pepsi. [Continue reading...]

Apr 11

In The News:

Bookin It…
Google (GOOG) is getting into the hotel booking business. Google has started adding photos and reviews to its hotel listings, increasingly resembling travel search sites such as Priceline and Trip Advisor. Google hopes that their new pictures will encourage travelers to plan more of their trips directly on Google. [Continue reading...]

Apr 10

In The News:

Yellen & Friends…
On Wednesday, the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) released the minutes of their March meeting. The March meeting, the first of many for new Fed head Janet Yellen, spooked markets initially as investors didn’t know how to interpret Yellen’s new lingo. [Continue reading...]

Apr 9

In The News:

Sunny Skies…
The Weather Channel is back on DIRECTV (DTV) program lineup as of Wednesday after a nearly three-month blackout. An unlikely player helped swing the deal: Hilton Hotels (HLT). The satellite TV provider retreated from their earlier demand for significant cuts to the fees it pays the Weather Channel, [Continue reading...]

Apr 8

In The News:

Pickup Please…
Uber, the company that made car service affordable, is launching a bike-courier service in Manhattan. The new service, called UberRUSH, will allow users to flag couriers by scheduling pickups and deliveries using a smartphone app similar to the same business model it current uses for its car service. Uber will pay its courier’s $20 an hour or more for “on-demand deliveries.” The company will also provide couriers with an iPhone 4S to receive pickup requests from nearby customers.
For right now, UberRUSH is only available in Manhattan, but if it catches on, it will expand to other boroughs and perhaps, eventually, other cities. The service will us bike and pedestrian messengers to deliver the packages. The base cost for a delivery is $15 with prices rising up to $30 for a package that originates on the Upper East Side and travels to Manhattan.

Oops, We Missed…
On Monday, Samsung Electronics fessed up that it is on track to post its second straight quarter of profit decline. Slowing smartphone sales growth continues to weigh on the company’s earnings. The South Korean tech giant estimated that it’s Q1 (January-March) operation profit will fall by 4.3 % to $7.96 billion, slightly below what analysts were predicting. The company is hanging its hope for the future on Friday’s release of its Galaxy S5. The phone, which has already launched in South Korea, got off to a weak start. A temporary ban on mobile carriers selling handsets and criticism that the phone lacks eye-catching new features hasn’t done much to improve sales.

In The Markets:

Asia:
Asian markets closed Tuesday mixed. China’s markets rallied to a one and a half month closing high thanks to the banking sector. The Nikkei tumbled after a negative hand off from the US on Monday.

Europe:
European stocks dropped on Monday ending a nine-session winning streak as the massive selloff from Wall Street spooked global investors.

US:
US markets tumbled for a second straight day on Monday as the selloff in high-growth stocks continued to spill over to the broader market. DJIA: -166.84 16,245.87 Nasdaq: -47.97 4079.75 S&P: -20.05 1845.04

Dinner or Drink:

Atomic Uber-Charge

30 oz. Jose Cuervo® margarita mix
2-4 oz. Monster® energy drink
5 Orange flavored TicTac
1 whole Fruit Roll-Ups strawberry

First take the whole jug of margarita mix, preferably half empty. Take the Tic-Tacs and drop them into the jug and shake for approximately five to ten minutes, or at least until their color has faded. After that let the drink sit for another five minutes. Next comes the Monster or equivalent energy drink, pour in about a 1/4 or 1/6 of the can, depending on how strong you wish the drink to be. Swirl and shake the drink for about fifteen seconds to mix in the energy drink. Hopefully by this point the Tic-Tacs will have completely dissolved but if they haven’t it doesn’t particularly matter. For the final step insert one whole Strawberry Fruit Rollup, tearing it into pieces and dropping them in. Shake well for another few minutes and your drink should be complete.

Like our drink today, click here for more.

Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance you must keep moving. –Albert Einstein

Apr 7

In The News:

The Spiders Are Back…
On Friday, Mazda announced that the spiders are back when they notified federal officials they will recall 42,000 Mazda 6 sedans model years 2010 through 2012.  The yellow sac spider is attracted to the hydrocarbons in gasoline and can sometimes find its way into a fuel tank hose. The spider can then weave a web which blocks airflow into the Mazda 6 fuel tank causing potential cracks and possibly fires.  The car maker has designed a special spring to prevent the spiders from getting in; however, sometimes the spiders find a way, so they also designed a software fix to alleviate pressure on the fuel tank and to prevent the cracking.  Recent Mazda 6 sedans are not affected, as they come with the spring and software installed. Three years ago, Mazda had to recall 52,000 Mazda6 model years 2009 and 2010 for the same issue.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs…

On Friday, the Labor Department released the NFP (Non Farm Payroll) report. The report showed that the economy added 192,000 jobs in March and revised the number of jobs added in January and February up by 37,000. The unemployment rate stayed steady at 6.7%.  Maybe the most important fact about Friday’s report, however, is that the economy finally hit the magic number, adding enough jobs to replace the 8.8 million lost during the deep recession.

It Was The Russians…

The hackers who raided the credit-card payment system of Neiman Marcus Group Ltd. belong to a sophisticated Russian syndicate that has stolen more than 160 million credit-card numbers from retailers over seven years. The Russian group, well known to U.S. authorities, who have indicted several members and linked it to security breaches more than 100 companies, including Citigroup Inc. (C) and J.C. Penney Co. (JCP). Officials have pinpointed a different group of hackers in the Target security breath.

The breach at Neiman Marcus has received less attention than those at Target and Michaels since the theft was smaller. In January the company announced 1.1 million credit cards may have been compromised, they later lowered the estimate to 350,000, and said that 9,200 had been used fraudulently as of Feb. 21.  The sophistication of the Neiman Marcus attacks, including how the stolen cards were sold, set it apart from the Target attack.

In The Markets:

Asia:
Asian markets started the week off mixed as the global rout of tech stocks continued.

Europe:
European markets closed higher on Friday after a report had the European Central Bank thinking about 1 trillion euros of quantitative easing in the near future.

US:
US markets tumbled on Friday with the Nasdaq closing down triple digits. The markets started off the day positive after the NFP report the economy added 192,000 jobs only to lose momentum as investors took profits from anything technology or biotech related. DJIA: -159.84 16412.71 Nasdaq: -110.01 4127.73 S&P 500 -23.68 1865.09

In Dinner or Drink:

Big Dumb Russian

ice cubes
2 oz Absolut® vodka
3 parts Sprite® soda
1 splash pineapple juice
Maui® Blue Hawaiian schnapps

Fill the glass with ice. I like to use a standard beer glass. Add about 2 shots of vodka. Then fill the glass about 3/4th of the way with Sprite. Then add just a splash of pineapple juice. Finally, add the Blue Maui until you get a faint (almost skyblue) blue color. Stir.

Like our recipe, click here for more.

We are what we repeatedly do. – Aristotle

Apr 3

In the News:

You’re On Fire…
On Wednesday, Amazon announced they are entering the crowded market of video-streaming device. Amazon Fire TV, the size of Apple TV, comes with a voice search remote control. The streaming device has a quad core processor, dedicated graphics-processing unit (GPU) and 2 gigabytes of RAM. Fire offers content from Amazon Prime, Netflix, [Continue reading...]

Apr 1

In The News:

Speedy Investigation…
The FBI has launched a wide-ranging investigation into high-speed trading, paying special attention to whether some firms have been acting on fast moving information that isn’t available across the board to all traders and whether waves of orders that flood the market from high-frequency firms are being used to manipulate prices to their benefit. The FBI is looking at proprietary-trading operations as well as fast-trading operations brokers [Continue reading...]

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