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May 30

In The News:

Pay Up Buddy…

The U.S. Justice Department is pushing BNP Paribas to pay up more than $10 billion to resolve allegation that it evaded U.S sanctions against Iran and other countries for years. The penalty, if paid, would represent one of the largest penalties ever imposed on a bank. The penalty isn’t all that the bank is concerned about. A major sticking point of negotiations so far is the possibility that the U.S. will temporarily restrict the bank’s ability to transact in U.S. dollars. [Continue reading...]

May 29


In The News:

Give Me A Beat…

Well it’s officially Apple is buying Beats Electronics for $3 billion dollars. The big announcement comes nearly three week after deal negotiations between the fruit and the headphone/music streaming company, founded by rapper Dr. Dre and recording impresario Jimmy Iovine, where leaked to the press.  The $3 billion price tag consists of $2.6 billion in cash and $400 million in Apple stock which will vest over a specified time period. [Continue reading...]

May 28

In The News:

Where’s the Beef ?

On Monday, Pilgrim’s Pride (PPC) swooped in with a $5.5 billion takeover bid for Hillshire Brand (HSH), maker of Jimmy Dean sausage.  Buying Hillshire would give one of the largest chicken producers in the U.S. something it lacks: a portfolio of brand prepared meats, as well as Sara Lee desserts. The marriage would create the second biggest company in the U.S. meat market after Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN), with a combined $12 billion in annual revenue. [Continue reading...]

May 27

In The News:

A Shift…
U.S. securities regulators are embracing a plan designed to shift more stock trading onto exchanges and away from private trading venues (aka dark pools) operated by banks and other firms. The move is expected to be part of a coming Securities and Exchange Commission pilot program aimed at boosting trading in the stocks of smaller companies. [Continue reading...]

May 23

In The News:

Oops, Wrong Button…

Hewlett Packer (HP) accidentally posted its quarterly numbers on its website ahead of schedule and before the close of regular trading on Thursday. The shares had been trading higher earlier in the session as investors speculated the news would be good. After the earnings snafu, the shares dipped by more than 2%. HP reported a rise in net income of 18% to $1.27 billion, or 66 cents a share up from 55 cents a year ago.  [Continue reading...]

May 22

In The News:

Mind Reader….
The Federal Reserve released the minutes of its April 29-30 meeting on Wednesday, giving us mere mortals a glimpse into their minds (and the meeting). The big news flash was the revelation that the Fed has started to at least discuss what tools it will need when the time comes to finally start to exit the extraordinary stimulus it has provided the U.S. economy since 2008. The members made it very clear in the minutes that this is just the beginning of the discussion and should not be seen as a signal that an increase in rates will happen in the near future. [Continue reading...]

May 21

In The News:

What Number Are We On?

General Motors (GM) cost to repair faulty vehicles hit $1.7 billion on Tuesday after the auto maker added another 2.4 million cars, sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks to this year’s list of recent safety recalls. The nation’s largest automaker has issued 29 separate recalls, covering nearly 15.4 million vehicles world-wide, since the start of the year. [Continue reading...]

May 20

In The News:


On Monday, AstraZeneca rejected Pfizer’s (PFE) final offer valued at roughly $120 billion. AstraZeneca made it clear on Sunday afternoon that Pfizer would have to up its price to at least £58.85 before AstraZeneca’s board would budge. Pfizer chose not to counter. The rejection may not be a near-fatal setback; under U.K. takeover rules, both have until May 26, which is four weeks from the confirmation of Pfizer’s earlier approach to enter takeover discussions. Pfizer is chasing AstraZeneca in a so-called inversion deal [Continue reading...]

May 19

In the News:

You Have Content, We Want Content…
On Sunday, AT&T (T) announced that it is buying DirecTV (DTV) for $95 per share, or $49 billion. The purchase gives the telecommunications company a larger base of video subscribers and increases its ability to compete against Comcast (CMCSA). The deal is an example of how big television and telecommunications are joining forces in an ever changing media landscape. While growth is slowing in areas like pay TV and wireless subscriptions, explosive growth is happening in streaming video.
The purchase will not only allow AT&T to obtain a larger role in the pay TV market, but it could also help the company free up bandwidth in its telecommunications network if it moves U-verse subscribers over to satellite service. At the same time, DirecTV gains a new vehicle to deliver its content – mobile phones. AT&T is the second largest wireless carrier next to Verizon (VZ). The companies expect the deal to close within the next 12 months following government approval.

Move over $7 to $10 fees per trade; there’s a new free trade app on its way. Robinhood promises users no account minimums and free trading. The app is still in its test phase; however, nearly 340,000 subscribers have signed up on the company’s website to gain early access. The roll out process is reminiscent of the early days of Gmail, Gilt Groupe and the Mailbox app, where there’s a hint of exclusivity, and if you refer more friends, you can move up the wait list.

Seafood Sale…
Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI) have agreed to sell its Red Lobster seafood chain to private equity firm Golden Gate Capital for $2.1 billion in cash. Darden expects the net cash proceeds of about $1.6 billion from the sale, of which about $1 billion would be used to retire debt.
The sales comes as Darden, the biggest U.S. operator of full-service restaurants, has been battling competition from “fast-casual” restaurants such as Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread. Red Lobster same-restaurant sales have fallen in five of the last six quarters. Investors showed their disappointment Darden only sold off one of its struggling restaurants on Friday as the stock tumbled on Friday closing down $2.20.

In The Markets:

Asian markets started of the week down as slowdown concerns in the world’s second-largest economy offset Friday’s positive handoff from Wall Street.

European shares closed mixed Friday after a day filled with concerns remaining about slow growth, low inflation and hefty valuations.

US markets end the week higher after trading in negative territory most of Friday after a mixed bag of economic reports came out. DJIA: +45.98 16492.79 NASDAQ: +21.30 4090.59 S&P 500: +7.05 1877.90

In Dinner or Drink:

Red Lobster Cheese Biscuits

Red Lobster Recipe INGREDIENTS
• 2 cups Bisquick
• 2/3 cup milk
• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
• 1/4 cup butter
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes

Red Lobster Recipe INSTRUCTIONS
Heat oven to 450.
Mix Bisquick, garlic powder, milk and cheese until well blended.
Drop dough by spoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 8-10 minutes.
Combine butter, garlic powder, old bay, parsley and salt.
Melt in microwave for 20 seconds…

Word Of The Day…

Dividends: A taxable distribution of a portion of a company’s earnings that is declared by a company’s board of directors and distributed to its shareholders at a declared date.

May 16

In The News:

America’s largest cable company, Comcast, is considering imposing monthly usage limits for all of its Internet customers. At a conference on Wednesday the company’s executive vice president, David Cohen, predicted in five years’ time, the company will have “a usage-based billing model rolled out across its footprint.” Cohen went on to speculate limit might be set at 350 gigabytes or 500 gigabytes per month. His prediction may not be that far down the road. Currently, Comcast is experimenting with 300 GB data limits in select markets, charging customers $10 for each additional block of 50 GB. The company is also testing a flexible data option, which includes 5 GB, for light users. [Continue reading...]

May 15

In The News:


Citigroup, the third largest US Bank in assets, announced on Wednesday it has fired 11 employees so far in connection with the massive loan loss suffered by the company’s Banamex unit.  Banamex, Citigroup Inc.’s Mexican unit, showered loans on a troubled oil-services company as other banks were pulling back, setting the bank up for a $400 million loss. The loss has sparked fraud probes in both the U.S. and Mexico. [Continue reading...]

May 13

In the News:

For Sale…
The London Stock Exchange Group, yes the one that owns the stock exchange in London, is a contender to purchase Russell Investments. The stock index and asset management company was put up on the auction block in January by current owner Northwest Mutual Life Insurance Co. Russell Investments is comprised of its well-known stock index businesses, which includes the Russell 2000. [Continue reading...]

May 12

In The News:

We Want Wi-Fi…
Comcast Corp (CMCSA) is offering at least two Asian cellular operators access to its Wi-Fi hot spots in the United States. The offer is part of trial partnerships between Comcast, Japan’s KDDI, and Taiwan Mobile illustrating the cable company’s ambitions to compete with U.S. wireless carriers. The deals allow wireless subscribers to use Comcast’s Wi-Fi hot spots when they travel to the United States, reducing the international roaming charges that they would otherwise have to pay. [Continue reading...]

May 9

In The News:

Parting Ways…

The $35 billion mega advertising marriage has officially been called off.  On Thursday, Omnicom Group (OMC) and Publicis Groupe announced that they have decided to call off their merger ten months after announcing their marriage. The companies are abandoning their plans due to difficulties in completing the transaction within a reasonable time frame. According to both CEOs in a joint statement, “The challenges that still remained to be overcome, in addition to the slow pace of progress, created a level of uncertainty detrimental to the interests of both groups and their employees, clients and shareholders. [Continue reading...]

May 8

In The News:

Changing Our Ways…

FedEx (FDX) is changing its ways. Currently, the shipping company charges by weight alone; however, now they will start charging by size, a move that will send a jolt to many e-commerce companies who will now see a price increase for delivering items as diverse as diapers, shoes and paper towels.  [Continue reading...]

May 7

In The News:

Cut and Run…

Twitter’s (TWTR) early investors and employees got their first, big chance to sell their stock on Tuesday since the social-media company went public in November, and they took full advantage of it.  A surge in selling sent the stock down 18%, wiping out $4 billion of market value.  Some of the selloff can be attributed to the expiration of the six month ”lockup” imposed by the securities firms that sold the Twitter initial public offering that freed holders of 83% of shares outstanding to sell for the first time. [Continue reading...]

May 6

In The News:

On Monday, Twitter (TWTR) signed a deal with Amazon Inc. (AMZN) to let users shop directly from posts as part of the company’s push to add e-commerce options for advertisers. How will it work? When a product’s link appears in a tweet, U.S. customers can add the items to their linked Amazon shopping carts by replying to the post with the hashtag #AmazonCart. While Twitter won’t get a cut of the customer sale, Amazon will increase spending on Twitter advertising products.

Enabling e-commerce will help Twitter not only to keep consumers on its site for longer time but also to learn more about user interests and shopping habits. Both can be valuable information for advertising, which is the bulk of the company’s revenue. Twitter recently has been trying to woo advertisers and retailers by adding cool new tools, helping the company reach its $255 million.

I’m out…
Target’s (TGT) CEO became the first leader of a major corporation to lose his job over a breach of customer data, showing how responsibility for computer security now reaches straight to the top. On Monday, Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel, also president and chairman, stepped down nearly five months after Target disclosed a huge pre-Christmas breach in which hackers stole millions of customers’ credit- and debit-card records. The theft badly damaged the store chain’s reputation and profits. Steinhafel, a 35-year Target employee, was already under scrutiny for an almost $1 billion lost from the company Canadian expansion and lagging behind other ecommerce retailers.

In The Markets:

Asian stocks closed mixed on Tuesday in a holiday traded session with some Asian markets closed. A positive hand off form Wall Street lifted sentiment in the region.

European markets closed higher on Tuesday after economic data from the US showed the service sector growth the most in eight months.

U.S stocks closed higher on Monday. Investors shrugged off worried over China’s slowing economy for better than expected data from the US service sector. DJIA: +17.66 Nasdaq: +14.16 4138.08 S&P: +3.52 1884.66

In Dinner of Drink:

Memory Loss:

2 oz. peach vodka
2 oz. Jamaican dark rum
2 oz. gin
2 oz. apple juice
1 slice lemon

Pour the rum and the vodka over ice into the glass, and then add the rum. Then pour in the apple juice and squeeze the lemon on the top. Do not stir.

Like our drink today, click here for more.

Worry retards reaction and makes clear-cut decisions impossible. – Amelia Earhart

May 5

In The News:

Hare slow…
Zulily, the mom-focused discount site, is one of the slowest shippers on the internet. The company, one of the fastest-growing retailers, has been taking an average of two to three weeks to get merchandise to customers. Well off the pace of online veterans like and ShopRunner Inc., which have been training shoppers to expect delivery in two days or less. [Continue reading...]

May 1

In The News:

On Wednesday, Facebook (FB) CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, addressed an audience of developers at the F8 conference in San Francisco and announced the company’s new privacy feature. The new feature, called “Anonymous Login,” will allow users to sign up for websites without having to enter in a name or email address. [Continue reading...]

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