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Oct 31

In The News:

We’re Growing…

On Thursday, the Commerce Department announced the first of three estimates of the nation’s gross domestic product, the monetary value of all goods and services produced in the U.S. Third quarter GDP grew at a solid annual rate of 3.5 percent. The solid gain was propelled by business investment, export sales and the biggest jump in military spending in five years. [Continue reading...]

Oct 30

In The News:

The End…

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve announced after six years they are officially ending their monthly bond purchase program aimed at boosting growth, aka QE3. According to their statement, released after the wrap up of their two day policy meeting, the U.S. economy is showing good signs of life the central bank decided it was finally time to cut the cord. [Continue reading...]

Oct 28

In The Markets:

Not So fast…

For the first week after its launch, Apple Pay was accepted at nationwide CVS Health and Rite Aid locations; however, the drugstore chain abruptly shut off the terminals used for mobile payments over the weekend. Hmm….Both CVS and Rite Aid are part of a consortium of retailers developing a rival mobile payment called CurrentC.  [Continue reading...]

Oct 27

In The News:

You Failed…

Over the weekend the European Central Bank (ECB) announced the results of its bank stress test. According to the ECB, 13 of Europe’s 130 biggest banks flunked the in-depth review of their finances and will need to increase their capital buffers against losses by 10 billion euros ($12.5 billion).  25 banks in all were found to have needed stronger buffers; however, 12 have already made up for their shortcomings. The remaining have two weeks to get their stuff together and tell the ECB how they plan to increase their capital buffers. The problem children were found in Cyprus, Greece, and Italy, who was hit hardest with nine banks falling short and two stilling needing to raise capital.

The ECB stress test checked the overall worth of banks holdings and subjected them to a stress test which simulates how their finances would hold up during an economic downturn.  The stress test was aimed at strengthening  the Euro zone’s banking system, allowing more lenders to provide more credit therefore adding a boost to Europe’s weakening economy.

No bananas for you…

Chiquita (CQB) shareholders rejected a planned merge with Irish fruit importer Fyffes, which would have created the world’s largest banana supplier. Chiquita Brands International Inc. announced Friday that shareholders didn’t approve a revised transaction agreement between the two companies during a special shareholders meeting. The banana suppler expects to hold talks with Brazilian investment firm Safra Group and juice company Cutrale Group who submitted a competing offer of $14.50 a share. How do you like them bananas???

In The Markets:


Asian markets closed mixed on Monday as the Shaghai hit an 8-week low. Investors juggled positive gains from Wall Street on Friday against results from the ECB stress tests.


European markets close slightly lower as investors anxiously wait for the results of the ECB stress test on Sunday.


U.S stocks rallied on Friday after solid earnings results from Microsoft and Procter & Gamble inspired investor’s enthusiasm. All three indexes had their best week of 2014. DJIA: +127.51 16,805.41 S&P: +13.76 1964,58 NASDAQ: +30.92 4483.72

In Market Jargon:

October Effect:

The theory stocks tend to decline during the month of October. Considered mainly to be a psychological expectation rather than an actual fact based phenomenon.

In Dinner or Drink:

Absolutely Bananas

1 1/2 oz vodka
1/2 oz banana liqueur
1 1/2 oz pineapple juice


Shake well with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and serve.

Oct 24

In The News:

Closing Time…

According to the rumor mill, Sears Holdings (SHLD) will close more than 100 stores and laying off at least 5,457 employees over the next year. The closures will include 30 Sears’s stores, 31 Sears Auto Centers and 46 Kmart locations. The downward spiral of Sears has intensified over the last several years as the company has struggled to turn itself around. Efforts to modernize the stores by adding new services and technology have failed to improve sales. The company continues to hemorrhage money, including a nearly $1 billion loss this year. Currently, the company is in the process of raising as much as $ 2 billion in an effort to quash investor and supplier concerns. Shares of Sears Holding Company closed higher on Thursday.

Happy Cat…

On Thursday, Caterpillar (CAT) announced 3rd quarter profits increased 8%, soundly beating Wall Street estimates, as the construction equipment giant cut costs amid stagnant revenue. Net income for the construction giant was $1.02 billion, or $1.63 per share, up from $946 million, or $1.45 per share, in the third-quarter of 2013. Analysts expected per-share earnings of $1.36. In bigger news, the company raised its 2014 outlook, saying it now expects earnings of $6 per share, including restructuring costs, up from its previous estimate of $5.75 per share. Why is this important??? Caterpillar makes construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, and industrial gas turbines. If they are busy and making money it means companies and nations are spending money to move things and build things. The news sent shares of the company higher and helped investors feel a bit better about the world’s economic picture.

In The Markets:


Asian equities closed out their week mixed as concerns over Ebola and China offset gains on Wall Street.


European markets closed higher on Thursday after the latest economic data from the euro zone showed the region may be in better shape than expected.


U.S stocks closed higher on Thursday.  Better economic data out of the Euro zone and positive earnings from Caterpillar helped the Dow Jones close up triple digits.  DJIA:   +216.58 16,677.90 NASDAQ: + 69.96 4,452.79 S&P: +23.71 1950.82

In Market Jargon:

Moving Average:

An indicator which shows the average value of a security’s price over a specific time period. Moving Average (MA) is frequently used in technical analysis of the markets.

In The Dinner or Drink:

Ally Cat

2/3 Bacardi® Limon rum
2/3 DeKuyper® Watermelon Pucker schnapps
Sprite® soda


Equal Parts of Limon and Pucker. Fill the rest with sprite. Squeeze two limes and throw away. Stir do not shake!

Have a wonderful weekend, Ya’ll!.

Oct 23

In The Markets:


Customers of Dish are missing a few channels from their lineup. Channels such as Cartoon Network and CNN are no longer part of Dish’s programming lineup, as a deadline has passed for the two companies to renew their distribution agreement. [Continue reading...]

Oct 21

In The News:

I’m Blue…

On Monday IBM (IBM) announced earnings that fell way below analysts’ expectations. Big blue reported earnings of $ 3.68 a share on revenue of $22.40 billion. Analysts’ had been expecting earnings of $4.31 a share on revenue of $23.37 billion. [Continue reading...]

Oct 20


In The News:

Apple To Go…

Starting Monday, paying for select items will become a lot easier. Owners of the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus will be able to pay with Apple Pay, the company’s new wireless mobile payment program. To use the program you will need to add at least one Visa, MasterCard, or Amex from a participating bank to Apple’s (APPL) passbook app. Once Apple Pay is set up, a customer can easily pay for a purchase by simply touching the iPhone fingerprint sensor while being next to the participating merchant’s cash register. So far, this new way to zip through the checkout line is available at top retailers like Macy’s, Whole Foods and Walgreens. On Friday, JPMorgan Chase announced Friday that its customers and merchants will have access to the new Apple Pay. Currently, about 220,000 out of some 8 million retail locations across the country are equipped with Apple Pay. The number of participating merchants could rise quickly as more merchants are rapidly upgrading their terminals after recent hacking incidents

Take It And Run…

IBM (IBM) will pay $1.5 billion to Globalfoundries to take on the company’s costly chip division. IBM will make payments to the chipmaker over the next three years, but it will take a $4.7 billion charge in the third quarter when it reports results Monday. Globalfoundries will receive IBM’s global commercial semiconductor technology business, including intellectual property and technologies related to IBM Microelectronics. It will also get IBM’s existing semiconductor manufacturing operations and plants in East Fishkill, New York and Essex Junction, Vermont, as well as its commercial microelectronics business. Under the agreement, Globalfoundries will become IBM’s exclusive server processor semiconductor technology provider for the next 10 years.

In The Markets:


Asian marked enjoyed an across the board rally on Monday after a positive handoff from the U.S. and as investors focus on China’s upcoming fourth plenum.


European shares rallied on Friday as investors searched for bargains after days of heavy selling.


U.S markets rallied on Friday as investors bet on stimulus from central banks and encouraging corporate earnings from General Electric and Morgan Stanley. DJIA: +263.17 16380.41, S&P: + 24.00 1886.76 NASDAQ: +41.05 4258.44

In Market Lingo:


Refers to the direction the market is going. If the market is going higher then it is referred to as Bullish. If the market is declining it is called bearish.  Easy way to remember … a bull charges up the hill and a bears goes down the hill.

In Dinner or Drink:


1 oz. Jack Daniel’s

1 ½ oz. orange juice

½ oz. ginger ale

½ oz. Orange Liqueur

Pour the Jack Daniel’s, orange juice, ginger ale, and Grand Imperial Orange Liqueur into a shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass over ice. Garnish with an orange wheel.

Oct 17

In The News:

New Babies…

On Thursday, Apple (AAPL) unveiled its new iPad Mini 3 and iPad Air 2 at an event in Cupertino, California. The company also introduced updated operating software and announced its new mobile payment system, Apple Pay.  The new iPad 2, touted as the lightest tablet ever, features a new anti-reflective coating, better camera and faster chip. The iPad Mini 3, which was slightly updated, will feature new colors like silver, space gray, and gold. Both new tablets will include Touch ID fingerprint sensor for security. The new iPad Air 2 will start at $499 and the smaller iPad Mini 3 will start at $399. Pre-orders start on Friday.

Join The Club…

CBS announced Thursday it is joining the streaming video club. CBS’s All Access will offer thousands of episodes from CBS Television’s current lineup, previous seasons, and classic shows. All Access is available for a monthly subscriptions price of $5.99. Customers can access the service through CBS. Com or by using an app on either their Apple or Android devices.  Current primetime programs will be available the day after they air.  CBS’s move into the streaming service industry marks the first national TV provider moving over into the streaming space as more Americans are cutting the traditional TV cord and moving to viewing content on their schedule and their terms.

In The Markets:


Asian markets mirrored their US cousin’s erasing morning gains to end lower on Friday. Investor continued concern over slowing global growth trumped better economic data from the U.S.


European shares closed lower on Thursday as fears resurfaced surrounding Greece’s economic stability.


U.S markets closed mixed on Thursday after another roller coaster ride. Swings in oil prices, the Treasury yield under 2%, and continued worry about the softening global economy had investors scratching their heads. DJIA: – 24.50    16117.24 NASDAQ: +2.07  4217.39 S&P 500: +0.35 1862.76

In Word of The Day:


The practice of using borrowed money to purchase securities. Often referred to as “buying on margin.”

In Dinner or Drink:

Apple Fairy

2/3 oz absinthe herbal liqueur
2/3 oz apple vodka
3 oz sparkling apple cider


For this recipe, make some apple juice ice cubes before you start. Then add 3 apple juice cubes to a cocktail glass. Add absinthe and apple vodka, and fill with cider.
Have a safe and wonderful weekend, Ya’ll!

Oct 16

In The News:

On Demand…

On Wednesday, cable program provider HBO announced plans to offer a stand-alone version of its popular online video-steaming service in 2015. HBO will target the 80 million homes in the U.S. that currently do not have access to HBO but may want access to its content. The announcement came at HBO’s parent company Time Warner’s (TWC) investor meeting.  [Continue reading...]

Oct 14

In The News:

New Kid On The Block…

J.C. Penney (JCP) has finally named a new CEO. The winner is Marvin Ellison, currently an executive at Home Depot (HD). Prior to that he was an executive at Target (TGT). The 49 year old Ellison will take over the company from interim CEO Mike Ullman, on November 1 as president and then as CEO effective August 1, 2015. [Continue reading...]

Oct 13

In The News:

Another Day, Another Hack…

On Friday, Sears Holding Corp. (SHLD) announced that a data breach occurred last month at Kmart stores and may have compromised some customers’ credit and debit cards. Sears Holdings, the parent company of Kmart, said the information technology department detected a breach of its payment data systems on Thursday. The company is unable to provide the number of affected stores, however based on its internal investigation it believes no personal information, debit card PINs, email addresses, or social security numbers were obtained by the hackers. Kmart has been able to remove the malicious software from its system. The potential data theft at Kmart is the latest in a string of hack attacks at big retailers like Target (TGT), Supervalu (SVU), and Home Depot (HD). However, most of the recent disclosures of data breaches occurred over the early spring and summer. This is the first recent hack of a major retailer.

Going Down…

Europe was dealt another blow to its fragile economy on Friday when Standard & Poor’s rating service lowered its outlook on France’s debt to negative from stable. The reason for the downgrade: the country’s government may not be able to implement reforms that will lead to growth, which will cause its economic picture to deteriorate further. Well Mr. Draghi, it looks like S&P agrees with your comments on Thursday. You can’t clean up all the mess; the individual countries of the Euro zone are going to have to give you a little help.

In The Markets:


Asian shares started of their week lower on Monday despite strong Chinese economic data.  Volumes were light as Japan markets are closed for holiday.


European shares tumbled on Friday. Investor became even more concerned over slowing global growth after another round of not so good economic data from Germany.


U.S stocks closed lower on Friday as investors continue to worry about the lack of global growth. DJIA: -115.34, NASDAQ: -102.10 4276.24 S&P: -22.11 1906.10

In Word Of The Day:

Shadow Banking System:

Financial intermediaries involved in facilitating the creation of credit across the global financial system.  Members are not subject to regulatory oversight. Shadow banking system can also refer to unregulated activities by regulated institutions.

In Dinner or Drink:

Double Down

2 oz Grand Marnier® orange liqueur
6 oz Bacardi® Limon rum
lemon twist


Add both Grand Marnier & Bacardi Limon to shaker w/ice. Shake & pour over ice in old fashioned / short rocks glass. Add lemon twist for garnish and enjoy!


Oct 9

In The News:

Inside Information…

The U.S. stock market moved sharply higher on Wednesday as investors reacted to the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting. The released minutes showed that Federal Reserve officials agreed that they would begin raising interest rates only when the time and conditions were right, moving away from a specific date or period.  [Continue reading...]

Oct 8

In The News:


A day after announcing that it would help customers to understand health insurance plans better by teaming up with, Wal-Mart (WMT) announced the giant super store will end healthcare benefits to approximately 30,000 part-time workers who work less than 30 hours a week and will raise premiums for other employees starting next year. The move is seen to help ease pressure from Wall Street on the discount retailer to improve its financial performance. In Wal-Mart’s defense, the move is in line with ones made by other chains, like Trader Joe’s and Target (TGT).  The company said that it will provide assistance from HealthCompare to workers who lost their health coverage. Wal-Mart employees that enroll in the company’s most popular plan will see their premiums increase by $3.50 to $21.90 effective Jan. 1, 2015.

City Leak…

Two weeks ago bond insurer MBIA was told one of the company’s server had been breached and the data of thousands of local U.S. government entities had been compromised, however the company did not address the problem until earlier this week, according to the cyber security expert who discovered the intrusion. On Tuesday, the company finally notified clients of its Cutwater Asset Management unit that some of their information may have been compromised. Cutwater Asset Management provides private funds for local government entities that pool assets their assets together. Affected clients included entities in Texas, New Hampshire, Indiana, Connecticut and Louisiana. The company has shut down the affected server for now and is conducting a thorough investigation.


Yahoo (YHOO) will lay off 400 employees in Bangalore, India this week. The layoffs represent about 3% of Yahoo’s total staff and will mark the largest staff reduction under Chief Executive Marisa Mayer. Ms. Meyer has come under fire lately to cut costs and seek areas of growth at the internet giant. The most recent came from activist investor Starboard Value LP last month who urged Mayer to look into the possibility of buying AOL. Shares of Yahoo, like most stocks in the markets, closed down on Tuesday.

In The Markets:


Asian stocks closed mostly lower on Friday as the Shanghai markets provided the only green spot on the map. A second round of disappointing data from Germany and yesterday’s global rout hit investor sentiment hard.


European shares tumbled Tuesday after lack luster German industrial production data had investors wondering if the Euro zone’s strongest economy is starting to slow down.


U.S. markets shares dropped sharply on Tuesday after the IMF (International Monetary Fund) dramatically dropped their growth forecast for several countries caused jittery investors to wonder what surprises the upcoming earning season will bring. DJIA:-272.52 16,719.39 NASDAQ: -69.60 4385.20 S&P: -29.72


In Word Of The Day:

International Monetary Fund (IMF):

The IMF was established post WWII with 29 member countries.   Its initial goal was to assist in reconstructing the post World War II payment system; their plan was for countries to contribute money to a pool via a quota system from which member countries in need could borrow money temporarily.   Today the IMF still uses a variation of their quota system and described itself as ‘as organization with 188 member countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.


In Dinner or Drink:

2000 Flushes


1/2 oz Captain Morgan® Original spiced rum
1/2 oz Blue Curacao liqueur
1/2 oz Captain Morgan® Parrot Bay mango rum
1/2 oz Sprite® soda
1/2 oz lemonade


Combine the Captain Morgan Original spiced rum and Parrot Bay mango rum in a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Add the blue curacao, shake well and strain into a cocktail glass. Add Sprite and lemonade, and serve.

Oct 7

In The News:


On Monday, Hilton Worldwide (HLT) announced they will be selling the Waldorf Astoria New York to Chinese insurance company Anbang Insurance Group Co. for $1.95 billion. As part of the deal the hotel giant will continue to manage the storied hotel for the next 100 years. The companies also announced the iconic hotel will undergo major renovations. [Continue reading...]

Oct 6

In The News:

You’ve Been Blocked…

On Friday, Marriott International (MAR) agreed to pay a $600,000 penalty to resolve an investigation by the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC had accused the hotel giant of blocking WiFi access to those using conference center facilities at a hotel and then forcing them to pay to use Marriott’s network. [Continue reading...]

Oct 2

In The News:


Coca-Cola (KO) is revising the company’s pay plan for executives after shareholders, including Warren Buffett, called the plan excessive. The world’s largest beverage maker will now distribute the company’s shares in its long-term incentive program to a smaller group of executives while the rest will be rewarded with cash. This means that the total shares authorized to be awarded under the plan will last longer. The Atlanta-based company will also increase transparency around its stock and option awards and formalize its share repurchases to help keep stockholders’ stakes from being diluted. Coca-Cola’s current pay plan came under scrutiny earlier in the year when Wintergreen Advisors called it a “raw deal” for shareholders, particularly since the company has experienced slowing growth. The new plan will transfer roughly $13 billion to Coke’s company over the next four years.

Cake Cut Back…

General Mills (GIS) announced Wednesday plans to cut approximately 700 to 800 jobs, the second time it’s trimmed its work force in a month. The cut back comes as the food industry adjusts for a shift by U.S. consumers away from boxed or frozen meals. In a regulatory filing, the Minneapolis company which owns Betty Crocker and Green Giant brands, said  the job cuts will take place mostly in the U.S. The company expects about $135 million to $160 million in restructuring charges and foresees annual cost savings of approximately $125 million to $150 million, starting in fiscal 2016. General Mills anticipates the restricting to be completed by 2015. Shares of General Mills, along with the broader market closed down on Wednesday.

In The Markets:


For the Asian markets that were open, Thursday was not a good day. Continuing yesterdays global market tumble Asian shares dropped triple digits as investor worry over geopolitics, signs of slowing global economies, and if the US feed will raise interest rate raise sooner on the back of improving job creation.


European markets closed down on Wednesday as investors reacted to Euro zone and US economic data along with what surprises may come out of the ECB policy meeting on Thursday.


U.S markets tumbled on Wednesday with the Dow Jones closing down over 200 points. Up beat employment and manufacturing data for September continued to fuel investor worries that the Federal Reserve may start raising key interest rates sooner. DJIA: -28.119 NASDAQ: -71.73 S&P: -26.13

In Word Of The Day:

Last In, First Out  (LIFO) :

An asset-management and valuation method which assumes assets produced or acquired last are the ones that are used sold or disposed of first.

In Dinner or Drink:

Columbian Coke

1 oz vodka
1 oz Pernod® licorice liqueur
1 oz Malibu® coconut rum
1 oz Tia Maria® coffee liqueur
top with cola
3-4 ice cubes

Pour the shots one by one into the glass with ice in it.

Top up with cola, stir once or twice, and serve.

Drink swiftly!

Oct 1

In The News:

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs….

On Wednesday ADP released their monthly private sector jobs report. According to the report the private sector added 213,000 jobs in the month of September. The report also stated the company revised their August number downward by 2,000. [Continue reading...]

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