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Dec 31

In The News:

I quit…

For now, Uber has called it quits in Spain. The decision comes in response to a judge’s ruling this month that UberPop, Uber’s low-cost transpiration service, did not comply with Spanish laws and was unfair competition for taxi drivers. In a first in the growing pushback against Uber, the Spanish judge also ordered Spanish telecommunications operators and banks to stop supporting the company’s services. Uber has already filed an appeal however, the review process and actual decision could take months. [Continue reading...]

Dec 30

In The News:

Nite, Nite…

China has officially blocked access to Google Inc. (GOOG)’s e-mail service through third-party applications, adding Gmail to the long list of services from the search company banned in the world’s largest Internet market. Traffic for Gmail in China dropped 85% on December 26 before falling further the next day, and remains at zero as of yesterday. [Continue reading...]

Dec 29

In The News:

Tumblin Down

On Monday, Greek stocks tumbled over 10 percent after politicians failed to elect a new president, paving the way for a snap election in the New Year. Stavros Dimas, the Greek government’s preferred candidate and who opposed Greece’s bailout, secured only 168 votes in the third round of voting on Monday, short of the 180 needed to avoid a general election. [Continue reading...]

Dec 26

In The News:

Hack Attack…

Players of Microsoft (MSFT) Xbox Live and Sony’s PlayStation were hit by connection failures on Christmas Day as a result of the hacking group Lizard Squad. Users throughout Christmas day experienced trouble signing into their online accounts. Both Microsoft and Xbox were working on a timely fix according to their perspective websites on Thursday. [Continue reading...]

Dec 23

In The News:

Clean feeling…

Consumer products giant Procter & Gamble (PG) announced it will sell soap brands Camay and Zest to Unilever (UN) for an undisclosed amount of money. The sale of the two soap brands comes after the company announced in August that it would shed 80-100 slow growing product lines to focus on faster growing lines like Tide laundry detergents and Pampers. The deal with Unilever will include the U.S. and global divisions of both brands, including a 170 employee plant in Mexico. Procter and Gamble closed higher, up .55 on Monday.

Penalty…

French industrial giant Alstom has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $772 million penalty to the United States Justice Department. Alstom, maker of train cars and power grids, has been under investigation in a plot involving tens of millions of dollars in bribes paid to government officials in countries they wanted to win power contracts in. The criminal penalty was the largest ever levied by the United States for foreign bribery.

In The Markets…

Asia:

Asian shares closed mixed on Tuesday as fears of continued decline in oil prices resurfaced.

Europe:

European markets closed higher on Monday as investors clung to the idea that further stimulus from the European Central Bank is on its way.

US:

U.S. stock traded higher for the fourth consecutive session as the Yellen “we will be patience” rally continues. DJIA: +26.65 17804.80  S&P 500: +9.42 2070.65 NASDAQ: +16.98 4765.38

In Word Of The Day:

Bond Yield

The amount of interest paid to a bond owner by the issuer. The yield is based on several factors including the cost of the bond and the credit worthiness of the issuer.

In Dinner or Drink:

Penalty Shot

1/3 oz. melon liqueur
1/3 oz. Blue Curacao liqueur
1/3 oz. triple sec

Pour ingredients into a shot glass and mix.

 

Dec 22

In The News:

We’ve Been Compromised…

On Friday, office supply retailer Staples (SPLS) announced as many as 1.16 million payment cards were compromised during the back to school shopping season. According to the Framingham, Massachusetts company payment machines at 113 stores nationwide were infected with malicious software from August 10 through September 16 compromising customer’s data. The attackers, yet to be identified, may have gained access to shoppers’ names, credit card numbers, expiration dates and card verification codes.

The End…

The U.S. government closed a chapter on Friday when it sold its remaining shares of General Motor’s auto finance arm, Ally Financial (ALLY), ending the last major piece of the $426 billion rescue package, aka Tarp, which saved a slew of U.S. companies.  After all was said and done the 2008 Troubled Asset Relief Program netted a small profit, returning $441.7 billion on the $426 billion bet invested into firms like Citigroup, Bank of America, General Motors, and American International Group. Despite making a profiting, Tarp has been overshadowed by criticism the bailout program put the interest of Wall Street ahead of Main Street. Tarp continues today with 35 smaller bank remaining in the program, down substantially from the 700 financial firms at the height of the program.

Black Out…

Dish Network is no longer carrying 21st Century Fox’s Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network after the companies couldn’t come to terms on a new distribution contract. The two channels went dark, on Saturday night, for the satellite provider’s 14 million subscribers. Disagreements over programming fees have become commonplace recently as more consumers opt for other methods, including steaming services. Content companies continue to demand fee increases to help make up the money from loss subscribers.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian equities started their holiday-shortened week on a bright note closing higher Monday as rebounding oil prices improved investor sentiment.

Europe:

European markets closed mixed on Friday, as investors weighted the prospect of more monetary stimulus in Europe against political unrest in Greece, as well as the Russian currency crisis.

U.S:

U.S. stocks closed in the green for a third session on Friday as the S&P completed its second best week in two years. Investor’s giddiness over Fed Chair Yellen’s policy statement on Wednesday and a bit of a stabilization in the price of oil buoyed markets. DJIA: +26.65 17804.80 NASDAQ: +16.99 4765.38 S&P 500 +9.42 2070.65

In Word Of The Day:

Credit Risk

The risk an investors could lose their principal or financial reward when a borrower fails to repay a loan or otherwise meet a contractual obligation. Investors are compensated for assuming credit risk by higher interest payments from the borrower or issuer of a debt obligation.

In Dinner or Drink:

End Of The Road

4 cl Frangelico® hazelnut liqueur
4 cl Pisang Ambon® liqueur
4 cl whipping cream
3 nuts

 Put all the ingredients in a shaker (except the nuts), add ice, and shake well. Pour in the glass, and add the nuts on top.

Like our drink today, click here for more.

 

Dec 19

In The Markets:

New Big Cheese…

Kraft Foods Group Inc. (KRFT), maker of Jell-O, Maxwell House and Oscar Mayer, announced Thursday that CEO Tony Vernon plans to retire later this month. Vernon has served as CEO since October 2012 when the consumer packaged food and beverage company spun off from Mondelez International. While Vernon plans to retire officially on December 27, he will remain as a senior advisor to the company through March 31, 2015. The company has named current chairman John Cahill as its CEO.

Instant Gratification….

Internet retail giant, Amazon (AMZN), is now offering one-hour delivery of thousands of basic products to its Prime customers in Manhattan. Amazon rolled Prime Now to select areas of Manhattan on Thursday. Around 250,000 items are available for immediate delivery, including items like paper towels and batteries. Prime Now is available to customer of Amazon Prime. One-hour delivery costs $7.99 but the company also offers two-delivery for free. Customers can place their order through either the Prime Now app available on both Android and Apple devices. Amazon hopes to expand the service to additional cities in 2015.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian equities closed out their week in the green as the global rally continued.

Europe:

European markets closed higher on Thursday posting their largest one day rise in almost three years. A slight rebound in oil prices along with Wednesday’s patient comments from the Fed had buyers feel warm and fuzzy.

U.S:

U.S markets shared in the global rally on Thursday with the Dow Jones closing over 400 points. Investors could not contain their giddiness over Fed President’s Yellen’s comments indicating it will be well into 2015 before an increase in interest rates. DJIA: +421.28 17,778.15 NASDAQ: +104.09 4748.40 S&P 500: +48.34 2061.23

In Word Of Day:

Income Statement

A company’s financial statement which measures financial performance over a specific accounting period. Financial performance is assessed by providing a summary of how the business incurs its revenues and expenses through operating and non-operating activities. The statement also shows the net profit or loss over a fiscal quarter or year.

In Dinner or Drink:

Christmas Elf’s Revenge

2 oz. Luxardo® white sambuca
1 oz. Goldschlager® cinnamon schnapps
1 oz. apple schnapps
20 ml ginger syrup
90 ml apple juice
1-inch cube ginger root
1 pinch cinnamon powder

 

Crush the ginger root and add the ginger syrup, apple juice, Sambuca and schnapps. Shake well and strain into a Pina colada glass, which should be about half full of crushed ice. Add the goldschlager then sprinkle the cainnamon powder over the top. Serve with a slice of apple floating on the top, and a straw.

Like our drink, click here for more.
Have a wonderful weekend, Ya’ll!

Dec 18

In The News:

​Our Vow… 

The FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) offered its latest assessment of the U.S. economy on Wednesday, labeling economic activity as expanding at a “modest” pace. The committee highlighted the economy’s recent job gains and decreasing unemployment rate. The Federal Reserve didn’t give any specific guidance as to when the first rate hike may occur; however, it vowed to take its time in deciding the exact time. That was music to market ears as the Dow Jones surged over 300 points.

We’re Pulling You…

Sony pictures announced that it is pulling the plug on the release of its movie “The Interview” after hackers threatened violence against any theaters that would play the film. Sony’s 11th hour decision is unprecedented in the movie business and came after the nation’s largest theater chains said they wouldn’t show the movie. Sony looked at additional alternative options for the release, including releasing on video on demand or on television; however, currently the company has no further release plans for the film.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets closed mostly higher on Thursday as the world basks in the Fed comments that they will wait patiently before raising rates.

Europe:

European stock markets closed higher on Wednesday after a rebound in oil prices helped erase early session losses.

U.S:

U.S markets soared on Wednesday after the Fed vowed to be patience when picking the appropriate time to start raising interest rates. DJIA: +288.00 17,356.87 NASDAQ: +98.48 4,644.31 S&P 500: +40.15 2012.89

In Word Of The Day:

EBITDA

An indicator of a company’s cash flow using the below EBITDA calculation:

Essentially, it measures a company’s financial performance by adding interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization to the company’s income putting it into one number. Because it gives a quick overall picture it is frequently used to analyze and compare profitability between companies and industries because it eliminates the effects of financing and accounting decisions.

In Dinner or Drink:

Champagne Celebration

1/2 oz. Cointreau® orange liqueur

1/2 oz. Presidente® brandy

1 sugar cube

Peychaud® bitters

4 oz. Champagne

 

Add Cointreau, Brandy and a sugar cube saturated with Peychaud Bitters to a champagne flute. Fill with your favorite champagne. Garnish with an orange twist.

Dec 17

In The News:

Fry Crisis…

A shortage of McDonald’s (MCD) famous French fries has caused the company to start selling only small-size portions of its fries in Japan. An ongoing labor dispute at U.S West Coast container ports have brought many shipments, including those of Mickey D’s fries, to a virtual standstill. To help elevate the shortage the fast food giant is relying on emergency logistic to get the US potatoes to Japan. The company will airlift more than 1,000 tons of frozen French fries with another 1,600 tons shipping from U.S East Coast ports, expected to arrive in Japan by next month.

You win…

On Tuesday, after just a few hours of deliberation, a California jury found in favor of Apple (APPL) in a billion-class action lawsuit over the price of its iPod music players. The eight-member jury in U.S District Court rejected claims Apple use of restrictive software amounted to anticompetitive behavior freezing out competing makers of portable music players.  Apple argued the software was necessary as it provided security protection and was part of a larger package of features which made iPods and iTunes music store popular with customers. Apple was thrilled with the verdict however, the other side was not pledging to appeal the court’s decision.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian equities closed mixed on Wednesday recovering from the week’s rout. Investors brushed off continued weakness in oil markers and the brewing financial crisis in Russia deciding instead to look ahead to Wednesday’s Federal Reserve monthly meeting.

Europe:

European markets closed higher on Wednesday as investors brushed off continued weakness in the oil markets and instead wait patiently for Wednesday’s Fed announcement.

U.S:

U.S. stock markets closed lower after suffering huge swings in opposite direction. Continued decline in oil and the plunge in the Russian ruble wreaked havoc on investors trying to place end of year bets. DJIA: -106.83 17,074.01 S&P: -16.56 1973.07 NASDAQ: -57.32 4547.83

In Word of the Day:

Monetary Policy

The actions of a central bank, currency board, or other regulatory committees which determine what the size and growth rate of a countries money supply, in turn affecting that countries interest rates. Monetary policy is maintained by increasing or decreasing interest rates or changing the amount of money banks need to keep in their vaults (aka bank reserves).

In Dinner or Drink:

Angels Delight Christmas Punch

1/4 cupwhipping cream
7 scoops ice cream
1/2 cupchopped pecan nuts
1/4 cup chocolate syrup
1 banana

 

Put all of these in a blender. Put whipped cream and nuts on top of glasses.
Like our drink, click here for more.
Dec 16

In The News:

Home Away From Home…

InterContinental Hotel Group PLC (IHG) has agreed to buy Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants out of San Francisco for $430 million in cash. Kimpton, founded in 1981, was one of the first hotel operators in the boutique segment known for stylish design. InterContinental Hotel Group owns or manages more than 4,700 hotels, including Holiday Inn, InterContinental, Hotel Indigo and Crowne Plaza. The deal should close the first quarter of 2015.

Buy Button

Google Inc. (GOOGL) is diving deeper into the online commerce business approaching retailers about creating a “buy” button for its online shopping site, Google Shopping. The “button” would be similar to Amazon’s one click ordering feature. Currently, Google shopping refers shoppers to the actual merchant’s website via link in search results however, Google would like to keep those users on its own pages rather than sending them to other sites like Amazon to purchase products. Google’s new desire to streamline comes after Amazon has stepped up their efforts to snag a piece of Google’s search-advertising business.

Movin

On Tuesday, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) announced it will be moving its Latin American headquarters in Brazil back to Akron along with 30 to 50 jobs. Goodyear will close its regional Latin American headquarter office in Sao Paulo sometime in 2015 and move back to Akron, where it moved from originally in 2005. The move affects just the regional headquarters the company will continue to maintain its Brazilian office in Sao Paulo. The company sited reduce costs and increase efficiency as the reason behind the move.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian shares fell on Tuesday as, slumping oil prices and the latest data from the world’s second-largest economy continues to show the world’s economy is slowing down.

Europe:

European markets closed sharply lower on Monday as energy shares turned lower and the Russian ruble continued its decline.

U.S:

U.S markets closed down on Monday after a wild ride where the Dow jones opened triple digits and closed down triple digits. Pressure from tumbling oil prices and what they might really be a sign of continues to weigh heavy on the minds of investors. DJIA: -105.64 17,175.19 S&P: -13.03 1989.30 NASDAQ: -48.44 4605.16

In Word of the Day:

A-Share

A class of mutual funds found in a multi-class loaded fee structured mutual fund. Class A shares have either a front- or rear-end load to compensate for the sales person’s commission.

In Dinner or Drink:

Flat Tire:

2 parts Jose Cuervo® Especial gold tequila
1 part black sambuca

 

Shake tequila and sambuca over ice. Strain into shot glass.

 

 

 

Dec 15

In The News:

Pets on aisle 12…

Private equity firm BC Partners have agreed to buy Pet store chain PetSmart Inc. for more than $8.2 billion in the largest private-equity buyout, in an otherwise lackluster year. BC Partners will pay shareholders of the pet supply retailer $83 a share. BC Partners beat out several other private equity firms like Apollo Global and KKR looking to purchase PetSmart. Large private equity buyouts have been rare this year as firms have been largely priced out of the mergers and acquisition by loft stock prices and tougher regulations on loans by the big banks. PetSmart, found in 1987, has around 1,350 stores nationwide, more than half contain full service veterinary hospitals.

A Little Help From My Friends

State media outlet China National Radio reported Chinese search engine Baidu Inc (BIU) will invest in people-hailing app Uber Technologies Inc. Baidu becomes the latest Chinese Internet firm to take an interest in the expanding market for transportation apps. The size of Baidu’s investment is unknown however, inquiring mind will find out on December 17 when both company’s make the official announcement.

Round One…

The world’s second biggest oil service company, Halliburton, officially announced they will slash 1,000 jobs in their eastern hemisphere offices amid crashing global oil prices. The layoffs, represent 1.25% of Halliburton’s 80,000 employees, will take place in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Australia. Currently, the job cuts do not affect the United States. Since June Oil have dropped 44% forcing oil companies to scale back exploration, which has filtered down to contractors such as Halliburton.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets started out their week in the red after a report from China’s central bank predicted the country’s economic growth will decrease to 7.1% next year.

Europe:

European stock markets closed sharply lower on Friday, posting their biggest weekly loss since August 2011, as investors fear falling commodity prices are a sign of slowing global economic growth.

US:

U.S. shares closed out their week tumbling with the Dow Jones losing over 300 points. Investors become even more spooked over declining oil after a report from the International Energy Agency reduced the forecast for global oil demand. DJIA: -304.46 17291.88 S&P: -32.37 2002.96 NASDAQ: -54.57 4653.60

In Word Of The Day:

Inflation

The rate which the general level of prices for goods, and services is rising while consumer purchasing power is falling. Central banks attempt to stop severe inflation, along with severe deflation, in an attempt to keep excessive price growth to a minimum.

In Dinner or Drink:

Chinese Cocktail

1 1/2 oz. Jamaican dark rum
1 tsp triple sec
1 tsp maraschino liqueur
1 tbsp. grenadine syrup
1 dash bitters

 

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well, strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.

Dec 12

In The News:

Shut down…

In a blog post, Google Inc. (GOOGL) announced the company plans to shut down its news service, Google News, in Spain before a new Spanish law requiring publishers to charge companies who display content goes into effect. The move by the Spanish government adds to the growing list of Google’s multiple regulatory and legal battles in Europe. Google will also remove Spanish publishers from Google News, a move which could deprive the company from crucial online traffic and advertising revenue. Lights off on Google news in Spain will be December 16.

Toys Are For Kids…

Ten securities firms including Citigroup (CITI) and Goldman Sachs (GS) were fined a total of $43.5 million by regulators, who accused the companies of offering favorable stock research in hopes of winning underwriting business from Toys R Us and their initial public offering. According to Finra (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), the governing body over securities firms, analyst at the 10 firms were part of the sales pitch used with Toys R Us and its owners when they interviewed investment bankers in 2010. The overall fines are the biggest in a single case since the 2003 research settlement which barred research analyst from participating in IPO pitches because of potential conflict of interest.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets ended their week higher on Friday, as a positive hand off from Wall Street offset investors’ concerns over declining oil prices.

Europe:

European markets closed mostly flat on Thursday as investors weighed better economic data from the U.S against lower oil prices.

U.S:

U.S. shares closed higher on Thursday. Investors again tried to juggle thoughts of strong U.S. economy versus dropping oil maybe a sign of a global slowdown. DJIA: +63.19 17596.34 S&P: +9.19 2035.33 NASDAQ: +24.14 4708.16

Word Of The Day:

The Law of Supply and Demand:

The law of supply and demand defines the effect the availability of a particular product and the desire (or demand) for that product has on the price of the product. If there is a low supply and a high demand, the price will be high however, the greater the supply and the lower the demand, the lower the price will be.

In Dinner or Drink:

Christmas Martini

3 oz. gin
1/2 oz. dry vermouth
1 tsp peppermint schnapps

Pour the gin, dry vermouth and peppermint schnapps into a cocktail shaker half-filled with cracked ice. Shake well, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a candy cane, and serve.

 

Dec 11

In The News:

Pay Up…

On Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Morgan Stanley (MS) will pay $4 million to settle charges they failed to stop a rogue Rochdale Securities trader. The brokerage house was charged with violating a market access rule for failing to uphold credit limits for Rochdale Securities causing a trader in October 2012 to route a series of orders to purchase Apple stock to Morgan Stanley’s electronic trading desk. The Rochdale trader had receive a customer order for Apple stock however, he bought 1,000 times the actual number requested in hopes of profiting if Apple’s stock price rose after the company announced its quarterly earnings that day. The SEC’s concluded at the time Morgan Stanley didn’t have sufficient risk management controls in place to prevent the trades. Morgan Stanley nether admitted or denied the SEC finding however, they have since updated their risk procedures.

Trimming Back…

Fast food chain McDonald’s (MCD) is planning to trim its menu and get rid of some of its “junk food” ingredients as the company sales continue their decline. In an effort to shed its “heart attack in a sack” image the chain has some changes up its sleeve. Starting next month, McDonalds will over haul its menu, cutting eight items and reducing the number of Extra Value Meals from 16 to 11. The chain is also looking at different cooking and holding processes to enhanse the overall appeal of the food. Starting next year, McDonald’s will roll out, in 2000 of its stores, a Create Your Taste program where customers can pick their buns, cheeses, and topping for their burgers.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian shares slid downward on Thursday, on continued investors jitters the global economy is becoming more sluggish.

Europe:

European markets tumbled on Wednesday, as oil prices continued their decline.

U.S:

U.S. markets had their worse decline in two months after decling oil prices slammed energy companies and investors began to worry if the sharp drop in oil is a signal the global economy is slowing down. DJIA: – 268.05 17533.15 S&P: – 33.68 2026.14  NASDAQ: -82.44 4684.03

In Word Of The Day:

West Texas Intermediate Crude (WTI)

Light, sweet crude often referred to “oil” in the Western world. It is considered a “sweet” crude because it contains a lower concentration of sulfur than its cousin North Sea Brent crude. WTI is the underlying commodity on the New York Mercantile Exchange’s oil futures contracts

In Dinner or Drink:

Holiday Cheer

1 bottle Champagne
1 can frozen cranberry juice
1 lime

 

Mix champagne and frozen cranberry juice (undiluted). Slice lime and garnish each wine glass. Serve with breakfast to start the day right. Note: Mix right before serving to retain the bubbles. You may use non-alcoholic champagne.

Like our drink today, click here for more.

Read more: Holiday Cheer recipe http://www.drinksmixer.com/drink4277.html#ixzz3Lavg9J5o

Dec 10

In The News:

 

With A Twist…

Greece’s government has moved up a crucial presidential vote by two months. The move, a surprise gamble aimed at ending political uncertainty, in fact caused the Greek stock market to tumble on Tuesday. The decision to move the election up came after Eurozone finance minister favored granting Greece’s request for a two month extensions allowing the country the possibility of exiting out of its bailout program early. This early Christmas present was just what the current President needed to boost his party’s election confidence causing him to call for earlier elections. Parliament will start its three round election process on December 17 with a catch. If Parliament, can’t decide on a new President after three rounds, Greek law mandates Parliament will have to be completely dissolved and new elections called for.

GoodBye…

Tuesday Abercrombie & Fitch announced the retailer’s long time CEO, Mike Jefferies, was retiring. Mr. Jefferies, who built the retailer into a powerhouse, left his job immediately after running the company for more than 20 years.  Last January the 70 year old Jefferies lost his chairmanship of the company and this year he has remained under pressure for continued declining sales. Abercrombie will run without a CEO until a replacement can be found.

Doc In A Phone…

The nation’s largest drugstore chain, Walgreens, is testing a new mobile app which lets patients see a doctor and get a prescription from anywhere. During your virtual visit a doctor can diagnose and treat problems that do not require a physical exam. Patients who use the service are encouraged but not required to use Walgreens to fill any prescriptions the doctor orders. The app is currently being rolled out in California and Michigan and the chain plans to expand the service to additional states sometime in the future.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian shares closed mixed on Wednesday after sluggish economic data from China spooked investors who were already jittery about the political uncertainty in Greece and tumbling oil prices.

Europe:

European markets tumbled on Tuesday as investor’s let their jitters over the political uncertainty of Greece and China’s reserve requirement move get the best of them.

US:

The U.S stock market mixed on Tuesday after erasing steep losses sparked by China’s lending rules tightening and Greece’s political uncertainty. DJIA: -51.28 17801.80 NASDAQ: +25.77 4766.47 S&P: -0.49 2059.82

In Word Of The Day:

Witching Hour:

The last hour of stock trading between 2 pm and 3pm. This hour of trading is typically controlled by large professional traders, program traders, and large institutional traders and can be characterized by higher than normal volatility.

In Dinner or Drink:

Doctor Cocktail

1 1/2 oz. Swedish punch
3/4 Oz fresh lime juice
3/4 oz. Jamaican dark rum

Shake ingredients together with ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.

Dec 8

In The News:

Not Safe Anywhere…

High end clothing store Bebe (BEBE) announced Friday they recently detected suspicious activity on the computers that run their payment processing system. Bebe has hired a computer security firm to prevent the attack from continuing. So far, the company’s investigation has isolated the data attack to payment cards swiped in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Island stores between November 8 and 26.  Purchases made on the company’s website, mobile site, Canadian stores, or international stores were not affected. The breached data included cardholder name, account number, verification code, and expiration date. Bebe currently has 175 retail stores, an online store and 35 outlet stores. The high end retailer joins a growing group of companies hit by data breaches, like the Home Depot, Neiman Marcus and Michael’s stores.

We’re Back…

After going dark on Friday night, CBS is back on Dish after the two reached an agreement on Saturday. The new agreement comes after weeks of negotiations on rebroadcasting fees. The dispute is the latest in a series of clashes between traditional broadcasters and pay-tv distributors over carriage fees, fees that the cable and satellite TV providers pay to rebroadcast programming. Networks want a good deal for their content and use carriage fees as an important revenue stream. On the other side, pay-tv companies want to keep their expenses down. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets started off the week mostly higher as investors brushed off week Chinese trade data.

Europe:

European shares rallied on Friday after the job number out of the U.S far exceeded everyone’s expectations.

U.S:

U.S. markets closed higher on Friday, with both the Dow Jones and S&P hitting recording highs. An astonishing jobs number of November brought Christmas cheer to investors. DJIA: +58.69 17958.79 S&P: +3.45 2075.37  NASDAQ: +11.32 4780.76

In Word Of The Day:

C-Suite

A widely-used term used to refer collectively to a company’s most important senior executives. The term gets its name from the first letter of the top senior executive’s titles like chief executive officer or chief information officer.

In Dinner or Drink:

Holiday Cocktail

1/2 oz. Cointreau® orange liqueur

1/2 oz. vodka
1 oz. cranberry juice
3 oz. Champagne

Mix Cointreau, Vodka and Cranberry juice in shaker with ice.

Strain into glass, top with champagne.

Garnish with fresh cranberries and/or orange slice

 

 

Dec 5

In The News:

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs…

The Department of Commerce released its monthly job report for November on Friday. According to the report, the economy overall added 321,000 jobs in November, beating all the analyst estimates. The unemployment rate for November came in at 5.8%.

Fancy Joe…

On Friday, Starbucks Coffee Company (SBUX) announced the opening of its first Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, nine blocks away from its original store in Pike Place Market. The interactive Roastery and Tasting Room is dedicated to roasting, coffee education and increasing availability of the company’s small-lot Reserve® coffees; literally every Reserve® coffee bean sold to customers will be roasted in this facility. Customers of the Roastery will be treated to an unprecedented experience that allows customers to engage with Starbuck’s passion for coffee through education and discovery devoted to beverage innovation. Every detail of the space was chosen with intention and reflects the nature of coffee from bean to cup. The coffee chain has plans to open at least 100 Reserve® coffee line stores, including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington.

Terminated…

Brick and mortar book retailer Barnes & Noble took the first step to separating its Nook e-reader business into a separate company, terminating its commercial agreement with Microsoft. As part of the 2012 commercial agreement the software giant pledged to invest as much as $605 million to the retailers Nook media business. Barnes & Noble will buy Microsoft stake in Nook Media for around $120 million in cash and stock and the split will occur by August 2015. Investors have been pressuring Barnes & Noble to spin off the money losing Nook business for years. Shares of Barnes and Nobles tumbled Thursday closing down $1.21.

 In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian shares rallied on Friday as polls showed Japan’s Prime Minister Abe is headed for victory in the countries upcoming elections.

Europe:

European markets closed down after the ECB decide to keep interest rates the same and pushed possible stimulus off until the first of next year.

U.S:

U.S markets  closed down as investors exhibited their disappointment in the European Central Bank’s decision to keep rates the same and not look potential stimulus until after the first of the year. DJIA: -12.52 17900.10  S&P 500: -2.41 2071.90  NASDAQ: -5.04 4769.44

In Word of The Day:

European Central Bank (ECB):

The ECB is one of the world’s most important central banks as it administers the monetary policy for the Euro and the 28 EU member states. The bank was established by the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1998 and its headquarters is in Frankfurt Germany. The current ECB President Is Mario Draghi, former governor of the Bank of Italy.

 In Dinner or Drink:

Coffee Lover

1 oz. Kahlua® coffee liqueur

1 oz. amaretto almond liqueur

1 oz. vanilla rum
milk
ice

In a shaker mix all ingredients and then strain into ANY 16oz Glass per filled with ice.

Have a wonderful and safe weekend, yall!

Dec 4

In The News:

Good Things…

The queen of domestication, Martha Stewart, is going into the coffee business. On Wednesday Martha Stewart Living Omni media confirmed plans are in place to open a coffee shop in New York. No other details, like where or when it will open were disclosed. Rumor has  it the new coffee shop will be located within the same building which holds Martha Stewart Living  Omni media company headquarters. [Continue reading...]

Dec 2

In The News:

Number Crunching…

According to Kenneth Feinburg, the attorney hired by GM to compensate victims, at least 36 people have been killed and at least 44 people have been seriously injured in crashes involving General Motors (GM) vehicles with faulty ignition switches. Since August, the fund tasked with compensating victims has received 229 death claims and 1,986 injury claim and has made compensation offers to 57 of the 80 eligible claims so far. Initially, General Motors claimed that 13 people died in crashes involving the defective switches. Later, however, the auto giant acknowledged that the death toll would go higher. This has been a tough year for GM owners, as more than 30 million vehicles worldwide have been recalled for a range of problems.

Hacks on Wall Street…

According to a report released by researchers at FireEye, Inc (FEYE), a network security firm, hackers for more than a year have stolen merger-and-acquisitions information from over than 80 companies. A group called FIN4 by FireEye has been tricking top executives, lawyers, and consultants into providing access to confidential data and communications. The group is believed to be using the information for insider trading. FireEye believes the group is made of Americans who have worked in the financial sector based on the jargon used to obtain the information. FireEye report did not the specific names of any companies that had been actually hacked however, they detailed several case involving health-care or pharmaceutical companies who experienced stock price swings due to news on mergers, clinical-trial results, and regulatory decisions. The report brings to light a new issue: hacking for the purpose of insider trading.

In the Markets:

 

Asia:

Asian shares rallied on Tuesday as investors embraced the idea of potential new stimulus for China while disregarding Monday’s downgrade of Japan’s credit rating.

Europe:

European markets closed down on Monday as disappointing manufacturing date from the Eurozone and the U.S weighed on investors’ minds.

U.S:

U.S shares closed in the red on Monday as tumbling gas prices and weaker economic data had investors wondering about the global growth picture. DJIA: -51.44 17,776.80 NASDAQ: -64.28 4727.35    S&P: -14.12 2053.44

In Word Of The Day:

 

Santa Claus Rally

A surge in stock prices which occurs in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Numerous explanations for the Santa Claus Rally phenomenon includes tax considerations, Wall Street happenings, people investing their Christmas bonuses and the fact that the pessimists are usually on vacation this week.

In Dinner or Drink:

 

Gingerbread Martini

Ginger liqueur

Crushed gingersnaps

2 tablespoons ginger liqueur

2 tablespoons vanilla-citrus liqueur

1 1/2 tablespoons coffee-flavored rum

1 tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons whipping cream

1 cup ice cubes

Garnish: partially split vanilla bean brushed with liqueur and rolled in sugar (optional)

 

Preparation

Dip glass rims in ginger liqueur and crushed gingersnaps. Store glasses in freezer up to 2 days.

Stir together 2 Tbsp. ginger liqueur, vanilla-citrus liqueur, coffee-flavored rum, honey, and whipping cream in a cocktail shaker. Add ice cubes; cover with lid, and shake vigorously until thoroughly chilled (about 30 seconds). Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish, if desired.

Note: We tested with Brinley Gold Coffee Rum, Tuaca Vanilla Citrus Liqueur, and Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur.

Like our drink today, click here for more.

Dec 1

In The News:

Red Friday…

​Over the Thanksgiving weekend, retail spending fell 11%, according to the main industry trading group, a potential sign that the annual day after Thanksgiving shopping ritual may be losing some of its luster. [Continue reading...]

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