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Feb 27

In The News:

Party On…

Barnes & Noble (BKS) announced Thursday plans to spin off its college bookstore business into a separate publicly traded company by the end of August. Last year, Barnes & Noble had planned to spin out the troubled Nook business as well, but the company’s plans to revitalize its Nook digital business remained unclear. The proposal of the college bookstore business separation comes as Barnes & Noble’s 649 consumer stores appear to have stabilized. Over the last year, the book store retailer has placed greater emphasis on in-store events that have driven traffic to its stores. Shares of Barnes & Noble traded higher in the after-market.

Match.com

Fidelity Investments announced a generous reward to investors saving for retirement, a new offer to match part of their IRA contributions for three years after they transfer at least one retirement account. Under the company’s IRA Match program, according to the company an industry first, customers who transfer traditional, Roth, or rollover individual retirement accounts can have up to 10% of their annual IRA contributions matched by Fidelity. Essentially the investment giant will be bringing one of the key perks of many corporate 401(k) programs to the market for self-directed retirement products. The match will be available to investors who transfer IRA accounts with at least $10,000 to Fidelity, with the percentage of matching contributions based upon account valued transferred. Direct rollovers from 401 (k) plans are not eligible.

New Era

The Federal Communications Commission set aside two decades of laissez-faire policy to assert broad authority over the Internet.  The committee voting on Thursday to regulate broadband providers as public utilities and overruling laws in two states that made it harder for cities to offer their own Web service. Both commission rulings were setbacks for big telecommunications and cable companies who has invested billions of dollars in their networks. The rulings were a win for Internet companies that have enjoyed explosive growth as people spend more time online. The commission pledged to use a light touch, and the immediate effects of the decisions are limited because companies, regulators and users all agree in principle that traffic shouldn’t be blocked.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian equity markets closed mixed on Friday despite receiving a mixed bag of economic data.

Europe:

European markets closed higher on Thursday as investors received better-than-expected labor-market data from Germany as well as other economic data from the Eurozone.

U.S.:

U.S. markets closed lower on Thursday as downbeat economic data and selling pressure in the energy sector weighted on markets. DJIA: -10.15 18214.42 NASDAQ: +20.75 S&P: -3.12 2110.74

In Word Of The Day:

Dividends

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

In Dinner or Drink:

Damp Pavement

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 oz. Ginger syrup*
  • .75 oz. Lemon juice
  • 3 oz. Water
  • 1.5 oz. Islay Scotch whisky
  • 1 tsp Allspice dram
  • Garnish: Orange peel
  • Glass: Mug

PREPARATION:
Add the ginger syrup, lemon juice and water to small saucepan and heat until piping hot. Stir in the whisky and allspice dram, and pour into a pre-heated mug. Garnish with an orange peel.

*To make ginger syrup, combine equal parts diced raw ginger, sugar and hot water in a blender. Puree until smooth and strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Refrigerate until needed.
Have a safe and wonderful weekend, Ya’ll!

Feb 26

In The News:

Maybe You Should Leave Home without It . . .

Wednesday, American Express (AXP) announced it will be raising interest rates on more than a million cards, marking the first such move in more than five years. Annual rates will climb an average of 2.5 percentage points to at least 12.99 percent. According to letters the credit card company sent to customers, the adjustment is being made after finding out that consumers with similar credit profiles were charged higher rates by rivals. While that may be the case, it is unusual for lenders to boost their rates without an underling change in the interest-rate environment or change in risk. The rate hike for card members will affect a small portion of the overall 42 million U.S. cards in circulation. Shares of Amex closed $1.31 higher on Wednesday.

You’re Grounded. . .

Southwest Airlines Co (LUV) announced it has grounded 128 planes after failing to inspect backup hydraulic systems to control the rudder if the main system fails. Brandy King, spokesperson for Southwest, said the airline canceled up to 80 flights on Tuesday and expected to cancel up to 19 more on Wednesday while the company conducted the inspections. After the airline discovered the missed inspections, they immediately notified federal safety regulators. Late Tuesday night, the Federal Aviation Administration agreed to let the airline resume flying the planes while the inspections are being done. The grounding covers about one-fifth of its fleet. Shares of the airline tumbled on Wednesday.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian stock closed mixed on Thursday as investors continued to digest Fed Chair Yellen’s Congressional comments and stronger oil prices.

Europe:

European markets closed flat on Wednesday as investors took a break from a six session winning streak.

U.S:

U.S. markets closed flat on Wednesday as investors continued to digest Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s congressional testimony. DJIA: +15.38 18,224.57 S&P: -1.62 2,113.86 NASDAQ: +5.01 4,960.97

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:

The Paper Plane

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 oz. bourbon
  • 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz. Amaro Nonino
  • 3/4 oz. Aperol
  • Lemon Twist

 

Assemble:

  1. Combine all the liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake thoroughly and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, flute or coupé. Or pour into a lowball glass with a single large ice-cube. Garnish with a lemon twist

Like our drink, click here for more.

 

Feb 25

In The News:

Running Out Of Patience . . .

In her semiannual economic report to Congress on Monday, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reiterated the Fed’s commitment to remain patient ahead of any move to raise interest rates. In determining the perfect time to start raising rates, the central bank is concerned about lackluster wage growth and feels too many Americans are still jobless, inflation remains below the Fed’s target. After Yellen’s testimony, many on the street speculate a rate hike is unlikely before June, at the earliest.

Less Is More . . .

Big Bank JPMorgan Chase (JPM) plans to close 300 of its branches over the next year as more customers move toward online banking and the bank seeks to cut costs. The branch closures are part of a $1.4 billion cost-cutting plan the bank announced last year. With the shift to online banking, traditional brick and mortar branches become less necessary and more expensive to keep up. Last year, tellers handled only 42 percent of all bank deposits, down from 90 percent in 2007. For each deposit a teller handles it costs JPMorgan roughly 65 cents, more than eight times the cost to process an ATM deposit. According to the bank, smart phone deposits cost only three cents, less than one-twentieth that of a traditional deposit. Shares of JPMorgan Chase closed slightly higher on Tuesday.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets closed mixed on Wednesday after a preliminary reading of China’s manufacturing activity surprised everyone by coming in at a four month high.

Europe:

European markets closed higher on Tuesday after corporate earnings came in better than expected.

U.S.:

U.S. markets closed higher on Tuesday with the Dow Jones and S&P hitting record highs. Fed President Janet Yellen’s confirmation rates would likely stay the same until the second half of the year had investors pressing the buy button. DJIA: +92.35 18.209.19 NASDAQ: +7.15 4.96.12 S&P 500: 5.82 2,115.48

In Word Of The Day:

Exchange Traded Funds (ETF)

A security that tracks an index, a commodity or a basket of assets like an index fund, however it trades like a stock on an exchange. ETFs experience price changes throughout the day as they are bought and sold just like their BFF, stocks.

In Dinner or Drink:

Banks Milk Punch

  • 1.5 oz. Whole milk
  • 1 oz. Banks 5-Island Rum
  • 1 oz. Rémy Martin VSOP Cognac
  • .75 oz. Honey syrup (two parts clover honey, one part water)
  • 1 dash Madagascar vanilla extract

Garnish: Nutmeg

Glass: Punch

Like our drink today, click here for more.

Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into two chilled punch cups. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Feb 24

In The News:

Outta Here . . .

Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co announced their CEO will be stepping down in June after battling large safety recalls due to quality glitches and faulty air bags. Honda named Takahiro Hachigo, a 55-year-old managing officer, to succeed Takanobu Ito. The changing of the guard comes at a crucial time for the auto company, which is trying to fend off Nissan from taking its spot as one of the top five U.S. car makers. Recently, Honda has been hurt by stumbles in the U.S., Japan, and China. In October, current CEO Ito and other top executives took pay cuts to show responsibility for quality problems. Shares of Honda, which trades on the Nikkei only, were down in mid-session trading.

Proposal . . .

On Tuesday, the Greek government submitted a list of proposals on how to overhaul the country’s economy. The list appears to be in line with the expectations set out by the Eurozone finance ministers last week. Official submission of the list puts Athens one step closer to securing a four-month extension on the country’s expiring bailout. The list includes pledges on privatizations, reforms to pension policy, and government spending cuts, including reducing the number of government ministers from 16 to 10. The next step is review by the Eurozone finance ministers, who will likely require more details on the country’s proposals. Once the finance ministers are satisfied, they should approve the extension request.

Buy, Buy, Buy . . .      

Financial services firm Stifel Financial Corp. (SF) is buying rival firm Sterne Agee for $150 million, boosting the company’s presence in money management and fixed income. The buyout will add more than 700 financial advisers and independent representatives who oversee $20 billion in client money. Most importantly, Stifel will receive Sterne Agee’s fixed-income business, which includes both sides of the bond world, corporate and government debt. The newly formed union will sell Sterne Agee’s FBC mortgage business back to the unit’s founders and may in the future spin off Sterne Agee’s institutional equity and investment banking business.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets closed mostly higher on Tuesday, as traders wait anxiously for Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s two-day testimony before Congress on Tuesday.

Europe:

Friday’s agreement to extend Greece’s bailout helped lift European stock makers to a fresh seven-year high on Monday.

U.S.:

U.S. stock continued closed slightly lower on Monday after a pullback in the price of oil weighted on energy stocks. DJIA: -23.60 18,116.84 NASDAQ: +5.01 4,960.97 S&P 500: -0.64 2,109.66

In Word Of The Day:

Law of Supply

A microeconomic law which states, all other factors being equal, as the price of a good or service increases, the quantity of goods or services offered by the supplier will also increase, and vice versa.

In Dinner or Drink:

Greek Iced Coffee

1/2 cup coffee
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp honey

Blend with 1/2 cup of ice and pour into a coffee mug.

 


 

Feb 23

In The News:

We Have a Deal

On Friday, Greece and its creditors in the 19-nation Eurozone reached an agreement to extend the country’s rescue loans. Athens will get a four-month extension, rather than the six it had requested. In return, Greece has committed to make a series of unspecified reforms in the coming months. Friday’s agreement should buy both sides some time to agree on a longer-term deal to ease the burden of Greece’s bailout loans. The deal made investors very happy, with both the S&P and the Dow Jones closing at record highs on Friday.

We like you

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (VRX) announced on Sunday that it would buy Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (SLXP) for around $10 billion. Quebec-based Valeant will pay $158 a share in cash, just above Friday’s closing price of $157.85 for the Raleigh, NC- based Salix. The deal will take Valeant into a growing, multibillion-dollar market for drugs that treat stomach disorders. However, the deal also gives Valeant a tranished asset. In November, Salix disclosed a revision to the company’s wholesale-inventory levels, which had suggested that demand for the company’s drugs was high. Also, the company’s chief financial officer and chief executive left the company. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter and should provide more than $500 million in cost savings for both companies within six months.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets rose on the first trading day of the Year of the Sheep, as investors were giddy over the deal struck on Friday between Greece and its creditors.

Europe:

European shares hit a seven year high on Friday as investors anticipated a deal postponing the Greece’s debt drama is eminent.

U.S:

U.S. markets rallied after the official announcement Greece and its creditors had reached an extension deal. DJIA: +154.67  S&P:+12.85 2110.30 NASDAQ: +31.27 4955.97

In Word Of The Day:

Investment Grade

The highest and safest grade of securities. Commonly used to indicate a municipal or corporate bond has a relatively low risk of default.

In Dinner or Drink:

Black Ice

1 oz Kahlua® coffee liqueur
1 1/2 oz Rumple Minze® peppermint liqueur
4 oz Coca-Cola®

Pour the Kahlua and Rumple Minze into a highball glass and pour the Coca-cola over the top. Put the glass to your mouth and enjoy the flavor.

 

Feb 20

In The News:

Denied…

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is challenging the $3.5 billion sale of US Foods to Sysco (SYY), saying the deal would hurt customers by reducing competition between food supply companies. On Thursday, the FTC filled a complaint to block the deal, which was announced in December 2013. The complaint states Sysco and US Foods are the largest companies in the food service industry and the new company would have a dominant position in the marketplace. A combined company, according to the regulators, would likely lead to higher prices for customers like restaurants, hospitals, hotels, and schools. Shares of Sysco closed down $1.35 on Thursday.

Tender Me

McDonald’s will bring back chicken tenders to its fast-ffood restaurant menu starting next month. Chicken Selects, made with fried strips of tenderloin chicken meat, were last sold in 2013 after more than a decade on the menu. The fastfood chain cut the Chicken Selects as part of an effort to streamline its offerings. Now the company hopes customers will embrace the new tenders, which will be available in orders of three.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets closed out their week mostly higher, as investor kept an eye on Friday’s looming deadline for Greece.

Europe:

European stocks finished higher on Thursday after spending most of the session swinging between gains and loss amid the continuing drama in Greece.

U.S:

U.S. stocks ended lower on Thursday mostly lower as investors continued to watch the twist and turns of Greece’s debt drama unfold. DJIA: – 44.08 17,985.77 S&P -2.23 2097.45 NASDAQ: +18.34 4924.70

In Word Of The Day:

Early Withdrawal

The removal of funds, before the maturity date, from fixed-term investments. The term can also be applied to the withdrawal of funds from tax-deferred investment account or retirement savings account, such as an IRA or 401(k) before a prescribed time.

In Dinner or Drink:

Rubber Chicken

3 oz. Canadian Club® whisky
1 part limeade concentrate
1 part ginger ale

Pour rye whiskey into an ice-filled mason jar. Add equal parts of limeade and ginger ale, and serve.

 

Have a safe and wonderful weekend, Ya’ll!

Feb 18

In The News:

Port Trouble . . .

On Monday, for the sixth day out of the past ten, employees at the major ports along the West Coast refused to unload ships as their nine-month contract dispute is becoming a significant business problem. Major shipping companies, including Maersk Line, have canceled sailings, while China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co. said it will skip at least one port. The problems don’t end with the shippers; it is having an effect on the truckers: those that normally haul an average of five containers a day away from the Port of Oakland, Calif., are lucky to haul one. It is also affecting the makers of the goods being shipped. Honda Motor Company announced they are experiencing parts shortages, which will result in a cut in production at their Ohio plant for at least six days. Levi Strass & Co., which imports a third of its merchandise via the West Coast, is concerned continued delays may shorten the sales window for spring goods, which are due to be delivered in March and April. Levi Straus is looking into other alternatives but the prospects aren’t looking good as the available options are quite expensive. Negotiations between the port employers and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have come to a standstill in recent days. The two appear to have worked out major sticking points, however, an arbitration issue has the two sides at an impasse.

Please, Please Extend Me . . .

Greece will seek an extension to its rescue deal from the rest of the Eurozone Wednesday, bringing an apparent shift in the standoff between Athens and its creditors. The extension of Greece’s loan agreement could be for a period of four to six months thus preventing the country’s current deal with the Eurozone from expiring at the end of February. Any extension past the February deadline would give the country more time to negotiate a new bailout. While an extension request would mark a turnaround by the Greek government, what’s still unclear is whether the country’s creditors will say yes or what the proposed extension will look like. Monday, before the walkout, Eurozone foreign ministers set several preconditions for considering an extension including a promise from Greece to not roll back any budget cuts or economic overhauls implemented under the existing bailout deal and a pledge Greece will repay the Eurozone in full. In a defiant speech on Tuesday, new Greek Prime Minster, Alexis Tsipras, declared he would not submit to the Eurozone’s “physical blackmail” reiterating his government’s plans to dismantle the already implemented austerity measures. We will all have to wait until Wednesday to see who calls Chicken first . . .

In The Markets:

Asia:

The Asian markets, who were open on Wednesday, closed at multi year highs after a positive hand off from Wall Street.

Europe:

European markets closed higher on Tuesday as investor became a slight bit more comfortable with the situation in Greece.

U.S.:

U.S. markets rallied on Tuesday afternoon closing higher, after spending much of the morning session in negative territory, as investors monitored the unfolding drama between Greece and its creditors. DJIA: +28.23 18,047.58 NASDAQ: +5.43 4,899.27 S&P 500: +3.35 2,100.34

In Word Of The Day:

Leading Indicator

A measurable economic factor that can indicate a change in the economy before it starts to follow a particular pattern or trend. For example, bond yields are thought of as leading indicators because bond traders anticipate and speculate trends in the economy. Leading indicators are used to help predict changes in the economy however, they are not always 100% accurate.

In Dinner or Drink:

Ship Man

1/4 oz. Absolut® vodka
1/4 oz. Beefeater® gin
1/4 oz. Bacardi® Superior rum
1/4 bols of triple sec
1/4 oz. white sambuca
1/4 oz. Grey Goose® vodka
1 oz. apple juice
1/4 amaretto almond liqueur

Pure absolute vodka, gin, Bacardi, triple sec, Sambuca, Grey goose & apple juice over ice & blend, pure drink into a margarita glass finish with adding amaretto on top.

 

 

Feb 17

In The News:

Walk out

On Monday, negotiations over how to keep Greece afloat broke down abruptly, demonstrating how wide the gap is between Athens and its European creditors. The collapse in talks leaves Greece and its lenders racing to reach a new financing deal for the indebted country before its existing bailout plan expires. [Continue reading...]

Feb 13

In The News:

Come Fly Away

Online travel site Expedia (EXPE) is buying its online rival Orbitz (OWW) for approximately $1.33 billion. The purchase comes less than a month after Expedia announced the $280 million acquisition of its other rival, Travelocity. [Continue reading...]

Feb 12

In The News:

Investing In Our Future…

Honda Motor Company announced it will add a second U.S. production location for its Acura MDX in 2017 as SUV demand soars amid shrinking gas prices. Honda will invest $85 million for new welding equipment, the extension of vehicle conveyors, and additional changes required to support production of the MDX in East Liberty, Ohio. Honda will begin producing the Acura MDX, a seven-passenger SUV, at the plant starting in the spring of 2017. Currently, the plant makes the RDX SUV, as well as the Honda CR-V, and Crosstour vehicles. The move should help strengthen the automaker’s position in the light-truck market.

Not So Fast 

Thousands of travelers thought they got the deal of the year when they bought first-class airfare from Europe to the U.S. on United for only $69. United, however, doesn’t feel the same way. The airline giant announced they won’t honor the tickets because it wasn’t their fault the price was incorrect; it was the vendor that sold them that was at fault. The “deal” was posted early Wednesday on many travel blogs and required travelers to jump through several hoops, such as having to use United’s Denmark site to book and pay for the tickets. United didn’t disclose the exact number of “deal” tickets that were sold.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian stocks closed mixed on Thursday, after finance ministers failed to reach a deal with Greece.

Europe:

European markets took a step back on Wednesday, as investors wait for the outcome of an emergency meeting on Greece debt.

U.S:

U.S. markets closed flat as jittery investors wait to see if Greece and its creditors will reach an agreement to avoid a debt default. DJIA: -6.62 17862.14, NASDAQ: +13.24 4801.18 S&P: 0.06 4801.18

In Word Of The Day:

Value Proposition

A business or marketing statement that summarizes why someone should buy a particular product or use a service. This statement should convince a potential consumer that one particular product or service will add more value or better solve a problem than other similar products.

In Dinner or Drink:

Sky High Sling

  • Half a cup lemon or lime wedges
  • Half a sugar packet
  • Mini-bottle of gin or vodka
  • 1 oz. (big splash) Cranberry juice
  • 1 oz. (big splash) Orange juice
  • Small splash tonic water

PREPARATION:

Pour half a sugar packet into a cup. Squeeze a big handful of lemon or lime wedges right into the cup. Stir. Add one mini-bottle of vodka or gin, a big splash of cranberry juice, a big splash of orange juice and ice. Stir. Top off the drink with a small splash of tonic water.

Like our drink today, click here for more.

 

Feb 11

In The News:

We’ll Buy More

Hotel giant, Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT) announced Wednesday it had completed the $1.95 billion sale off the Waldorf Astoria New York and will use the proceeds to buy five hotels in Florida and San Francisco. Hilton will use the $1.95 billion, the steepest price tag ever for a U.S hotel, to buy the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and the Waldoff Astoria Orlando in Florida, the Reach; Casa Marina Waldorf Astoria, and Parc 55 in California. The purchases will cost the company around $1.76 billion and will use the remaining $100 million to buy additional assets in the next six months.

A Whole Lotta Apples

On Tuesday, Apple (APPL) became the first U.S. company to close the day with a market capitalization about $700 billion. Apple’s shares rose 1.9% on Tuesday to $122.02, giving it a stock market value of $701.07 billion. To put that in prospective, Exxon Mobile is now second to Apple with a market cap of $382 billion. CEO Tim Cook credited Apples success to its ability to sell pricey products to Chinese consumers while ignoring commonly accepted beliefs about big companies. The company’s sales in greater China, which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan, grew over 70% in the three months ending December 27.

More Cuts

U.S. oil company Halliburton (HAL) announced Tuesday it expects to cut more than 6,000 jobs across the globe because of the “challenging market environment” resulting from low oil prices. The new number includes the 1,000 jobs already cut in the fourth quarter of 2014 in the eastern hemisphere. Layoffs are nothing new to the oil industry as prices have continued to tanking late last year and have now reached into the tens of thousands. Shares of Halliburton, like most oil stocks, closed down on Tuesday.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets closed lower on Wednesday after the Chinese central bank announced it would maintain a steady monetary policy.

Europe:

European stocks closed higher on Tuesday as investors became more hopeful Greece’s government will reach a deal with its creditors.

U.S:

U.S. shares closed higher on Tuesday after investor optimism was fueled by the hope Greece and its’ creditors are nearing a compromise to avert a default. DJIA: +139.55 17868.76, S&P: +21.84 2068.58, NASDAQ: +61.63 4787.64.

In Word Of The Day:

Bond

A debt instrument in which an investor loans money to an entity (either corporate or government) at a fixed rate of interest and duration. The entity can then use the money to finance a variety of projects or activities. Also known as fixed- income securities.

In Drink Of The Day:

Apple Business

  • 2 oz. Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin
  • 1 oz. Fresh apple juice
  • .5 oz. Fresh lime juice
  • .5 oz. Honey

Garnish: Apple slice

 

Glass: Rocks
Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with an apple slice.

Like our drink today, click here for more.

 

Feb 6

In The News:

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs…

On Friday morning, the Department of Labor announced their January NFP report. The report showed parts of the economy added 257,000 jobs. We will have a full recap on Monday.

Big Spender

Drug Maker Pfizer (PFE) announced it is buying Hospira (HSP) for approximately $15.23 billion, saying Hospira is a good fit with its global established pharmaceutical business. Hospira is a provider of injectable drugs and infusion technologies. Pfizer will pay $90 per share in cash, a 39 percent premium to Hospira’s Wednesday closing price of $64.80. Pfizer plans on using its global network to help expand Hospira’s reach into Europe and key emerging markets. Currently, Hospira’s products are only distributed in the United States. Shares of both companies closed higher on Thursday.

The End

Late Thursday afternoon, 94 year old electronic chain, Radio Shack declared bankruptcy. As part of the reorganization process hedge fund Standard General LP has agreed to buy about half of RadioShack’s 4,000 stores, while the rest will be shut down. Standard General will run around 1750 of the stores as co-branded shops with wireless carrier Sprint. RadioShack will close its corporate headquarters and multiple Fort Worth distribution facilities and intends to lay off more than 1,000 workers if the chain doesn’t find a buyer by March 13, 2015.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian equities closed mixed on Friday as investors wait for the closely-watched U.S jobs report while still feeling apprehension about Greece’s bailout program.

Europe:

European markets closed higher on Thursday thanks to a boost from a rally in oil prices.

U.S:

U.S markets closed higher on Thursday, buoyed by deal news, upbeat quarterly earnings, and a rising oil prices. DJIA: +211.86 17,884.88 S&P: +21.01 2062.52 NASDAQ: +48.40 4765.10

In Word of The Day:

Non-Farm Payroll

The non-farm payroll (NFP) report is a key economic indicator for the United States. The report represent the total number of paid workers in the U.S. minus farm employees, private household employees, government employees, and employees of nonprofit organizations.

In Dinner or Drink:

Radio City

1 oz. sweet sherry
1 oz. dry sherry
1/2 oz. gin
1 oz. 7-Up® soda

 

Pour into an old-fashioned glass three-quarters filled with broken ice, and serve.
Have a wonderful weekend, Ya’ll!

6

In The News:

Change Is Coming…

Late Wednesday afternoon, European officials put a small damper on plans by the New Greek government, warning without an extension of the existing rescue program, the government will loss access to new money by the end of this month. The ECB also announced it would no longer accept Greek government bonds from bank seeking funds. This marks the first time since 2012 the central bank suspended its waiver for Greece’s junk-rated bonds. The suspension of the waiver will make it harder for Greek banks to find collateral to secure desperately needed funding. News of the waiver removal tumbled the Greek stock market on Thursday.

Finally...

After months of talking, Staples (SPLS) announced on Wednesday that they are buying rival Office Depot (ODP) for $6 billion. The cash and stock deal comes a year after Office Depot combined with Office Max. Consolidation in the office supply business has increased over the last year as business and consumers have drifted towards online shopping and traditional office supply businesses have diminished. Shareholders of Office Depot will receive $7.25 in cash and 0.2188 of a share in Staples. The two companies anticipate the merger to close sometime this year.

Not so yummy

Yum Brands (YUM), owner of Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC, reported a loss for its fourth quarter sales in China, as sales[.2]  continued to plunge after a series of food supply issues. Yum has been struggling to recover from a string of issues in China, which accounts for half its total revenue. The chain’ s reported sales fell 16% in the fourth quarter at established locations [.4] in China. Yum’s latest Chinese trouble started last summer after an undercover Chinese TV report depicted improper food handling by a major restaurant chain suppler. Despite getting a limited number of products from the supplier, Yum took a hit. For the fourth quarter, Yum reported an overall loss of $86 million, after reporting a profit of $321 million in the same period a year earlier.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian stocks closed mostly lower on Thursday after the People’s Bank of China failed to lift investor sentiment with a reduction in its reserve requirements for banks and continued uncertainty over Greece and oil.

Europe:

European stock markets ended a choppy session mostly higher, as investors kept a close eye on Greece’s debt negotiations.

U.S:

U.S. markets closed mostly flat on Wednesday after the ECB late afternoon announcement they would remove Greece’s junk bond waiver. DJIA:+6.00 17,673.02 S&P: -8.52 2041.51 NASDAQ: -11.00 4716.70

In Dinner or Drink:

Dirty Greek Martini

3 Oz Gray Goose vodka
1/2 oz. dry vermouth
1/2 oz. olive brine
1/2 oz. pepperoncini brine

Mix ingredients in a Boston glass and ice. sift in cocktail glass and garnish with olive and pepperoncini pepper.

Feb 2

In The News:

Beat It…

Jay Z is expanding his music empire, taking on other streaming services such as Spotify and his old company, Beats. Jay Z’s holding company, S. Carter Enterprises LLC, announced Friday that they have agreed to buy Aspiro AB, the maker of the WiMP and Tidal music services, for $56 million. [Continue reading...]

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