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Mar 31

In The News:

I Wanna New Drug…

On Monday, UnitedHealth Group Inc.’s announced it will acquire Catamaran Corp. for about $12.8 billion in cash. The deal will bulk up UnitedHealth’s pharmacy-benefit business amid growing concern from employers and insurers about the rising costs of cutting-edge drugs.Catamaran, which is the fourth-largest pharmacy-benefit manager in the U.S. by volume of prescriptions processed, will be merged into UnitedHealth Group’s OptumRx unit, the industry’s third-largest and part of the company’s Optum health-services arm. [Continue reading...]

Mar 30

In The News:

Urban Cowboy

Friday, Mercedes-Benz (DDIAF ) announced they are planning to sell a midsized pickup truck by 2020, calling it “the first pickup from a premium manufacturer.” Initially the vehicle will be sold in Latin America, South Africa, Australia, and Europe, as there has been sustained growth in those counrties pickup truck market. Currently, there are no plans to sell the truck in the US, where pickups are among the best-selling vehicles. The new pickup truck will be produced and sold by Mercedes’ Vans Division, which makes work vans sold globally.

Million-High Hack

Several British Airways frequent-flier accounts have been hacked; however, according to the airline , most personal information is safe. The London-based airline didn’t give an actual number of accounts that were hacked but did say the accounts have been locked down and can no longer be accessed. Apparently, the breach was the result of a third party using information obtained elsewhere on the Internet. This latest breach follows issues for other travel-related companies such as Hilton, Starwood, and American Airlines.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets recovered from a lackluster open on Monday, closing in the green. Leading the rally a modestly positive hand off from Wall Street which offset the impact of sliding oil prices.

Europe:

European markets ended their week higher despite the continued fighting in Yemen and increase tensions in Greek.

U.S:

U.S. markets broke their four day losing streak. A lower revised Q4 GDP spooked the markets most of the day however remarks from Janet Yellen caused markets to rally in the last 15 minutes of the trading session. DJIA: +34.43 17,712.66 S&P: +4.87 2,061.02 NASDAQ: +2.86 4,891.22

In Word Of The Day:

Gross Domestic Product

The monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced by a country within its borders in a specific time period, usually annually. Or put another way it’s like a countries price tag. The number includes both private and public consumptions, government productions, investments and exports minus imports. It is commonly used as an indicator of countries economic health aka is the economy growing (good) or is it declining (bad).

In Dinner or Drink:

The Paper Plane

3/4 oz. bourbon

3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice

3/4 oz. Amaro Nonino

3/4 oz. Aperol Lemon Twist

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 today, clcik here for more.

 

Mar 27

In The News:

And The Winner Is…

Standard General LP, according to RadioShack Corporation, provided the best offer in response to the creditors’ auction. Standard General’s bid, which should save many of the iconic chain’s stores, picked up the crucial backing from RadioShack’s official committee of unsecured creditors. At Thursday’s bankruptcy-court hearing, RadioShack asked the judge to sign off on the takeover; however, the deal does have one competitor, Sales Capital Partners. Sales Capital Partners argued on Thursday that they didn’t receive a fair hearing at the auction on a bid they tried to make with other liquidators of RadioShack. Now the judge will decide whether parts of RadioShack will remain or whether all of the chain’s assets will be completely liquidated.

Bye, Bye…

Wells Fargo (WFC) will close its home-lending servicing office in Milwaukee, eliminating 1,000 jobs, as fewer homeowners are falling behind on payments and therefore are keeping their homes. The office will close in late July and the company will inform employees of other job opportunities within the bank. Wells Fargo employs 265,000 people and is based in San Francisco. Shares of the company slipped 51 cents to $54.84 at the close of Thursday afternoon’s trading.

Replaceable…

According to industry data published on Thursday, Pepsi-Cola (PEP) surpassed Diet Coke as the No. 2 soda brand, as Americans’ consumption of diet soft drinks has continued to decrease. Coca-Cola’s (KO) full-calorie Coke remains the country’s top selling soda with a market share of 17.6%. Total U.S. soda consumption declined for the 10th straight year as more Americans move toward healthier options like water, tea, or energy drinks.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian equities closed out the week mixed as investors continued to worry over the situation in Yemen and weaker economic data from Japan.

Europe:

Investors worry over geopolitical issues had European markets closing sharply lower Thursday.

U.S:

U.S stock continued their decline on Thursday. Investors continued their climb of the wall of worry juggling geopolitical event and concerns over what the coming earning season will look like. DJIA: -40.31 17, 678.23 NASDAQ: -13.16 4,863.36 S&P: -4.90 2,056.15

In Word of the Day:

Price to Sales Ration (PSR)

A valuation ratio which compares a company’s stock price to its revenues. The price-to-sales ratio is an indicator of the value placed on each dollar of a company’s sales or revenues.

In Dinner or Drink:

Tallulah

Garnish:  Salted peanuts            Glass:  Rocks

Add the whiskey and organ to a rocks glass and stir until well combined. Fill with ice and top with the Coca-Cola. Garnish with a small handful of salted peanuts.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend, Ya’ll!


 

Mar 25

In The News:

Cheesy Ketchup…

H.J. Heinz and Kraft (KRFT) Foods Group have agreed to merge creating the fifth largest food and beverage company in the world. The new combined company, The Kraft Heinz Company, will have an annual revenue of $28 billion and will include Heinz, Kraft, Oscar Mayer, Ore-Ida, and Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Shareholders of the privately held, Heinz, will hold a 51% stake in the combined company while, Kraft shareholders will hold a 49% ownership stake. The merger comes as food companies are struggling to cope with consumers moving away from package foods and towards healthier choices. Shares of Kraft rose in premarket trading.

Bumps Ahead

Hertz Global Holding, Inc., (HTZ) has received notification from the New York Stock Exchange it is out of listing compliance because they are late filling the company’s annual report. On Tuesday, Hertz said it was unable to file a timely 2014 report with the Securities and Exchange Commission due to the company’s continuing investigation into its internal financial records and the potential impact of its 2014 financial results. Last June, after an internal audit, the car rental giant disclose it would have to restate its 2011 results and would correct and possibly restate 2012 and 2013 financial statements. Hertz missed the SEC’s March 17 extension deadline however, the company expects to file up dated statements and its 2014 report before mid-2015. The company has until September 17 to regain compliance with the New York Stock Exchange or the exchange can begin proceedings to delist the company’s stock.

Headed To Cali

Ruth Porat, Morgan Stanley’s (MS) chief financial officer, is leaving New York and headed to Google (GOOG) for the same job. Porat was one of the highest-ranking women executives on Wall Street. A 28-year veteran of Morgan Stanley, Porat joined the firm in 1987 and worked her way to being named chief financial officer in 2010, her last day will April 30. Morgan Stanley selected Jonathan Pruzan, a 46-year old investment banker who once reported to Ms. Porat, as its new CFO. Shares of Morgan Stanley like the broader market closed down.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets closed mixed on Wednesday after struggling for direction throughout the trading session. Investors balanced a lack luster handoff from Wall Street against growing concern over China’s lack of growth.

Europe:

European shares rose on Tuesday after data indicated the Eurozone recovery is picking up speed.

U.S:

U.S. stocks declined for a second straight day, with the Dow Jones losing more than 100 points. Better-than-expect economic data had investors worried it will give the Fed more reasons to hike rates midyear. DJIA: -104.90 18,011.14 NASDAQ: -16.25 4,994.73 S&P: -12.92 2,091.50

In Word Of The Day:

Delisted

The removal of a listed security from an exchange. Removal of the stock can be either voluntary or involuntary, if the company is not in compliance with the listing requirements of the exchange.

In Dinner or Drink:

Negroni Jello Shots

¼ cup of Campari

¼ cup of gin

1 cup of club soda

¼ cup of vermouth

3 ounces of orange juice

2 envelopes of Knox Gelatin

Garnish: Orange zest

Materials: a circular tin mold –

In a saucepan add club soda ad orange juice. Turn heat on low and sprinkle 2 envelopes of gelatin into saucepan with other liquid. Stir mixture until the gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in Campari, gin, and vermouth. Pour mixture into molds put in refrigerator to chill and set. After shots are chilled use a knife to loosen them from the pan and serve Garnish with orange zest -

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Mar 24

In The News:

Vroom, Vroom…

Sweden’s Volvo Cars Corp. announced Monday it will reorganize its business into three new regions to “significantly strengthen” its focus. Volvo, owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, will create business regions for the Americas, Middle East, Europe, and Asia. The new structure will allow the automaker to tailor each of the business closer to the needs of each the individual markets. Volvo aims to sell 800,000 vehicles global a year, double that of the current pace. The company has experienced significant growth in China over the past five years while sales have stabilized in Europe however, U.S dealers have been unable to keep up with German and Japanese competitors.

You’re Out

Taco Bell (YUM) announced it is launching a “biscuit taco” this week ditching its famous waffle taco. The swap occurs as the chain tries to build on its year-old breakfast business taking on McDonald’s and their new breakfast selections. The new biscuit taco is described as warm, fluffy, buttery biscuit folded like a taco. Customers can choose to fill the taco with option like eggs, sausage, cheese or deep-fried chicken. Taco Bell has been holding on to a steady 6% of the breakfast market while McDonald’s is still the dominant player with 25%.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian stocks closed mixed on Tuesday as investors reacted to weaker-than-expected manufacturing numbers out of China.

Europe:

European shares closed lower Monday after investors took a breath from Friday’s record highs.

U.S:

U.S. markets closed lower on Monday. A reversal in the last 15 minutes of trading had the usually popular biotech sector tumbling. DJIA: 11.61 18,116.04 S&P: -3.68 2,104.42 NASDAQ: -15.44 5,010.97

In Word Of The Day:

Preferred Stock

A class of stock issued by a company which typically pays a fixed dividend however, they do not have voting rights. In the event of a company bankruptcy’s preferred stock holders have the right to be paid company assets first.

In Dinner or Drink:

Irish Car Bomb

5 oz.  Baileys

.5 oz.   Jameson Irish whiskey

Guinness Beer

Glass: Shot

Add the Baileys and Jameson Irish Whiskey to a shot glass.

Drop the shot into a half-pint of Guinness Beer.

Like our drink today, click here for more.

 

Mar 20

In The News:

Special Treatment

HBO, Showtime, and Sony, will soon be entering the world of online television. Instead of putting their Web traffic on the public Internet’s main thoroughfare, they want their own separate lane. All three companies have been in talks with major broadband providers such as Comcast about having their Web TV services treated as “managed” services. In a nutshell, they want to move away from the congestion of the Internet, which they fear is going to get nothing but worse as more people opt to stream TV on the Web. The other benefit to the three companies: a separate lane would exempt their customers from monthly data-usage thresholds operators can enforce for public Internet traffic, saving their customers from those nasty surcharges that could kick if you binge watched too many episodes of Mad Men. The potential new agreement could be one of the first grey areas of the new net neutrality debate. Grab your computer and watch the ride!

Cleared For Takeoff

Amazon.com (AMZN) has received official clearance from the FAA to test drones outdoors, a small victory towards the development of unmanned vehicles for 30-minute package delivery. The FAA announced Thursday Amazon could test its drones in open spaces, during the day only, and no more than 400 feet up while remaining within the pilot’s sight. Amazon is hoping to use the unmanned vehicles to make deliveries to customers within thirty minutes of their orders who are within 10 miles of the online retailer’s warehouse. Shares of the Amazon closed lower on Thursday.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets ended higher on Friday as a stronger dollar vs. a weaker yen boosted the export stocks.

Europe:

European markets closed mixed on Thursday as the “Yellen” rally lost most of its steam.

U.S:

U.S. stocks pulled back on Thursday, taking a breather after Wednesday’s rally. DJIA: 117.16 17,959.03 NASDAQ: +9.55 4,992.38 S&P: -10.23  2,089.27

In Word Of The Day:

Export

A function of international trade where goods are produced in one country and shipped to another for future sale or trade.

In Dinner or Drink:

Flying Dutchman

Glass: Large cocktail

Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake hard and strain into a chilled large cocktail glass.

Like our drink today, click here for more.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend, Ya’ll!

20

In The News:

Delivery Please  . . .

Starbucks Corp (SBUX) will try out two new delivery services the second half of the year in an effort to make its coffee chain stores in dense cities more productive. One delivery option—to be tested in Seattle—will link Starbucks and San Francisco-based delivery startup Postmates Inc., which ferries products for clients in dozens of U.S. cities. Option number two places Starbucks employees in a number of office buildings, to fill food and beverage orders from customers on other floors. Ther initiative will be called “Green Apron,” named after the color the company’s baristas wear. According to Starbucks, its delivery service will not have a minimum order size; however, it will charge clients an as yet to be determined flat fee for delivery.

The End . . .

Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) is calling it quits in China, withdrawing its operations offices, laying off 200–300 employees, and shutting down its Beijing research center. In 2013, Yahoo stopped offering services to users in China, suggesting instead that they transfer their accounts to Airmail, an email service offered by Yahoo’s close partner, Alibaba Holding Group Ltd. The layoffs are the latest in a series of cost cutting measure orchestrated by CEO Marissa Mayer. So far, Yahoo has let go between 700 and 900 employees since October, mostly in offices outside the U.S. Yahoo shares rose on Wednesday, like the broader market.

Fed Speak . . .

On Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee (aka FOMC) ended their two-day meeting with a statement and press conference led by Fed head, Janet Yellen. Here are some of the highlights.

  • As expected, the committee removed the word “patient” from its statement . Yellen, however, was quick to retreat, saying that eliminating the word “patient” did not mean the committee was growing impatient of waiting on the perfect time to raise rates . It remains dependent on economic conditions when making the decision to start increasing rates.
  • During the press conference, Yellen advised investors to track economic data to better discern the direction of monetary policy. Wednesday’s announcement slowed the dollar down, rallying the Dow Jones by triple digits and causing oil prices to rise over $2.00 in less than 25 minutes.

Wednesday’s announcement slowed the dollar down, rallying the Dow Jones by triple digits and causing oil prices to rise over $2.00 in less than 25 minutes. Most forecasters still think the first rate hike will be in June, July, or September.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asia markets closed mixed on Thursday as investors digested Wednesday’s Fed speak.

Europe:

European markets closed mostly in the red as the world waited for the Fed to release their statement and for any words of wisdom from Janet Yellen’s press conference.

U.S:

U.S. markets soared after comments from the Fed suggested a possible rate hike may be further down the road not, sooner as most analyst had predicted. DJIA: +160.83 18,009.91 NASDAQ: +2.46 4,939.90 S&P: +3.17 2,077.45

In Word Of The Day:

Debt Financing

The financing of either working capital or capital expenditures by selling bonds, bills, or notes to institutional or individual investors. In return for loaning the money, the individuals or institutional investors who purchase the debt become creditors and receive interest and principal upon repayment.

In Dinner or Drink:

Grand Coffee

  • 1 oz. Grand Marnier, warmed
  • 3 oz. Hot brewed coffee
  • .75 oz. Brown sugar syrup (1 part brown sugar, 1 part water), if desired

Garnish: Whipped cream                    Glass: Mug or heat-proof highball

 

Pour all the ingredients into a mug or heat-proof highball glass and stir. Spoon about 2 tbsp. of whipped cream on top.
Read more at http://liquor.com/recipes/grand-coffee/#DQfD0omV3Kkfhwwa.99

 

 

Mar 18

In The News:

Danger Ahead…

Premera Blue Cross announced Tuesday that hackers gained access to the personal information of around 11 million consumers, including bank account information and, possibly, some clinical data. Premera, a Washington State–based nonprofit, said they first detected the breach on January 29; however, the incursions may have initially occurred last May. Hackers may have gained access to names, birthdays, Social Security numbers, addresses, and bank information. This is the third large security breach in the healthcare industry. In addition to last year’s breach at hospital operator Community Health Systems, Anthem announced last month that the personal information of 78.8 million people had been compromised.

Money, Money, Money…

Soon Facebook’s (FB) Messenger app will let you send money to your friends. To send money, users will simply click on a new “$” icon that’s next to the buttons that lets you send photos, stickers or a thumbs-up sign. During its announcement on Tuesday, the social media giant explained it will process the payments itself and over emphasized the service’s security measures. The new feature is free, will work with debit cards, and is available on either your desktop or either Apple or Android mobile devices. The company will likely expand the service internationally after the service becomes available in the United States.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets closed higher on Wednesday, as the world waits on the results of the Federal Reserve’s meeting.

Europe:

European shares slid on Tuesday, following disappointment over a key sentiment reading from German, Europe’s biggest economy.

U.S:

U.S. stocks ended Tuesday down, with the Dow Jones posting a triple-digit loss. Investor’s jitters got the best of them as the FOMC started its two day meeting on Tuesday. DJIA: -128.34 17,849.08 S&P 500: -6.91 2,074.28 NASDAQ: +7.93 4,937.43

In Word Of The Day:

Securitization

The process in which an issuer creates a financial instrument by combing other financial assets and repackages it to investors. Any type off financial asset can be encompassed in the securitization process. Securitization helps promote liquidity in the markets.

In Dinner or Drink:

The Green Giant Cocktail

  • 4 Sugar snap pea pods, broken in half
  • 8 to 10 Tarragon leaves
  • .75 oz. Simple syrup (one part sugar, one part water)
  • 2 oz. Hayman’s Old Tom Gin
  • .5 oz. Dry vermouth
  • .75 oz. Lemon juice

Garnish: Sugar snap pea pod   Glass: Rocks
Read more at http://liquor.com/recipes/green-giant/#IdrqAP4srcsdSI4k.99

Mar 17

In The News:

Skinny

Apple (APPL) is in talks with programmers to offer a slimmed-down bundle of TV networks this fall. The service, available on Apple devices, will have around 25 channels and be anchored by giants such as ABC, CBS, and Fox. The idea is to offer a “skinny” bundle with well-known channels like CBS, ESPN, and FX, while leaving out many of the smaller networks available with standard cable TV packages. Left out of the package for now, NBCUniversal and its channels like USA and Bravo, as a result of the fall-out between Apple and Comcast NBCUniversal’s parent company. In addition to the major broadcast players Apple has also been in talks with movie makers Walt Disney and 21st Century Fox.

You’re Out

After a more than fifty-year stay in the S&P 500 index, Cosmetic Company Avon (AVP) is being replace. Avon, who over the last several years has been one of the worst performing stocks in the Index, will be replaced by T-shirt maker Hanes Brands (HBI). According the S&P Dow Jones Index, who is in charge of the index, the change was made because Avon was no longer big enough from a market cap stand point to be in the Index. Also making the switch in the S&P 500, Equinix will be replacing Denbury Resources and SL Green Realty Corp will replace Nabors Industrial LTD. All three switches will happen after the close of business on March 20. Watch for price and volumes swings in these stock on March 20 as mutual funds and index investors will have to do some rearranging of their own to align with the new indexes.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets closed higher on Tuesday after the Bank of Japan announced it stands pat on monetary policy and indicates it’s still confident inflation will start to rise in the last part of the year without additional easing.

Europe:

European markets climbed on Monday, as German stocks hit a new milestone highlighting the new flood of money rushing into European markets as a result of the ECB’s QE program.

U.S:

U.S. markets closed higher on Monday as investors looked toward this week’s FOMC meeting and policy statement on Wednesday. DJIA: +288.11 17,977.42 NASDAQ: +57.75 4,929.51 S&P: +27.79 2,081.19

In Word Of The Day:

The Federal Reserve System (also known as the Federal Reserve or the Fed)

The Federal Reserve is the US’s Central Bank.   It was created on December 23, 1913, as a response to a series of financial panics.   The System consists of a seven member Board of Governors based in Washington, D.C., and twelve Reserve Banks located in major cities throughout the US.  The members of the board and the twelve Reserve Banks meet monthly to determine the country’s monetary policy at the FOMC meetings.

In Dinner or Drink:

The Irish Blonde Cocktail

  • 2 oz. Michael Collins Blended Irish Whiskey
  • .75 oz. Orange Curaçao
  • .25 oz. La Ina Fino Sherry
  • 1 dash Regans’ Orange Bitters

Garnish: Flamed orange peel   Glass: Martini

Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir, and strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a flamed orange peel.

Like our drink today, click here for more.

Mar 16

In The News:

Sold…

GE Capital (GE) has agreed to sell its consumer lending business in Australia and New Zealand to an investor group, which includes KKR & Deutshe Bank, for $8.2 billion Australian dollars ($6.26 billion USD). The deal is one of the biggest in the Asia-Pacific region so far this year. [Continue reading...]

Mar 13

In The News:

Cut

PC chip marker, Intel Corp, cut their revenue outlook for the first quarter by nearly a billion dollars. A sign demand for personal computers are weakening amid currency fluctuations and other outside factors. The company said it has seen weaker than expected demand for business computers and lower inventory levels across the industry’s component supply chain over the last quarter. Intel, which supplies most off the chips in PC’s and server systems, has experienced profit loss for the last several years as consumer have shifted from computers over to tablets and laptops. Shares of the company closed down $1.53 on Thursday.

Trouble Ahead, Maybe

The FBI and federal prosecutors have launched an investigation into the potential manipulation of Herbalife stock. As part of the investigation authorities have interviewed people hired by hedge-fund billionaire, Will Ackman. Ackmman has led a long running campaign against the nutritional-products company. According to sources investigators are scrutinizing public statements relayed to regulators by an array of consultants and activists who lobbied against Herbalife, as well any connections between any of them and Pershing Square. Nether Ackman or Pershing Square have been served with a subpoena or have them been visited by FBI agents.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets closed out their week higher as the Japanese market hit the 19,000 level.

Europe:

European markets closed mixed on Thursday after U.S retail sales showed consumers weren’t out buying goods in February.

U.S.:

U.S. markets closed higher on Thursday, as investors bet a higher dollar, lower euro, and lower economic data will be the receipt for the fed to not start raising rates anytime soon. DJIA: +259.83 17,895.22 NASDAQ:+43.35 4,893.29  S&P 500: +25.71 2,065.95

In Word Of The Day:

The process of raising capital through the sale of shares in a company. Essentially, Equity financing refers to the sale of an ownership interest to raise funds for business purposes.

In Dinner or Drink:

Killeggan Secret Sour Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz. Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey
  • .75 oz. Dry vermouth
  • .5 oz. Fresh lemon juice
  • .5 oz. Fresh grapefruit juice
  • .75 oz. Simple syrup (one part sugar, one part water)
  • 1.5 oz. Club soda
  • 1 dash Orange bitters

Garnish:  Lemon twist   glass: Collins

Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a Collins glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend, Ya’ll!

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 12

In The News:

You passed, kinda …

Four of the biggest names in banking struggled to pass the 2015 Federal Reserve’s stress test. Two U.S. units of foreign banks failed the test, underscoring the importance of the annual exercises on the nation’s largest banks more than six years after the 2008 crisis. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve released the 411, which showed how all the banks that participated scored on the test, along with the Fed’s green or yellow lights to the banks’ requests to pay shareholders back some moolah. Goldman Sachs (GS) , J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM), and Morgan Stanley (MS) all received the green light to return income to investors, but only after they adjusted their initial requests to ensure that a safe capital buffer was in place. Bank of America received a yellow light, or conditional approval, to return capital to shareholders after the Fed found some weaknesses in the bank’s ability to measure losses/revenue and in other internal controls. The bank can temporarily boost its dividend or share buyback program; however, it must resubmit revised plans that addresses its shortcomings by September 30. After submitting the plans, if the Fed still isn’t happy, it can freeze Bank of America’s capital distributions. Overall, most were impressed with the success rate of the stress test as this was the first year all the major banks passed.

Misrepresentation …

A former Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (RBS) trader pleaded guilty to a fraud scheme involving bonds, as the U.S. government starts a new thread in its probe into the securitized debt market. Matthew Katke pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud for participating in a multimillion-dollar scheme to cheat bond customers. Katke and his co-conspirators increased their profits on bond trades by making false statements, such as misrepresenting the price paid by RBS to acquire the bond or what RBS was asking to sell the bond for. Katke’s guilty plea follows a string of suspensions at Wall Street banks as regulators scrutinize transactions in the debt market.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian shares closed higher on Thursday after an unexpected rate cut by the central bank of South Korean and better-than-expected jobs data from Australia.

Europe:

European markets rallied on Wednesday as the lower euro helps boost the exporting sector.

U.S.:

U.S. markets fell for a second day in a row on Wednesday as investors continued to focus on the path of U.S. monetary policy. DJIA: -27.55 17,635.39 NASDAQ:-9.85 4,849.94 S&P: -3.92 2040.24

In Word Of The Day:

Small Cap Stocks

Stocks with relatively small market capitalization. The definition can vary however, generally it is a company with a market capitalization of $300 Million to $2 Billion. One of the biggest advantages of small-cap stocks is the opportunity to not be in competion with institutional investors. Because mutual funds have limits on purchasing large positions, some mutual funds would not be able to give a small cap company a meaningful position in the fund.

In Dinner or Drink:

Tough To Hear

  • 1 oz Chile de árbol-infused St-Germain*
  • 1 oz Leopold Brothers Absinthe Verte
  • Splash of lime juice

Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a shot glass

Read more at http://liquor.com/recipes/tough-to-hear/#prk6MrTdf4gVW7A3.99

Mar 11

In The News:

Guilty

Tuesday, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) pled guilty to federal criminal charges stemming from the selling of over-the-counter infant’s and children’s liquid medicine containing metal particles. McNeil Consumer Healthcare acknowledged it had failed to take corrective action after discovering bottles of Infant’s and Children’s Tylenol and Children’s Motrin. Metal particles, including nickel, iron, and chromium, were introduced into the bottles produced at McNeil’s Fort Washington plant. The prosecutors contended that McNeil knew about the problem for nearly a year but failed to take immediate steps to fix it. McNeil eventually linked the problem to the machinery at its Fort Washington plant and issued a product recall. Shares of JNJ, like the overall market, fell on Tuesday.

Toxic Doughnuts

Dunkin’ Donuts  (DNKN) is dropping titanium dioxide, the ingredient that makes its powdered sugar doughnuts look brighter. Titanium dioxide is also used in sunscreen and paints. The doughnut chain is dropping the ingredient from its powdered sugar doughnuts after the public interest group As You Sow brought the issue to the attention of the company and its consumers. As You Sow, had introduced [.5] shareholders’ proposals at the company’s upcoming shareholder meeting, calling for the removal of titanium dioxide from various products. The group released a letter by Dunkin’ Donuts stating that it will reformulate the powdered sugar and is working on a schedule to roll out the new recipe. Shares of Dunkin closed up slightly on Tuesday.

In The News:

Asia:

Asian markets closed mixed on Wednesday after a string of Chinese data fell short of markets expectations, indicating a persisting slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.

Europe:

European markets extended thier losing streak on Tuesday, as global investors were spooked by the weaker euro and ongoing negotiations surrounding Greece.

U.S.:

U.S. markets tumbled on Tuesday. Investors have started to climb the wall of worry wondering what the effects of a much stronger dollar will have on the economy and corporate profits. DJIA: -332.78 17, 662.94 S&P 500: -35.27 2044.16 NASDAQ: -82.64 4859.80

In Word Of The Day:

Moving Average

An indicator which shows the average value of a security’s price over a specific time period. Frequently used in technical analysis of the markets.

In Dinner or Drink:

Coffee and Doughnut Bourbon Shake

Ingredients

3 ounces of bourbon

14 ounces of vanilla bean gelato

6 ounces of coffee

5 mini doughnuts (2 for garnish)

Garnish: cinnamon, and 2 doughnuts Instructions: In a blender combine vanilla bean gelato (except for 2 scoops), coffee, bourbon, and doughnuts Blend until desired consistency

Note: add more ice cream if mixture is too thin or more coffee if it too thick Pour blended mixture into serving glass Top with a single scoop of gelato Garnish with mini doughnuts and sprinkle of cinnamon -

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Mar 10

In The News:

You Need It …

Do you need a device that can handle all the interactions that fill your days, something that reminds you of meetings, can call you a car, can count your steps, or can tell you how many times your heart beats per minute? [Continue reading...]

Mar 6

In The Markets:

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs . . .

On Friday, the Department of Labor released their monthly NFP (Non-Farm Payroll) report. The report showed the economy added 295,000 jobs in February and the unemployment rate came in at 5.5%. We will have a complete recap on Monday.

You Passed . . .

All of the nation’s 31 largest banks including JPMorgan Chase & Company (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), and Citigroup (C) passed this year’s Federal Reserve Stress Test. The Fed’s annual stress test puts the nation’s biggest banks through a series of test scenarios similar to those faced in the 2008 financial crisis. Results of this year’s test show the group of 31 banks are stronger than they have ever been at any time since the financial crisis. Next week, the Fed will announce whether it will approve any of the banks’ plans to issue dividends or repurchase shares.

Bad Apple . . .

Apple’s new mobile-payment system has been hit by a wave of fraudulent transitions using data stolen in recent breaches, including info stolen from Home Depot, Inc. and Target Corp. Most of the unauthorized purchases have been for big-ticket items bought at Apple Store as they are the most expensive of the majority of the merchants who have signed up to offer the Apple Pay System. This latest round of fraud highlights how compromised card data remains  valuable to cybercriminals long after merchants secure the holes in their payment systems.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets closed out their week in the green as investors wait for Friday’s NFP report out of the United States.

Europe:

European markets closed higher on Thursday as investors continue to buy, buy, buy on the heels of Monday’s official beginning of the ECB’s bond buying program.

U.S:

U.S. markets ended slightly higher on Thursday as anxious investors weighted Friday’s NFP report against news the ECB selected Monday as the day they will start their bond buying program. DJIA: +38.82 18,135.72 S&P 500: +2.51 2,101.04 NASDAQ: +15.67 4,982.81

In Word Of The Day:

Risk Averse

A term used to describe and investor who, when faced with two investments with a similar expected return but different risks, would prefer the investment with the lower risk.

 In Dinner or Drink:

The Inside Job

  • 2 oz. Larceny Bourbon
  • .25 oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • .5 oz. Simple syrup (one part sugar, one part water)
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters
  • 1 dash Absinthe

Garnish: Cherry and orange slice or twist

Glass: Old Fashioned

Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir, and strain into an Old Fashioned glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a cherry and an orange slice or twist.

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Have a wonderful and safe weekend, Ya’ll!


 

Mar 5

In The News:

Bird Limit . . .

Fast food giant McDonald’s (MCD) announced Wednesday it would begin buying chickens that were not raised with antibiotics used to treat humans. The move has the potential to change the landscape of the way poultry is raised, as the company is one of the largest buyers of chickens in the United States. [Continue reading...]

Mar 3

In The News:

Took You Long Enough …

After almost 15 years, the Nasdaq Composite climbed and closed above the 5000-point level, another milestone in the index that was once synonymous with the excess of the dot-com era. The Nasdaq Composite tracks the prices of the 2,569 companies comprising the Nasdaq Stock Market, a broad range of global technology, consumer, health-care, and financial firms. The NASDAQ crossed the official 5000 intraday mark at 10:30 a.m. EST, marking the first time it had hit the magic level since March 27, 2000. After hitting the mark, the composite spent the rest of the session sliding backward, until a rally in the last hour propelled the index to close above 5000.

Liquidation

The day after a less than favorable report on CBS’s 60 Minutes aired, shares of Lumber Liquidators (LL) slid, after spending most of the morning halted. The report claims that the company’s laminate flooring is made in China and may not meet California’s health and safety standards as it contains high levels of formaldehyde, a carcinogen. Sunday’s revelation is not the only issue Lumber Liquidator is facing. In a regulatory filing on Wednesday, the company disclosed that the Department of Justice may seek criminal charges under the Lacey Act, a law which centers on the sale of banned illegally sourced wood products. Shares of the company tumbled $13.03, to close at $38.38.

Partner in Crime

Starting next year, Costco (COST) will accept Visa cards. The discount retailer announced Monday that it had struck a deal with giant Citi (C) to be the exclusive issuer of its co-branded credit cards, officially replacing American Express. But wait! There’s a catch. The deal is subject to Citi buying the Costco’s co-branded credit card portfolio. Shares of the credit card closed higher on Monday.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian shares closed lower on Tuesday as Sharp’s financial woes hit the Nikkei while, investors in Hong Kong wait anxiously for any key announcement out of the countries central bank meeting this week.

Europe:

European stocks closed lower on Monday after investors took a break from buy after the release of encouraging economic data.

U.S:

U.S. markets closed higher on Monday, with the NASDAQ hitting the 5,000 mark after fifteen years. The march higher came despite economic reports that point to a slowdown in both consumer spending and manufacturing activity. DJIA: +155.93 18,288.63 NASDAQ: +44.57 5,008.10 S&P: +12.89 2,117.39

In Word Of The Day:

Institute of Supply Management Survey (ISM)

An index which monitors employment, production inventories, new orders, and supplier deliveries within the manufacturing industry. Results of the survey are based on more than 300 manufacturing firms by the Institute of Supply Management.

In Dinner or Drink:

Champagne Celebration

1/2 oz. Cointreau® orange liqueur
1/2 oz. Presidente® brandy
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.

 

 

 


 

Mar 2

In The News:

Can We Talk…?

Wireless giant Sprint Corp announced they have teamed up with Best Buy to offer a wireless phone plan available only at the electronics superstores. The “Best Buy One Plan” will include unlimited talk, text, data and the lease of a device for the low monthly price of either $65 or $75 a month, depending on if you select an iPhone product or an Android product. Over the last several months, Sprit has been looking at different out-of-the-box ways to bring more customers their way. In December, the carrier started their “cut your wireless bill in half” campaign. Sprints’ efforts seem to be working, as the company reported in January that it had added 30,000 customers in its fiscal third quarter, the largest number it had posted in three years.

I like your curves…

Over the weekend, Samsung Electronics introduced a new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S6, with a new curved screen and mobile payment system. The new phone will be available globally on April 10 and will be offered in the US by all the major carriers. The G6 will be built on a slimmer frame and will be made of reinforced glad and aircraft grade aluminum, unlike its predecessor, the S5, that was mostly made of plastic. The company also addresses prior complaints that Samsung phones are bogged down with little-used software. This time around, the company removed most of its apps and streamlined the user interface. The company also changed what is inside the device, developing the application processors entirely in-house rather than using chips from Qualcomm. The S6 will also be equipped with Samsung Pay, designed to work with the magnetic strip machines found in 9 out of 10 US cash registers.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets started off the week higher as an interest rate cut in China’s borrowing rate, on Saturday, offset a weaker finish on Wall Street.

Europe:

European markets closed out the week higher on Friday, breaking multi-year records as investors seemed to enjoy a couple days with Greek drama.

U.S.:

U.S. markets closed lower on Friday after a mixed bag of economic news spooked investors. DJIA: -81.72 18,132.70 S&P: -6.24 2,104.50 NASDAQ: -24.36

In Word Of The Day:

Consumer Price Index (CPI)

A measure which examines the weighted average of the prices of a basket of consumer goods and services, such as transportation, food and medical care. The CPI is calculated by taking price changes for each item in the predetermined basket of goods and averaging them; goods are weighted according to their importance. Changes in index are used to assess price changes associated with the cost of living.

In Dinner or Drink:

Passioned Green Tea Whiskey

Ingredients

  • 3 passion fruits
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened green tea, chilled
  • 4 tbsp. honey
  • 4 ounces whiskey
  • Crushed ice

Instructions

Scoop out the flesh inside the passion fruits and add it to a shaker, along with green tea and honey. Shake until the honey has completely dissolved. Add the whiskey and shake to blend. Divide the mixture into two glasses filled with crushed ice. Drink up.

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