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Jun 30

News:

Penalty Present…

Private-equity firm, KKR &Co. (KKR), has agreed to pay almost $30 million to settle charges it improperly allocated more than $17 million in expenses, hurting some investors while benefiting others. Private-equity firms invest money on behalf of pension funds, endowments and wealthy investors in private investments aiming to deliver market-beating returns in exchange for relatively high fees. The SEC alleges KKR allocated costs to its flagship private-equity funds, which were comprised of pension funds and endowments, instead of assigning some of the overall expensive to its co-investment vehicles- made up of KKR insiders and large clients. The charges against KKR were the most significant in the private-equity industry since the SEC received more power from the Dodd-Frank legislation.

We’re Out…

Sysco (SYY) is scrapping its proposed $3.5 billion buyout of US Foods after the Federal Trade Commission won its legal pursuits to temporarily block the deal to combine the two food-service companies. The FTC had opposed the deal, saying it would reduce competition among the nation’s suppliers of restaurants and food-service operations. To end the deal, Sysco will have to pay a $300 million breakup fee to US Foods and $12.5 million to Performance Food Groups, who had a deal to purchase 11 of US Foods facilities across the nation. The deal, which was announced in December 2013, had been set to close in 2014, however early opposition for antitrust regulators kept the closing on hold. Sysco will continue to purse cost-saving opportunities and acquisition. The company’s board recently approved an additional $3 billion stock buyback program over the next two years. Shares of Sysco closed down on Monday.

Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets rebounded from Monday’s heavy loss despite Greece’s default looming in the background.

Europe:

European markets tumbled on Monday, with investors rattled by the events in Greece.

U.S:

U.S. markets followed the trend on Monday, closing down triple digits.  The S&P suffered its biggest decline in more than a year as fears over Greece had investors pushing the sell button. DJIA: -350.33 17,596.35 S&P: -43.85 2,057.64 NASDAQ: -122.42 4,958.00.

Word of the Day:

Bund

A bond issued by the Germany federal government in 10- and 30- year denominations. German bunds are the equivalent of U.S Treasury bonds.

Dinner or Drink:

Greece Lightening

1/3 oz. ouzo anise liqueur
1/3 oz. vodka
1/3 oz. Chambord® raspberry liqueur

 

Pour into a mixing cup with 2 or 3 ice cubes, and chill to make a shooter. Strain into a shot glass or test tube.

Jun 29

News:

We’re Closed…

Greece announced over the weekend it will keep banks closed on Monday in a bid to prevent the countries banking system from collapsing, after the European Central Bank caped the amount of emergency loans it would provide to Greece’s cash-strapped lenders. On Sunday, the ECB announced it would not increase a lifeline of emergency liquidity which has been sustaining Greece’s banks, even as nervous Greek depositors withdraw their money at a greater pace. Greece’s debt crisis seemed to have gone into over drive after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras surprised European policy makers Friday, by calling for a referendum to vote on the latest plan from the countries creditors, potentially unlocking badly needed financial aid. The referendum move makes the country’s default of Tuesday’s €1.54 billion ($1.72 billion) payment to the International Monetary Fund, a certainty. Tuesday, also brings the day Greece’s international bailout expires, which means the country would no longer be under the umbrella of an international rescue package. In a last ditch effort to stabilize the situation Greece asked for a one-month bailout extension to give the country time for its citizens to vote in the planned referendum however, Eurozone finance ministers declined the request.  This weekend’s events are the lastest twists in a five-year saga which has exposed weakness in Europe’s economy and its monetary policies. The 19 member Eurozone, which Greece is a part of, largely sets their own fiscal policies, which in the past has caused countries like Ireland and Greece to take on massive amount of debt.

So what’s the big deal… because of the interconnected global economy, problems in tiny economies like Greece can have an unpredictable effect on other countries’ economies. This uncertainty makes investors and markets worry what new crisis could be behind door number 2.

New ride…

Ford (F), the auto giant, announced it is getting into the e-biking business. The MoDe:Flex is the companies lasted entry into their yet to be released electric bike line. The company has already premiered the MoDe: Me and MoDe: Pro, both smaller in design and meant for shorter distances. MoDe:Flex has been constructed as an all-round machine suitable for road, mountain and city riding. The new MoDe: Flex will connect to rider’s smartphone which will connect to an app offering real-time information on weather conditions, road congestions, parking costs, and public transit information. Perhaps the best feature of the bike could be its no sweat mode, an electric pedal assist function that will kick in if your heart rate reaches a certain level, thereby enabling the rider to arrive at work smelling as good as when they started. No date yet when Ford’s new line of bikes will be available to the masses.

Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets tumbled on Monday, with China officially moving into a bear market. Weekend event in Greece over shadowed China’s central bank cutting rates to help spur the counties economy.

Europe:

European markets closed out their week higher on news a Greek deal may have come as early as the weekend.

U.S.

U.S. markets closed mixed on Friday after a choppy session. Negotiation between Greece and its lenders kept investors anxious what the future might bring. DJIA: +56.32 17,946.68 S&P: -0.82 2,101.49 NASDAQ: -31.68 5,080.50

Word of the Day:

International Monetary Fund (IMF):

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

Dinner or Drink:

3 Gin Martini

2.25 oz. No. 3 London Dry Gin, frozen

.75 oz. Dry vermouth

1 dash

Orange bitters

Garnish:  1 Lemon twist  Glass: Cocktail

Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice.

Stir, and strain into a cocktail glass.

Garnish with a lemon twist

 

Like our drink today, read more at http://liquor.com/recipes/no-3-gin-martini/#mtyDHgsaLpTGBFGt.99

Jun 26

 

News:

Overweight

Whole Foods supermarkets in New York City are being investigated by a New York consumer protection agency for allegedly repeatedly overcharging customers for prepackaged foods. The investigation by the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs tested 80 different types of prepackaged food from Whole Food’s locations across the city. The investigation found customers were being overcharged due to incorrect weights found on the packaging. The supermarket denies the claims calling the allegations “overreaching”.

Recall

Car maker Subaru announced they are recalling more than 72,000 almost-new vehicles due to an issue with the automatic braking system. The recall centers around Subaru’s Driver Asset System, an automatic braking system designed to prevent collisions with obstacles and other cars. According to documents filled with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the system could fail if one of the car’s brake lights aren’t working. Potentially, the recall effects 72,000 vehicles including 2015 models, including the Impresa, the Legacy, the Outback, and the XV Crosstrek. Subaru’s 2016 WRX.

Markets:

Asia:

Asian stock took a nose dive on Friday with Chinese markets suffering their biggest one day loss in five months. Continued uneasiness over the Greek debt talks had investors playing it safe.

Europe:

European markets closed flat as another day comes and goes without a Greek debt deal.

U.S:

U.S. markets closed down on Thursday, as investors are starting to give serious thought what a world without a Greek debt deal will look like. DJIA: +75.71 17,890.36 S&P: -6.27 2102.31 NASDAQ: -10.22 5112.19

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.

Dinner or Drink:

Lynchburg Lemonade

1 part Jack Daniel’s® Tennessee whiskey
1 part sweet and sour mix
1 part triple sec
4 parts Sprite® soda

 

Add ice and stir. Garnish with lemon slices and cherries.

Like our drink today, click here for more.

Have a wonderful weekend, Ya’ll!

Jun 25

News:

Super Store

European grocery store chains Ahold and Delhaize announced they will merge for $29 billion, creating one of the largest supermarket groups in Europe and the United States. The merged firm, Ahold Delhaize, will create more than 6,500 stores and serve over 50 million customers a week in both the U.S. and Europe. Delhaize, headquartered in Brussels, operates Hannaford and Food Lion stores in the United States. Ahold, a Dutch retailer, operates U.S. grocery chains Giant and Stop & Shop. Shares of both Ahold and Delhaize rose Wednesday on the news.

Blue Box In The Clouds

On Wednesday, IBM (IBM) and Box (BOX) announced they are becoming strategic partners, integrating each company’s existing offerings and working to build new products together. Box will integrate IBM’s Watson analytics and security offering into its current content collaboration platform, allowing users to store their data on IBM’s cloud. IBM will gain access to Box within its own email and work solutions as well as apps building for iOS. The partnership has been in the works for nine months, and combines Box’s end user strength with IBM’s big data strength, reach, and analytics with customers who need highly secured platforms like governments, financial services, and healthcare.

Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets tumbled on Thursday after Greek debt talks reached a stalemate.

Europe:

European markets closed lower on Wednesday after a weaker than expected sentiment number out of Germany and another round off Greek debt talks ends without a deal.

U.S:

U.S. markets closed lower, ending a two day winning streak, after talks between Greece and their creditors ended with little progress towards a deal. DJIA: – 178.00 17,966.07 S&P: -15.62 2,108.58 NASDAQ: -37.68 5,122.41

Word of The Day:

International Monetary Fund (IMF):

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

Dinner or Drink:

Blue Cloud Cocktail

1 oz. amaretto almond liqueur
1/2 oz. Blue Curacao liqueur
2 oz. vanilla ice cream
1 oz. whipped cream

Pour the amaretto and blue curacao into a blender. Add vanilla ice cream. Blend until smooth. Pour into a brandy snifter, and top with whipped cream. Garnish with a maraschino cherry, and serve.


 

 

 

 

Jun 24

News:

Flying High…

Boeing (BA) announced Tuesday CEO Jim McNerney will be stepping down after 10 years at the aircraft maker. President and Chief Operating Officer Dennis Muilenbug will take McNerney place on July 1. To help ease the transitions McNerney will keep working at Boeing until February and remain chairman of the Chicago-based company. McNerney leaves behind a company with the fastest production rate in history and a record book of new jet orders. His replacement, Muilenburg, has worked at Boeing since 1985 in roles that included president and CEO of Boeing defense space and security business. In December 2013, he was named Boeing’s president and chief operating offer. Shares of Boeing slipped $1.27 closing Tuesday at $144.43.

Give Me A Beat

Google (GOOGL) announced it will launch a free version of its streaming music service as it seeks to upstage next week’s launch of Apple’s music. Google’s new free stream will include curated radio stations, crafted by a human, which is different than the algorithm model its competitors currently use. Its business model will mirror privately-held Spotify, which also offers a freemium model and an ad-free premium subscription service. Google hopes the new service will stop the flood of declining subscribers, which doubled in 2014.

Markets:

Asia:

Asian shares closed higher on Wednesday as optimism around Greece’s debt talks continue to help trader sentiment ahead of today’s EU finance ministers.

Europe:

European markets closed higher on Tuesday after the ECB raised its liquidity cap to help Greek banks fueling speculation a Greek deal is near.

U.S:

U.S. markets closed slightly higher on Tuesday with the NASDAQ hitting new record highs. A mixed bag of economic news and Greece’s inch closer to a bailout seemed to calm investors nerves. DJIA: +24.29 18,144.07 S&P: +1.35 2124.20 NASDAQ: +6.12 5160.09

Word of the Day:

Risk-Return Tradeoff

The principal that potential return will rise with an increase in risk. Low levels of uncertainty (Low-risk) are associated with low potential returns, whereas high levels of uncertainty (high risk) are associated with potential high returns.

Dinner or Drink:

Snake On A Plane

1 part of white tequila
1 part of DeKuyper® Sour Apple Pucker schnapps
1 part of sweet and sour mix
1 Gummy Worm

 

Mix parts equally and place gummy in glass, tell the shooter to take it all in and chew the “snake” as the chaser.

Jun 23

News:

Striped…

General Mills (GIM) announced it will strip artificial flavors and colors from the remaining 40% of its cereals which still contain them by 2017. Trix and Reese’s Puffs will be part of the first brands to release updated versions by this winter. The move is just the latest in the food sector, in February Nestle (NSRGY) announce they would remove artificial ingredients and color from its Crunch and Butterfinger candy bars in the U.S. Shares of General Mills closed slightly higher on Monday.

Good Things…

Sequential Brands Group, Inc., an acquisitive retail-licensing company has agreed to buy Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. (MS0) for $6.15 a share, or about $353 million. Ms. Stewart will become a “significant stockholders” of the new holding company and service as chief creative officer. The purchase marks the end of the independent publishing and houseware conglomerate Ms. Stewart grew out her knack for decorating, cooking, and gardening. Sequential brands who own brands like Ellen Tracy, and Justin Timberlake William Rast brand and licenses their names to manufacturers and retailers.

Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets closed higher on Tuesday after reports out of the Greek debt drama looked promising.

Europe:

Shares in Europe rallied Monday as investor became more optimistic about the Greek deal debt drama.

U.S:

U.S. markets closed higher on Monday after reports indicated Greece and its creditors could be on the road to a deal. DJIA: +103.83 18119.78 S&P: +12.86 2122.85 NASDAQ: +12.86 5153.97

Word of the Day:

Durable Goods

Consumer goods, such as consumer electronics, toy makers, small tool manufacturer, and jewelry, which do not have to be purchased frequently.

Dinner or Drink:

Goin’ Home

1 oz. gin
1 oz. peach schnapps
1/2 oz. dry vermouth
1/3 oz. lime juice
1 1/2 Oz sparkling apple juice

 

Shake all ingredients (except apple juice) and strain into an old-fashioned glass half-filled with broken ice. Add apple juice, and serve.

Jun 22

News:

Less Sweet…

Hershey (HSY) will cut around 300 jobs by the end of the year as the company simplify its operations. The company, who has approximately 22,000 employees globally, did not specify where the job cuts will come from. The candy and chocolate maker, whose brands include Reese’s, Twizzlers, and Icebreaker’s Gum, also announced it would lower its full-year revenue outlook after declining sales growth in China. Shares of Hershey, like the rest of the overall markets, closed lower on Friday.

Let the Games Begin

Over the weekend, health insurance Company, Anthem Inc. (ATHM) launched a $4.5 billion bid to buy rival, Cigna Corp (CI) in a move which shows the pressure insurance companies are under to quickly find a dance partner. Anthem had offered Cigna shareholder $184 in cash and stock however, Cigna rejected the bid calling it inadequate and not in the best interest of its shareholders. Meanwhile, Aetna made a takeover bid for Humana, while United Healthcare Group (UNH) approached Aetna about a possible takeover. Got all that… The big five insurance companies are now in a race to see who can find a merger partner first as they all look to become more efficient and better respond to changes in the health care landscape.

Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets closed mostly higher after a meeting over the weekend produced progress in Greece’s debt drama.

Europe:

European markets closed slightly higher on Friday, as investors continued to spend after Wednesday’s Fed meeting.

U.S:

U.S. markets closed mostly lower on Friday after worries over the continuing drama in Greece had investors running for the hills. DJIA: -99.89 18,015.95 S&P: -11.25 2109.99 NASDAQ: -15.95 5117.00

Word of the Day:

Dividends

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

Dinner or Drink:

Chilly Chocolate Mint

3/4 oz. dark rum
1/2 oz. peppermint schnapps
1 oz. coconut cream
1 oz. chocolate syrup
1 oz. heavy cream
1 oz. whipped cream

 

Pour the dark rum, peppermint schnapps, coconut cream, chocolate syrup and heavy cream into a blender with two cups of crushed ice. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour as much of the mixture as you can into a hurricane glass, leaving a little room at the top. Top with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry, and serve.


Jun 19

News:

Slim Down…

McDonald’s will close more restaurants this year than it plans to open, for the first time in more than 40 years. The fast food giant has enjoyed rapid expansion for most of its history however, chains like Chipotle who market themselves as serving fresher foods with better ingredients have chipped away at McDonald’s dominants. Shares of the Mickey D’s closed higher, at $ 96.17 on Thursday.

It’s All Good…

Markets: Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. (MSO) is close to deal to sell itself to Sequential Brands Group (SQBG), an acquisitive retail-licensing company. A deal between the two could be announced in the next couple days and terms of the deal couldn’t be learned by the local rumor mill. If a deal is struck, it would mark the end of a chapter in the remarkable career of Martha Stewart, who used TV and magazines to elevate the craft of homemaking. Shares of the company jumped 26% on Thursday after Dow Jones wire service broke the story.

Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets closed mixed on Friday as the BOJ (Bank of Japan) announced it will continue its version of quantitative easing.

Europe:

European markets closed higher on Thursday despite the possibility of a Greek deal becomes weaker and weaker.

U.S:

U.S. markets closed higher on Thursday, as investors enjoyed the thought of low interest rates for a while longer. DJIA: +180.10 18,115.84 NASDAQ:+68.07 5132.95 S&P: +20.80 2121.24

Word of the Day:

Glide Path

A formula which defines the asset allocation mix of a target date fund. The glide path creates a more conservative asset allocation (more fixed income, less equities) as the fund gets closure to the target date aka your retirement date.

Dinner or Drink:

Peach and Blackberry Muddle

4 thin slices peach

6 blackberries

2 large sprigs mint

1 1/2 teaspoons honey

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 ounces bourbon

Ice

Seltzer

In a double old-fashioned glass, combine 2 peach slices, 3 blackberries, mint, honey, and lemon juice. Mash gently with the back of a spoon until fruit releases juices. Add bourbon, remaining peach slices, and remaining blackberries. Fill glass with ice and top with seltzer.

Like our drink today, click here for more.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend, Ya’ll!

Jun 18

News:

Penalty Present

The Federal Communications Commission announced Wednesday, AT&T Mobility LLC (T) has been fined $100 million for offering consumers “unlimited” data, but then slowing their Internet speeds after they reached a certain amount. According to the Federal Communications Commission the wireless giant talked consumers into buying plans they believed provided them the ability to unlimited data, text, GPS navigation and stream video. In reality, once the consumer reached a certain level, the company would slow down the speed of the data significantly. AT&T vigorously disputes the fine, which is the largest ever proposed by the Federal Communications Commission.

Drivers Welcome

Uber’s drivers should be classified as an employee of the company according to California’s labor commissioner. The ruling doesn’t set a precedent for how Uber compensates their employees however, the decision marks the latest setback for the people hauling company’s labor model.  Regulators found Uber is involved in every aspect of its driver operations, from vetting drivers and vehicles, to setting trip rates, and is therefore the legal employer of its drivers.  Currently, Uber says its drivers are independent contractors and not employees, a designation that means the company is not responsible for paying drivers’ insurance or job-related expenses and allows the company to operate and expand at a relatively low cost.

Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets closed lower on Thursday, after a new crop of IPO had investors questioning if there is enough liquidity in the markets to stand up to the increased pressure.

Europe:

European markets closed flat on Wednesday as investors waited for comments from the Federal Reserve.

U.S:

U.S. markets ended Wednesday slightly higher after comments from the Federal Reserve indicates interest rates will increase more slowly than some had previously thought. DJIA: +31.26 17,935.74 S&P: +4.15 2100.44 NASDAQ: +9.33 5064.88

Word Of The Day:

Exchange-Traded Mutual Funds

Exchange-traded mutual funds or ETMF, are a hybrid between an exchange-traded fund (ETF) and an actively managed mutual fund. ETMF allow a standard mutual fund with a net asset value to be traded in real time on an exchange, similar to trading a stock or ETF.

Dinner or Drink:

Car Crash

1 oz. Southern Comfort® peach liqueur
1 oz. amaretto almond liqueur
7 oz. sweet and sour mix
7 oz. orange juice
1 dash grenadine syrup

Pour the Southern Comfort and amaretto almond liqueur into a Collins glass over 1 or2 ice cubes. Fill the glass with 1/2 sweet and sour mix and 1/2 orange juice. Top with grenadine, and serve.


 

Jun 17

News:

We Quit…

United Airlines (UAL) will discontinue flights into New York’s JFK airport starting in October and will shift the remaining cross-country flights to its nearby hub in Newark, New Jersey. On Tuesday, United executives announced they have agreed to trade the airlines JFK takeoff and landing slots to Delta Airlines (DAL) in exchange for their slots at Newark Liberty International Airport. The arrangement will still need the approval from regulators to become official. The move to Newark should strengthen United’s dominant position at Newark, while withdrawal from JFK takes the pressure off of the airline as it trailed Delta, JetBlue, and American in number of passengers on flights from the airport.

I need a cookie…

Starbucks (SBUX) announced it will close all 23 of its La Boulange bakery-cafes, citing the stores “weren’t sustainable for the company’s long-term growth.” The café’s, known for their pink envelops, that now hold parties sold at Starbucks store, were a favorite breakfast-lunch spot in the San Francisco Bay Area. The coffee chain bought La Boulange in 2012 for $100 million. At the time the deal seemed a strategic move for Starbucks in its quest for a bigger presence in the food business. All La Boulange stores and its two manufacturing facilities will close by the end of 2015.

Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets closed mixed on Wednesday as the world waits for comments from the Federal Reserve.

Europe:

European markets closed higher on Tuesday after better-than-expected housing data came out of the U.S.

U.S:

U.S. markets closed higher on Tuesday, rebounding from two down days, as investors await news on Greece and comments from Wednesday’s Federal Reserve meeting. DJIA: +113.31 17,904.48 S&P: +11.86 2096.29 NASDAQ: +25.58 5055.55

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.

Dinner or Drink:

Ticket to Fly

1/4 Bacardi® white rum
1/4 Smirnoff® vodka
1/4 Jose Cuero® gold tequila
1/4 triple sec
Pina colada mix
grenadine syrup

In a blender, Mix the Rum, Tequila, Vodka and Triple Sec together.

Next add enough Pina Colada mix to fill the blender half way. Then add just enough grenadine to give the drink a slight pinkish coloring.

Finally add ice and mix everything in the blender.

 

 

 

Jun 16

News:

Drug Deal...

Drug giant CVS Health Corp. (CVS) will buy and run Target Corp’s (TGT) pharmacies and clinics. The $1.9 billion deal will create an unusual partnership which reflects the tough economics of the drug business. 1,600 drugstores inside Target locations will be rebranded as CVS pharmacies, while Target’s 80 in store clinics will change over to CVS’s Minute Clinic. The deal will allow Target to focus more on its core strengths like baby products, housewares, and style. It is unclear when the deal, which requires regulatory approval, will close. Shares of both CVS and Target closed higher in Monday trading.

Show Me The Money

Withdrawals from 401(K) plans are now exceeding new contributions as baby boomers come of age. This new shift could have profound implications for the U.S. retirement industry. In a recent report which tracked the outflows in 2013, investors pulled a net $11.4 billion from tax-deferred savings plans. This movement out of 401(K) s is expected to accelerate over the coming decade as more baby boomers hit retirement age. The high level of withdrawals have squeezed large money-management firms chief profit engines, management fees charged to employers and investors. Asset managers hope to replace the outflows with surges from millennials or other products, such as individual retirement accounts (IRA). In recent years, money managers like Vanguard and Fidelity have made moves to cut their fees in retirement products in an attempt to keep their market shares.

Markets:

Asia:

Asian shares extended their selloff Tuesday, as Greece’s debt talks and the upcoming Federal Reserve meeting this week had investors taking risk off the table.

Europe:

European markets tumbled on Monday after talks between Greece and its creditors collapsed over the weekend.

U.S:

U.S. stocks closed down on Monday, as investors weighted the collapse of the Greek talks and another round of mixed economic data. DJIA: -107.67 17,791.17 NASDAQ: -21.13 5029.97 S&P: -9.68 2084.43

Word of The Day:

Money Manager

A business or bank responsible for managing an individual or institutional investor’s securities portfolio. Typically for a fee, the money manager, has the fidiciary duty to choose and manage investments which are prudent for his or her clients, including developing an investment strategy, and buying and selling securities.

Dinner or Drink:

Drug Test Specimen

1 oz light rum

3 oz. apple schnapps

1 oz. DeKuyper® Sour Apple Pucker schnapps
1 splash sweet and sour mix
1 drop DeKuyper® Hot Damn cinnamon schnapps

Mix it all up and pour into a cocktail glass.

Like our drink today, click here for more.


Jun 15

News:

Probe…

U.S. authorities are examining payments made by Nike (NKE) to Brazil under a groundbreaking 1996 soccer sponsorship. The probe centers on the possibility of any wrongdoing by the company or its counterparts in the deal. Allegations of corruption by the brand were thinly veiled in the Justice Department’s 161 page indictment of officials in and around soccer’s governing body, FIFA. In the indictment a U.S. multinational sportswear company struck a deal to sponsor the Brazilian federation and then cut a side deal with a sport-marketing middleman, who allegedly used the company’s payments for bribes and kickback. The inquiry by U.S. prosecutors into Nike’s sponsorship casts a dark shadow on one of the company’s defining deals. At the time of the sponsorship Nike was widely seen as out of the race in soccer, however the Brazilian contract helped drive Nike’s revenue and sponsorship into a neck-and-neck race with Adidas.

Go West….

One of North America’s oldest retail firms, Hudson’s Bay Co (HBC), announced it will buy Germany’s 135-year old Galleria Kaufhof.  The deal would combine some of the western world’s best known department store chains in a deal valued at €2.83 billion ($3.19 billion) including debt. Hudson’s Bay, which operates chains like Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord &Taylor, has been in talks to buy the operational department store business in Germany and Galleria Inn Belgium for months.  The acquisition marks Hudson’s Bays first move onto European soil and will include the introduction of Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks outlet, OFF 5th to both Germany and Belgium. The deal, according to Hudson’s Bay, will mean a 50% increase in its total sales and 33% of its overall business will now be in Germany and Belgium.

Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets started the week off down after trading sentiment took a hit from fresh tightening margin financing in China and the continued Greek debt drama.

Europe:

European shares closed lower on Friday, as investors are starting to lose hope Greece and its creditors are ever going to strike a deal.

U.S:

U.S markets declined on Friday, as investors worry whether Greece and their creditors will be able to compromise on a bailout package in time to make their June payment to the IMF. DJIA: -140.53 17,898.84 S&P: -14.75 2094.11 NASDAQ: -31.41 5051.10

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.

Dinner or Drink…

Stained Blue Dress

1/2 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. Blue Curacao liqueur
2 drops Bailey’s® Irish cream

Layer.

Like our drink today, click here for more.

Today we published our 500th daily digest! We sincerely thank you for your support and are grateful for the opportunity to be a part of your daily life.

Jun 12

News:

You’re Out

Twitter (TWTR) CEO, Dick Costolo, will step down as CEO on July 1, ending months of speculation. The company announced Thursday, co-founder and Chairman Jack Dorsey will serve as its interim chief executive until a permanent replacement is found. Costolo will remain on Twitter’s board of directors. Rumors of Costolo exit have circulated for months, as Wall Street voiced disappointment in Twitter’s financial performance. Shares of the company closed down $0.01 at $35.84 on Thursday.

Future Plans

Rupert Murdoch, will hand over his media empire to his sons soon. Mr. Murdoch, CEO of 21st century Fox, is expected to name his son James to succeed his as chief executive of the sprawling entertainment company which included cable and broadcast television networks, film studios and satellite companies. Murdoch will also elevate his other son Lachlan, to the role of co-executive chairman of the company. Rupert, 84, will still remain on as the company’s executive chairman. The exact timing of the changes is unclear however, an announcement could follow next week’s company board meeting.

Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets ended their week higher despite yesterday’s IMF withdrawal from Greece’s debt talks.

Europe:

European equities closed slightly higher on Thursday after the IMF left negotiation talks with Greece due to a lack of progress in reaching a bailout agreement.

U.S:

U.S. markets closed higher after retail sales rose in May. DJIA: +38.97 18,039.37 S&P: +3.66 2108.86 NASDAQ: +5.82 5082.51

Word of the Day:

Prospectus

A legal document, required by and filled with the Securities and Exchange Commission that provides details about an investment offering for sale to the public. A prospectus contains the facts that an investor needs to make an inform investment decision. Also known as an “offer document”.

Dinner or Drink:

Fox Trot

1 1/2 oz. light rum
1/2 oz. lemon juice
2-3 dashes Curacao orange liqueur

 

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

Like our drink today, click here for more.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend, Ya’ll!

 

Jun 11

News:

Coming Soon

Marriott International Inc. (MAR) announced its flagship hotel units will offer guests access to Netflix (NFLX) streaming-video service on TVs in the hotel giant’s guest rooms. The company currently has six properties where rooms have the Netflix app available to guests and plan to launch six more properties this summer. The specially customized app allows guest to sign in once throughout their stay, and after checkout all login information is wiped out. Marriot is the first hotel to offer guests direct access to Netflix.

Benefits…

Chipotle Mexican Grill will now offer all employees, including part-time workers, paid vacation time, sick pay, and tuition reimbursement starting July 1. The Denver-based chain will reimburse 90% of tuition, books, and fees up to the IRS’s limit of $5,250. In the past benefits had been given to only salaried workers however, now they are open to every employee. Crew cashiers and takeout specialists will have to give one year of service to be eligible for the tuition benefits while all hourly managers and salaried employees will not have a waiting period.

Markets:

Asia:

Asian stocks closed mixed on Thursday after a positive hand off from Wall Street and new economic data out of China met analyst expectations.

Europe:

European markets closed higher on Wednesday for the first time in seven days after a news report propelled fresh hope that Greece and its creditors might be close to a deal.

U.S:

U.S. markets soared on Wednesday with the Dow Jones closing up over two hundred points. A weaker dollar helped boost oil prices while a report Germany may be starting to fold at the negotiation table helped calm jittery investors. DJIA: +236.36 18,000.20 S&P: +24.98 2,105.14 NASDAQ; +62.82 5,076.69

Word of The Day:

An individual or group which purchases a large amount of a company’s shares and or tries to obtain seats on the company’s board with the goal of effecting major change in the company. A company can become a target for an activist investor if it is mismanaged, has excessive cost or another problems an activist investor thinks they can fix to make the company more profitable.

Dinner or Drink:

Mexican Punch

3 Limes, quartered

2 Lemons, quartered

1 Orange, quartered

15 oz. Don Julio Blanco Tequila

7 oz. Simple syrup (one part sugar, one part water)

7 oz. Fresh lime juice

6 oz. Grenadine

7 dashes Aromatic bitters

12 oz. 7UP

 

In a large pitcher, muddle the limes, lemons and orange

Add the tequila, simple syrup, lime juice, grenadine and bitters

Stir well and add ice

Top with the 7Up and stir gently

Pour (unstrained) into 6 wine glasses and garnish each with a lime wedge

Jun 9

News:

New Fruit…

Apple’s 2015 Worldwide Developers Conference kicked off on Monday in San Francisco. The conference hosts developers who have the opportunity to look ahead at what’s coming down the Apple pipeline. Here’s some of the highlights:

  • As expected Apple announced the lauch of their new streaming music service, Apple Music. The service will cost $9.99 a month, with the first three months free. The streaming service will launch on apple products later this month and a version for Android is coming in the fall.
  • A new version of watchOS is coming out, just six weeks after the Watch’s original release. The new OS2 will add a new photo album to your watch, allow user to read emails and reply to them from your wrist, and while your watch is charging it can act like an alarm clock including the snooze button.
  • In response to the 5 billion user request Apple gets weekly, the company will update its maps. The new “Transit” map will focus on subways, busses, and step-by step multi-mode transpiration routing.

Share of Apple, like the rest of the overall market, closed lower to $127.15.

Sold…

General Electric (GE) will sell its private-equity-lending unit, Antares Capital, to Canada’s largest pension fund for $12 billion, in a move to shrink the company into the mean lean fighting machine of decades past. GE is largely getting out of the banking business after investors, for years, has encouraged the company to return to its roots. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

Markets:

Asia:

Asian equities closed lower on Tuesday after downbeat inflation data from China and the prospect of higher rate hike in the near future weighted on trading sentiment.

Europe:

European shares declined Monday despite a new idea to extended Greece’s bailout program to March 2016.

U.S:

U.S. markets slipped Monday, as investors remain focus on when higher interest rates will occur. DJIA: -82.91 17,766.65 S&P: -13.55 2079.28 NASDAQ: 48.83 5021.63

Word of the Day:

Dead Cat Bounce

A short-lived recovery in the price of a declining security, followed by continuation of the downward trend.

Dinner or Drink:

Electric Blue Margarita

1 oz. tequila (3 cl)

1 oz. blue curaao (3 cl)

2/3 oz. fresh lime juice (2 cl)

Lime wedge for garnish (but I have used a lime slice ;-)

Salt for rimming-

Rim your margarita or martini glass with salt, essential in any margarita cocktail recipe! Pour all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain the Blue Margarita into a margarita or martini glass. Garnish with a lime wedge. NOTE: replace blue curacao by triple sec, and you have the original Margarita! ;-) Blue Curaao is very similar to triple sec, but with a characteristic blue tint.

Jun 8

News:

Continue The Course…

On Friday, OPEC, aka The Cartel, decided to maintain its current oil production of 30 million barrel a day despite the substantial drop in oil prices over the last year. OPEC also predicted prices would remain low for the foreseeable future. In an acknowledgement that it can’t control its own members, The Cartel decided not to restrain any over productions by member states as it continues to struggle to control the world’s oil supply and prices. While OPEC countries account for over a third of the world’s oil, the power it has possessed for several decades to determine supply and demand has been steadily eroding as outsiders, like U.S producers, capture large shares of the markets. West Texas Intermediate Crude (WTI) closed higher at $59.13.

Top Dog…

Walmart (WMT) announced its board chairman, Rob Walton, will be stepping down and his son-in-law, Vice Chairman Greg Penner, will be taking the reins. The change took effect on Friday[.3]  after the end of the company’s annual shareholders meeting, despite pressures from labor-backed worker groups that wanted an independent chairman named as successor. Rob Walton, son of Walmart founder Sam Walton, has been chairman since 1992 and will continue to serve as a director. Jim Walton, another of Sam Walton’s sons, will also remain on the board. Greg Penner, whose background has been in technology and finance, will become the company’s third chairman in the company’s 53-year history. Penner will have a long road in front of him as Walmart is facing challenges on all fronts, from operations to how it treats its worker.

Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets opened the week mixed as a stronger-than-expected jobs report from the U.S. stroked concerns the Federal Reserve could raise rates sooner.

Europe:

European stocks fell on Friday, as the drama in Greece continued and yields for European bonds pushed higher.

U.S:

U.S. markets closed down on Friday after a higher-than-expected jobs reports has investors wondering if the Fed will raise rates in the near future. DJIA: -56.12 17,849.46 S&P: -3.01 2,092.83 NASDAQ: +9.33 5,068.46

Word Of the Day:

Cockroach Theory

A market theory which suggests when a company reveals bad news to the public, there may be more negative related events that have yet to be revealed. The term comes from the common belief if you see one cockroach there is usually evidence of many more that remain hidden.

Dinner or Drink:

Oil Spill #2

1/2 oz. Jack Daniel’s® Tennessee whiskey
1/2 oz. Jagermeister® herbal liqueur
1/2 pint beer

Mix whiskey and Jagermeister in a shot glass and then drop into a half glass of beer. Drink the entire mixture before it mixes and try to take it easy afterwards.

 


 

Jun 5

News:

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs…

The U.S. Department of Labor released their monthly non-farm payroll report for the month of May. According to the report, the economy added 280,000 jobs beating analyst expectation of 225,000. The  unemployment rate stayed unchanged at 5.5%.

Kickin The Can…

On Thursday, Greece kicked the can a bit further down the road using a loop hole in its contract with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Originally Athens had until Friday to pay $334 million to the IMF- the first of four payments totaling $1 .67 billion Greece was scheduled to pay in June. On Thursday, Greek authorities informed the fund they plan to bundle the country’s four June payments into one, which is now due on June 30. The move should give Greece and its creditors a little bit more time to find a resolution the counties economic crisis.

It’s Showtime...

Showtime announced they are launching their own Internet streaming service. The service will make its debut in early July on Apple devices for $11 a month. The service will not require a traditional television subscription and will include unlimited on-demand access to Showtime original series as well as hundreds of hours of movies, documentaries, and sports programming. The service will also include a live feed of the network’s East and West Coast broadcasts.

Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets ended their week mixed as investor juggled lingering uncertainties over Greece’s debt drama, volatile European bond markets, and Friday’s non- farm payroll report.

Europe:

European markets closed lower on Thursday, after the IMF asked the Fed to delay their rate hike because it sees pockets of instability in the U.S. economy.

U.S:

U.S. markets tumbled on Thursday after the IMF strongly encouraged the Fed to not raise rates until 2016 because of economic conditions, making investors wonder if the economy is worse than they thought. DJIA:-170.69 17,905.88 S&P: -18.23 2,095.84 NASDAQ: -40.11 5,059.12

Word of The Day:

International Monetary Fund

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

Dinner or Drink:

Classic Rum-Brandy Punch

INGREDIENTS:

  • Peels of 4 lemons
  • 1 cup Fine-grained raw sugar
  • 8 oz. Fresh lemon juice, strained
  • 24 oz. VSOP cognac or Armagnac
  • 8 oz. Dark, strong Jamaican rum
  • 40 oz. Cold water
  • Garnish: Nutmeg
  • Glass: Punch

PREPARATION:
In a 1-gallon punch bowl, muddle the lemon peels with the sugar and let stand for 3 or 4 hours. Add the lemon juice and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Slide in a 1-quart block of ice and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg. Ladle into punch cups in 3-ounce portions. (This recipe makes about 30 servings.)

Like our drink today, click here for more.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend, Ya’ll!

 

 

 

Jun 4

News:

Touchdown…

Yahoo announced Wednesday it has struck an exclusive deal with the NFL to host the first free live global webcast of a regular-season game. The October 25th matchup will be between the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars, and will be played in London. The deal puts a feather in Yahoo’s cap, as they won the fight for digital rights against their more successful rivals Google and Facebook. Can we say “ad revenue?” For the NFL, the game will be an experiment toward understanding the economics of digital streaming, and toward gauging what interest the rest of the world has in American football.

Let’s Talk

Dish Network (DISH) and T-Mobile Inc., are in talks to merge, according to people familiar with the matters. The two sides are in the “formative stage” of an agreement as tough question like purchase price and how much cash and stock would be needed to finance the deal have yet to be determined. The two sides have agreed what the structure of the combined company will look like, with Dish Chief Executive Charlie Ergen becoming the combined company’s chairman and T-Mobile’s Chief Executive, John Lefere would serve as the company’s CEO. If the two companies can strike a deal it would be the latest multibillion-dollar combination of traditional television and the communications industry.

Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets closed mixed after brokers in China are starting to clamp down on margin financing for investors.

Europe:

European markets closed higher on Wednesday after the ECB kept their interest rate unchanged and there seemed to be a bit of progressive in the Greece debt drama.

U.S:

U.S. market closed higher on Wednesday after the private sector added 201,000 jobs, negotiation towards Greece’s debt drama seemed to be moving forward, and the Fed’s beige book confirmed growth is slow and steady. DJIA: +64.33 18,076.27 S&P: +4.47 2,114.07 NASDAQ: +22.71 5,099.23

Word of the Day:

Beige Book

An actual book released by the Federal Reserve eight times a year. The book has 13 section in total; 12 regional reports from each of the member Fed districts bank and one national summary drawn from the individual reports. The book gives a holistic view of just how the US overall economic is doing since it uses actual data from all 12 regions.

Dinner or Drink:

Apple Pie Bourbon Sweet Tea

3/4 cup sweetened tea

3 tablespoons Apple Pie-Infused Bourbon

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Ice

Club soda

Garnishes: apple slice, cinnamon stick

Combine sweetened tea, Apple Pie-Infused Bourbon, and fresh lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Cover with lid; shake vigorously until thoroughly chilled. Strain into a 10-oz. glass filled with ice. Top with club soda. Garnish, if desired.

4

News:

Cut The Cord…

On Tuesday, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) announced it will be shutting off thousands of employee voicemails that do not have direct contact with outside customers. Many of the nation’s banking giants such as J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup (C), and Bank of America (BAC), under pressure to cut costs and eliminate waste, are cutting back on convenience items like business cards, voicemails, and even calculators. These moves follow rounds of additional cost-cutting efforts like layoffs, relocation of back-office staff to less-expensive sites, and smaller bonuses.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs…

On Wednesday, payroll processor ADP released its monthly job report. According to ADP, last month the private sector added 201,000 jobs, well in line with experts’ forecast. May’s 201,000 jobs was up from 169,000 in May of last year. Next up, Friday’s Non-Farm Payroll.

Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets closed higher after economic reports showed signs of improvement in the Chinese services sector.

Europe:

European shares fell sharply on Tuesday after Greek debt talks seemed to have come to a standstill.

U.S:

U.S. stocks closed down slightly on Tuesday as investors await further details in Greece’s debt negotiations. DJIA: -28.43 18,011.94 S&P: -2.13 2109.60 NASDAQ: -6.40 5076.52

Word of The Day:

Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

An organization, founded in 1960, which consists of the world’s major oil-exporting nations. OPEC, as a cartel, aims to manage the supply of oil in an effort to set the price in the world market avoiding fluctuations which might affect the economies of both producing and purchasing countries.

Dinner or Drink:

Wild Turkey Punch

4 cup Water, divided

2 tbsp.  Sugar

4 Black tea bags

1 cup Fresh mint leaves

1.5 cup Wild Turkey Bourbon

Juice of half a lemon

Juice of half a lime

Garnish:  1 Mint sprig        Glass: Tall

In a large saucepan, boil 2 cups of water and the sugar.

Remove from the heat and add the tea bags.

Steep for 8 minutes and then discard the bags.

Add the remaining 2 cups of water.

Transfer to a pitcher and chill.

Add the mint and crush with a wooden spoon until fragrant.

Stir in the remaining ingredients.

Serve in tall glasses filled with ice.

Garnish each glass with a mint sprig.

 

 

 

Jun 2

News:

Chips…

Microchip giant Intel (INTC) announced that it will buy chip designer Altera (ALTR) for around $16.7 billion in cash. The deal comes after an earlier round of talks ended in April. Intel already partners with Altera to manufacture some high-end chips, while Altera has used Intel’s technology in the design of its chips under a long-term agreement reached in 2013. The transaction, likely the largest in Intel history, is the latest in the technology industry’s ongoing consolidation aimed at boosting revenue and profit. Altera shareholders will receive $54.00 per share, an 11% premium to Friday’s close of $48.85. The deal, still subject to shareholder approval, should close by the fourth quarter of this year.

Streaming Fruit…

Apple Inc. (APPL), is preparing to launch its new music stream service as soon as next week. The tech giant is betting it can persuades millions of people around the world to change how they listen to and pay for music for the second time in twenty years. The launch is expected to be announced at the company’s developers’ conference next week and is seen as a watershed moment for streaming music technology, as it moves from early adopters to more of the mainstream. The new service will cost $10 a month to stream songs, however unlike its rival Spotify, Apple will make only a handful of songs available for free listening. Shares of Apple continued their climb on Monday, closing up $0.25 to $130.53.

Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets closed mixed on Tuesday. Regional indices stumbled on a slew of central bank decision while Shanghai shrugged off liquidity pressure to go higher.

Europe:

European markets closed with mixed results on Monday, as investors weighed new economic data from the Eurozone and the continued economic turmoil in Greece.

U.S:

U.S. markets closed higher on the first trading day of June, as investors found encouragement from mixed second-quarter economic reports. DJIA: +29.69 18,040.37 NASDAQ: +12.90 5,082.93 S&P: +4.34 2,111.73

Word of Day:

Money Market Funds

An investible security whose objective is to earn interest for its shareholders while maintaining a net asset value of $1 a share. Money market fund’s are comprised of short-term (less than one year) high quality, liquid debt, and monetary securities. Money Market Funds can be purchased through mutual funds, brokerage firms, and banks.

Dinner or Drink:

Apple Business Cocktail

2 oz. NOLET’S Silver Dry Gin

1 oz.  Fresh apple juice

.5 oz. Fresh lime juice

.5 oz. Honey

Garnish: 1 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


 

Jun 1

News:

For Sale

Shares of health insurer Humana Inc. (HUM) surged 20% on Friday after The Wall Street Journal reported the company is exploring a possible sale. The move could trigger a round of mergers in an industry grappling with challenges and opportunities the federal health-care overhaul has created. Humana, who is currently working with Goldman Sachs on a possible sale, has received indication of take over interest from rival insurance giants Aetna and Cigna. Humana, is seen as a prize in the insurance industry because of its powerful Medicare franchise, which has been growing rapidly as baby boomers hit the age of eligibility and are opting into the company’s Medicare Advantage plans in droves. Share of Humana closed higher $36.24 to $214.65 on Friday.

New Plan

The New York Stock Exchange is preparing a plan to launch a midday auction for thinly traded companies. The new auction will make it easier to buy and sell the shares of thousands of listed companies in an effort to counter the midday trading slowdown and uneven liquidity plaguing U.S. stock markets. For investors, who are trying to buy and sell shares of smaller companies, a lack of liquidity (aka buyers or sellers) can mean a loss of money. The new auction should give retail and intuitional investors an opportunity to trade shares without unduly affecting prices while giving them the ability to buy and sell stock easily. The new auction has already won the blessing of the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) however, no date for the start of the new action has been announced.

Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets started their week off in the green after China manufacturing data showed a slightly increase in production last month.

Europe:

European markets tumbled on Friday, as the deadline for Greece to reach an agreement with their creditors creeps closer.

U.S:

U.S. markets tumbled on Friday after Q1 GDP contracted more than expected. DJIA: -114.44 18,010.68 NASDAQ: -27.95 5,070.03 S&P: -13.40 2,107.39

Word of The Day:

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

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).

Dinner or Drink:

The Green Beast

1 oz.  Pernod Absinthe

1 oz. Fresh lime juice

1 oz.  Simple syrup

4 oz. Water

 

Garnish: 1 Thin cucumber slices  Glass: Collins
Add all the ingredients to a Collins glass filled with ice

Garnish with cucumber slices and stir

(This recipe can be multiplied to fill a large punch bowl.)

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