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Aug 31



Kroger (KR) is tapping in-store beer stations in its latest push to drive customer traffic. Starting this fall, customers at select Kroger stores in Cincinnati will be able to bring in their own growlers to fill with craft beers fresh from in-store taps. The Cincinnati stores join beer stations in Arizona, Ohio, and Georgia.  Kroger will sell and fill 32-ounce and 64-ounce growlers for most beers and will offer 32-ounce fills for some harder to find beers. Pints and flights for tasting are also available in the store for purchase. Kroger’s beer taps have helped elevate the chain and put it front and center on discerning customer’s radar for quality offering.

We Own You…

On Friday, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRKa) disclosed it has bought a $4.48 billion stake in oil refiner Phillips 66 (PSX), rebuilding a bet the company made in the energy industry before oil prices started to fall. Berkshire once held a large stake in the Houston-based company, but shed nearly two –thirds of its shares when it swapped $1.35 billion shares for a chemical business that it folded into its Lubrizol unit. This is not Buffet’s first rodeo in the energy sector as he amassed a $3.45 billion stake in Exxon Mobil Cop which he sold in last year’s fourth quarter.


Asia: Asian equites closed mostly lower on Monday amid talk that Beijing will halt its controversial market intervention.

Europe: European markets closed flat on Friday as investors took a break after a week of volatility.

U.S: U.S markets closed flat on Friday as investors were undecided on how to interpret comments from Federal Reserve officials. DJIA: -11.83 16642.94 NASDAQ: +15.62 4828.33 S&P: +1.83 1988.85

Word of The Day:


The collection of stocks, bonds, cash, mutual funds, ETFs, and other investments that an investor owns.

Dinner or Drink:

Beer Breezer

2 oz vodka
12 oz. Carlsberg® Special Brew lager
2 dashes Tabasco® sauce
1 pinch celery salt

Add freezer chilled vodka to frosted glass, add tabasco and celery salt, top up with very cold very strong lager.

Aug 28


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A computer glitch is preventing hundreds of mututal funds and exchange traded funds from providing investors with the values of their holdings and complicating trading among some of the most widely held investments. The glitch, which was not caused by this week’s market volatility, stemmed from a breakdown earlier in the week at bank of New York Mellon, the largest fund custodian in the world. A slew of big money managers and funds were affected, including Goldman Sachs, Guggenheim, and Federated Investors. The breakdown has caused ETF’s to become more costly to trade, hindered the ability of investors to trade accurately in and out of popular investment vehicles , and had forced funds to scurry to price securities. [Continue reading...]

Aug 26


Help Wanted

Looking for a job? Chipotle Mexican Grill announced the burrito chain will hire 4,000 new employees on September 9. The company has designated that day as National Career Day and plans to hold interviews for 60 applicants only between 8 and 11 AM in each U.S. restaurant location. The majority of the positions will be entry-level crew jobs, whose tasks range from taking order to preparing food. Applicants need not have specific experience to apply for one of the 4,000 jobs as hiring will be based on Chipotle’s “13 characterizes” like smart, happy, high energy, hospitable, or respectful. Currently Chipotle employees more than 60,000 people and has promoted more than 10,000 people into management roles in the last year.

Electric Avenue

The third-largest U.S. utility owner, Southern Co, has agreed to buy natural-gas distributor AGL Resources for $ 8 billion in cash. The deal will help Southern Co, move from “un cool” coal to in demand heating and power plant fuel. Shareholders of AGL Resource will receive $66 for each shares they own. The purchase is the largest on record for Southern, which has been increasing its gas use over coal to supply its 4.5 million electricity customers in four Southeastern states.


Asia: Asian market closed mostly lower on Wednesday, as investor confidence remains fragile despite fresh monetary stimulus.

Europe: European markets closed higher after the Bank of China cut its reserve requirement for banks in hopes it will stimulate more borrowing by companies.

U.S: It was another bumpy ride for U.S markets on Wednesday. Stocks opened higher only to lose steam and tumble in the last hour of trading as panic and doubt began to creep in again. DJIA: -204.91 15,666.44 S&P: -25.60 1,867.61 NASDAQ: -19.76 4,506.48

Word of The Day:

Credit Risk

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

Dinner or Drink:

Mexican Martini

2 oz. tequila
1 1/2 oz. Cointreau® orange liqueur
2 oz. sweet and sour mix
1 oz. lime juice
2 oz. orange juice
1 splash Sprite® soda
2 olives


Pour all ingredients into a large cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into a large cocktail/martini glass (8+ ounces) with a salt rim. Add two olives on a spear, and serve.

Aug 24


Panic In The Streets…

Friday, U.S. stocks suffered their worst losses in four years ending a bruising week. Growing concern about China’s economy pushed shares in the U.S. and Europe into what money managers call a “correction”. The Dow Jones closed down over 500 points, suffering its fourth consecutive day of declines. Other U.S indexes suffered the same fate, with the NASDAQ posting its worst one-day percentage decline since 2011. Friday’s massive selloff didn’t just take out the U.S. markets, benchmark indexes in London and Frankfurt recorded their largest two-week percentage declines since 2011, leaving both in correction territory. The sell-off began early on Friday as economic reports showed China’s manufacturing sector grew at the slowest pace in six year, exports for August were softer-than-anticipated, and the countries industrial output and retail sales continued their declines. China’s news was followed by Deere trimming their forecast for the rest of the year due to the continuing decline of commodity prices stemming from oversupply. The news finally pushed investors to give into their fears of slowing global growth and run for the hills. Friday’s global tumble has analyst predicting the Federal Reserve will hold off on raising interest rates until their December meeting.

Not So Green

Farm Equipment makers Deere & Co.’s (DE) announced Friday, profit fell 40% in the latest quarter as weak crop prices continued to curb farmers’ appetite for new equipment, leaving U.S. dealers with a glut of used models. Deere, the world’s largest seller of tractors and harvesting combines, also announced it trimmed back its profit and sales forecasts. The company predicts cash receipts from farming in the U.S., a key driver for equipment sales, will fall 7% this year and will likely slip again in 2016 suggesting another year of weak equipment sales.  Recent lower crop prices brought on by record harvests in the U.S, along with softening demand from overseas have cut into farmers’ incomes over the past year, reducing interest in buying new equipment. Shares of Deere ended Friday lower $7.36 closing at $83.29.


Asia: European markets extended losses on Monday, as the selloff in stock markets around the world continued.

Europe: European stocks markets crashed on Friday, following U.S stocks tumbling as worse-the-expected Chinese economic data and a sharp drop in oil prices spooked traders.

U.S: U.S. markets plunged on Friday as investors finally gave into their global growth fears. DJIA: -530.94 16,459.75 NASDAQ: -171.45 4,706.04 S&P: -64.84 1,970.89

Word of the Day:


A negative reverse moment of at least 10% in a stock, bond, commodity or index to adjust for overvaluation. Corrections are generally temporary price declines which interrupt an uptrend in the market or an asset. The duration of a correction is shorter than a bear market or recession however, they can be precursor to either.

Dinner or Drink:

Bloody Bull

1 oz. vodka

1/2 glass tomato juice

1/2 glass beef bouillon

1 slice lime

lemon wedge


Pour vodka, tomato juice, and beef bouillon over ice in a highball glass and stir. Add the slice of lime and the wedge of lemon and serve.

Aug 21


I want my Cinnabon, Now…

Focus Brands has announced it will roll out delivery service for all its brands including Carvel, Cinnabon, Auntie Annie’s, Moe’s Southwest Grill, McAlister’s Deli and Schlotzsky’s. Focus promises to deliver your order in less than an hour, thanks to the company’s partnership with Postmates, an app and web platform. There is no minimum purchase however, depending on how far your Cinnabon has to travel and whether surge fees are in effect, your order could get pricey. The new delivery service will launch to 34 locations nationwide including Atlanta, New York City, Dallas, and Austin. Focus brands joins Yum! Brands, Chipotle, and McDonalds who have all launched delivery service in the last month.   [Continue reading...]

Aug 20


Fed Talk…

Wednesday, the Federal Reserve released the minutes of their July 28-29 meeting. The minutes showed officials appeared to be moving closer to their first interest rate hike in nearly a decade but expressed concern over wages, inflation, and the significant slowdown in China. Fed officials believed they are close to achieving their goals on employment however, they were split whether inflation had risen enough to justify a rate increase. Federal officials also believe the big drop in the Chinese stock market would have limited implications for growth prospects in the world’s second largest economy. However, the Federal Reserve meeting occurred before Chinese officials devalued their currency and caused global financial markets to suffer steep losses. [Continue reading...]

Aug 19


Wally World

Tuesday, Walmart Stores (WMT) announced they will cut their annual earnings outlook for the rest of the year. Currency fluctuations, higher wages, investments in overhauling stores, and peeps stealing merchandise are all cutting into the company’s profits. The world’s largest retailer reported an 11.4 percent drop in its second-quarter profit, well below analyst expectations. Walmart over the last several months has been doing a number of things to improve its bottom line. The company has increased spending for its online operation to between $1.2 billion and $1.5 billion this year. Walmart has started opening a string of fulfilment centers dedicated to e-commerce which should speed up delivery and put more items in one box. The company is also improving its pricing and selection, as well as beefing up its customer service. Shares of Walmart fell $2.43 to close at $69.48. [Continue reading...]

Aug 17



Frontier Airlines no longer provides a toll-free 800 number for its customers to call on. Discontinuing the toll-free number will save the company around $160,000 a month and nearly $2 million a year. Frontier’s decision to discontinue the number comes amid its transitions from a traditional discount carrier to an ultra-low cost one. Under the airlines new ultra low cost model, the airline charges bare-bones fares but has fees for everything from carry-on bags to seat assignments. [Continue reading...]

Aug 14


Second Home…

Sesame Street is going mainstream. Under a new deal between Sesame Street and HBO, starting this fall HBO will become the first stop for new espisodes before they appear on their traditional PBS home. The agreement will also nearly double the number of new episodes the beloved children’s series produces yearly to 35 from 18.  The move is the latest from HBO to better positions itself against its competitors like Netflix and Amazon. [Continue reading...]

Aug 13


Cut The Ketchup

Kraft Heinz announced Wednesday it is cutting 2,500 jobs in North America, more than 5% of its global work force, as the company aims to slash at least $1.5 billion from the company’s annual budget. The cuts will include jobs in both the U.S. and Canada, including 700 employees in its Chicago-area headquarters. The company didn’t say where the remaining 1,800 cuts would come from however, they did say the cuts would come from salaried employees. Kraft Heinz, like other big food companies, face an uphill battle to increase sales with conventional packaged foods that are losing traction among U.S consumers. [Continue reading...]

Aug 12



Capital One Financial Corp (COF) announced the company will buy General Electrics (GE) health-care financing business for $9 billion, marking a new direction for the credit card company.  The purchase will greatly expand Capital One’s position in the booming health-care industry, where currently it’s a small fish in a big pond. As part of the deal, the company will take over $8.5 billion worth of GE’s existing health-care loans. So far, the deal is the latest piece in GE’s dismantling. With the sale, GE will have sold off roughly $78 billion of financial assets towards the goal of shrinking its banking business by $100 billion this year. Shares of both Capital One GE, along with the broader market, closed lower on Tuesday. [Continue reading...]

Aug 11


Alphabet Soup…

Google (GOOGL) unveiled Monday, a new sweeping reorganization that will separate its highly profitable search and advertising business from fledgling lines of business within the company. As part of the restructuring Google, YouTube, Android mobile software and other Web-based products will all fall under the umbrella of new holding company, Alphabet. Investors have long urged Google to be more transparent about R&D (Research and Development) spending and the new holding company structure should offer more visibility into all the company’s priorities.  Current Google head Larry Page, will take the helm as chief executive of Alphabet while Sunder Pichai will become the new CEO of Google.  The move will give Google the ability to differentiate between its core business and other areas the company is exploring longer term, like health care and driverless car. The differentiation between lines of business should provide greater transparence over where the company is spending its money, which in turn could provide higher stock prices. Shares of Google jumped 7% in aftermarket trading on Monday. [Continue reading...]

Aug 10


In With The New…

PepsiCo Inc.’s (PEP) new version of its diet soda will arrive in stores nationwide this week. Earlier this year the soda giant announced it would change the recipe for its Diet Pepsi products to exclude aspartame, as public concern swelled over the artificial sweetener. The new version will ditch aspartame in favor of sweetener’s Splenda and Ace K, however both the new alternatives are still artificial. Some marketing experts’ wonder whether the new diet Pepsi recipes will help reversing slumping sales in the diet cola market. Many believe the company’s move was partly designed to make it look like they were listening to costumers concerns. Only time will tell if consumers put their money where their mouth is. Shares of the company closed down $0.05 to $99.10. [Continue reading...]

Aug 7


Jobs, Jobs, Jobs…

On Friday, the U.S Labor Department released their monthly NFP report. According to the report the economy added 215,000 jobs in July, exactly what analyst had predicted. The unemployment rate remains at 5.3%. [Continue reading...]

Aug 6



Macy’s, Inc. (M) announced it plans to expand its same-day delivery service for online orders, surpassing Amazon (AMZN) in the number of locations the same service is offered. The company will also offer same day deliver to some of its Bloomingdale’s locations. With the new expansion, Macy’s will be going head to head with online market leader, Amazon Prime, who offers same-day delivery to Amazon Prime customers in 14 metro areas. Same day delivery is now available  in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, New York/Western Long Island, Orange County, Calif., Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Seattle, San Francisco, the greater San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and Northern New Jersey. Shares of Macy closed higher $0.34 at $68.91. [Continue reading...]

Aug 5


Jobs, Jobs, Jobs…

On Wednesday morning, private payroll company, ADP released its monthly jobs report. According to the report the private sector added 185,000 jobs in July. The report also revised the number of jobs added in June downward by 8,000 to 229,000. Next stop on the job’s train, Friday’s release of the Department of Labor’s Non-Farm Payroll report. [Continue reading...]

Aug 4



On Monday, A Puerto Rico government agency defaulted on its bonds, paying only $628,000 on the roughly $58 million in interest and principle that had been due.  The partial payment has caused serious concerns over the Commonwealth’s liquidity and its ability to restructure its debt. The non-payment is another setback for the country, who has struggled with a decade of economic stagnation and high unemployment, underscoring the commonwealth’s effort to prioritize payment as it attempts to preserve its cash and avoid a government shutdown. [Continue reading...]

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