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Nov 30

News:

You’re Out

Shares of Disney (DIS) dragged down the Dow Jones average on Friday after the media and entertainment giant announced ESPN had lost 3 million subscribers in the last year. As of October 3, the sports channel had 92 million subscribers compared to around 100 million, the lowest total since 2006. This is the second straight year of substantial declines. Obviously, ESPN has lost subscribers in the past however, it was the number that rattled investors this time. A growing number of consumers are opting to cut the cord with traditional cable TV bundles opting instead for less expensive groups of channels. Now it appears the phenomena is hitting the coveted sports channels, causing investors to worry more about the potential losses of subscribers and revenue in the near future.  Shares of Disney fell $3.54 to $115.13, its biggest one-day loss since August. [Continue reading...]

Nov 25

News:

Foul Fowl…

The CDC announced Tuesday, at least 19 cases of E. coli have been reported and linked to rotisserie chicken salad made and sold in Costco Wholesale stores. The majority of the cases reported have occurred in four Western states, including Colorado, and Washington. No deaths have been reported. State health departments, the CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are working closely with Costco to determine the specific ingredient in the chicken salad which caused the contamination.

Show Me The Money

The investigation into potential foreign bribery by Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) has uncovered possible evidence of misconduct by the retailer in Brazil. Federal prosecutors are looking into $500,000 in payments they believe ultimately went to an individual hired by the company to obtain government permits the company need to build two stores in Brazil, between 2009 and 2012. Prosecutors are zeroing in on whether senior employees at Wal-Mart in Brazil knew of and approved the suspected payments. The investigation is in in the early stages and it isn’t clear if anyone will be charged.

Markets:

Asia: Asian shares closed mostly lower on Wednesday as fresh geopolitical fears had investors playing it safe.

Europe: European shares closed lower after Turkey shot down a Russian jet.

U.S: U.S. stocks closed slightly positive on Wednesday, after investor juggled geological events against an upward revision of Q3 GDP. DJIA: +19.51 17812.19 S&P: +2.55 2089.14 NASDAQ: +0.33 5102.81

Dinner or Drink:

Pecan Creamtini

  • 2 parts Pinnacle® Pecan Pie Vodka
  • 1/2 part DeKuyper® Amaretto Liqueur
  • 1 part Half and Half
  • Cinnamon, Ground

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a dusting of fresh ground cinnamon.

We are thankful for you, our readers! We wish all of you and your families a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!

Nov 24

News:

Cracked

Automaker Ford has ordered a massive recall of its 2010 and 2011 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan sedans due to a faulty fuel-tank valve which could case leaks and lead to increased fire risk. The recall involves 451,865 vehicles in North America. Some of the vehicles have a purge vale which can cause the pressure to change inside the gas tank. As the pressure changes, a crack can develop in the top of the tank, allowing fuel to leak. To fix the issue, dealers will update the powertrain control model software, inspect the valve, and check the fuel tanks for leaks. All of the affected vehicles were built at Ford’s plant in Hermosillo, Mexico. So far Ford has not received any reports of accidents, injuries, or fires linked to the defect.

Love me some, Pharma

Activist investor William Ackman and his firm Pershing Square Capital Management disclosed they increased their stake in drug company Valeant Pharmaceuticals International to 9.9%. The move comes after the hedge fund manager said he would take advantage of the beaten-down market for the stock to build up his position in the company. Valeant, based in Canada, went from Wall Street darling to outcast last month when its accounting practices where questioned. Since then, the company has conducted its own internal investigation and found no evidence of impropriety. The company has also formed a board committee to look at its relationship, which it terminated last month, with a specialty pharmacy that distributed its drug.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed mixed on Tuesday, following a lower finish on Wall Street.

Europe: European equities traded lower Monday as investors reacted to price fluctuations in the oil markets.

U.S:  U.S. shares closed lower on Monday after investors took some profits on the table after last week’s rally. DJIA: -31.13 17792.68, S&P: 2.58 2086.59, NASDAQ: -2.44 5102.48

Word of the Day:

Quick Ratio

An indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to use its most liquid assets to meet its short-term obligations.

Dinner or Drink:

Ambrosia Cocktail

3 navel oranges, peeled and sectioned

1 red grapefruit, peeled and sectioned

1/2 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into cubes

1 1/2 tablespoons orange liqueur or orange juice

1/4 cup turbinado sugar

1 (750-milliliter) bottle sparkling rosé wine

1/2 cup frozen grated coconut, thawed and toasted

8 maraschino cherries

1. Toss together oranges, grapefruit, and pineapple; set aside.

2. Pour orange liqueur into a shallow saucer. Dip rims of 8 glasses in liqueur; dip rims in sugar, and let stand 30 minutes to dry completely.

3. Spoon fruit mixture evenly into glasses. Add rosé wine, filling three-fourths full; top with grated coconut and cherries. Serve immediately.

 

Like or drink today, click here for more.

 

Nov 20

News:

We’re outta here… maybe…

United Health Care (UNH), the nation’s largest health insurer, warned Thursday it may pull out of the Obamacare exchanges after 2016 due to low enrollment and high usage costing the company millions of dollars. The possible move would force millions of people to find other coverage. UnitedHealth downgraded its earning forecasting blaming low growth projections and the federal health care law for giving individuals too much flexibility to change plans. According to analyst, customers who purchase insurance through the public exchanges have typically been heavy users of their plans, draining insurer’s profits. The move has many wondering if other insurance companies will follow United Health Care’s lead and bow out of the health care exchange. Shares of United Health Care closed lower on Thursday. [Continue reading...]

Nov 19

News:

Splitsville….

ConAgra Foods Inc. (CAG) announced it will split itself for the second time this year, extending the transformation of the company by spinning off a line of frozen-potato products with nearly $3 billion in annual sales. The split of Lamb Weston, which sells foods to restaurants and other commercial customers, will leave ConAgra to focus on its dozens of grocery-store brands, such as Peter Pan, PAM cooking spray, Hebrew Nation hot dogs, and Gulden’s mustard. The split will enable both business, called Conagra Brands and Lamb Weston, to better focus and generate stronger growth. [Continue reading...]

Nov 18

News:

Deal

On Tuesday, Greece reached an agreement with European creditors on economic measures the country will need to introduce to get its next batch of bailout money. The Greek government has made progress implementing a number of reforms required by its third international bailout, it has also balked at a few, notably a law making it easier to evict people who are behind on their mortgages. Greece’s next batch of funds will include a 10 billion-euro ($10.7 billion) cash injection for the counties crippled banks. Healing the banks is the most pressing concerns for the Greek government, as they remain in bad shape after the crisis that played out in the first half of this year. The banks desperately need cash quickly to start operating normally again. Greece’s next round of funding is not a slam dunk yet, but they seem to be on the right path. [Continue reading...]

Nov 16

News:

Hotel California

Marriott International (MAR) announced Monday it has agreed to buy rival Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (HOT) in a deal worth $12.2 billion. Shareholders of Starwood will receive 0.92 shares of Marriott along with $2 in cash for each share owned. Separately, Starwood shareholders will receive $7.80 a share as a result of the spinoff of Starwood’s timeshare business and subsequent merger with Interval Leisure Group. The merger between the two giant hotel chains will create a more comprehensive portfolio with more than 5,500 hotels with 1.1 million rooms world-wide. [Continue reading...]

Nov 13

News:

On Demand

Colonel Sanders is coming to your home: KFC (YUM) announced it will start delivering its buckets of fried goodness to customers in two U.S. cities. Starting Thursday, customers in Los Angeles and San Francisco will be able to order their favorite chicken dish and have it delivered. KFC is working with online delivery service DoorDash to delivery its chicken, biscuits and coleslaw to hunger customers. Customers can order their chicken on demand through DoorDash’s app or website. Depending on a customer’s location a delivery fee between $4.99 and $6.99 will be applied, and prices of some items will be higher than those found in the restaurants. All menu items normally found in KFC will be available to order. If all goes well, the company plans on extended the delivery service to Houston by end of the year and more cities in the near future. [Continue reading...]

Nov 12

News:

Sale

Shares of Macy’s plunged on Wednesday after the retailer report third-quarter profit and sales declined. The big box retailed also reported it will examine real estate options for some of its most prized stores, including its flagship in Herald Square. Macy’s profits dropped 46% to $118 million during the quarter ending on October 31, down from $217 million in the same period last year. Sales slipped 5% to $5.9 billion, missing analyst expectations of $6.1 billion. As a results of the disappointing performance, the company lowered its profit and sales guidance for the year. Shares of the company closed lower 14% to $40.44, making it the worst-performing stock in the Standard & Poor’s 500. [Continue reading...]

Nov 11

News:

More Beer

It’s official… Anheuser-Busch InBev NV has formally agreed to buy SABMiller Plc for £69.8 billion ($105.5 billion). The deal will create a brewing behemoth that will sell roughly one in three beers world-wide. To help gain regulatory approval, SABMiller will sell its 58% share in Molson Coors Brewing Co, as well as the Miller portfolio outside the U.S for $12 billion. If the marriage can get the green light from regulators, it would bring AB InBev brands such as Budweiser, Corona, and Stella Artois together with SABMiller’s Grolsch and Peroni and give the combined company a major presences in the U.S., China, Europe, Africa, and Latin America. [Continue reading...]

Nov 10

News:

Flow

Bank of America (BOA) is the latest financial firm to temporarily cut off the flow of information to several websites and mobile application that aggregate consumer financial data. The sites, think mint.com, are popular with consumers but cause a security concern for banks. Consumers have been flocking to aggregator’s sites as a way to help them keep track of numerous financial relationships in one place. The issue between the banks and aggregators came to a head recently when J.P. Morgan Chase recently restricted customers of mint.com and Quicken, two popular Intuit products, from seeing information from their own bank accounts through the products. [Continue reading...]

Nov 9

News:

Too Big

Global financial regulators are pushing new rules that aim to stop big banks from becoming “too big to fail”, in an attempt to prevent a repeat of the 2008 taxpayer bailout. The plan, dawn up by the Financial Stability Board in Basel Switzerland, aims to ensure banks maintain a sizeable financial cushion that could absorb large losses without threatening a crisis in the broader banking system. The new standards set by the Board change the way banks fund themselves to weather a storm, adding a requirement that could force firms to raise more than $1 trillion in new securities and possibly but a damper on profits. The new rules will apply to the world’s top 30 banks, such as JP Morgan Chase, HSBC Holding, and Deutche Bank, who are considered to be systemically important. A bank is considered systemically important if its failure poses a threat to the overall economy. Lenders have until January 2019 to comply with the Board’s financial cushion of at least 16% of their risk-weighted assets in equity and debt that could be written off their books. The minimum will increase to 18% by January 2022. [Continue reading...]

Nov 6

News:

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

On Friday, the Labor Department released their monthly jobs report for October. According to the report, the economy added  271,000 jobs beating analyst estimates by a mile. The unemployment rate ticked lower to 5.0%.  Only time will tell if the number will push the Federal Reserve into a rate hike at their December meeting. [Continue reading...]

Nov 5

News:

Excuse Me… Do You Have Any Grey Poupon???

Food giant Kraft Heinz Co. (KHC) announced Wednesday, the company plans to eliminate 2,600 jobs by closing seven manufacturing plants, in an effort to reduce overlap and excess capacity. The affected plants make everything from Maxwell House to Velveeta to Grey Poupon. Production in the seven plants, which are located in California, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Canada, will begin to shift to other North America factories over the next 12 to 24 months. The company is hoping the moves will allow it to become more competitive globally and accelerate grow. The company also announced it would move its headquarters to downtown Chicago, while also maintaining a second headquarters in Pittsburg, where Heinz was based. Shares of Kraft Heinz closed lower on Wednesday. [Continue reading...]

Nov 4

News:

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs….

Private payroll provider, ADP, released their monthly private sector jobs report on Wednesday. According to the report 182,000 jobs were added in October. Next stop on the job’s report train, Friday’s NFP report. [Continue reading...]

Nov 3

News:

Sold

ConAgra has agreed to sell its struggling private-label business to Treehouse Inc. for $2.7 billion, making Treehouse the largest maker of U.S brand groceries. TreeHouse, was formed a decade ago in a spinoff from Dean Foods. The deal put Treehouse, maker of foods like oatmeal and boxed macaroni and cheese, in greater limited shelf space completion with branded food, like Kraft.  ConAgra, announced plans to exit the private brand business in June and is selling the business at a loss, having paid nearly twice the price to when it originally acquire it. [Continue reading...]

Nov 2

News:

World Domination

Visa Inc. (V) announced it will buy its European counterpart Visa Europe for up to €21.2 billion ($23.4 billion) in cash and stock. The deal will bring all of Visa’s global operations under one roof. For years, Visa Inc. and Visa Europe were one big happy family called Visa International Service Association. That changed in 2007, when the company decided to move from a bank-owned cooperative to publically traded company. According to Visa, the benefits of the deal, including revenue synergies, cost savings, and increased share repurchases, will begin adding to the bottom line when the next fiscal year begins in March. The deal is expected to close in Q2 of next year. [Continue reading...]

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