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Dec 30

News:

OMartha

Macy’s (M) department stores is recalling 121,000 Martha Stewart cookware sets because a metal disk which  covers the frying pan’s rivets can pop off and hit consumers. The recall involves the 10-piece stainless steel cookware sets, available between January 2011 and September 2015. The Consumer Product Safety Commission warns consumers not to use the 8- and 10- inch frying pans from the cookware set after three injuries were reported as a result of the flying disks. Consumers can return the pans to Macy for a refund.

Cut…

DuPont (DD) announced it plans to cut 1,700 jobs in its home state of Delaware in early 2016. The move is part of $700 million in cost savings the company is pursuing ahead of its planned merger with Dow Chemical (DOW). The layoffs represent a quarter of DuPont’s Delaware based employees and comes as DuPont consolidates some of its scientific research operations and moves corporate functions to other locations which are closer to its customers. To soften the blow the company also announced that Wilmington will be the headquarters to one of the three planned spinoffs following the merger with Dow.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed mixed on Wednesday as a decline in oil prices hit investor sentiment.

Europe: European markets closed higher on Tuesday, boosted by a bounce back in oil prices and a higher close for Asian markets.

U.S: U.S. markets closed higher on Tuesday, led by the tech sector and some stabilization in the oil market. DJIA: +192.71 17,720.98 S&P: +21.86 2,078.36 NASDAQ: +66.95 5,107.94

Word of The Day:

Joint Venture (JV)

An agreement between two or more parties, to pool their resources for the purpose of accomplishing a specific business activity.

Dinner or Drink:

Happy New Year

¼ oz. brandy

¾ oz. ruby port

¾ oz. orange juice

4oz. Champagne

Shake brandy, port, and orange juice well over ice cubes in a shaker. Strain into a champagne flute, filled with champagne, and serve.

Dec 29

News:

On Fire

Amazon (AMZN) typically holds customer data close to its’s vest, but on Monday it let a few details slip out. According to the e-commerce giant, its Prime serve added 3 million new members in the third week of December. The new members bring the total number of Prime members into the “tens of millions”. Amazon also disclosed it had sold “millions” of its devices, doubling last year’s device sales. Among the companies devises, the Fire table computer, which was the best-selling, “most gifted”, and “most wished” for since its introduction 15 weeks ago.

Less Is More

Procter & Gamble is trying out the less is more idea with its Olay product line. In an effort to rejuvenate the line the company will eliminate a sixth of its Olay products including ache washes, facial scrubs, and skin treatments that do not match up with the anti-aging branding of the line. The new strategy is a notable reversal in the beauty industry, which relies heavily on new product roll out. The change in strategy is centered on the new theory, giving customers too many choices can hurt sales not boost sales. Boosting sales of the Olay line is top priority for P&G. The skin-care line generates over $2.5 billion in annual sales and has an 8% market share in the global facial skin –care market.

Markets:

Asia: Some Asian markets were closed on Tuesday, but the ones that were open closed higher as oil prices gained some traction.

Europe: European equities closed lower on Monday as failing oil prices dampened investors spirits.

U.S: U.S. stocks closed lower in light volume on Monday as declining oil prices weighted on investor sentiment. DJIA: -23.90 17,528.27 S&P: -4.49 2,056.50 NASDAQ: -7.51 5,040.98

Word of The Day:

Leverage

Leverage involves using borrowed funds to buy more assets, with the belief the income from the asset will be more than the cost of borrowing.

Dinner or Drink:

Naked Cosmo

1 ½ parts Skinnygirl Bare Naked Vodka

2 parts Cranberry Juice

Splash DeKuyper Triple Sec Liqueur

Splash Lime Juice

Lime Wedges

Cranberries

Shake with ice, pour into a martini glass and garnish with fresh lime wedge or cranberries.

Dec 24

News:

Violated

Hotel giant, Hyatt Hotels (H) announced Wednesday it found malicious software on its computer systems that processes customer payments. The discovery raises the possibility that hackers may have obtained sensitive information, like credit card numbers, from the hotel’s payment system. The resort chain is asking customers to carefully review their payment card statements despite the company not disclosing if any data had been stolen. Hyatt is the latest hotel chain to report a security breach. Hilton, Starwood, Mandarin Oriental, and Trump Collection have all previously acknowledge finding malware in their payment systems.

Markets:

Asia: Asian stocks closed mixed on Thursday despite a positive handoff by Wall Street.

Europe: European shares closed higher on Wednesday as investors cheered a recovery in oil prices and mining stocks.

U.S: U.S. stocks closed higher Wednesday led by a recovery in oil prices. DJIA: +185.34 17602.61 S&P: +25.23 2064.29 NASDAQ: +44.82 5045.93

Word of The Day:

Income Statement

A company’s financial statement which measures financial performance over a specific accounting period. Financial performance is assessed by providing a summary of how the business incurs its revenues and expenses through operating and non-operating activities. The statement also shows the net profit or loss over a fiscal quarter or year.

Dinner or Drink:

Christmas Elf’s Revenge

2 oz. Luxardo® white sambuca
1 oz. Goldschlager® cinnamon schnapps
1 oz. apple schnapps
20 ml ginger syrup
90 ml apple juice
1-inch cube ginger root
1 pinch cinnamon powder

 

Crush the ginger root and add the ginger syrup, apple juice, Sambuca and schnapps. Shake well and strain into a Pina colada glass, which should be about half full of crushed ice. Add the goldschlager then sprinkle the cinnamon powder over the top. Serve with a slice of apple floating on the top, and a straw.

Like our drink, click here for more.

We wish you and your family a wonderful and safe Christmas holiday!

Dec 22

News:

Part III…

Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) tumbled on Monday after U.S. health officials announced they are investigating the restaurant chain for a possible connection to an outbreak of a different strain of E. coli. Five people have reported becoming ill in Kansas, North Dakota, and Oklahoma. All five said they became ill within a week of eating at a Chipotle. A total of 53 people in nine states have taken ill in the outbreaks. Shares of the restaurant chain fell $19.07, closing at $522.01.

Rejected…

The Federal Trade Commission rejected an offer from Staples (SPLS) to sell $1.25 billion in contracts, in an attempt to easy monopoly fears associated with its bid to acquire rival Office Depot (OPD). The FTC had attempted to block the deal believing it will throttle competition crucial to keeping prices fair.  Both chains argue that competition has become tougher and the FTC is contradicting itself because it said the industry was highly competitive two years ago. Shares of both companies closed down slightly on Monday.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed mostly higher on Tuesday after China pledged to do more to stimulate growth.

Europe: European stocks closed lower on Monday as investors continued to eye the decline in oil prices.

U.S: U.S. stocks broke their losing streak closing higher on Monday as investors looked optimistically towards Tuesday’s GDP reading. DJIA: +123.07 17,251.62 NASDAQ: +45.84 4968.92 S&P: +15.60 2021.11

Word of The Day:

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

Dinner or Drink:

Minty Martini

  • 1 part DeKuyper® Crème de Menthe Green
  • 1 part DeKuyper® Crème de Cocoa White Liqueur
  • 1 part Kamora® Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 splash Half and Half

Shake and strain into a martini glass.

Dec 21

News:

Cargo Air

Amazon.com (AMZN) has held talks with air-cargo companies in attempt to lease airplanes and establishing its own freight operation. The Seattle-based online retailer is said to be seeking around 25 aircraft from cargo companies such as, Air Worldwide Holdings Group (ATSG). Amazon had teamed up with Air Worldwide Holdings Group in Wilmington, Ohio as part of a test using cargo aircraft to fly five cargo flights a week. Amazon’s desire to move into the air cargo business stems from the companies wish to take greater control of it shipping and package delivery operations. Currently, the online e-commerce giant uses Fed Ex, UPS, and the U.S. Postal Service to deliver goods to its customers. Creating their own cargo company to help delivery goods would help Amazon to avoid costly delays that are out of the company’s control.

It’s a Deal

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority has reached a preliminary agreement with bond insures to restructure the utility debt keeping it from defaulting, while granting debit relief. Some creditors have agreed to swap old debt from the power authority, known as Prepa, for less risky bonds. Insurers have also agreed to bolster the security of the new bonds, which will make it more likely to be rated investment grade. If the bonds can obtain an investment grade credit rating they can be purchased by a wider array of investors. The negotiations involving Prepa, which owes about $9 billion, could serve as a template for takes of other Puerto Rico debt.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed mostly lower on Monday after a bumpy hand off from Wall Street.

Europe: European markets closed lower on Friday after the Federal Reserve rally lost steam.

U.S: U.S. markets tumbled for a second day in a row as investors took their toys and ran on the last trading day before the holiday vaca start. DJIA: -367.29 17,128.55 NASDAQ: -79.47 4,923.08 S&P: -36.34 2,005.55

Word of The Day:

Window Dressing

No outfits here… A strategy used by mutual fund and portfolio managers near quarter or year end to improve the appearance of performance. To window dress, a fund manager will sell stocks with large losses and purchase high flying stocks therefore, improving the performance of the fund.

Dinner or Drink:

Fresh Air

1 oz. gin
1 oz. Bianco vermouth
1 oz. mint liqueur

 

Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a Collins glass filled with ice cubes and lemon slices, and serve.

 

Dec 18

News:

More Blush???

Private Equity firm, Cerberus Capital Management, has agreed to buy a stake in Avon’s North America business, take the company private, and invest in its parent company. As part of the transaction, Cerberus will acquire an 80.1 percent stake in Avon North America, which is worth $170 million. Avon North America will assume $230 million of long-term liabilities from Avon Products, who is contributing $100 million in cash to offset costs. Not everyone is excited about the move, Barrington Capital Group, which owns a 3 percent stake said Avon was sold at fire sale prices. Other investors didn’t feel the same, as shares of the company rose on Thursday. [Continue reading...]

Dec 17

News:

Finally

After seven long years the Federal Reserve has ended the days of zero interest rates. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve announced it will raise the fed-funds rate (the rate banks can borrow funds from the Federal Government overnight) to between 0.25% and 0.50%. The end of near zero rates marks a test of the economy to stand on its own two feet with less support from the central bank to help spur economy growth. According to the Fed, the future will include more rate hikes however, they will be gradual the Federal Reserve will still proceeding with caution. Investors seemed to like the news the economy is now stable as the Dow Jones added 224 points on Wednesday. [Continue reading...]

Dec 14

News:

Chemistry

Its official DuPont Co (DD) and Dow Chemical (DOW) will merge in a transaction that combines two longtime rivals and starts a new era of activist investing. The combined chemical giant, worth a combined $120 billon, will split into three separate companies. While the marriage was mostly arranged by both companies’ executives, they worked alongside activist investor Nelson Peltz. Peltz according to reports played a central role in helping plan and execute the deal. The involvement of Peltz in the deal is a first for an activist investor. In recent years the power of activist have become increasingly more powerful, forcing companies to do everything from selling assets to buying back stock however, this is the first time they have been in on helping structure a mega merger. [Continue reading...]

Dec 11

News:

Electrified…

Ford Motor Co. (F) announced it will introduce 13 new electric vehicles worldwide by 2020. A new updated Focus sedan with fast-charging capability and an estimated 100-mile range will go on sale late next year. The company also plans to introduce next year the Mondeo hybrid sedan and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid in China. Ford CEO Mark Fields said he company wants by 2020 40 percent of its global offering to come in electric versions, up from the current 13 percent. Currently, the auto giant sells electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid versions of its Focus, Fusion, C-Max, and Lincoln MKZ sedans. [Continue reading...]

Dec 9

News:

Plan B…

Yahoo (YHOO) has decided to scrap its plans to spin off its prized stake in China’s Alibaba Group (BABA). Instead the company may break off the rest of its business into a new company. The change in game plan comes after Yahoo’s board met several times last week to review the proposed Alibaba spin off and general state of the company. The board is still looking at alternatives to separate the Alibaba stake however, they are focusing on the potential of a reverse spin off. A reverse spin off would allow the company to transfer its assets and liabilities other than the Alibaba stake and form a new company. The end result….two separate publically traded companies. [Continue reading...]

Dec 8

News:

Cup of Joe

European Investment Company, JAB Holding Co., announced Monday it will purchase Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR) for $13.9 billion in the biggest coffee deal on record. JAB will purchase shares of the single-serve coffee pod company at a 78% premium. Shares of Keurig Green Mountain have been on a downward spiral over the last year amid troubled product launches and other challenges. The acquisition is a doubling down on coffee for JAB, whose other assets included luxury brands Bally and Jimmy Choo shoes along with beauty-products maker Coty. The company is betting on Keurig’s technology and its reach in the U.S. to help propel JAB into a stronger rival for competitors like Nestle, the world’s largest packaged-coffee company. [Continue reading...]

Dec 7

News:

Just say NO

Norfolk Southern Corporation (NSC) soundly rejected Canadian Pacific Railway’s $28 billion move to merge the two railroad companies. According to Norfolk Southern a merger of the company would be a poor fit because the two serve separate regions that only connect at five points, severely limiting the opportunities for operating synergies. Canadian Pacific’s interest in Norfolk comes at a time when the railroad sector is suffering due to a decrease in volume from the industry’s biggest business, coal transport. To combat the decline Norfolk is trying to lure away business from trucking companies, such as auto transportation and consumer goods. Shares off Norfolk closed lower on Friday. [Continue reading...]

Dec 4

News:

And the number is…..

On Friday, the Department of Labor released its monthly NFP jobs report. According to the report the economy overall added 211,000 jobs in November beating analyst expectations. The unemployment rate is currently at 5.0%. Now we will all wait for the Federal Reserve’s December meeting to see if today’s reports will seal a rate hike this year.

You’re In Trouble

Fast food giant, Mickey D’s  (MCD)  is being investigated by the European Union for receiving a sweet tax deal from Luxembourg which resulted in the company having to not pay any corporate taxes despite large profits. EU antitrust officials said Thursday the Luxembourg deal may have breached state aid rules, which help keep a level playing field for businesses across the 28 member states. According to the EU the deal struck between McDonald and Luxembourg gave the company an unfair advantage which was not available to other companies in the region. Multinational companies in Europe pay taxes to the country where they have their regional headquarters located, which creates jobs for the region. Countries have long competed to lure the big companies, including giving them huge tax breaks. This has resulted in some companies paying little to no taxes overall helping their bottom lines look good. McDonald’s is not the first company to be investigated. In October, the EU demanded Starbucks and Fiat to repay up to 30 million euros ($34 million) in back taxes.

Markets:

Asia: Asian equities slumped on Friday, following yesterday’s global sell-off after the ECB’s monetary measures fell short and comments from Fed head Yellen point to a December rate hike.

Europe: European stocks tumbled on Thursday after the ECB’s next round of stimulus fell short of investors expectations.

U.S: U.S. stocks lost ground on Thursday as investors reacted to the news from the ECB and wait anxiously for Friday’s NFP report. DJIA: -252.01 17,477.67 S&P: -29.89 2049.62 NASDAQ: -85.70 5,037.53

Word of the Day:

Income Statement

A company’s financial statement which measures financial performance over a specific accounting period. Financial performance is assessed by providing a summary of how the business incurs its revenues and expenses through operating and non-operating activities. The statement also shows the net profit or loss over a fiscal quarter or year.

Dinner or Drink:

Holiday Cocktail

1/2 oz. Cointreau® orange liqueur
1/2 oz. vodka
1 oz. cranberry juice
3 oz. Champagne

 

Mix Cointreau, Vodka and Cranberry juice in shaker with ice.

Strain into glass, top with champagne.

Garnish with fresh cranberries and/or orange slice.

 

Have a safe and wonderful weekend, Ya’ll!

Dec 2

News:

How many????

On Wednesday, private payroll company ADP released its monthly jobs report. According to the report the private sector added 217,000 jobs in November beating analyst expectations. This is the first of two jobs reports out this week. The second, Non-Farm Payroll, comes out on Friday. [Continue reading...]

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