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Mar 30


Jobs, Jobs, Jobs…

Payroll firm, ADP, released its monthly jobs report on Wednesday. According to the report the private sector added 200,000 jobs in March. All eyes now turn to Friday when the Department of Labor will release its monthly jobs report. [Continue reading...]

Mar 28


Not So Bad

According to the Commerce Department growth in the U.S. didn’t slow down as much as previously thought. According to Friday’s report the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) grew at a seasonally adjusted 1.4% in the fourth quarter. That was an upward revision from last month’s estimate 1% growth. The revision reflected better consumer spending on services and reinforces the domestic economy is stable and growing. There was some potentially bad news in the report. Corporate profits dropped in the fourth quarter as overseas uncertainty took its toll on manufacturing, energy, and financial markets.


Japan’s NTT Data Corp has agreed to buy’s Dell Inc.’s information-technology-services division for $3.05 billion. The purchase is just the latest for Japanese companies looking overseas for acquisitions as they face sluggish demand at home. For NTT the deal will mark one of the largest foreign buyouts for the company, whose operations span fixed-line and mobile telecommunications and IT services. Dell, on the other hand will receive some much needed moolah as they are in the process of closing a deal with storage vendor EMC Corp.


Asia: Asian markets closed mixed on Monday as investors came back from a long holiday weekend.

Europe: European markets closed sharply lower on Thursday on fresh concerns over U.S interest rate hikes.

U.S: U.S. stocks ended lower on Friday as the U.S dollar gave back some its gains. DJIA: +13.14 17,515.73 NASDAQ: +4.64 4,773.50 S&P: -0.77 2,035.94

Word of the Day:

Seasonal Adjustment

A statistical technique used to even out periodic swings in statistics or movements in supply and demand related to changing seasons.

Dinner or Drink:

Ski Season

2 scoops of ice cream
2 oz. half-and-half
1 oz. cherry juice
3 oz. Frangelico® hazelnut liqueur
3 cherries

Frappe all the above ingredients EXCEPT the cherries pour into the Mason jar and top with the cherries.

Mar 24


Bye, Bye

Hedge fund Starboard Value LP announced Thursday morning it will nominate nine directors to Yahoo’s board, making good on a threat made this year that it would seek to shake up the board if it felt directors weren’t making changes fast enough. The move sets the stage for a battle over the future of the faded Web giant. According to Starboard Yahoo’s board and management have continually failed to live up to their promises and shouldn’t be trusted to make decisions on whether Yahoo should remain an independent company. Starboard’s move will add pressure to both Yahoo and its CEO Marissa Meyer as they attempt to turn around Yahoo. The board has already launched the sale process for its core business, while Meyers has been seeking to reignite its results through costs and improve its focus on areas including search and content.

Would You Like Fries With That?

Yum brands, owner of KFC and Taco Bell, is considering selling a stake of its Chinese operations as part of a plan to spin off the once fast growing business. Yum has started discussions with several financial firms about selling as much as a 20% stake, valued at $10 billion. In return for the moolah, the buyer would receive the rights to brand KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell which aren’t yet open in the country. Yum announced its wish to spin off its Chinese operations back in October in hopes it could insolate its core U.S. business from the turbulence stemming from food safety scares and stronger competition. Shares of YUM closed higher in Wednesday trading.


Asia: Asian markets closed down on Thursday amid fresh declines in oil prices and concerns that the Federal Reserve will raise rates sooner rather than later.

Europe: European markets closed lower on Wednesday as the pound lost ground against the dollar.

U.S: U.S. shares closed down on Wednesday as oil prices declined. DJIA: -79.98 17,502.59 S&P: -13.09 2,036.71 NASDAQ: -52.80 4,768.86

Word of The Day:

Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR)

Refers to the highly liquid assets held by financial institutions in order to meet their short-term obligations. The ration is designed to help ensure financial institutions have the necessary assets on hand to ride out short-term liquidity disruptions.

Dinner or Drink:

Limoncello Citrus Sangria

  • 1 Orange
  • 1 Pink Grapefruit
  • 2 lemons
  • 750 ml bottle chilled white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1½ cups Limoncello
  • 3 cups sparkling water or sparkling wine


Clean the orange, grapefruit and lemons thoroughly then cut into ¼ inch thick slices.

In a large pitcher combine white wine, sliced citrus and limoncello. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

When ready to serve, stir in the sparking sparkling water (or sparkling wine). Pour into individual glasses. If desired, garnish glasses with sliced fruit from the pitcher.


Like our drink today, click here for more.

Have a safe and wonderful Easter weekend!

Mar 22


Welcome To The Family

On Monday, at an event held at its California headquarters, Apple (AAPL) introduced its newest baby… the iPhone SE. The newest iPhone has a 4-inch display, better camera, and the capability to use Apple Pay. Apple said the new iteration of the iPhone is the most powerful 4-inch phone ever with an A9 chip and graphics processor giving it the same processing and graphics performance of the larger iPhone 6s. The new phone starts at $399 with 16 gigabytes of storage, roughly $50 less than the current $450 starting price for its iPhone 5s.

Cuba or Bust…

The world’s largest cruise line, Carnival Corp (CCL), will set sail to Cuba starting in May. The 704-passanger ships, which will be operated under Carnival Corp’s new brand Fathom, will initially visit ports in Havana, Cienfuegos, and Santiago de Cuba. The ship will not include Broadway shows or a casino. Instead passengers will spend at least eight hours each day involved in some type of cultural experience. Prices for the seven-day voyages will start at $1,800 a person, less than the $2,990 Carnival originally sought when it received a license from the U.S. government in July.


Asia: Asian markets closed mixed as a weaker yen buoying Japanese stocks while Chinese stocks gave back their Monday gains.

Europe: European shares closed lower on Monday as oil prices lost ground.

U.S: U.S. stocks closed higher in low volume led by the telecommunications and health care stocks. DJIA:

Word of the Day:


A class of mutual funds found in a multi-class loaded fee structured mutual fund. Class A shares have either a front- or rear-end load to compensate for the sales person’s commission.

Dinner or Drink:

Caribbean Cruise

1/2 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. Midori® melon liqueur
1/2 oz. peach schnapps
1/2 oz. Blue Curacao liqueur
pineapple juice
1 splash 7-Up® soda

Combine all ingredients, shake well and serve over ice. Garnish with a lime wedge and a cherry (and an umbrella if handy).

Like our drink today, click here of more.


Mar 21


Paint By Numbers…

Paint giant Sherwin-Williams (SHW) has agreed to buy rival Valspar Corp. (VAL) in a $9 million deal that would help the company gain better access to big-box retailers like Lowe’s, where Valspar is a big seller. Shareholders of Valspar will receive $113 a share in cash, a 35% premium over Friday’s closing price. This is the second time Valspar shares holders have made out well, the stock has more than doubled in the past five years, far outpacing the S&P 500 index. The purchase will give Sherwin more access to DIY painters, who tend to buy supplies at retailers rather than at the contractor-oriented stores owned by the company.

Sleep Over…

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide have agreed to a sweetened $13.6 billion deal with Marriott International Inc., trumping last week’s boosted bid from Chinese insurer Anbang Insurance Group Co. In the new offer shareholders of Starwood will receive $21 in cash and 0.8 shares of Marriott, valued at $79.53, for each share of Starwood owned. Shares of Starwood climbed Friday closing at $80.57 after last week’s offer from Anbang. A deal between the two hotels giants would create the No.1 hotel company globally.


Asia: Asian markets closed mostly higher on Monday in a holiday shortened trading week.

Europe:  European stocks closed mostly higher on Friday, as investors shook off lower oil prices.

U.S: U.S stocks closed higher on Friday extending the rally started on Wednesday’s comments from the Federal Reserve.  DJIA: +117.79 17,599.28 S&P: +8.67 2049.29 NASDAQ: +20.67 4795.65

Word of The Day:

Russell 2000 Index

An index which measures the performance of approximately 2,000 small-cap companies of the Russell 3000 Index (an index made up of 3,000 biggest U.S stocks).The Russell 2000 serves as a benchmark for small-cap stocks in the United States.

Dinner or Drink:

Chelsea Hotel

1 1/2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. triple sec
2 tsp lemon juice

In a shaker half-filled with ice cubes, combine all of the ingredients. Shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Like our drink today, click here for more.


Mar 18



Tokyo-based electronic company Toshiba is embroiled in a scandal over company officials cooking the books. On Friday, the company announced it would cooperate with a U.S probe into allegations the company doctored its accounting books for years after setting unrealistic earnings target. The SEC and Justice Department have not disclosed details of their investigation, while Japanese media reports the question could be tied to the company’s subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric Company. Shares of the technology company closed slightly higher in Friday trading.

Give Me A Beat

Music streaming service Spotify has reached a landmark agreement with the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) over unpaid publishing and songwriting royalties.  Spotify has agreed to establish a bonus compensation fund to help find and pay the owners of publishing rights to music streamed by the service. Neither party stated how much the fund will actual be however, sources believe it to be around $21 million with $16 million set aside for royalty payments and around $5 million for publishers and songwriters. Spotify has come under repeated fire from artist who have said the service, which has almost 30 million paying subscribers worldwide, has treated them unfairly in terms of royalties paid per stream, an accusation Spotify denies.


Asia: Asian stocks ended higher after a positive handoff from Wall Street.

Europe: European stocks closed slightly lower on Thursday despite a rally in mining stocks.

U.S: U.S. markets closed higher on Thursday as oil continued to rally. DJIA: +155.73 17,481.49 NASDAQ: +11.02 4,774.98 S&P: +13.37 2,040.59

Word of The Day:

Quadruple Witching

The Expiration date for stock index futures, stock index options, stock options and single stock futures.

Dinner or Drink:

Friday Night Special

1/2 oz. light rum
1/2 oz. coconut rum
1/2 oz. DeKuyper® Cheri-Beri Pucker schnapps

Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into glass.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend, ya’ll!

Mar 17


Talk Is Cheap

The Federal Reserve ended its two day meeting on Wednesday with an announcement it will leave the overnight lending rate unchanged. In its statement the Federal Open Market Committee stated economic activity continues to expand at a moderate pace despite the global economic and financial developments over the last several months. Household spending continued to increase at a moderate pace while business investment and net exports were soft. What keeps the Fed up at night? The tightening financial conditions, persistently soft inflation and weaker global economic growth. Most analyst now expect only two more possible rate hike this year. Markets seemed to shrug off the minutes closing higher on Wednesday.

Let’s Make A Deal

On Wednesday the London Stock Exchange Group and Germany’s Deutshe Borse AG merged in a deal that could create Europe’s biggest stock-exchange operator. The marriage, if successful, would form a combined company with a market value of around $30 billion. The agreement also starts the ball rolling on a potential bidding war as rival exchanges and possible suitors, like the CME group owner of the Chicago Board of Exchange, decide what they want to do.


Asia: Asian markets closed higher on Thursday as investors cheered clarity form the U.S Federal Reserve.

Europe: European markets closed higher on Wednesday as investor’s awaited word from the Fed and digested new budget announcements out of the U.K.

U.S:  U.S stocks closed higher on Wednesday helped by a rise in oil prices following the fed’s no rate change. DJIA: +74.23 17325.76 S&P: +11.29 2,027.22 NASDAQ: +35.30 4,763.97

Word of The Day:

Overnight Lending Rate

The interest rate banks lend funds to another banks short-term or the interest rate the central bank charges a financial institution to borrow money overnight.

Dinner or Drink:

Stormy Weather

3/4 oz. Fernet Branca® bitters
3/4 oz. dry vermouth
1/4 oz. white crème de menthe

Pour over ice cubes in a small highball glass, stir, and serve.

Mar 15


Across The Pond

Avon Products Inc. (AVP) announced Monday it will move its corporate headquarters from New York to London and eliminate 2,500 jobs. The moves are the latest steps in the company’s yearlong turnaround which includes cuts of around $70 million this year. The reduction in jobs, which accounted for around 7% of its workforce, will go a long way in the company meeting its goal. The one hundred and thirty year old company’s move across the pond will be a gradually one and will bring its headquarters closer to the bulk of its corporate operations. The actions come two weeks after Avon completed the sale of its U.S. operations to private equity firm, Cerberus Capital Management.


Goldman Sachs is buying online retirement savings startup Honest Dollar. The startup, less than a year old, sells retirement plans consisting of portfolios containing low-cost exchanges charging $8 to $10 an employee a month. Customers of the Austin based company includes drivers for ride-sharing startup Lyft. The purchase is the latest move by Goldman as the company experiments with lower cost, less exclusive services. Last year Goldman surprised its peers when it decided to launch a new ETF that aims to beat the S&P 500 while charging only 0.09% in fees.


Asia: Asian markets closed mostly lower on Tuesday as investors turn more cautious after the recent global rallies.

Europe: European markets closed higher on Monday as investors continued to be in a buying state of mind.

U.S: U.S markets started their week mostly flat as investors wait for possible clues from this week Fed meeting. DJIA: +15.82 17,229.13 S&P: -2.55 2,019.64 NASDAQ: +1.82 4,750.28

Word of The Day:

Treasury Bond/T-Bond

A fixed-interest, tradable U.S government debt security with a maturity of more than 10 years. Treasury bonds pay semi-annual interest payments and the income received is taxed only at the federal level.

Dinner or Drink:

Birthday Cake

  • 1 part Pinnacle® Cake Flavored Vodka
  • 1 part DeKuyper® Vanilla Schnapps Liqueur
  • 1 part Half and Half
  • Multi-Colored Sprinkles

Rim martini glass with multi-colored sprinkles. Shake with ice and strain into prepared glass.

Mar 14


We’ll Leave The Light On….

Blackstone Group LP (BX) will sell a portfolio of U.S. luxury hotels to the Chinese owner of New York’s Waldorf Astoria, just months after buying it for $4 billion. China’s Ambang Insurance Group will purchase Strategic Hotels & Resorts for an undetermined price. Over the last several years, Blackstone has built itself into the world’s largest real-estate private equity fund by assets. Anbang is among China’s most ambitious overseas acquirer, snatching up insurance companies and property assets across the U.S. and Europe. The deal is expected to close by the end of this year.

New Kid In Town

Starwood Hotels & Resorts announced Monday it had received an unsolicited takeover bid by a group of investors for $76 a share in cash. The names of the company or companies were not disclosed. In November, Starwood entered into a merger agreement with Marriot International however, the company also received a waiver from Marriot enabling it to engage in discussions with a group of investors in connection with its proposal. The waiver will expire at 11:59 pm EST on March 17, 2016.


Asia: Asian markets started the week off in the green as investors continue to bask in last week’s announcement of new stimulus form the ECB.

Europe: European equities finished higher on Friday as investors cheered a rally in oil prices and the ECB’s announcement on Thursday.

U.S: U.S. stocks closed higher on Friday as happiness continued across global markets. DJIA: +218.18 17,213.31 S&P: +32.62 2,022.19 NASDAQ: +86.31 4,748.47

Word of The Day:

Index Fund

A type of mutual fund with a portfolio constructed to match or track the stocks that make up a particular market index, such as the S&P 500.

Dinner or Drink:

Danielle’s Hustle

1.5 Ketel One Citroen® Flavored Vodka

0.75 oz. smoked pineapple juice

0.5 oz. Coconut syrup

3  dash(es) house bitters

Shake and strain KETEL ONE CITROEN® Flavored Vodka, pineapple juice and coconut syrup neat into a coupe glass.

Top with house bitters.

Garnish with an edible orchid

Mar 10



On Wednesday, embattled automaker Volkswagen AG announced its top U.S manager has left the building six months after the company was embroiled in an emissions-testing scandal. Well-liked by dealers for his frankness, Michael Horn, also had been the company’s chief spokesman in the U.S as it worked to regain trust with car buyers and dealers. Horn’s departure comes as the Volkswagen-brand car sales continue to plummet in the U.S and the Justice Department and German prosecutors continue their probe of the auto maker. Hinrich Woebcken, who currently serves as head of North American operations, will take Mr. Horn’s place at Volkswagen of American while the search for a new permanent head is conducted.


Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, announced they have agreed to acquire International Securities Exchanges (ISE). ISE operates three electronic options exchanges, which account for more than 15 percent of U.S. volumes, while Nasdaq operates another three. Combined, Nasdaq would command more than 40 percent of the market, extending its lead as the No.1 U.S. options exchange operator. The deal is expected to provide the company an attractive return on capital and help with the possible acquisition of the London Stock Exchange. The deal, a mixture of debt and cash is expected to close the second half of 2016.


Asia: Asian markets closed mostly higher on Thursday as investors digested another round of Chinese economic data.

Europe: European markets closed mostly higher Wednesday as investors kept a close eye on the fluctuating price of commodities.

U.S: U.S shares closed higher on Wednesday as investor’s weight for Thursday’s ECB meeting. DJIA: +38.26 17,000.36 NASDAQ: +25.55 4,674.38 S&P: +10.00 1,989.26

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:

Mango Mai-Tai

1.5   Oz Captain Morgan Parrot Bay® Mango

0.25 oz. orgeat syrup

0.5 oz. pineapple juice

0.5 oz. lime juice

0.25 oz. Grenadine

1 pineapple wedge(s)

Add lime juice, pineapple juice, orgeat syrup, grenadine and Captain Morgan Parrot Bay Mango.

Shake with ice and strain into an ice-filled hurricane glass.

Garnish with pineapple wedge.

Mar 9


Dark Skies

Fed up with United Continental Holding (UAL) current path, two investment firms announced Tuesday they will submit six of their own nominees to the airlines board in an effort to shake up the airline’s board of directors. The two investment firms, Altimeter Capital Management and PAR Capital Management, combined own a seven percent stake of United Continental Holdings.  The most prominent of all the six nominees is Gordon Bethune, who served as CEO of Continental Airlines from 1994 through 2004 and was largely seen as turning the troubled airline into a powerhouse. United merged with Continental in 2010 and has struggled with customer service declines, flight delays, and computer problems ever since. All of this and more have caused the airline to lose market share and revenue to United peers like Delta and American Airline. Shares of the company closed down $1.27 closing at $56.34.


Breakfast sandwiches sold at Starbucks were recalled in 250 stores last week due to Listeria fears. Food manufacturer Progressive Gourmet, who makes the sandwiches for Starbucks, announced it recalled the sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwiches from 250 stores in Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma. The recall was made out of an abundance of caution after the Listeria monocytgenes species of bacteria was discovered on a surface at its production facility. The company is working closely with the FDA and the Massachusetts Department of Health to investigate the source of the problem.


Asia: Asian markets closed lower on Wednesday as economic data out of China have investors continue to worry.

Europe: European markets closed lower on Tuesday as declining commodity prices hit the energy and mining sectors.

U.S: U.S. shares fell Tuesday, ending a five-session winning streak, as investors took money out equites and ran toward bonds. DJIA: -109.85 16,964.10 NASDAQ: -59.43 4,648.83 S&P: – 22.50 1,979.26

Word of The Day:

Yield to maturity (YTM)

The total anticipated total return anticipated on a bond if the bond is held until the end of its lifetime.

Dinner or Drink:

The Jimney

0.25 Baileys® Original Irish Cream Liqueur

1 oz. Zacapa® Centenario 23 Years Rum

0.25 oz. crème de cacao liqueur

0.5 oz. iced coffee

Shake and strain into rocks glass.










Mar 8



Automaker Fiat Chrysler announced Monday it will extend the shutdown of its midsize carline plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan an extra three weeks. Workers who were temporarily laid off on February 4 were originally scheduled to return to work March 14 however, now they will not return until April 4. At the end of February Fiat Chrysler had a 147 day supply of inventory on dealer lots of its midsize sedan, the Chrysler 200. The supply well surpass the 60 day inventory supply considered healthy by industry standards. Sales of the companies midsize sedans have been shrinking after the company pulled back on dealer incentives and lower gas prices have consumer buying bigger cars.


Shares of luxury-goods producer, Burberry, jumped on speculation a takeover offer maybe somewhere in the near future. According to sources, the company has asked advisors to help prepare a defense for a possible bid after a mystery investor built up a 5 percent state in the company. The company asked the custodian of the buyer’s shares, HSBC, to release the name of the buyer however, the bank refused. In January the company reported Christmas revenue trailed its forecast, hurt by a slump in Hong Kong demand. Burberry has been scaling back stores, cutting bonuses and consolidating products under one label after it forecasted a fall in earnings for the second straight year.  Burberry stock advanced 6.8 percent in London boasting the company’s market value to $9.2 billion.


Asia: Asian shares closed mostly lower on Tuesday after investors received a mixed bag of economic news.

Europe: European markets closed mostly in the red Monday despite a recovery in oil prices.

U.S: U.S. stocks closed mixed on Monday as gains in energy stocks offset declines in the technology sector. DJIA: +67.18 17073.95 S&P: +1.77 2001.76 NASDAQ: -8.77 4708.25

Word of The Day:

Junk Bond

A term used for a high-yield or non-investment grade bond. Junk bonds have a higher default risk therefore, they pay better yields.

Dinner or Drink:

Bourbon Sidecar

2 oz. bourbon whiskey
1 oz. triple sec
1/2 Oz fresh lemon juice

Pour the whiskey, triple sec and lemon juice into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and serve.


Mar 4



The Department of Labor released its monthly jobs report on Friday morning. According to the report the economy added 230,000 jobs in February and the unemployment rate is at 4.9%.

Grab Your Popcorn[Continue reading...]

Mar 2



One of the pioneers of the U.S shale boom has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiring with an unnamed company to rig the price of oil and gas leases in Oklahoma. The indictment alleges Ex-CEO of Chesapeake Energy (CHK), Aubrey McClendon, orchestrated a campaign to keep bid prices down from 2007-2012, during a land leasing boom across the nation.  Mr. McClendon is the only oil and gas industry executive to be charged under the federal antitrust statue Sherman Act, in more than 110 years. Violations of the Sherman Act carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Mr. McClendon denies the charges and has vowed to fight them in court. [Continue reading...]

Mar 1


Happiest Place On Earth…

Walt Disney (DIS) announced it will take a page from airlines, hotels, and Uber implementing a new ticket price structure based on seasonal admission. A one day ticket that had cost $99 will now be priced on a day designated as “value” aka off season for $95. The same ticket on a “regular” day will run $105 or $119 if you go during “peak” times. Confused what day is considered value, regular or peak? Disney has you covered, the company will publish a calendar on its website letting consumer know the day and its classification so you can plan your vaca according. [Continue reading...]

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