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May 31

News:

Back To Work

Nearly 40,000 striking Verizon (VZ) workers will return to work on Wednesday after the company and unions reached a tentative contract agreement. The new agreement includes a new call center creating 1300 jobs, raises over the next four years, and changes to the employee health care plan to save the company money. The new contract, subject to the approval of union members, stands to end one of the largest U.S strikes in years.

Red, White, and Blue

Coca-Cola (CCE) will roll out a new can design to celebrate its 75-year partnership with the United Service Organization. The new “I’m proud to be an American” limited edition red, white, and blue cans will honor members of the military and feature a flag in the can’s design. The cans and packs will be available in stores through July 4th.

Markets:

Asia: Asian shares started their week in the green as a report predicts Chinese shares will become part of the MSCI index this year.

Europe: European markets closed slightly higher on Friday as investors waited for hints from Janet Yellen.

U.S.: U.S. stocks closed higher on Friday, after Fed Head Janet Yellen said it would probably be appropriate in the next few months for another interest rate hike. DJIA: +44.93 17873.22 S&P: +8.98 2099.06 NASDAQ: +31.74 4933.51

Word of The Day:

Demand Curve

A graphical representation of the relationship between the price and the quantity demanded for a given period of time.

Dinner or Drink:

Brazilian Iced Chocolate Coca-Cola

2 Oz unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup double-strength hot coffee
2 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups Coca-Cola® chilled

 

In the top of a double-boiler over hot water, melt the chocolate squares. Stir in the sugar. Gradually stir in hot coffee, mixing thoroughly. Add the milk and continue cooking until all particles of the chocolate are dissolved and the mixture is smooth, about 10 minutes. Pour into a jar. Cover and chill. When ready to serve, stir in the chilled Coca-Cola. Serve over ice cubes in tall glasses. For a beverage, top with whipped cream. For a dessert, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Makes 5 cups.

Like our drink today, click here for more.

May 27

News:

Shine Bright Like A Diamond

Several brides claim they took their rings in to be cleaned and when they picked them up at Kay’s Jewelers, their diamonds had been replaced by moissanite. In a statement, Kay’s said it was actively reviewing the issues. Shares of Kay’s parent company, Signet Jewelers (SIG), fell 11 percent on the Thursday after news of potential diamond switching and the company’s earnings falling short of analysts’ expectations.

Please Use

On Thursday, a federal jury found Google’s use of Oracle Corp’s Java software in its mobile products did not violate copyright laws. The verdict was cheered by many in Silicon Valley who believe it will protect how software is used and written. Thursday’s verdict marks the latest chapter in the six-year legal battle in which Oracle sought nearly $9 million from Google for using 11,000 lines of its Java code in Google’s Android software. Oracle claimed in 2010 Google used the lines without permission. A federal appeals court ruled Oracle could copyright the Java parts however, Google filed for a new trial arguing the use was covered by rules permitting “fair use”. Oracle will continue its fight against Google as they plan to appeal yesterday’s ruling.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed mostly higher on Friday as traders await possible direction from Fed head Janet Yellen.

Europe: European stocks closed slightly lower, after a choppy session in which investors tried to make sense of the fluctuations in the price of oil.

U.S: U.S stocks closed mixed on Thursday, with investors looking ahead to possible hints Fed head Janet Yellen may after she receives an award at Harvard University on Friday.

Word of The Day:

Securitization

The process in which an issuer creates a financial instrument by combing other financial assets and repackages it to investors. Any type off financial asset can be encompassed in the securitization process. Securitization helps promote liquidity in the markets.

Dinner or Drink:

Pacific Breeze

  • 8 ounces black currant vodka
  • 32 ounces lemonade
  • Ice
  • 1 ounce blue curaçao
  • 8 lemon wheels
  • 8 mint sprigs

In a pitcher, combine the vodka and lemonade and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours. Stir well and pour into ice-filled highball or red wine glasses. Top each drink with 3/4 teaspoon of blue curaçao and garnish with a lemon wheel and a mint sprig.

Have a safe and wonderful holiday weekend, Ya’ll!

May 26

News:

Give Me A Brake

Auto giant Ford (F) is recalling some of its top-selling F-150 pickups to fix a fluid leak that can reduce the braking power of the vehicle. The recall covers 271,000 F-150 pickups from 2013 and 2014 model years that have 3.5- liter V6 engines. The automaker says brake fluid can leak from the master cylinder reducing the ability of the front brakes to stop the vehicle. Dealers will replace both the master cylinder and brake booster for customers when they bring their vehicles to the dealership. Customers should start seeing recall notices in their mailboxes starting the week of July 11.

Cutting The Fat

Microsoft announced it will write off an additional $950 million and cut another 1,850 jobs as the company signals an end to its Nokia mobile phone experiment. Originally the company wrote off $76 million and cut 7,800 to refocus on its phone efforts but the efforts fell well short of Microsoft expectations. Most of the layoffs will affect employees at Microsoft’s Mobile division in Finland, with 1350 jobs losses there and 500 globally. Microsoft plans to complete most off the job cuts by the end of the year. The company will keep a small number of employees to work in research and development roles. The streamlining of Microsoft’s smartphone business comes just a week after the company announced its selling its feature phone business to FIH Mobile.

Markets:

Asia: Asian stocks closed higher on Thursday as oil continued its rally.

Europe: European equities finished sharply higher on Wednesday after a new Greece debt deal and a recovery in oil prices lifted investor’s sentiment.

U.S: U.S. markets closed up triple digits as oil prices rise to nearly $50.00 a barrel. DJIA: +145.46 17.851.51 NASDAQ: +33.83 4.894.89 S&P: +14.48 2,090.54

Word of The Day:

Short Selling:

The sale of a security which is not owned by the seller, or that the seller has borrowed. Short selling is usually motivated by the speculative belief the security’s price will decline. This decline potentially enables the seller to buy the security back at a lower price and make a profit. The risk of losses on a short sales are endless therefore, it can be extremely risky.

Dinner or Drink:

Blue Martini

  • 1 part DeKuyper® Pucker® Island Punch Schnapps
  • 1 part Pinnacle® Citrus Vodka
  • 1/2 part Sour Mix

Add ingredients to an ice-filled shaker. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist (optional).

May 24

News:

Not so Fast

On Monday, a federal appeals court ruled Bank of America (BAC) is no longer liable for the $1.2 billion a 2013 court ordered the bank to pay after it found it guilty of fraud. According to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal in Manhattan there was insufficient evidence for a jury to conclude mail and wire fraud had been committed by the bank’s Countrywide Financial unit in late 2007 and 2008. Prosecutors had originally alleged the bank sold mortgages to Freddie Mac at supersonic speeds without regard to the loan quality, as the economy hurtled toward a financial downturn. At the first trial, the jury found the bank and an employee liable and ordered Bank of America to pay a $1.27 billion penalty. The appeals court however, found a deficit in proof and has now reversed the lower court’s decision.

Additional

Auto giant Toyota is recalling more than 1.5 million additional vehicles in the U.S over concerns with airbag inflators made by Takata.  The announcement late Monday comes after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration accelerated moves to recall vehicles as part of the world’s largest auto safety recall. Takata’s airbag inflators use ammonium nitrate, which can become unstable when exposed to heat and humidity causing ruptures when the air bags deploy sending metal parts hurling into the cabin. Toyota said it would replace inflators at no cost to customers.  Toyota’s recall now includes models of Lexus, Scion, Sienna, 4Runner, Yaris, Corolla and Matrix vehicles.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed mostly lower Tuesday as investors continue to consult their crystal balls when the next Fed rate hike will be.

Europe: European stocks finished mostly lower on Monday as declining oil prices, mixed Eurozone economic data, and the prospect of a June rate hike in the U.S had investors thinking twice about buying.

U.S: U.S. stocks started their week lower as investors wait for further indications on the timing of next interest rate hike. DJIA: -8.01 17,492.93 S&P: -4.28 2,048.04 NASDAQ: -3.78 4,765.78

Word of The Day:

Quarter (Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4):

A three month period on a financial calendar that acts as the basis for reporting earnings and paying dividends.

Dinner or Drink:

Juicy Screw

  • 1 part Pinnacle® Original Vodka
  • 1 part DeKuyper Watermelon Schnapps
  • 3 parts Orange Juice
  • Splash of Soda Water

Cocktail: Build over ice, stir gently, and serve.

Ice Cubes: Cut fresh watermelon into workable pieces. Remove the seeds and the rind. Puree the watermelon in a blender or food processor. Pour the puree into ice cube trays and freeze.

May 23

News:

Ops….

Phoenix Brands, the company behind Ajax and Fab laundry detergents has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections with plans to put its collection of household products on the auction block. The company, which is backed by private equity firm Lincolnshire Management, has suffered three years of declining sales after it could not keep up with its competition who created dual purpose products that combine products like detergent, fabric softeners, and brighteners all in one single-use packets. Phoenix has lined up three potential buyers for its brands, including Dynamo and Fresh Start in the U.S., and Artic Power and ABC in Canada.

Planting Seeds

German pharmaceutical and chemical powerhouse Bayer AG announced Monday it has made an all cash offer to buy rival Ag Company, Monsanto Co. for $62 billion. If the bid is accepted, shareholders of Monsanto would receive $122 a share, a 37% premium over the companies closing share price of $89.03 on May 9. The purchase will help boost Bayer’s core earnings a share by mid-single digits in the first year after the deal closes and a double-digit percentage in the follow years. Monsanto’s portfolio of seeds will complement Bayer’s crop-protection chemicals at both a product offering and geographic perspective.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed mixed on Monday, as Japanese markets dropped amid renewed strength in the yen showed the country’s exports continue to fall.

Europe:  European shares closed higher after investor checked their anxiety over future rate hikes at the door.

U.S: U.S. markets closed up on Friday as investors choose to keep better economic data in mind and off lower oil prices. DJIA: +65.47 17500.87 S&P: +12.25 2052.29 NASDAQ: +57.03 4769.56

Word of The Day:

Basis point (BPS)

A common unit of measure for interest rates and other finance percentages which equals 1/100th of 1% or 0.01%.

Dinner or Drink:

Monday Cocktail

1 1/2 oz. whiskey
1/2 oz. brandy
1/2 oz. blueberry brandy
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1 tsp sugar

Shake all ingredients with ice; strain into an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with an orange slice if desired.

Like our drink, click here for more.

 

May 19

News:

We Want You….

Monsanto Co. (MON) has been approached by Bayer AG (BAYRY) about a possible takeover that would fuse two of the world’s largest supplier of crop seeds and pesticides. Detail of Bayer’s off was not released nor is it clear whether Monsanto would be receptive to it. Should a deal occur it could be valued at more than $42 billion.

Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s April meeting, released Wednesday, showed the widely held view that a rate hike in June may be in the cards. The Fed voted 9-1 to keep interest rates unchanged during the committee’s April 26-27 meeting as threats of a global slowdown lingered. The committee felt a hike in June may be appropriate as long as the economy and labor markets continue to strengthen and inflation shows signs of accelerating. The Fed raised its key rate by a quarter-point in December and indicated at that time it expected to move rates up four times in 2016. But turbulence in the financial markets at the beginning of the year, sparked by an unexpected sharp slowdown in China and weakness in the U.S economy, has kept the Fed on the sidelines.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed mostly down as investors digested yesterday’s Fed minutes.

Europe: European shares closed mostly higher as investor react to higher oil prices while awaiting the fed minx

U.S:  US stocks closed flat on Tuesday despite the Fed minutes hinting at a June rate hike. DJIA: -3.36 17526.63 S&P -0.42 2047.63 NASDAQ +23.39 473.12

Word of The Day:

Mutual Funds

Made up of a pool of funds collected from investors for the purpose of investing in stocks, bonds, money market instruments, and similar assets. Mutual funds are operated by money managers, who invest the fund’s capital and attempt to produce gains and income for investors in the fund.

Dinner or Drink:

Emerald Rain

2 oz. Hpnotiq® liqueur
1 oz 100 proof Stolichnaya® vodka
1/2 oz. orange juice
1/4 freshly squeezed lime

Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake well. Serve in a very cold cocktail glass or over ice in any other glass. Easy to make and an instant hit!

May 18

News:

A New Voice

On Wednesday, Google will introduce its entry into the voice-activated home device market at the company’s annual developers’ conference in Silicon Valley.  Google Home will be able to answer simple questions and carry out basic task. The new device, available by fall, will compete with Amazon’s Echo which has sold an estimated three million units since its introduction less than two years ago. Virtual agents powered by artificial intelligence are one of the new battleground for consumer technology.

Revealed

The U.S Treasury Department finally revealed Saudi Arabia’s holdings of U.S debt-after four decades of keeping it a secret. This week the Treasury Department revealed the oil-rich country holds $116.8 billion in U.S Treasuries as of March 2016. The data release ends the department’s long-standing practice of grouping countries together instead of releasing data on each country separately. Sandi Arabia is ranked as the 13th largest holders of U.S debt behind India at $118.9 billion and ahead of Singapore with $112.7 billion. China continues to detonate the list of countries holding U.S debt with a number that ends with the “T” word, Trillions.

Markets:

Asia: Asian market closed lower on Wednesday as traders wait for today’s release of last month’s Federal Reserve meeting minutes.

Europe: European shares closed lower on Tuesday led by a declines in the auto sector.

U.S: U.S. equities tumbled on Tuesday after the release of economic data had investors wondering if a rate hike is in the near future. DJIA: -180.73 17,529.98 NASDAQ: -59.72 4,715.73 S&P: -19.45 2.047.21

Word of The Day:

Treasury Bond (T-Bond)

A tradable fixed-interest U.S government debt security with a maturity of more than 10 years.

Dinner or Drink:

Mind Bender

1 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. amaretto almond liqueur
4 1/2 oz. Sprite® soda

 

Pour the vodka, amaretto and Sprite into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice, and stir. Add a straw, and serve.

Like our drink, click here for more.

May 17

News:

I Wanna New Drug...

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) announced Monday it will buy Anacor Pharmaceuticals for $4.5 billion, as the company turns to smaller deals to help add to its drug portfolio. Pfizer will pay $99.25 a share in cash for Anacor, a 55% premium to Friday’s closing price. Anacor, based in Palo Alto California, has no products on the market however, its flagship asset is currently under review by the U.S Food and Drug Administration for the eczema. According to Pfizer the drug could add peak sales of $2 billion, and noted Anacor holds the rights to Kerydin, a topical treatment for toenail fungus.

Go Get’em

Natural gas producer, Range Resources, will purchase rival Memorial Resource Development for around $3.3 billion expanding the companies range in the East and in the Gulf. Shareholder of Houston based Memorial Resources will receive 0.375 shares of Range Resources for each share owned. The all stock deal is valued at $15.75 per share, marking a 17 percent premium to its Friday closing price. The deal is expected to close in the second half of the year.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed higher on Tuesday as oil prices continued to rise.

Europe: European shares closed flat on Monday following weak data out of China.

U.S: U.S equities started off their week higher. Apple shares lead the rally after Warren Buffett bought shares in the technology company. DJIA: +174.70 17710.02 NASDAQ: +57.78 4775.46 S&P: +20.04 2066.65

Word of The Day:

Discount Window

Refers to the credit facilities which financial institutions go to borrow funds, usually at a discount, from the Federal Reserve.

Dinner or Drink:

Purple Haze Martini

  • 2 parts Grape Schnapps
  • 2 parts Original Vodka
  • Splash Sour Mix
  • Lemon-Lime Soda

Add ingredients to an ice-filled shaker. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass.

May 16

News:

Private Eyes

In the coming weeks Amazon.com (AMZN) will roll out new lines of private-lane brands that will include its first broad push into perishable foods. The new brands, Happy Belly, Wickedly Prime, and Mama Bear, will include nuts, spices, tea, coffee, baby food, vitamins, as well as household items like diapers and laundry detergents. The first of the bands will appear on Amazon.com as early as the end of the month or early June.

Do Not Drive

Automaker Subaru has advised owners of newer Legacy and Outback vehicle not to drive them because of an issue with the car’s steering column. The company will recall 52,000 of the company’s cars and SUV’s model year 2016 and 2017 because the steering column may fail to engage causing drivers to lose control of their vehicles. According to government documents the issue stems from the steering columns being improperly manufactures by a parts supplier. The problem was first discovered May 3 when the owner of an Outback reported the issue. Customers are encouraged to take their vehicles into dealerships where they will replace faulty steering column.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed higher on Monday as investors shrugged off negative data from China.

Europe: European stocks finished the week in the green, as investors shook off a decline in oil prices while a boost in U.S. retail sales boosted sentiment.

U.S: U.S. markets closed lower on Friday despite a jump in April’s consumer spending jumping. DJIA: -185.18 17,535.32 S&P: -17.50 2,046.61 NASDAQ: -19.66 4,717.68

Word of The Day:

Intrinsic Value

The actual value of a company or an asset based on an underlying perception of its true value including both tangible and intangible factors.

Dinner or Drink:

Spring Sangria

  • 12 parts White Wine, Dry
  • 2 1/2 parts DeKuyper® Peachtree® Schnapps Liqueur
  • 6 tbsp. Lemonade Concentrate
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • Peaches and Grapes
  • Garnish with Lemon Wheel

In a large pitcher, combine wine, schnapps, lemonade and sugar. Stir sugar until dissolved and add chopped fruit. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish and serve over ice.

May 12

News:

Car Lot

Nissan Motor Co. announced Thursday it will buy a 34% state in Mitsubishi Motors for ¥237.4 billion ($2.18 billion), becoming the controlling shareholder after a fuel-economy data scandal rocked the company. Nissan is already in a vehicle-development and manufacturing partnership with Mitsubishi. Nissan’s purchase could lead to a realignment of the current eight car maker Japanese auto industry. Once the deal is finalized Nissan will own a majority stake in Mitsubishi, have representation on the board proportional to its stake, and the chairman of Mitsubishi will be a Nissan nominee. Shares in Mitsubishi closed up 16% after news broke of a possible deal early Thursday while Nissan shares fell 1.4%.

Downbeat

Macy’s sparked fresh fears about the health of the U.S retail sector on Wednesday when it reported its worst quarterly sales since the recession. The company’s downbeat comments and poor results set off a sell off across all apparel makers, mall owners, luxury brands, and box retailers. Macy’s shares dropped the most since 2008. The retail giant reported sales, excluding locations that were opened or closed over the past year, fell 5.6% in the quarter ending in April. The decline is the fifth straight for the retailer and its worst quarterly performance since the second quarter of 2009. Big box retailers continue to get squeezed as more shoppers prefer the online experience versus hittin the mail. Shares of Macy’s closed lower $5.31 in Wednesday trading.

Markets:

Asia: Asian shares closed mostly lower on Thursday after a negative handoff from U.S. markets.

Europe: European markets closed mostly lower on Wednesday, as a mixed set of earnings and weakness in the banking sector weighed on sentiment.

U.S: U.S. markets tumbled on Wednesday after lower profits from Macy’s had investors wondering about the strength of the consumer and their need to buy. DJIA:-217.23 17,711.12 S&P: -19.93 2,064.46 NASDAQ: -49.19 4,760.69

Word of The Day:

Breakup Fee

A common fee in takeover agreements which compensates the prospective purchaser for the time and resources used to facilitate the deal if the seller backs out of the deal.

Dinner or Drink:

Hot Pants

1 1/2 oz. tequila
1/2 oz. peppermint schnapps
1 tbsp. grapefruit juice
1 tsp powdered sugar

Shake with ice cubes and pour into an old-fashioned glass rimmed with salt.

May 10

News:

You’re Fired

Peer to Peer lending company, Leading Club Corp, pushed out their CEO on Monday, after the board found problems with its lending practices and a lack of disclosure surrounding a personal investment.  During an investigation, originally called for by Renaud Laplanche  the company’s CEO, the board discovered staff knowingly sold $22 million in loans during March and April 2016 that did not meet the buyer’s requirements. The investigation also uncovered employees of the company made “minor” changed to internal loan paperwork so that it seemed the loans had met the buyer’s requirements. The company did not identify the investor who bought the $22 million however, executives said Monday the loans were bought back from the investor at their original value and re-sold elsewhere. The company has named President Scott Sanborn to act as CEO. Shares off the company plunged on Monday, closing down $2.48.

Hot Doughnuts….

JAB Holding Co, owner of Keurig Green Mountain and Peet’s Coffee & Tea, announced it will acquire Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. for $1.35 billion taking the company private. Krispy Kreme began selling doughnuts in the 1930’s in North Carolina. Its “Hot Now” signs have long been a staple on Southern roadsides. In 2000 the company became public and sales have grown along the way. JAB has quickly build up a global coffee juggernaut to challenge Nestle buying company such as Keurig Green Mountain, Danish coffee-bar Baresso Coffee, and Mondelez Inc’s coffee business. The acquisition should be completed by end of 2016.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed in the green as China’s inflation has begun to steady.

Europe: European markets ended mixed on Monday as oil prices declined.

U.S: U.S. shares closed mixed on Monday with health-care boosting the NASDAQ while declining oil prices dragged down the Dow Jones. DJIA: – 34.72 17,705.91, S&P: +1.55 2058.69 NASDAQ: +14.05 4750.21

Word of the Day:

Market Capitalization

The total market value of all of a company’s outstanding shares.

Dinner or Drink:

Money Shot

1/3 oz. amaretto almond liqueur
1/3 oz. Irish cream
1/3 oz. melon liqueur

Shake ingredients together in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a shot glass; serve

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 9

News:

Cut Off

Twitter Inc. (TWTR) has cut off U.S intelligence agencies from access to the service that sifts through its entire output of its social-media postings, in the latest example of tension between Silicon Valley and the federal governments. The service, which sends out alerts of unfolding terror attacks, political unrest, and potentially important events, is provided by Dataminr Inc.  Twitter owns around a 5% stake in Dataminr.  Dataminr was the only company that was allowed to mine data from Twitter’s entire real time stream of public tweets and sell them to third parties, including the government. U.S government agencies that used the service aren’t thrilled about the decision are hoping the companies will reconsider.

We’re Done

Uber and Lyft plan to suspend service indefinitely on Monday in Austin after voters failed to adopt a ballot measure that would allow greater self-regulation. Uber and Lyft say new rules including the fingerprinting of drivers will make it harder for them to continue to follow their business model. Uber will cease its operation Monday at 8:00 am. Lyft has not announced an exact time or date it will temporarily cease operations. The pullback by the two company becomes a de facto victory for the taxicab industry. Uber is also threatening to pull out of Houston, who also recently passed new rules, including fingerprinting of drivers.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets started off the week closed mostly negative after China released disappointing trade data.

Europe: European stocks closed lower on Friday after the latest U.S. jobs figures came in below expectations.

U.S: U.S. shares closed higher on Friday as oil prices rallied. DJIA: +79.92 17,740.63 NASDAQ: +19.06 4736.16 S&P: +6.51 2,057.14

Word of The Day:

Stop-Limit Order

A trade order that will be executed at a specific price (or better) after a given stop prices has been reached.

Dinner or Drink:

Lift

1/4 oz. amaretto almond liqueur
1/4 oz. Drambuie® Scotch whisky
1/4 oz. Tia Maria® coffee liqueur
5 oz. coffee liqueur
1/2 oz. whipped cream

Pour the amaretto almond liqueur, Drambuie and Tia Maria into a coffee mug. Fill with coffee, and top with whipped cream. Serve.

May 6

News:

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

On Friday, the Department of Labor released its monthly jobs report. According to the report the economy added 160,000 jobs in April and the employment rate remains at 5.0%.

Taxi….

Within the next year auto maker General Motors and Lyft will begin testing a fleet of self-driving Chevy Bolt electric taxis on public roads. The move is part of the two companies’ joint efforts to help reshape the auto industry. The new adventure will rely on technology GM will acquire from its purchase of San Francisco-based Cruise Automation, a developer of autonomous-driving technology. In additional to driverless cars, GM will also use its investment in Lyft and its army of drivers as primary customers for GM’s new electric car Bolt. Currently, Lyft rents the Chevy Equinox to drivers needing vehicles in Chicago, but the program will expand to more cities and will rely heavily on the Bolt in the future.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed out their week mixed as investors wait for Friday’s NFP report.

Europe: European markets closed mostly mixed as investors digested a slew of earnings, higher oil prices, and Friday’s jobs report from the United States.

U.S:  Shares closed flat on Thursday as investors wait for Friday’s NFP report and its effect on the Federal Reserve. DJIA: +9.45   17,660.71 S&P: -0.49 2,050.63 NASDAQ: -8.55 4,717.09

Word of The Day:

Portfolio

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

Dinner or Drink:

Chocolate-Bourbon-Pecan Pie

1/2 (14.1-ounce) package refrigerated piecrusts

1 1/2 cups chopped toasted pecans

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels

1 cup dark corn syrup

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup bourbon or water

4 large eggs

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 teaspoons plain white cornmeal

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon table salt

Preparation

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Fit piecrust into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate according to package directions; fold edges under, and crimp. Sprinkle pecans and chocolate evenly onto bottom of piecrust.

Stir together corn syrup and next 3 ingredients in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients. Gradually whisk one-fourth of hot corn syrup mixture into egg mixture; add to remaining hot corn syrup mixture, whisking constantly. Pour filling into prepared piecrust.

Bake at 325° for 55 minutes or until set; cool pie completely on a wire rack (about one hour).

Like our pie today, click here for more.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend, Ya’ll!

 

 

 

May 5

News:

Gone

Retailer Aeropostale, once at the vibrant epicenter of the U.S mall scene, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The New York Company announced Wednesday it was closing 113 of its 739 U.S. stores and all of its location in Canada. The “Going out Of Business” sales for stores that are closing will begin this weekend. Aeropostale expects to emerge from bankruptcy protection within six months as a leaner, meaner, and smaller company after renegotiation contracts and settling its ongoing dispute with investment firm Sycamore Partners. Two weeks ago, the company’s stock was delisted off the New York Stock Exchange after failing to break the $1 barrier since last year. Six years ago the stock traded at $30.

Flyin High

Atlas Air Worldwide Holding announced Thursday it would provide air cargo services to Amazon.com as the online retailer expands its retailer delivery network. As part of the agreement the company will lease 20 Boeing 767 planes to Amazon.  The Seattle based online e-commerce company has taken steps to reduce its reliance on shipping giants UPS and FedEx due to cost. Instead the company has built out a ground network of couriers and new warehouse near or within urban centers for faster and more cost effective delivery to its customers.

Markets:

Asia: Asian stocks closed mixed on Thursday as higher crude prices helped with investor sentiment.

Europe: European stocks ended sharply lower on Wednesday after a sharp decline in mining stocks and renewed pressure in oil prices weighed on sentiment.

U.S: U.S. markets closed lower as investors digested a mix bag of corporate earnings and economic data. DJIA: -99.95 17651.26 S&P: -12.25 2051.12 NASDAQ: -37.58 4125.64

Word of The Day:

Outstanding Shares

Refers to a company’s stock currently help by all its shareholders.

Dinner or Drink:

Cinco de Mayo

2 1/2 oz. white tequila
1 oz. grenadine syrup
1 oz. Rose’s® lime juice

Shake well with lots of ice. Strain into glass. Garnish with fresh lime wedge if desired.


May 4

News:

Now Hiring

On Wednesday, ADP released its monthly private sector jobs report. According to the report 156,000 jobs were added in April down from the 195,000 analyst were expecting. Next stop on the jobs train, Friday’s government NFP report.

Drive Time

Fiat Chrysler and Google parent Alphabet Inc. have teamed up to incorporate Alphabet’s self- driving technology into 100 Chrysler minivans. The move will significantly expand the tech giant’s test fleet of driverless vehicles and mark its first partnership with a major auto maker. Engineers from the two companies will collaborate in Michigan to redesign the 2017 Pacifica Hybrid integrating Alphabet’s computers, sensors, and software. The minivans will be used solely for testing. Alphabet aims to have the first driverless minivans on the road by years. Alphabet’s current fleet of 70 self-driving cars has racked up more than 1.5 million miles in California, Washington, Texas, and Arizona.

Really….

On Tuesday, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced it has fined insurance giant, MetLife, $20 million for misleading customers into switching from variable annuities contracts that were less expensive into more expensive ones. FINRA also ordered MetLife Securities to return $5 million to customers “for making negligent material misrepresentation and omissions” on applications switching customers into new variable annuities contracts. FINRA alleges the company from 2009 through 2014 misrepresented or omitted the price of customer’s current contract claiming they were more expensive than the contracts the clients were going into. In addition, MetLife failed to inform customers the new contracts would reduce or eliminate important features of their current contract, like guaranteed income benefits and accrued death benefits.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed lower on Wednesday as the U.S dollar strengthened and oil prices declined slightly.

Europe: European markets closed lower on Tuesday after data released out of the U.K showed its manufacturing sector is slowing down.

U.S.: U.S. markets closed lower as investors reacted to slowing global growth data. DJIA: -139.50 17751.66 NASDAQ: -54.37 4763.22 S&P: -18.04 2063.38

Word of The Day:

Annuity

A contractual financial product designed to accept and grow funds from an individual and then, upon a specific date, pay out a stream of payments.

Dinner or Drink:

Pineapple Crush

  • 3/4 ounce Cointreau
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 ounces cognac
  • cocktail glass

Shake well with cracked ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass that has had its outside rim rubbed with lemon juice and dipped in sugar

In a mixing glass, muddle the sage with the lime juice first, then add the pineapple and muddle again. Add Cruzan® Rums. Stir. Pour into a tall highball glass over ice. Spritz with soda water. Garnish with a pineapple wedge.

 

May 3

News:

Buy, Buy, Buy

Computing behemoth Oracle announced Monday it will buy energy analytics company Opower for $532 million. The deal, which will close later this year, valued Opower’s shares at a 30 percent premium on Friday’s close. Opower sells data service which track energy-use trends for millions of homes. More than 100 utilities including PG&E use Opower’s service to help meet state-by-state energy efficiency standards. Oracle’s newest purchase is part of an aggressive move to acquire cloud-based data companies in hopes it can change the way entrenched industries operate. Last week the software giant announced a $663 million buyout of construction management software maker Textura.

More Channels

Streaming service Hulu will expand from only offering on demand video to adding live network and cable TV feeds. The online destination, owned by ABC, FOX, and NBC, will now add Dish Network’s Sling TV and Sony PlayStation Vue services to its list of competitors. The live channels will be available starting next year and cost around $40 monthly. Currently, Hulu charges $11.99 for a monthly commercial-free subscription or $7.99 for a monthly subscription with limited commercials and access to recently released movies.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed lower on Tuesday as China’s manufacturing sector continues to weaken.

Europe: European stocks ended slightly lower as the Italian banking sector continued to weaken and oil prices declined.

U.S: U.S. markets rebounded after their biggest decline, last week, since February. Better than expected corporate earnings and the winding down of Q1 earnings seasons seemed to put a spring in investors steps. DJIA: +117.52 17891.16 S&P: +16.13 2981.43 NASDAQ: +42.24 4817.59

Word of The Day:

Share Class

A designation applied to a specific type of security like common stock or mutual fund units.

Dinner or Drink:

Pineapple Crush

  • 1 1/2 parts Single Barrel Rum
  • 1/2 part Pineapple Rum
  • Juice of one whole Lime
  • 4 one inch cubes of fresh Pineapple
  • 4-6 fresh Sage Leaves
  • Soda Water
  • Pineapple Wedge

Shake well with cracked ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass that has had its outside rim rubbed with lemon juice and dipped in sugar

In a mixing glass, muddle the sage with the lime juice first, then add the pineapple and muddle again. Add Rums. Stir. Pour into a tall highball glass over ice. Spritz with soda water. Garnish with a pineapple wedge.

May 2

News:

Splitsville

Oil-field services companies Halliburton Co. and Baker Hughes Inc. are calling off their merger, once valued at $35 billion. The merger has encountered opposition on multiple continents from regulators who claimed it would hurt competition in the oil-field services business. The companies had always anticipated regulatory changes when they originally announced the deal in November 2014 however, both repeatedly stressed they felt they could overcome the obstacles. The deal would have combined the world’s second- and- third largest oil- field services firms after Schlumberger. Halliburton will now pay a $3.5 billion breakup fee as a result of split.

On The Move

Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM) reported the company’s smallest quarterly profit since 1999, the latest in a parade of lower earnings in the oil and gas industry. Despite the company’s slip up, investor shrugged off the news Friday sending Exxon shares up almost 1% to $88.40. The move mirrors the trend of oil and gas stocks rising, despite their earnings, as crude prices continue to rally.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed lower on Monday as the stronger yen had investors worrying about the effects it will have on exporters.

Europe: European equities finished the last trading day of the month sharply lower after investor sentiment continues to wane.

U.S: U.S. closed lower on Friday, as health care stocks weighted down the major indexes. DJIA: -57.12 17,772.64 S&P: -10.51 2,065.30 NASDAQ: -29.83 4,775.36

Word of The Day:

Cost of Debt

The rate a company pays on its debt.

Dinner or Drink:

Bleecker

  • 1  oz. Rye
  • 0.25  oz. Italian amaro
  • 0.25  oz. Fresh lemon juice
  • 0.25  tsp raspberry preserves
  • 1  dash(es) chocolate bitters
  • 1  piece(s) lemon wheel(s)

 

  1. Combine Rye Whiskey, Italian amaro, fresh lemon juice, raspberry preserves and chocolate bitters into a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Shake vigorously.
  3. Fine strain into a chilled coupe glass.
  4. Garnish with a lemon wheel

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