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Dec 30

Highlights:

Onward

Shares of Sears Holding Corp. rose on Thursday as the cash-strapped company secured a $200 million line of credit. The new credit line was provided by ESL Investments, a hedge fund found by Sears Chief Executive Edward Lampert, and can be expanded to total up to $500 million. The retailer will use the funds to improve its operations. The retailer has posted annual losses in each of the past six fiscal years as it copes with shoppers opting for online choices over traditional brick and mortar stores.

Drive Time

Honda Motor Company announced Thursday it will recall approximately 650,000 Odyssey minivans in the U.S. A defect that could cause the second-row seats to shift suddenly in a crash triggered the recall involving 634,000 vehicles. The Japanese automaker reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the defect involves a release lever that may remain in the unlocked position unintentionally and allow the seats to move unexpectedly. The recall is for model year 2011-2016 Odyssey vehicles manufactured from August 17, 2010 through October 1, 2015. Letters will go out to owners starting in February instructing them of the recall and where to take their vehicles for repairs.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed mixed on Friday as traders started their New Year’s parties early.

Europe: European markets closed mostly lower dragged down by the financial sector.

U.S: U.S. markets closed slightly lower on Thursday as the Trump rally continues to fade. DJIA: -13.90 18,819.78 NASDAQ: -6.46 5,432.08 S&P: -0.66 2,249.26

Word of The Day:

Activist Investor

An individual or group which purchases a large amount of a company’s shares and or tries to obtain seats on the company’s board with the goal of effecting major change in the company. A company can become a target for an activist investor if it is mismanaged, has excessive cost or another problem an activist investor thinks they can fix to make the company more profitable.

Dinner or Drink:

Bourbon Ball

  • 1 1/2 parts Bourbon
  • 1/2 part Creme de Cocoa White Liqueur
  • 1/2 part Hazelnut Schnapps Liqueur
  • Heavy Cream
  • Garnish Chocolate Shavings
  • Garnish Whipped Cream

Add Bourbon, Crème de Cocoa White Liqueur, Hazelnut Liqueur and heavy cream to taste.  Shake and serve up or on the rocks. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Wishing you a prosperous 2017!!!

Dec 28

Highlights:

Sale…

Oil giant BP has agreed to purchase Woolworths fuel business for around $1.8 billion. The deal includes Woolworths 527 fuel convenience sites and 16 development sites. Woolworths has been mulling over a potential sale of its fuel business for months as the company has been under pressure to preserve capital after its failed attempt in the home improvement arena. Woolworth will use its new-found cash to reinvest in its core businesses and strengthen its balance sheet.

Hack Attack

Three Chinese citizens have been criminally charged in the United States with trading on confidential corporate information obtained, when they hacked into law firm’s networks and servers. The three traders were indicted in a Manhattan federal court on charges of conspiracy, insider trading, wire fraud, and computer intrusion. Prosecutors claim the men made over $4 million by placing trades in at least five companies based on inside information the traders obtained by hacking into law firm’s networks and servers. The case is the latest in the U.S governments crack down on insider trading involving hacking and follows warnings by officials that law firms were the new prime targets for hackers looking for information they can use for money.

Markets:

Asia: Asian shares closed mixed on Wednesday after shares of Toshiba plunged 20 percent on a possible multi-million dollar write-down.

Europe: European markets closed flat on Tuesday with several markets closed for the holiday.

U.S: U.S markets closed flat on Tuesday as investors continue their Holiday vacation. DJIA: +11.23 19.945.04 NASDAQ: +24.75 5,487.44 S&P 500: +5.09 2,268.88

Word of The Day:

Core Inflation

A measure of inflation that excludes certain items that could have temporary price which diverge from the overall trend in inflation and give a false measure of inflation.

Dinner or Drink:

Happy New Year

1/4 oz. brandy
3/4 oz. ruby port
3/4 oz. orange juice
4 oz. Champagne

 

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

 

Dec 27

Highlights:

Holiday Greetings….

In an attempt to drum up holiday sales, Starbucks (SBUX) promises free espresso drinks until January 2—if you’re in the right store. Starting last Friday, select Starbucks stores will host 1,000 Pop Up Cheer Parties over the next 10 days, where customers can enjoy free tall handcrafted espresso beverages including mochas and lattes. Each day the coffee giant will list which stores will be providing the free drinks from 1-2 pm. Locations change daily and will be listed on starbucks.com/cheer. Customers can also visit participating Starbucks stores to receive a “cheer card” providing them discounts on beverages, lunch items and other items during the 10 Days of Cheer.

Recall

Auto giant Fiat Chrysler is recalling nearly 50,000 small SUVs worldwide. The recall covers model year 2016 Dodge Journey, Jeep Compass, and Jeep Patriot. According to the company a sensor can cause the engine to malfunction and causing the vehicle to either fail to start or stall. No reports of injuries or death have been reported. Owners will be notified soon when and where to bring their vehicles for repairs.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed mixed on Tuesday despite strong growth in China’s industrial sector.

Europe: European shares closed higher as the bank situation in Italy seemed to be settling down.

U.S: U.S. indexes closed flat on Friday as traders started their Christmas vacations early. DJIA: +14.93 19,933.81 NASDAQ: +15.27 5,462.63 S&P: +2.83 2,263.79

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:

Apple Cider Float

  • 1/2 part Sour Apple Schnapps
  • 1 part Whiskey
  • 2 parts Apple Cider
  • Dashes of Cinnamon, Ground
  • 1 scoop Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Cinnamon Stick

Add ice cream to a glass. Combine other ingredients in an ice filled shaker. Shake and strain into glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and a dried apple slice.

 

 

Dec 23

Highlights:

Pay Up….

Deutsche Bank has officially agreed to a $7.2 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over its sales and polling of toxic mortgage securities in the run-up of the financial crisis. The agreement, announced Friday morning, will provide some relief to the German lender whose stock was hit hard in September after the Justice Department original sought a fine of $14 billion. The deal highlights the Justice Department’s recent efforts to hold European banks accountable for their contribution in the 2008 financial crisis.

Bail Out

On Friday, Italy’s government approved a bailout for Monte dei Paschi di Siena, after the world’s oldest bank failed to secure backing from private investors. Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and his cabinet approved a 20 billion euro rescue fund to help bail Italy’s third largest bank. Monte Dei Paschi’s desperate need for a bail out followed the banks unsuccessful attempt to raise the money needed through private investment.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed out their week lower as investors take a break before the Christmas holiday.

Europe: European indexes closed lower on Thursday as traders start their holiday early.

U.S: U.S shares closed lower as the postelection rally took a break. DJIA: -23.08 19,918.88              NASDAQ: -24.01 5,447.42 S&P: -4.22 2.260.96

Word of The Day:

Monetary Policy

The actions of a central bank, currency board, or other regulatory committees which determine what the size and growth rate of a countries money supply, in turn affecting that countries interest rates. Monetary policy is maintained by increasing or decreasing interest rates or changing the amount of money banks need to keep in their vaults (aka bank reserves).

In Dinner or Drink:

Angels Delight Christmas Punch

1/4 cup whipping cream
7 scoops ice cream
1/2 cup chopped pecan nuts
1/4 cup chocolate syrup
1 banana

Put these in a blender. Put whipped cream and nuts on top of glasses.

Like our drink, click here for more.

We wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

Dec 21

Highlights:

Strike up the Band

Praxair Inc. and Linde AG concluded their two-year courtship by agreeing to join forces to create the industrial gas industries largest player with a combined market value of $66.6 billion. The two companies provide “specialty” gas for oil drillers and refiners, chemical makers and hospitals. The gases help reduces emissions from refineries and help cool the superconductive magnets in MRI medical scans. Regulators around the world will still need to approve the merger of Munich-based Linde and Danbury, Connecticut based Praxair. Shares of both companies lost ground on Tuesday.

Movin’

Apple is discussing with the Indian government the possibility of manufacturing its products in that country. In a letter to the government last month, Apple outlined its plans and sought financial incentives to move ahead. Making goods such as iPhones locally would allow the company to open its own stores in India helping build its brand in a county where it has less than 5% of the booming smartphone market. India’s smartphone market is expected next year to overtake that of the U.S. market. The company is seeking to emulate its China model in India.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed mostly down on Wednesday after investors seemed a bit disappointed the Dow Jones failed to close at 20K.

Europe: European markets closed higher as investors shrugged off recent geopolitical events.

U.S: U.S. shares closed higher on Tuesday but short of Dow Jones 20K. DJIA: +91.56 19974.62 NASDAQ: +26.50 5,483.94 S&P: +8.23 2,270.76

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.

In Dinner or Drink:

Cappuccino Shake

1 cup skim milk
1 1/2 tsp instant coffee
2 Sweetener
2 drops brandy or rum flavoring
1 dash cinnamon

In a blender, combine milk, coffee, sweetener and extract. Blend until coffee is dissolved. Serve with a dash of cinnamon. For a hot drink, pour into a mug and heat in a microwave.

 

Dec 20

Highlights:

Idle Hands…

General Motors will temporarily idle assembly plants in Michigan, Ohio, Kansas, and Kentucky next month in an attempted to reduce bloated inventories. The temporary shutdown focus on plants building sedans and coupes, such as the Chevrolet Cruze, Cadillac CTS, and Chevy Camaro, as the demand for passenger cars have declined. GM’s decision to stop production came after it watched its inventories surge in some cases nearly three times what the industry considers the norm. The move however, is viewed by some analyst as signal of a broader slowdown in the U.S. automotive market after three consecutive years of record sales.

Guilty

Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, has been found guilty of negligence by a French court during her time as the country’s finance minister. The court imposed no penalty on Ms. Lagarde, who had plead not guilty over allegations of negligence stemming from her role in settling a long-running legal battle between tycoon Bernard Tapie and France. The charges centered around why the state used arbitration to settle the legal battle between Tapie and the French state-owned bank Consortium de Réalisation, or CDR, which was created to hold bad debts as part of the bailout of endangered lender Crédit Lyonnais. Ms. Lagarde will not appeal the court’s decision.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed mixed on Tuesday after Japan’s Central Bank held their interest rate steady.

Europe: European markets closed lower on Monday in thin holiday trading.

U.S:  U.S. markets closed higher as shares that had lagged in the postelection rally made up some ground. DJIA: +39.65 19,883.06 Nasdaq: +20.28 5,457.44 S&P: +4.46 2,262.53

Word of the Day:

Animal Spirts

A term used by economist John Maynard Keynes that describes how human emotion drives consumer confidence.

Dinner or Drink:

Merry Christmas

1 bottle raspberry vodka
6 cans cranberry juice
1/2 bottle Absolut® vodka
1 can Sprite® soda

 

Pour all ingredients (chilled beforehand) into a large container or punch bowl, preferably on top of another similar container filled with ice. Allow to chill. Serve in punch cups or tall glasses.

Dec 19

Highlights:

End…

German banking giant Deutsche Bank, has agreed to pay $37 million to end government investigations into how it routed trades to “dark pools” and if they properly policed their own stock-trading platform. The bank’s settlement with the U.S. and New York regulators closes one investigation for the bank however, negotiations with the Justice Department to resolve claims over mortgage securities it sold in the run-up to the financial crisis is still ongoing. In September, the bank rejected a $14 billion settlement offer from the government investigators and it has since made a settlement counteroffer. But the two sides continue to disagree on key points of the deal.

Reward...

Walmart has launched a new program that offer prizes as incentives to get its shoppers to sock away money in saving accounts. The “Prize Savings” program features Walmart branded reloadable pre-paid debit cards, which are linked to a free savings “vault”. For each dollar, a customer’s stash in the vault they receive one entry into a monthly prize. The sweepstakes awards 500 cash prizes every month, with the average prize being around $25. The sweepstakes also includes one monthly price of $1,000. The program is a first and helps encourage savings by low-income shoppers, many of whom might not have enough to cover even the smallest emergencies like fixing a flat tire.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed mostly mixed despite better than expected trade data from Japan.

Europe: European stocks closed out the week higher as investors eyed new economic data while still digesting the Federal Reserve’s rate hike.

U.S: U.S. markets closed lower after it was reported China had captured a U.S. drone. DJIA: -8.83 19843.41 NASDAQ: -19.69 5437.16 S&P: -3.96 2258.07

Word of The Day:

Yield Curve:

A line that plots interest rates, at a set point in time, of bonds having equal credit quality, but differing maturity dates. Most frequently used to compare the three month, two-year, five-year, and thirty-year U.S Treasury debt. The yield curve is used as a benchmark for other debt markets like mortgage rates or bank lending rates.

Dinner or Drink:

Cinnamon Sugar Cookie

  • 1/2-part Black Cherry
  • 1/2 part Butter Schnapps
  • 1/2-part Irish Cream
  • Cinnamon, Ground

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

Dec 16

Highlights:

Second Thoughts

Yahoo’s disclosure of another massive security breach is throwing its deal with Verizon into question. Yahoo stock fell more than 5% in Thursday morning trading following a report by Bloomberg that Verizon is weighing whether to cut the $4.8 billion price tag or abandon it all together. On Wednesday, Yahoo disclosed it has suffered another security breach, dating back to 2013 and is separate from the one the company disclosed in September which affected at least 500 million accounts. The security breach, the largest in history, could also give Verizon some bargaining power to renegotiate the terms of the original deal as now there is a larger chance of customer lawsuits and damage to Yahoo’s brand.

On The Road Again….

General Motors has started testing its fully autonomous vehicles on public roads around its Detroit technical center. The announcement comes just a week after the Governor of Michigan signed legislation that allows the cars to be tested on public roads without a driver or steering wheel present in the vehicle. Testing started Thursday for the snowy and cold weather side of GM’s autonomous vehicles program. Winter weather is one of autonomous cars biggest issues as the snow can stop cameras and other sensors from spotting crucial things like lane lines or traffic signals. GM is also testing autonomous cars in San Francisco and Scottsdale, Arizona and currently has around 40 autonomous Chevy Bolts in its testing program.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed out their week mostly in the green as investors are still basking in the Federal Reserve’s comments on Wednesday.

Europe: European markets closed higher after the Bank Of England keep their interest rates unchanged.

U.S: U.S. stocks closed higher on Thursday, taking back most of Wednesday’s losses, as investors started to wrap their heads around the Fed’s hint it will raise rates next year at a faster pace. DJIA: +59.71 19,852.24 NASDAQ: +20.18 5,456.85 S&P: +8.75 2,263.03

Word of The Day:

Bond Ladder

A portfolio of fixed-income securities in which each security has a significantly different maturity date minimizing interest rate risk, increasing liquidity, and diversifying credit risk.

Dinner or Drink:

Santa’s Little Helpers

5 oz. apple juice
1 1/2 oz. apple schnapps
1 1/2 oz. Goldschlager® cinnamon schnapps
1 1/2 oz. butterscotch schnapps

Pour apple juice into a cocktail shaker. Add Goldschlager, apple schnapps and butterscotch schnapps. Shake and strain into a large cocktail glass. Garnish with an apple slice or cinnamon stick, and serve.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend!

Dec 14

Highlights:

First….

Wells Fargo became the first bank penalized by Federal regulators for failing to come up with an adequate plan to dismantle itself in an orderly bankruptcy if the event should ever occur. The “Living Wills” as they are commonly known are a required part of the post-crises regulatory Dodd- Frank Act. The company’s latest trouble comes only months after the bank was embroiled in a scandal over the creation of millions of fake accounts and the treatment of its workers. The new regulator slap has nothing to do with this year’s scandal and everything to do with a failure to remedy deficiencies regulators raised back in April for the 2015 living plan. The bank will now be prohibited from establishing international bank entities or acquiring any non-bank business. The penalties could get worse if the bank does not address the questions raised by regulators by the end of March.

Christmas Miracle

After months of delay, Apple’s Airpods are officially ready for purchase. On Tuesday, the tech giant announced its new wireless earbuds, originally announced back in September, would be available for purchase just in time for Christmas. Apple delayed the release of the Airpodes in October because it need a little more time before they were ready for customers. The new Airpods will set you back $159.00. If you are thinking about buying them for your favorite person, you may need to literally run out and buy them. Apple will release them to its retail stores, authorized resellers and some wireless carrier stores next week however, Apple’s online store already has them listed as shipping out in four weeks.

Markets:

Asia: Asian stocks closed flat on Wednesday as investors wait cautiously for Wednesday’s Federal Reserve meeting and its possible rate hike.

Europe: European markets closed higher on Tuesday led by a rally in the banking sector.

U.S: U.S. shares closed higher on Tuesday as all eyes turn on tomorrow’s Federal Reserve meeting. DJIA: +114.78 19,911.21 NASDAQ: +51.29 5,463.83 S&P: +14.76 2,271.72

Word of The Day…

Federal Funds Rate

The interest rate which is charged when a depository institution, like a bank, lends funds maintained at the Federal Reserve to another depository institution overnight.

Dinner or Drink:

Holly Jolly

  • 1 1/2 parts Melon Liqueur
  • 1 part fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 part Creme de Cocoa White Liqueur

Shake all ingredients. Pour into coupe glass or martini glass.

Dec 12

Highlights:

I’m Out of Here

After a rocky eight-year run, Muhtar Kent, will step down as chief executive of Coca-Cola and hand the reins over to his top deputy. James Quincey, a 20-year- veteran of the soft drink giant. Quincy will have his hands full as he takes over a company whose revenue have declined in each of the past three years despite the company’s diversification into juices, bottled waters, and other beverages.  Along with slower sales, Quincey will also have to face an increasing number of governments weighing special taxes on sugary drinks. The U.K plans to introduce a levy in 2018 and countries including South Africa and Indonesia are mulling similar steps.

We Want You

21st Century Fox, owned by the Murdoch family, is making another run at buying the rest of U.K-based pay-tv giant, Sky, five years after its previous attempt was thwarted. In separate statements on Friday the two companies said they had reached an agreement in principle for Fox to buy the 60.9% it doesn’t already own of the company for £10.75 ($13.52) per share in cash, or about $14 billion. The bid represents a 40% premium to its closing price last Tuesday, the last business day before Fox made its approach. According to U.K takeover rules, Fox has until Jan. 6 to firm up its offer including agreeing on certain material offer terms like the size of the breakup fee.

Markets:

Asia: Asian stocks closed lower on Monday after investors digested new regulations and this week’s Federal Reserve meeting.

Europe: European markets closed higher for a fifth straight session on Friday as investors continued their Christmas buying spree.

U.S: U.S shares continued their upward climb as investors continued to pour money into companies that benefit from stronger economic growth and fiscal stimulus. DJIA: +142.04 19,756.85 NASDAQ: +27.14 5,444.50 S&P: +13.34 2,259.53

Word of the Day:

Slippage

The difference between the expected price of a trade, and the actual executed price of the trade. Slippage often occurs during periods of higher volatility, when market orders are used, and when large orders are executed when there may not be enough buyers at the desired price level to maintain the expected price of trade.

Dinner or Drink:

Spiced Holly Highball

  • 1 1/2 parts Aged Dark Rum
  • 5 Cranberries
  • 3/4 tsp Pumpkin Spice
  • 1 tsp Agave Syrup
  • Handful Mint, Fresh
  • Splash Club Sod

Muddle the cranberries, mint, pumpkin spice and agave. Add rum and shake well. Strain over ice into a highball glass. Top with club soda. Garnish: mint sprig and three cranberries.

 

Dec 9

Highlights:

Pink Slip

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca announced Thursday it will lay off 700 people across the U.S. in early 2017. 120 of the of jobs cuts come from the company’s plant in Delaware and the remaining will come from both sales and non-sales roles.  The announcement, posted on the company’s website, cited the reason for the lay off as part of the company’s return to its growth strategy. AstraZeneca sales declined in 2016, including a 22-percent drop in the second quarter.

Flying Hoods

Hyundai will recall more than 41,000 older minivans due to an issue that can cause the vehicles hoods to fly open while they are being driven. The recall covers Entourage minivans model years 2007 and 2008. The car company says a secondary hood latch can rust and remain in the unlatched positions. If the primary latch is somehow released, the secondary latch may not keep the hood in place. The company reports the issues has not caused any crashes or injuries. Dealers will replace the secondary latches in cold weather states where corrosive salt is used to clear roads.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed mixed after South Korea voted to impeach its President.

Europe: European shares closed higher after the ECB extended its asset buying program.

U.S: U.S markets closed at record highs as investors continued to run away from bonds and into stocks they think Trump’s potential tax cuts, deregulation, and fiscal stimulus will help. DJIA: +65.19 19,614.81 NASDAQ: +23.60 5,417.36 S&P: +4.84 2,246.19

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.

 

 

 

Dec 8

Highlights:

Two Is Better Than One

Merrill Lynch will now require its brokers to make at least two client referrals to other parts of its parent company Bank of America or have their pay cut. The moves comes as Wall Street brokerage firms try to drum up new business while avoiding aggressive cross-selling tactics like those used by Wells Fargo. If a broker fails to refer at least two customers in 2017 toward other parts of Bank of America- including its online brokerage platform, Merrill Edge, or its retail bank, they will have 1% shaved from their take home pay or deferred compensation. Currently, brokers must come up with one referral a year.

Trouble

Three reverse mortgage companies were collectively fined $790,000 for using deceptive advertising that claimed consumers could not lose their homes. American Advisors Group, Reverse Mortgage Solutions, and Aegean Financial reached consent agreements with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after the regulator’s investigation found they used ads who featured misleading claims such as promising borrowers won’t lose their homes or borrowers can live in their homes until they die without any monthly payments. Reverse mortgages are special home loans that provide homeowners age 62 or older too draw on the equity they have built up in their homes and receive the money either by lump-sum payments, monthly payments, or lines of credit. Borrowers however, are still responsible for general upkeep, insurance, and property taxes. Default on either property taxes or failure to comply with the loans terms can lead to borrowers losing their happy home.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed mostly higher on Thursday after Wednesday’s banner session in the U.S.

Europe: European stocks closed higher for the third consecutive day as investors place bets the ECB will continue its asset buying programs.

U.S: U.S. shares closed higher as investors continue to buy stocks that will do well in times of economic growth. DJIA:  +297.84 19,549.62 NASDAQ:  +60.76 5,393.76 S&P: +29.12 2,241.35

Word of The Day:

Santa Claus Rally

A surge in stock prices which occurs in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Numerous explanations for the Santa Claus Rally phenomenon includes tax considerations, Wall Street happenings, people investing their Christmas bonuses and the fact that the pessimists are usually on vacation this week.

In Dinner or Drink:

Candy Cane Cocktail

Ingredients:

1 candy cane, crushed, for garnish

2 ounces’ strawberry vodka

4 dashes white creme de menthe

2 1/2 ounces’ cranberry juice

Ice cubes

Directions:

  • Place crushed candy canes on a small plate or saucer. Wet the outside rim of a chilled martini glass with water. Holding the glass by the stem, rotate the rim to coat with candy.
  • In a cocktail shaker, combine vodka, creme de menthe, cranberry juice, and ice; shake until well combined. Strain into prepared glass; serve immediately.

Thank you, Martha Stewart, for our outstanding drink.

 

 

 

Dec 7

Highlights:

Clear to Takeoff

On Tuesday, the Justice Department approved Alaska Air Group’s acquisition of Virgin America however, it did impose conditions requiring Alaska Air to scale back route partnership with American Airlines. The Justice Department’s modifications will ensure Alaska Air has the incentive to compete as vigorously as Virgin competes with them today, going head to head with the airline on 20 nonstop routes. The $2.6 billion merger deal, struck in April, will create the fifth-largest U.S airline by traffic.

Cleaning Up

At a conference on Tuesday, Chipotle’s CEO announced half of the company’s 2100 restaurants have less-than-stellar customer service. The chain will now shift its focus toward training employees to clean dirty napkins off table, organize the soda fountain and keep the glass on the front door free of fingerprints. Company CEO, Steve Ellis admitted the company had let customer service slip as it focused on new food safety protocols after an E. Coli outbreak last year sickened some customers. Shares of the company fell $29.90 to close at $366.37 in Tuesday trading.

Markets:

Asia: Asian shares closed higher on Wednesday as investor liked Trump’s announcement that Softbank will bring jobs to the U.S.

Europe: European markets closed higher as investors unease over Italy’s political turmoil subsided.

U.S: U.S. markets closed higher on Tuesday as investors continued to dump bonds and run towards stock as they bet inflation will start to tick upward. DJIA: +35.54 19,251.78 S&P: +7.52 2,212.23 NASDAQ: +24.11 5,333.00

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:

Christmas Elf’s Revenge

2 oz. white sambuca
1 oz. 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 today, click here for more.

=

Dec 6

Highlights:

Grab and Go

Amazon (AMZN) unveiled its prototype for a brick-and-mortar food store called Amazon Go. The new store will track consumers purchases with cameras and artificial intelligence sensors. Customers will then pay via mobile device automatically before they leave. There will be no checkout lines to wait in and no need for countless cashiers or cash registers. Currently the concept is being tested at Amazon’s hometown location in Settle and is only open to employees. Next year, the company plans on opening an 1,800-square foot store to the public in addition to its planned chain of convenience store that will offer perishable items and meals.

Ride Sharing

Ride-hailing service, Uber has created a division to develop technology which will teach computers to think like humans. Uber has agreed to acquire Geometric Intelligence, a fledgling artificial-intelligence startup, move its 15-person staff to San Francisco and will form Uber AI Labs. The lab will focus on software for self-driving cars, which Uber hopes to roll out broadly in the coming years.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed mostly higher as market uncertainty faded following the failed referendum in Italy.

Europe: European shares closed higher after voted decided to reject the referendums proposed by the Italian government.

U.S: U.S. markets closed higher on Monday lead by higher gas prices. DJIA: + 45.82 19,216.24 NASDAQ: +53.24 5,308.89 S&P: +12.76 2,204.71

Word of the Day:

Inflation-Linked Savings Bonds (I Bonds)

Bonds issued by the U.S government which are like regular savings bonds, except their yields are tied to the rate of inflation therefore, providing investors inflationary protection.

Dinner or Drink:

Southern Santa

1 1/2 oz. coconut rum
fill with eggnog
1/2 – 1 oz. grenadine syrup
ice cubes

Pour coconut rum into a highball glass half-filled with ice. Fill with eggnog. Stir in grenadine to desired red (no more than 1 oz.).

 

Dec 5

Highlights:

Let The Music Play

Sirius XM has approached Pandora Media Inc.’s board to express renewed interest in a takeover of the Internet radio provider. Sirius’s latest approach did not include a price however, the company offered around $15 per share to acquire the company earlier this year. Pandora has yet to respond to the Sirius interest in purchasing the company. Shares of Pandora closed higher while shares of Sirius closed lower on Friday.

Drop

German banking giant Deutsche Bank, will cut roughly 3,400 trading clients as part of a broader restructuring to help reduce costs and restore long-term stability. The move affects “actively trading” customers such as hedge funds. Deutsche Bank forewarned investors and clients it would cut as many as half of its trading clients almost a year ago, the bank’s move is late compared with other bank, who in recent years have dropped less-profitable clients and increased fees. The client purge is the latest step by the embattled bank to shore up its capital positions and cut costs as it wrestles with its own problems in addition to a weak European economy.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed lower as investors digested news the Italian PM will resign after this weekend’s landslide vote against his referendums.

Europe: European shares closed out their week in the green as investor concerns over Saturday’s constitutional reform vote in Italy seemed to subside.

U.S:  U.S. markets closed flat as investors digested the OPEC deal and negative wage growth in November for the first time since December 2014. DJIA: -21.51 19170,42 S&P: +0.87 2,191.95 NASDAQ: +4.55 5,255.65

Word of The Day:

Capital Markets:

The markets for buying and selling equity and debt instruments. Capital markets bring together suppliers of cash such as retail and institutional investors, and users of capital like businesses, governments, and individuals.

Dinner or Drink:

  • 2 parts Spiced Rum
  • 3 parts Blood Orange Soda
  • 1 part Orange Juice
  • 2 parts Pomegranate Juice
  • 2 parts Soda Water

Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl and stir for 30 seconds. Serve over ice with a blood orange slice for garnish.

 

 

Dec 2

Highlights:

Now Hiring

On Friday, the Department of Labor released it’s monthly job report. According to the report the economy added 178,000  jobs in November and the unemployment rate is at 4.6%.

Leavin

Leader of the Coffee movement, Howard Schultz announced Thursday he is stepping down as chief executive of Starbucks Corp. Schultz will now lead an effort to build high-end coffee shops charging as much as $12 a cup as he continues to revolutionize the way Americans consumer coffee. Shultz will hand over the reins in April to Kevin Johnson. Johnson severed as a director of the company for seven years before joining its executive team two years ago, Starbucks move toward high-end coffee, nick named Siren Works after the mythological creature in the coffee chain’s logo, is aimed at refreshing the Starbucks brand. Per Starbucks the move to open high-end shops marks the company’s largest strategic change since it began opening shops overseas almost 20 years ago, Schultz believes the approach will provide an experience that will entice consumers who increasingly shop online to leave their homes.

Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed higher on Friday as investors wait for Friday’s jobs reports for the U.S.

Europe: European shares closed lower on Thursday as investors remain cautions ahead of this weekend’s referendum vote in Italy.

U.S: U.S stocks closed mixed on Thursday as investors take a step back and wait for Friday’s jobs reports. DJIA: +68.35 19,191.93 NASDAQ: -72.57 5,251.11 S&P: -7.73 2,191.08

Word of The Day:

Asset Classes

A group of securities that have similar characteristics, behave similarly in the markets, and are subject to the same laws and regulations. The three main asset classes are equities (stocks), fixed-income (bonds), and cash equivalents (money market instruments).

Kentucky Coffee

  • 1 part Bourbon
  • 1 part Irish Cream
  • 1 splash Hazelnut Schnapps Liqueur
  • Hot Coffee
  • Garnish Whipped Cream

Fill a mug half way with hot coffee and pour in Bourbon and Hazelnut Liqueur. Add cream liqueur and top off with a dollop of whipped cream.

Dec 1

Highlights:

Download

Starting Thursday, subscribers of Netflix can access their favorite shows without an internet connection. The steaming video giant will now let customers download offerings like Orange Is The New Black, Narocs, and The Crown. There is no additional cost for the new feature and its available on all plans. Video download will be available on both Android and iOS devices.

Take Two

GoPro announced it will cut 15% of its workforce after attempts to expand beyond its core business failed to gain traction. On Wednesday, the company announced several moves to reach profitability, including eliminating 200 of its current 1,700 employees and closing its entertainment division. The move was not a surprise to investors, as the company had announced its intent to scale back and cut $130 million in expenses in 2017 on its November earnings call. Wednesday’s actions revel the challenge the company has faced branching outside its adventure base as do-it-all cell phones dampen demand for the need of stand-alone cameras.

Markets:

Asia: Asian shares closed higher on Thursday as regional manufacturing surveys in China beat expectations and oil prices continue to rally.

Europe: European stocks closed in the green on Wednesday as energy stock raised higher after OPEC officially made a deal to cut production.

U.S: U.S. market closed mixed on Wednesday as investors digested positive economic data and higher oil prices. DJIA: +1.98 19,123.58 NASDAQ: -56.24 5,323.68 S&P: -5.85 2,198.81

Word of The Day:

Valuation

The process of determining the current worth of an asset or a company.

Dinner or Drink:

Siberian Sleigh Ride

1 1/4 oz. vodka
1/4 oz. white creme de cacao
1/2 oz. white creme de menthe
3 oz. light cream

Shake with ice and strain into shifter, Sprinkle with chocolate shavings.

 

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