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Sep 10


Electric Ave….

Shares of Nikola surged Tuesday after General Motors announced it’s taking an 11% stake in the electric truck maker and will produce its marquee hydrogen fuel cell electric pickup truck the Badger by the end of 2022. For its part, GM is getting a $2 billion stake in Nikola and the right to nominate one board member in exchange for in-kind services. Phoenix-based Nikola specializes in building zero-emission semi trucks using battery or hydrogen fuel cell technology, but it recently introduced its Badger pickup truck for consumers. This will also make GM the exclusive supplier of Nikola’s fuel cells globally, except Europe, for its class 7/8 trucks. In a statement, GM CEO Marry Barra emphasized the potential benefits for GM saying “this is a huge growth opportunity for us. GM has seen pressure from Wall Street to spin off its electric vehicle business for a while. Could this be the catalyst for the spin off???

No Go….
Luxury-goods giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE announced Wednesday it will backing out of its $16.2 billion takeover of Tiffany, claiming that both the U.S. jewelry company and the French government asked it to delay the acquisition beyond the closing date allowed by the merger agreement. According to LVMH, the French foreign ministry had sent it a letter asking the company to delay the acquisition to after Jan. 6, 2021 because of the threat of trade tariffs from the U.S. Separately Tiffany asked the company to delay the acquisition until Dec. 31 of this year. Tiffany announced, it filed a lawsuit in Delaware to enforce the agreement and claimed LVMH was using the letter from the French government as a pretext to back out of the deal. The merger agreement sets November 24th as the final date for completing the deal. LVMH and Tiffany had already agreed to push back the initial deadline from August 24th to November 24. According to Tiffany LVMH has not sought approval of the merger in several key jurisdictions, like the European Union, making finalization for the deal difficult before the November 24th deadline.
The plan to acquire the jeweler was the biggest ever attempted by Bernard Arnault, chief executive and controlling shareholder of LVMH. Completed shortly before the coronavirus pandemic threw the luxury-goods market into turmoil, the deal was part of Mr. Arnault’s ambition to expand the company’s jewelry business, which was one of the fastest-growing sectors in luxury.

Asia: Asian stocks declined Wednesday after Chinese inflation data for August showed the producer price index declined 2.0% in August from a year earlier.
Europe: European shares fell on Tuesday on fears that Britain was in danger of leaving the European Union without a trade agreement.
U.S: U.S. markets tumbled on Tuesday as investors remained jittery about the recent drop in big tech stocks. DJIA:-632.42 27,500.89 NASDAQ: -465.44 10,847.69 S&P: -95.12 3,331.84

Word of The Day:


An accounting method of allocation the cost of a tangible or physical asset over its life expectancy.

Dinner or Drink:

Legends of The Fall

3/4 oz. Jack Daniel’s® Tennessee whiskey
3/4 oz. amaretto almond liqueur
2 1/2 oz. pineapple juice
1 oz. cranberry juice

Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice. Add all ingredients. Stir and serve.


Dec 31



In a life is stranger than fiction twist, the former chief of Nissan Motor Co. and Renault SA Charles Ghosn unexpectedly left Japan, where he faces trial on charges of financial wrongdoing, and traveled to his homeland of Lebanon. Ghosn’s flight to a country that in 2017 put his image on a postage stamp marked a striking new development in a drama that has seen one of the world’s most prominent businessmen charged with crimes and forced to serve months in a Japanese jail cell. In a statement Ghosn said “I am now in Lebanon and will no longer be held hostage by a rigged Japanese justice system where guilt is presumed. I have not fled justice—I have escaped injustice and political persecution.” It is not clear how the ex-auto executive fled Japan. While Ghosn had been released from detention and was living in a house in Tokyo, he was required to stay in the country pending his trial, expected next year. Lebanon’s criminal code prohibits extradition of its citizens, making it unlikely Ghosn can be forced to return to Japan if he stays in the country.

Bad Guy…

Tencent Holding announced it will buy a 10% stake in the music giant behind Ariana Grande, Drake and Billie Eilish for €3 billion ($3.36 billion) in a deal that bolsters the Chinese internet giant’s growing presence in the record industry. The company is leading a consortium that has agreed to acquire a stake in Universal Music Group from Vivendi SA, valuing the world’s largest music company at €30 billion. The investment also gives Tencent the option to double its stake in the Los Angeles-based company. The deal hands Tencent exposure to some of the biggest names in music like Queen and the Beatles and will strengthen the tech company’s dominance of the growing Chinese market. Chinese consumers have quickly adopted to streaming-music services, showing a willingness to pay for steaming music.

Asia: Asian markets, that were open, closed higher as the last trading day of the decade had investor feeling good.
Europe: European shares closed lower on Monday as investors cashed in gains from a record run higher that has put the benchmark index on course for its best year since the global financial crisis.
U.S: U.S. markets closed lower on the next to the last trading day as investors took profits after a year of gains. DJIA: -183.12 28,462.14 S&P 500 -18.73 3,221.29 NASDAQ -60.62 8,945.99

Word Of The Day:

The practice of using borrowed money to purchase securities. Often referred to as “buying on margin.”

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 health and prosperous 2020!



Aug 7


Stepping Down…

Indra Nooyi, longtime leader of Pepsico, announced Monday she is stepping down as the companies’ chief executive and will hand the reigns over to one of her lieutenants. Ms. Nooyi, steered the maker of Mountain Dew, Gatorade, and Doritos chips for over a decade navigating the company through the changing landscape of the industry. She pushed PepsiCo far beyond its cola roots, expanding the company into hummus,kombucha, and other healthier products. Ms. Nooyi, will leave her role as CEO, effective October 3 and her position of Chairman of the Board in early 2019. Ramon Laguarta, a 22-year PepsiCo veteran will take over as the company’s CEO.

We Want….

Facebook wants your financial data. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the social media giant has asked the largest banks in the land to share detailed financial information about their customers, including card transactions and checking-account balances all in an effort to offer new services to users. Facebook’s goal is a lofty one consider the PR nightmare it recently faced over user’s privacy concerns. Banks on the other hand, have made the protection of customer’s information one of their top priorities.

Asia: Asian stocks closed higher on Tuesday after a positive handoff from Wall Street.
Europe: European shares closed lower on Monday after corporate earnings disappointed.
U.S: U.S markets closed up on Monday lifted by solid earnings reports. DJIA: +39.60 25,502.18 NASDAQ: +47.66 7,859.68 S&P: +10.05 2850.40

Word of The Day:

NASDAQ 100 Index

An index composed of the 100 largest, most actively traded companies on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The index includes companies from a broad range of industries with the exception of those in the financial industry, such as banks.

Dinner or Drink:
Big D’s Tea

1 cup Everclear® alcohol
1 cup gin
1 cup vodka
1 cup triple sec
1 cup peach schnapps
3 sweet and sour mix
3 water
1 splash Coca-Cola®

Add more coke if its to strong. Add other flavors such at Raspberry, Strawberry, etc.

May 6

In The News:

On Monday, Twitter (TWTR) signed a deal with Amazon Inc. (AMZN) to let users shop directly from posts as part of the company’s push to add e-commerce options for advertisers. How will it work? When a product’s link appears in a tweet, U.S. customers can add the items to their linked Amazon shopping carts by replying to the post with the hashtag #AmazonCart. While Twitter won’t get a cut of the customer sale, Amazon will increase spending on Twitter advertising products.

Enabling e-commerce will help Twitter not only to keep consumers on its site for longer time but also to learn more about user interests and shopping habits. Both can be valuable information for advertising, which is the bulk of the company’s revenue. Twitter recently has been trying to woo advertisers and retailers by adding cool new tools, helping the company reach its $255 million.

I’m out…
Target’s (TGT) CEO became the first leader of a major corporation to lose his job over a breach of customer data, showing how responsibility for computer security now reaches straight to the top. On Monday, Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel, also president and chairman, stepped down nearly five months after Target disclosed a huge pre-Christmas breach in which hackers stole millions of customers’ credit- and debit-card records. The theft badly damaged the store chain’s reputation and profits. Steinhafel, a 35-year Target employee, was already under scrutiny for an almost $1 billion lost from the company Canadian expansion and lagging behind other ecommerce retailers.

In The Markets:

Asian stocks closed mixed on Tuesday in a holiday traded session with some Asian markets closed. A positive hand off form Wall Street lifted sentiment in the region.

European markets closed higher on Tuesday after economic data from the US showed the service sector growth the most in eight months.

U.S stocks closed higher on Monday. Investors shrugged off worried over China’s slowing economy for better than expected data from the US service sector. DJIA: +17.66 Nasdaq: +14.16 4138.08 S&P: +3.52 1884.66

In Dinner of Drink:

Memory Loss:

2 oz. peach vodka
2 oz. Jamaican dark rum
2 oz. gin
2 oz. apple juice
1 slice lemon

Pour the rum and the vodka over ice into the glass, and then add the rum. Then pour in the apple juice and squeeze the lemon on the top. Do not stir.

Like our drink today, click here for more.

Worry retards reaction and makes clear-cut decisions impossible. – Amelia Earhart

Dec 20

Here’s What’s Going On In The World Of Business and Finance:

World Domination…
Hershey (HSY) announced on Thursday that it has agreed to buy Chinese candy maker Shanghai Golden Monkey Food Joint Stock Company for $498 million in cash and will assume $86 million in debt. Hershey’s new edition to the family will help the company gain stronger footing in one of the world’s fastest-growing markets for sweets. The deal will unify Hershey’s signature Kisses, Reese’s pieces and candy bars with Shanghai Golden Monkey products, which includes honey-peach hard candies, strawberry-flavored cheese chews, and seaweed-flavored wafer sticks. Shanghai Golden Monkey, founded nearly 20 years ago, is expected to have sales of $225 million this year, according to Hershey. Last year, it had 1.4% of the market for confectionery products in China, making it the ninth-largest confectionery and six largest chocolate maker in China.
Hershey also announced that it has plans to acquire all of the privately held Chinese companies in two phases. So, look out China; Hershey’s Chocolate World Domination is on the move…
We’re Moving….
Whirlpool (WHR) is moving some of its washing-machine production from Monterrey, Mexico to a plant in Clyde, Ohio. Another sign the trend of US manufacturer bringing back production to the US is alive and well. The move will create 80 to 100 jobs at the Clyde plant, which currently employs 3,300 people, and is the company’s biggest washing-machine factory. The products involved are front-loading washers used by laundromats and certain residential washers sold in Canada. The Monterrey plant, which employs about 500, will increase production of washing machines for the Mexican market and will not need to reduce its workforce. Whirlpool like many other companies, is trying to make products closer to where it sells them reducing the time needed to respond to changes in demand.

In The Markets:

Asian markets closed out the week mixed. China markets, the Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite, continued their nine day losing streak as investors fear another liquidity crisis like the one earlier this year is not too far down the road. The Nikkei (Japan) closed positive as investors reacted to the Bank of Japan (BOJ) holding its rates steady.
European stocks moved higher on Thursday as investors took the news of the Fed’s taper decision as a sign of confidence in the strength of the US economy.

US markets closed flat on Thursday after a choppy ride. The Dow Jones did manage to eke out another record high. A rise in unemployment weekly claims, declining existing home sales, and less than expected uptick in the Philly Fed Business Index has investors taking gains after the biggest rally in months the day before.

In Dinner or Drink:

Chocolate Almond Kiss
1/2 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. dark crème de cacao
1/2 oz. Frangelico® hazelnut liqueur
2 pinches chocolate shavings
1/2 cup ice
2 scoops vanilla ice cream

Blend ingredients in a bar blender with ice. Serve in a coupette glass and garnish with chocolate shavings.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend, ya’ll!
“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Sep 23

In The News:

Rebalancing Act…

Two of the US indexes, the DJIA (Dow Jones Industrial Average) and the S&P 500 (Standard and Poor’s) rebalanced on Friday. As we mentioned a couple weeks ago, the DJIA announced it would remove Bank of America, Alcoa and HP from its index. All three were replaced after the close on Friday with Nike, Visa and Goldman Sachs. The S&P also had its quarterly rebalance on Friday. The S&P 500 index is a weighted index based on the market capitalization of 500 large companies traded on the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange). Once a quarter, the index rebalances itself by changing the weightings of companies in the index based on the company’s market capitalization. For this quarter’s rebalance, the S&P reduced the weighting of Apple and Disney in the index and raised the weighting of Google and General Motors. Bottom line: If you are an index investor, i.e. your stock portfolio is based solely on the weightings and stocks of the DJIA and S&P indexes, you will obviously be affected. However, if you are an average retail investor, you more than likely will not see a significant difference in your portfolio based on the rebalance itself. [Continue reading...]

Sep 20

In The News:

Soaring House Sales….

According to the National Associations of Relators, sales of previously-owned houses rose unexpectedly in August. Existing-home sales rose 1.7% in August, making it the best month of sales since February 2007, when home prices were just beginning to decline from the housing bubble. The unexpected increase was due to a flood of buyers rushing to buy so they can lock in mortgage rates before rates increase further. The trade group is cautions with their outlook for the next several months, warning home sales could slow due to higher borrowing costs and prices. [Continue reading...]

Sep 3

In The News:

 What’s your sentiment?

On Friday, the August edition of the Thompson Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment report was released and it showed a drop in consumer confidence.   In July the index posted a six year high of 85.1 and in the August index level was 82.31. 

Bottom Line: The report confirms the suspicious of both market commentaries and economist predications that consumers are becoming more concerned about the pending Fed tapering program and the next debt ceiling negotiations. 

Cutting the cord…

General Electric (GE.N) will cut the cord and spin off the companies finance arm, GE Capital. GE Capital, which issued 55 million credit cards, earned $2.2 billion for the company last year, but has outstanding loans of $50 billion.   Once GE reviewed the numbers they realized that they need to diversify away from banking and its regulations, and will spin-off GE Capital into its own company.   By spinning off the financial arm it will allow GE to focus more on its core industrial businesses.   There has yet to be an official date announced for the IPO, but insiders are suggesting that it may occur early next year.  [Continue reading...]

Aug 23

In The News:

Grinding Halt:

The NASDAQ exchange halted trading for over two hours Thursday. Around 12:15 pm EST officials halted all trading after a glitch was discovered in the data feed that provides quotes and prices for NASDAQ-listed securities. The outage froze the prices on thousands of stocks such as Facebook and Apple, as well as on ETFs and options listed on the NASDAQ. Stocks can be listed and traded on multiple exchanges, so the effects of the NASDAQ halt rippled across numerous exchanges, dark pools and Wall Street trading platforms.  Trading resumed at 3:25 pm EST after both officials at the NASDAQ and SEC gave their blessings.

No Coverage:

UPS announced Thursday to its employees it would no longer provide healthcare benefits to 15,000 spouses. In a memo to employees the fourth largest employer announced, “Since the Affordable Care Act requires employers to provide affordable coverage, we believe your spouse should be covered by their employers.”  Coverage for spouses who do not work or lack employer-covered health plans will continue to be a part of employee benefits. This could be the first of many such announcements, as employers start to grapple with the rising cost of health care and the additional burdens of Obamacare.   [Continue reading...]

Aug 21


In The News:


A tech source let it slip that Apple has requested Hon Hai Precisions Industry, one of the iPhone assembly companies,   to ship both a new high-end and low-end iPhone in early September.   If the source’s information is true then one of the longest standing iPhone rumors of this season has been confirmed.  This would be a shift in Apple’s traditional smart-phone strategy, as they typically only introduce a new high-end iPhone in September, but it may be a necessary change.  Apple has been losing ground on the smart-phone market as both Samsung and Google are both releasing more advanced smart-phones on a more frequent basis.


Tell me if you’ve heard this one before – a financial firm had a ‘tech glitch’, submitted notification to the market bosses, and is looking to potentially cancel the trades.   No, we’re not talking about the wild ride in China on Friday; we’re talking about the tumble that happened in the US markets Tuesday morning.  Goldman Sachs trading system sent a wave of erroneous option trades on stocks and ETF’s that began with the letters I-K.  Once the error was noticed, Goldman Sachs reported the issues to US exchanges and officials began the review process.  This system glitch could cost Goldman Sachs hundreds of thousands to unwind and is a short term ding on their reputation. [Continue reading...]

Aug 15

In The News:

Whale Charges:

Late Friday evening it was reported that there were pending charges for two former JPMorgan employees involved in the London Whale debacle, and on Wednesday charges were officially filed.  Here are the highlights from what’s been reported so far:

  • The two individuals charged are named Avier Martin-Artajo and Julien Grout.
  • The charges are conspiracy to falsify books and records, wire fraud, and falsifying SEC filings.
  • Bruno Iksil, the trader behind debacle, has been granted immunity in return for his assistance in helping build the case against Mr.  Grout and Mr. Martin-Artajo.

The charges against Mr.  Grout and Mr. Martin-Artajo show that the government has received enough credible information from Mr. Iksil to pinpoint blame on these individuals.   The combination of charges show that Mr.  Grout and Mr. Martin-Artajo were creatively cooking the JPMorgan books and hiding the activity from internal and external checks and balances.  The pair kept a separate book to track the real value of the portfolio that led to the huge loss to JPM, hoping someday it would rebound in value.

Music to the Ears

Steinway Pianos, the pianos used by Rachmaninoff, have negotiated a deal with private equity guru John Paulson of Paulson & Co. to purchase the company for $512 million ($40 per share).  Last month the company appeared to have a deal in place with the private equity firm Kohlberg & Co for $35 per share,   but decided to terminate the purchase agreement and pay the $6.7 million penalty in hopes that they would receive a better offer. [Continue reading...]

Aug 9

In The Markets:

China Rebounds:

In China, July was a great month to be in the export or import business.  Exports were up 5.1% and imports were up 10.9%.   These increases are a possible sign that the world’s #2 economy is stabilizing following last year’s slowdown.

Go, Fannie, Go:

Fannie Mae, the mortgage behemoth, reported a $10.1 billion dollar profit during the second quarter, nearly double what it earned a year ago.   This is their sixth straight quarter reporting profits. Rising home prices have helped the company create a rainy day fund and will allow it to make a $10.2 billion dollar payment to the Treasury Department in September.   To date Fannie Mae has paid back $41.1 billion dollars of the $71.3 billion it borrowed from tax payers in 2008. [Continue reading...]

Jul 29


In The News:

IMF hand slap:

The US received a hand-slap from the IMF (International Monetary Fund) on Friday.   In the US’s annual assessment the IMF told the Fed that it’s lack of communication regarding the exit from QE3 (Quantitative Easing) could cause damage to the US recovery as well as send destructive shockwaves across the global economy.

Inflation = Celebration?

Japan’s July CPI (Consumer Product Index) jumped to 0.4%, the largest jump since 2008.   This is a win for PM Shinzo Abe and Finance Minister Taro Aso as it shows that Abenomics is getting the desired result, higher inflation.  Normally one would not be excited about inflation but when country has struggled with deflation for 2 decades a change like this hint at economic recovery. [Continue reading...]

Jul 22


In The News:

Letting Go:

China’s central bank will scrap its controls on leading interest rates instead letting bank set their own rates.

You can run but you can’t hide:

Steve Cohen, founder of the hedge fund SAC Capital, was charged on Friday with failure to stop insider trading by two employees he supervised. Over the last year the SEC has charged two of SAC employees with insider trader but failed to get the top dog or so we thought. The charges brought are civil in nature and the SEC will seek to bar Cohen from overseeing investor funds. [Continue reading...]

Jul 19


In the News:

Philly Fed:

Philadelphia area manufacturing reported a stronger than expected up tick. The expansion in US Firms helped propel the index to 19.8 in July compared to 12.5 in June; which provided the largest jump since March 2011.

Dell Drama:

The drama surrounding the potential buy out of Dell continues for at least another week.    The vote for the proposed buyout by founder Michael Dell and Silver Lake was started on Thursday at Dell’s annual shareholder meeting but has been delayed until next week.  Based on the results of the initial tally process on Thursday the outcome does not look good.  [Continue reading...]

Jul 18


In The News:

Bernanke speaks…. FED Chairman Fuzzy Face (aka Ben Bernanke) testified on the hill yesterday. After consulting with our decoder ring below are some of the speech highlights:

  • Asset purchases are not on preset course, and can be reduced/expanded.
  • Specific unemployment and inflation numbers are thresholds, not triggers.
  • The intent is to continue QE until substantive labor market improvement.
  • Economy risks have dwindled since the fall.
  • The risk remains of tighting  fiscal policy could restrain economic growth.

Talk to me, book….Wednesday the FED’s research paper called the Beige Book was released. The book provided us the below revelations about the US economy:

  • Growth is at modest pace and manufacturing is expanding.
  • Housing and construction are up at moderate to strong pace.
  • Hiring is steady and wage pressures are contained. [Continue reading...]
Jul 16


In The Markets:

China’s Big News:  Global investors held their collective breath over the weekend hoping the country’s economic data released on Sunday would show the economy merely slowing down not grinding to a halt. Well Christmas came in July. China’s GDP for Q2 was the lowest since 1991 due to weak trade; however it came in at 7.5% still within the government expectation and guideline.

Conflicting… That is the word we would use for two pieces of US economic Data which were released Monday.  First up, Retail sales up 0.4% in June however, the numbers were weaker than expected. Next comes the NY FED Empire State Index. The index, which gauges the conditions for New York manufactures, rose in July to a better than expected 9.5 from 7.8 in June. [Continue reading...]

Jul 15


In The News:

Change in Price: The Producers Price Index (aka PPI) rose 0.8% in June vs. 0.5% in May. It was the biggest rise since September 2012. A rise in PPI, a family of indexes that measures change in selling prices by domestic producers of good and services, can signal a stronger economy.

Feeling a little less confident. That’s what consumers were saying about the overall health of the economy as July’s Consumer Sentiment reading edged lower in July to 83.9 vs. 84.1 in MidJune.

Dimon Speaks, the world listens: In an interview with CNBC Friday Jaime Dimon, CEO and Chairman of JPMorganChase, shared his opinion on several topics:

  • On the Economy Dimon, said the US was getting stronger and the broad based recovery was improving.
  • On the Fed raising rates, it would affect the banks bottom line however; it could be good if rising rates means a stronger economy.
  • On the topic of his threat or rumored threat of packing his toys and leaving if his joint role of CEO and Chairmen were split. Nope, he won’t.

On a side note JPM (JPMorgan Chase) reported earnings Friday. The Bank, which is coming back from the big whale loss, earned $1.60 per share for Q2, beating estimates by 16 cents. [Continue reading...]

Jul 10


Expansion: June’s ISM (Institute of Supply and Demand) manufacturing report showed sector growth was ever so slight. The report showed the index moved from 49.0 in May to 50.9 in June. A jump in new orders attributed to the slight increase in growth. Also good news out of the report, construction spending rose from 0.1% in April to 0.5% in May, the highest level since September of ’09. The rise in spending reflects a recent pick up in home building.

Double Interest Rates…Today is the day student loan interest rates double on Federal subsides loans. The current interest rate 3.4% is doubling to 6.8% because Congress couldn’t get their act together before their July 4th recess and pass a new bill. Why is this important? Amount of Student Loan debt is now higher than the amount of Credit Card debt in the US. [Continue reading...]

Jul 8

In The News:
Jobs Friday! Job’s Friday didn’t disappoint . According to the NFP ( Non Farm Payroll) report released on Friday, the US adding 195K in June vs.the 165K jobs added that were estimated. The Unemployment rate stayed unchanged at 7.6 while, hourly wage went up 0.4% in June vs. 0.1% in May. [Continue reading...]

Jul 3


In The News:

Factory Orders increased:

Factory Orders rose from 1.3% in April to 2.1% in May.

Soaring Sales:

June was the month to buy an automobile. GM’s sales were up 6.5% to the highest monthly totals since September 2008. Ford’s sales were up 13%, their best since June 2006.  Chrysler reported sales up 8.2% and Toyota sales increased by 9.8. Based on these numbers June must be Ford Truck month.


The worlds’ largest bond fund, PIMCO Total Return Fund, reported outflows (money that was taken out of the fund) totaling $9.6 billion in June. The fund is managed by PIMCO leader Bill Gross. Why the mass exodus?? Bond yields

New Rules and Regulations:

The Federal Reserve approved new banking rules, called Basel III, on Tuesday. The new regulations will raise the amount of capital “Big Banks” will have to maintain on their books from 4% to 6%. The goal of the new regulations is to reduce excessive risk banks have taken in the recent past.

Losing Steam:

China’s Service Sector continued to lose steam in June. China’s official PMI (Producers Manufacturing Index) came in at 53.9 versus 54.3 in June. The unofficial HSBC PMI provided a little sunshine in their report; they showed smaller companies ticked up to 51.3 in June from 51.2 in May.


On Tuesday the Treasury Department announced that they are postponing enforcing a significant piece of Obamacare by a year.   The specific provision being delayed affects larger employers who must decide whether they will continue their company’s health care coverage or pay a penalty of $2,000 per employee.  The new enforcement date will being on January 1, 2015 instead of 2014.

In The Markets:


Investors were spooked by negative news from China and Greece; the market closed in the red Wednesday.


The latest Euro-zone unemployment numbers spooked investors and triggered a slip in European Markets on Tuesday.


The spooked investor trend carried over to US markets as investors watched the mounting tension in Egypt.  The markets opened down triple digits, moved into positive territory, and lost steam in the final hour of trading.  The US markets ended slightly in the red Tuesday.


In Dinner and Drink:

After a rough trading day for investors we all need a little comfort food.

Twice Baked Potatoes


  • 3 large baking potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½  tablespoons milk
  • 1 ½ tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 5 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 ¼ cups)
  • ½ tablespoon garlic salt
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • ¼ cup finely chopped green onion


  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Wash the potatoes and pierce them with a fork.
  • Rub the potatoes with olive oil and place them on a jellyroll pan or a large cookie sheet with a rim.
  • Bake the potatoes for 45 minutes to an hour, or until done.
  • Remove the potatoes from the oven and cut them in half lengthwise. Set aside to cool.
  • Reduce the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop out the potato flesh into a large electric mixing bowl.
  • Add the milk, butter, sour cream, cheese, garlic salt, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix until creamy.
  • Divide the mixture evenly and spoon it back into the potato shells.
  • Return the potatoes to the oven for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and garnish with the bacon and green onion.

I learned the hard way not to wrap the potatoes in foil before baking; it softens the shells and they will fall apart.  Baking them unwrapped makes the shells stronger for scooping out the potato flesh later.

Want more great recipes, click here.



Jul 2


In The News:

New At The Helm Zynga hired Don Mattrick, Microsoft’s Xbox Chief, to replace founder Mark Pincus. Zynga has been struggling amid lowering stock prices, layoffs, and a steady stream of senior executive exits. Pincus, will stay on with the company as its Chairman, Chief Product Officer, and holder of 61% of voting rights. That should make for some interesting Board meetings…

You’re a keeper… That’s what Disney told its CEO, Bob Iger when they offered him a new contract through June 30, 2016. Iger’s tenure hasn’t been a smooth one.  He has made it through the fight to split the roles of CEO and Chairman, compensation criticism and was previously going to vacate his position as CEO on April 1, 2015. Guess it true… Disneyland where your dreams can come true.

You’re in T-R-O-U-B-L-E… The Troika (aka the bailout police) has told Greece it has three days to show it can meet all bailout conditions or it doesn’t get its next batch of rescue loans. The Troika has the power to refuse to transfer the full amount or break the 8.1 billion euro amount into three monthly payments. Seem the Troika is a little pooped at Greece over its reform efforts.

Strike.. The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit System came to halt Monday as workers went on strike after contract negotiations over the weekend stalled. Bay area commuters were stuck like Chuck some waiting hours for transportation to carry them through their daily lives.

TV in the clouds… Southwest will begin offering free live television on its flights. The carrier struck a deal with Dish to provide the TV’s in exchange for Dish advertising through passenger’s entire experience.

Private Piano… Kohlberg & Co, the private equity firm, has agreed to buy Steinway Musical Instruments for $438 million or $35 a share.  The deal will help the piano maker gain recognition in places like Brazil, China, and Russia.

In The Markets:

Asia: Asian markets closed higher in their trading session. A weaker Yen helped boost exports stocks.

Europe: Europe closed higher Monday. Up beat Eurozone employment numbers helped investors digest record high unemployment in the region.

US: US Markets gained positive grounds Monday on better economic data.  DJIA: +65.36 14974.96, Nasdaq: +31.24 3434.49  S&P 500: +8.68 1614.96.

 In Dinner or Drink:

We choose a drink to help Disney CEO, Bob Iger, celebrate his new contract.

Mickey Mouse

1/2 pint bitter
1/2 pint lager

First pour in the lager then the bitter.

If the bitter is a smooth flow type, the drink is more easily poured if the nozzle of the bitter tap is removed first, and then poured.

Want to know more about the drink of the day, click here.












In The Markets:






DJIA: +65.36 14974.96                          Nasdaq: 3434.49 +31.24   S&P 500: +8.68 1614.96

Jul 1


In The News:

Better than Nothing:

The Chicago PMI (Purchasing Manufacturing Index) fell in June to 51.6 from 58.7 May. Why is that important – the index is a gauge of manufacturing sector growth, and it showed slowing growth.   Slowing manufacturing growth is not great for the overall big picture of economic health, also known as GDP (Gross Domestic Product).

How ya’ feeling:

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment report was release on Friday.  This report gauges how consumers are feeling overall, and the report showed a small drop in sentiment to 84.1 in June from 84.5 in May.

Fed Head:

Bernanke’s (aka Fuzzy Face) days as the head of the Federal Reserve are drawing near. Never fear progress has stated.  President Obama has started to compile a short list of candidates to replace him. The search for the new Federal Reserve  head will be conducted by the Treasury Secretary. As of now the search  has not produced a front-runner. We will have to stay tuned as the drama unfolds.

Google’s Pipeline:

According to The Wall Street Journal Google is developing a video game console and wristwatch. Both products are based around Google’s Android operation system. The new devices will help Google compete against Apple, which is rumored, to be developing a wrist watch as well.

SEC Probing..

CNBC has reported that the SEC has started a probe into the relationship between Thomson Reuters and the ISM (Institute of Supply Manufacturing).  Last month it was reported that Thomas had been sending the ISM’s report to his top clients just before it was being released to the general public.

Venti Soda?:

Is Starbuck’s expanding to the soda market? The Seattle-based firm is currently testing their newest carbonated creations in Austin and Atlanta.  Their sample set currently includes lemon-ale, spiced root beer, and ginger ale made from a carbonation machine and they are priced from $2.45 to $3.45 depending on size.


On Friday the mammoth news organization formerly know as Fox will split into 2 companies. The newly formed News Corp will house all the “News” holdings like the WSJ, Dow Jones, New York Post etc. The newly formed 21st Century Fox will house all the “Entertainment” holdings like FX, 20th Century Fox, etc.


Onyx Pharmaceuticals rebuffed an offer from Amgen.   Onyx through the $8.7 billion offer undervalued the company, and they have start soliciting other potential bids.


In The Markets:


Despite the mixed signals that investors received from the regions economic data, Asian markets closed in the green on Monday.


Investors reacted negatively to the weak US economic data, and the European markets closed down on Friday.


We are officially half-way through 2013.   Investors were left to digest lackluster economic data as well as more Fed speak; this in turn has caused a choppy session at the quarter –end.


In Dinner or Drinks:

Today we have selected a classic drink, the Whiskey Sour, to celebrate the birth of two newly independent companies – Fox News and 21st Century Fox

Whiskey Sour


  • 2 ounces whiskey (Scotch, Bourbon, Canadian Whiskey or Irish Whiskey)
  • Juice from ½ of a lemon
  • ½ teaspoon of sugar
  • 1Maraschino Cherry
  • Ice


  • Put ice, whiskey, lemon juice, and sugar in a low-ball glass and stir.
  • Add a half slice of lemon, a cherry as garnish, and serve.

For more classic drink recipes click here.




Jun 24


In The News:

Google Fix or Fined: France has officially given Google 3 months to fix its privacy policy or face steep fines. The issue, Google’s privacy policy, which does not clearly state what user’s info is used for, how long Google plans to hang onto the data, or even it’s being why collecting it. France is the first big European nation to stand up to Google siting breach of the countries Data Privacy Act. European countries, such as the UK, Spain, Germany and Italy, are expected to join France’s bandwagon against Google and make the same type of recommendations. [Continue reading...]

Jun 7


In The News:

Unchanged with a hint included: The European Central Bank (aka ECB) left its benchmark interest rates unchanged today and refrained from any new measures to stimulate a shrinking euro-zone economy. The big story however, was the hint heard around the world. The central bank, who has been reluctant to implement measures to revive the economy and employment of the Eurozone, would now consider cutting interest rates if the region continues stagnant economic growth. This is the first clear-cut signal of potential rate cuts out of the mouth of the big banker in forever.

Let the QE Game begin: Bank of Japan finally made it official; we are joining the QE bandwagon on Thursday. The BOJ (Bank of Japan) delivered its plan to help spur the Japanese economy, a plan that is so aggressive in nature it caught the world by surprise. The Central Bank announced as part of its plan it will double its holdings of government bonds and the amount of yen in circulation. The object of the game like all QE is to punch down long-term interest rates (like the 10 year treasury) which will spur consumers and business to borrow, spend, and invest more. Can we say start the printers, Danno.

Home is where Facebook is… Facebook unveiled Thursday its newest adventure, Home. Home is software, created for Android devices that will take over the phone’s traditional display with populate posts, pictures, and messages from the user’s news feed. All news smartphones from HTC will come with Home pre-installed and will be available to everyone else April 12.

Used bulldozer? Think Recycling… Caterpillar Inc. recently bought a minority stake in Cat Action Services, a venture started by a group of independent Cat dealers, who action off machinery that has been used for rental or trade in’s they could not sell on their lots. Caterpillar sees it as an opportunity to expand its sales of replacement parts, warranty, insurance and customer financial. Can we say Full circle thinking…?

HP Quitter… HP Chairman, Ray Lane, has called it quits and resigned after he faced fierce criticism; from both investors and shareholder advisory firm ISS, over his role in the debacle involving Autonomy. Lane will remain on with HP as a director.

In The Markets:

Asia: Two of the three main Asian markets closed mixed as China’s markets were closed Friday. The picture was a good one with both the Hang Seng and the Nikkei in the green however, the closer to the end of the trading day and technically closure to the US jobless claim number the worse the markets became.

Europe: European markets dropped on comments from the ECB’s Draghi that the Eurozone was still at risk for a deeper recession.

US: US markets rallied higher as investor choose to look at the positive: new QE in China not the negative: a rise in the weekly jobless claims.

Dow: +55.76 14606.11 Nasdaq: +6.38 3224.98 S&P: +6.29 1559.98

In Dinner or Drink:

Today we choose drink in celebration in Caterpillar recycling gig we will be drinking…

Top Cat

35 ml vodka

35 ml peach Snaps

35 ml white rum

350 ml orange alco pop

Pure orange juice

Add all three spirits into the mixer, then pour in the contents of the Orange alco-pop, finally add as much Pure Orange as desired & shake vigorously. Serve into a pint sized glass, add straws & enjoy!

Read more: Top Cat recipe




May 30



In News:

Burnin a Hole in My Pocket: Warren Buffet’s Bershire Hathaway announced it will buy NV Energy for $5.6 Billion in Cash. The buyout will help him spend some of the $49.1 Billion cash the company has stock piled. The move also helps Berkershire Hathaway expand futher into Nevada and futher into capital intensve business.

Pork for Sale: Shanghui International Holdings has agreed to buy Smithfield Foods, famous for it’s ham’s, for $4.7 Billion or $34 per share. The deal will help Shuanghui, China’s largest pork producer, boost it’s supply to the top consuming pork eaters in the world. Obviously the Justice Department may have a few words about the potential deal.  Buddy you better not change my Paula’s Deen Spiral Glazed Ham !!

Cheap Apple: Rumors are flying after a story in the DigiTimes says Apple will intoroduce a revised iPhone 5 and a low cost models similar to the iPhone 4S in Q3.  Guess we will all have to stay tune to as apple turns for more details.

Pay up: Nasdaq (yep the trading excahnge) has agreed to pay a $10 Million fine for poor systems and decision making during the Facebook IPO debacle last year. The fine is the biggest ever assessed against a trading exchange by the SEC (Securities Exchange Commision).

My New Little Brother: We present too you the Galaxy S4 mini, smaller version to proud big brother the Galaxy S4. Samsung unvieled it’s newest addtion yesterday. The mini has a slightly larger screen than the iphone and will have an 8 mega-pixel cameria. Sorry” gotta have the latest and greatest” fans no launch date or pricing was mention.

I’ll Beat You Might Little Pretty.. Dish increased it’s offer to buy Clearwire to $4.40 a share. The increase trumped Sprints revised $3.40 a share bid making some wonder could Dish have a back up plan if the Sprint deal falls through.. hmmmm

In Markets:

Asia: Asian markets tanked after a tepid hand off from the previous global stock markets Europe and the US. Fears of what a world without  US QE caused investors to start to climb the wall of worry. Nikkei: -737.43 13589.03   Hang Seng: -70.62 22484.18  Shanghai -6.26 2317.74

Euorpe: European markets declined in their trading session after the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development lowered their output forecast for the Eurozone from 0.1% to 0.6% this year.

US: US markets took a dip downward in their Wedsenday trading session. The lack of ecconmic data gave investors a chance to start contemplating wherther the fed will stop or dial down their asset purchases (aka QE) after a string of upbeat economic reports like the housing and consumer cofidence numbers from yesterday. Let the taper talk game begin. DJIA: -106.59  15302.80  Nasdaq: -21.37  3467.51  S&P: -11.70  1648.38

In Dinner or Drink:

Today we pick Dinner. One of my favorite southern dinners…

Cola Basted Ham

1 (18-pound) cured ham

2 (12-ounce) cans cola

Canned pineapple rings

Brown sugar

Maraschino cherries



Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Place ham in a shallow roasting pan. Baste the ham with cola. With toothpicks, stick some pineapple rings on the ham, about 4 or 5 rings. Sprinkle some brown sugar on the rings. With toothpicks, place a cherry in each pineapple ring hole and then stick some cloves in the rings. Cover it with foil. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes per pound of ham, or until the ham reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees F. Baste with cola about every 30 minutes during cooking.

Apr 4




In The News:

Fuzzy math: China released data that have some claiming fuzzy math. For the three months through February China’s mainland customs reports $ 94.9 billion in exports to Hong Kong, however, Hong Kong reported only $58.7 Billion in exports. The discrepancy between the two reports was the greatest reported ever. The exact reasons for the discrepancy aren’t clear however, many economist believe it may be China’s system of controls which make it hard to move investment funds in and out of the country. It is common practice for companies or peeps in China to hike the value of their goods and sending them abroad allowing the money to come back into China in greater amounts.

Samsung Store: Best Buy has discovered a way to use empty space in its stores: Turn it over to Samsung. Beginning May 1 Best Buy’s big box stores will have mini Samsung boutiques located toward the front of the store. The boutiques will carry an array of Samsung’s mobile devices, camera, and accessories while be manned by recruits hand-picked and trained by Samsung.

No good news on the EZ home front: EZ PMI (Producers Manufacturing Index) dropped in March positing 46.5 vs. 47.9 in February. What does it all mean.. The slowdown has now hit the one source of bring light, Germany.

Phone Home: Facebook is set to unveil its new HTC-made phone Thursday. The phone will run on an Android operations system and incorporate Facebook functionality. Some of the perks include news feeds made for mobile and a new scroll that helps users find information based on their network.

Same ol’ Same ol’ - BOE (aka Bank of England) announced it will leave its monetary policy unchanged, its benchmark rate at 0.5%, and its QE program dormant. The decision came after the country’s service PMI (Producers Manufacturing Index) rose from 51.8 in February to 52.4 in March the highest in seven months.

Not so good Economic Data: First, came the ADP numbers (number of jobs the private sector alone added) reporting only 119K jobs vs. 192K expected. Second, ISM (Institute of Supply Manufacturing) Index down at 54.4 in March vs. February 56… The index showed weakest in the manufacturing sector in 7 months.

In The Markets:

Asia: Asian markets were mixed in their trading session as the Bank of Japan said it would double its asset purchase insuring it will hit its 2% inflation target in two years.

Europe: European markets slid as investor anxiously waiting news from BOJ and BOE about their monetary policy.

US: US markets slid on weak economic data and rising tension with North Korea.  Dow: -111.66 14550.35 Nasdaq: -36.26 3218.60 S&P -16.56 1553.69

Dinner or Drink:

Today we pick a drink worthy of China’s fuzzy math.. A fuzzy navel.

Fuzzy Navel

1 part peach schnapps

1 part orange juice

1 part lemonade

Mix equal parts of each ingredient in a highball glass, top with ice, and serve.

More awesome drink receipes click here.


Apr 2


In The News:

Slow and Steady: Monday’s ISM (Institute for Supply Management) showed the US economy grew for a fourth straight month; however the numbers did show the economy grew at a slower rate than expected.

Shut Out: Commodities, who suffered their worst quarter since 2010, were shut out of the euphoria felt by the financial markets in Q1. In the past commodities and the direction of the US stock markets have gone hand in hand since the financial crisis of ’08. Investors and analyst suggest the large inventories or stockpiles of basic goods such as oil, corn, or cotton has led prices to remain low in Q1.

Apple Apology: Apple posted an apology letter to its China’s website. The letter written in Chinese and signed by Apple CEO, Tim Cook, apologized for misunderstandings created by poor communications regarding warranty policies.

Contraction: Eurozone PMI (Producers Manufacturing Index) dropped to 46.8, a three month low, in March vs. 47.9 in February. Contributing to the drop in monthly readings, a fall in output and new orders, bringing further job losses to the region.

Cleared for Bankruptcy: A federal judge has cleared the way for Stockton, California to continue with its bankruptcy, finding citing the city is eligible. The judge also allowed the city to keep its pensions intact while imposing losses instead to its Bondholders. Several municipalities such as Jefferson County, Alabama and San Bernardino, California have been keeping a close eye, as many feel the ruling has now set a precedent in municipality bankruptcies.


In The Markets:

Asia: Asian Markets were mixed as investors reacted to the possibility of slower growth in the US.

Europe: European markets were closed for Easter.

US: US markets were mixed on the first day of the month and the quarter on slower growth economic data.

DJIA: +5.69 14572.85 S&P: -7.02 1562.17 Nasdaq: -28.35 3239.17

Dinner or Drink:

Today we pick dinner. In honor of Stockton, CA home of the annual Asparagus Festival we will be feasting tonight on…

Spaghetti with Asparagus, Smoked Mozzarella and Prosciutto

Here’s what you will need:

  • 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
  • 3/4 pound spaghetti
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into strips
  • 6 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 6 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil leaves


Cook the asparagus in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. With a spider or slotted spoon, remove asparagus from boiling water to a bowl of ice water to cool and stop the cooking. When cool, strain, cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces, and set aside.

Return the water in the pot to a boil, adding additional water, if necessary. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add asparagus to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the pasta, and if needed, some of the reserved cooking liquid. Toss to coat. Add the prosciutto, mozzarella, and basil, and toss to combine. Turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.

Thank you Food for the excellent recipe.


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