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May 21

Highlights:

Soupy

Campbell Soup announced Friday, chief Denise Morrison has stepped down and the company is looking into the possible sell of some its brands. The move comes as the companies’ bet on fresher foods failed to revive sales. Sales of the company’s core business declined every year of Ms. Morrison’s seven- year tenure, except one. Efforts to enter in the fast-growing fresh food business hit their own hurdles and failed to add much needed value to the companies bottom line. Shares of the company fell 12% on Friday after the company reported worse-than- expected earnings and lowered its guidance for this year.

JetBlack

Discount retailer Walmart is testing an online personal shopping service. Called Jetblack, the service is designed to give product recommendations and let users make purchases through text messages. Currently the service is being beta tested on “busy NYC moms”. The new service has been described as a members-only shopping and concierge service which combines the convenience of e-commerce with the customized attention of a personal assistant.  The retailing giant hired cofounder of Rent the Runway, Jennifer Fleiss to help oversee the start up last year. Jetblack is the latest punch in Walmart’s battle with online giant Amazon.

Markets:

Asia: Asian shares closed higher as trade war tensions seemed to ease a bit.

Europe: European markets closed lower on Friday as investor concern over geopolitics and trade intensified.

U.S: U.S stocks closed mostly lower on Friday as investors remain uncertain about the effect of interest rates and global trade issues. DJIA: +1.11 24,715.09 Nasdaq: -28.13 7354.34 S&P: -7.16 2712.97

Word of the Day:

Seasonal Adjustment

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

Dinner or Drink:

Limoncello Citrus Sangria

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

 

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

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

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

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May 17

Highlights:

Courting

As part of Walmart’s plan to woo shoppers, the company will launch the Lord & Taylor store on its website in the coming weeks. The new “store” will feature more than 125 brands like Lucky Brand, Vince Camuto, and Tommy Bahama. It’s imperative for Walmart’s new initiative to work as the company expands beyond its low-income shoppers who are limited on what they can spend. But Walmart’s new strategy is not with out risks. The company will have to walk a fine line between courting higher-income shoppers while holding true to its core strategy.

High Five

On Wednesday, Macy’s reported higher sales at locations still open, in a sign the department store giant is pulling out of a prolonged slump.  The results were helped by a strong economy, low unemployment and recent tax cuts which gave consumers more money to spend on their retail therapy. Macy’s same store sales in its fiscal first quarter rose 3.9% from the previous year. Macy’s has also taken internal steps to help boost its performance, including streamlined merchandising structure and a new incentive plan that lets all full and part time staff shares in the company’s profit.  Shares of Macy’s shot up nearly 11% on Wednesday after the company released its earnings.

Markets:

Asia: Asian stocks closed mixed on Thursday as the yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury stayed above 3 percent and investors kept an eye on the second round of U.S.- China talks.

Europe:  Shares in Europe closed higher on Wednesday despite surging interest rates for Italian debt.

U.S: U.S markets closed higher on Wednesday lead by the retail sector. DJIA: +62.52 24,768.93 NASDAQ: +46.67 7,398.30 S&P: +11.01 2722.46

Word of the Day:

 The People’s Bank of China (also known as the PBOC or PBC):

The PBC is the central bank of China, and controls both the regulatory and monetary policy for mainland China. The bank was established on December 1, 1948 and is based in Beijing. The People’s Bank of China has the most financial assets of any single public financial institution.

Dinner or Drink:

French 68

1/4 oz. brandy
3/4 oz. Calvados® brandy
1 dash grenadine syrup
1 dash sugar syrup
1/4 oz. lemon juice
4 oz. Champagne

Shake all ingredients (except champagne) well over ice cubes in a shaker. Strain into a champagne flute, slowly fill with champagne, and serve.

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