Here’s What’s Happening in Business and Financial News…

Cleared for Takeoff…
On Wednesday, a federal bankruptcy judge approved the settlement of the U.S. government’s antitrust lawsuit against American Airlines (AA) and US Airways (LCC). The judge ruled that the settlement did not compromise American’s bankruptcy- reorganization plan, which had been given conditional approval back in September. The ruling clears the way for the two companies to complete their merger around December 9. The merger will create the world’s largest airline.

Host with the Most…
The Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday that it will replace Terremark, a subsidiary of Verizon Communications (VZ), as its web host provider for the federal health insurance marketplace. Instead the government agency will go with Hewlet Packer (HPQ) to provide support and hosting duty. The switch will take place over the summer. HP’s Enterprise Services group was awarded the $38 million contact after the government solicited bids. Currently, HHS has a $55.4 million contract with Terremark for its support of the healthcare marketplace.

In The Markets:

Asia:
Asia closed higher on Thursday as the Nikkei hit a six year high. Upbeat data out of the US on Wednesday had investors giddy.
Asian shares closed out the month mixed. The Nikkei was down as investors took profits after yesterday’s six year high. The Hang Seng and Shanghai closed their month in the green after investors continued to be positive on the recent slate of government-reform measures seem to be encouraging growth and investment prospects in the region.

Europe:
European shares rallied Wednesday on the back of an improving economic data from the US.
European markets continued their winning strike on Thursday. Continued better corporate earnings and unemployment figures out of German helped investor get into a buying mood.

US:
U.S markets closed higher on Wedsenday, with another record close for the S&P 500 and Dow Jones. Betterh than expected economic data on consumer sentiment, unemployment claims, and Chicago PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) had investors feeling like speading some pre-holiday cheer. DJIA: +24.53 16097.33 NASDAQ: +27.00 4044.75 S&P 500 +4.48 1807.23

In Dinner or Drink:

Friday Forgetfulness
2 oz. Kahlua® coffee liqueur
1 oz. Bacardi® white rum
1 oz. butterscotch schnapps
4-6 oz. milk
ice

In a tumbler glass or Mason jar put in about 4 ice cubes, the Kahlua, Bacardi rum, Butterscotch Schnapps and Milk. Stir to blend if needed.

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Happy Friday! Have a safe and wonderful weekend, yall!