In The News:

Weak Jobs…

On Friday, the December NFP (Non-Farm Payroll) report was released, showing the economy added only 74,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 6.7%. The report has again sparked the argument of whether the unemployment rate is dropping because people are getting new jobs or because people have stopped looking. According to Friday’s report, the U.S. labor force shrank by 347,000 in December with only 62.8% of U.S. adults looking for work, the lowest number since 1978. In 2013, the labor force shrank by nearly 550,000 workers to about 154.9 million, marking only the third year since 1948.

KJ’s Take: The good news is that the economy added 74,000 jobs; however, the job market is still fragile but healing.

From Bad, To Worse…

Target’s (TGT) data breach had officially gone from bad to worse, as the big box retailer estimates that at least 70 million customers may have been impacted, almost twice as many at the 40 million it disclosed late last year. A forensics investigation conducted by the company has found that information separate from the payment card data (such as email, customer names and address) was also taken during the breach. The customer data was stolen from systems beyond point of sale, meaning that customers who emailed Target with questions or made purchases via the Internet may be impacted as well.

We’ve Been Compromised…
On Friday, Luxury merchant Neiman Marcus confirmed thieves stole some of its customers’ payment card information and made unauthorized charges over the holiday season. The company wouldn’t estimate how many customers may have been affected however; they have notified customers whose cards they know were used fraudulently. Neiman Marcus, which currently operates more than 40 upscale stores and clearance stores, is working with the Secret Service on the breach.

In The Markets:

Asia:
Asian markets closed mixed on Monday as China decided to postpone its 5 new IPO’s so government officials could ensure new security measures are working correctly.

Europe:
European shares closed slightly positive on Friday on news the German airline, Deutsche Lufthansa AG, would lower fuel and restructuring cost in 2014.

US:
US markets closed flat on Friday as investors reacted to the disappointing jobs number released on Friday. DJIA: -7.71 16437.05 S&P: +4.24 1842.37 Nasdaq: +18.47 4174.67

In Dinner or Drink:

Broken Spur Cocktail
3/4 oz. sweet vermouth
1 1/2 oz. port
1/4 tsp. triple sec

Stir all ingredients with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.
“What the mind can conceive, it can achieve”- Napoleon Hill