In The News:

The Spiders Are Back…
On Friday, Mazda announced that the spiders are back when they notified federal officials they will recall 42,000 Mazda 6 sedans model years 2010 through 2012.  The yellow sac spider is attracted to the hydrocarbons in gasoline and can sometimes find its way into a fuel tank hose. The spider can then weave a web which blocks airflow into the Mazda 6 fuel tank causing potential cracks and possibly fires.  The car maker has designed a special spring to prevent the spiders from getting in; however, sometimes the spiders find a way, so they also designed a software fix to alleviate pressure on the fuel tank and to prevent the cracking.  Recent Mazda 6 sedans are not affected, as they come with the spring and software installed. Three years ago, Mazda had to recall 52,000 Mazda6 model years 2009 and 2010 for the same issue.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs…

On Friday, the Labor Department released the NFP (Non Farm Payroll) report. The report showed that the economy added 192,000 jobs in March and revised the number of jobs added in January and February up by 37,000. The unemployment rate stayed steady at 6.7%.  Maybe the most important fact about Friday’s report, however, is that the economy finally hit the magic number, adding enough jobs to replace the 8.8 million lost during the deep recession.

It Was The Russians…

The hackers who raided the credit-card payment system of Neiman Marcus Group Ltd. belong to a sophisticated Russian syndicate that has stolen more than 160 million credit-card numbers from retailers over seven years. The Russian group, well known to U.S. authorities, who have indicted several members and linked it to security breaches more than 100 companies, including Citigroup Inc. (C) and J.C. Penney Co. (JCP). Officials have pinpointed a different group of hackers in the Target security breath.

The breach at Neiman Marcus has received less attention than those at Target and Michaels since the theft was smaller. In January the company announced 1.1 million credit cards may have been compromised, they later lowered the estimate to 350,000, and said that 9,200 had been used fraudulently as of Feb. 21.  The sophistication of the Neiman Marcus attacks, including how the stolen cards were sold, set it apart from the Target attack.

In The Markets:

Asian markets started the week off mixed as the global rout of tech stocks continued.

European markets closed higher on Friday after a report had the European Central Bank thinking about 1 trillion euros of quantitative easing in the near future.

US markets tumbled on Friday with the Nasdaq closing down triple digits. The markets started off the day positive after the NFP report the economy added 192,000 jobs only to lose momentum as investors took profits from anything technology or biotech related. DJIA: -159.84 16412.71 Nasdaq: -110.01 4127.73 S&P 500 -23.68 1865.09

In Dinner or Drink:

Big Dumb Russian

ice cubes
2 oz Absolut® vodka
3 parts Sprite® soda
1 splash pineapple juice
Maui® Blue Hawaiian schnapps

Fill the glass with ice. I like to use a standard beer glass. Add about 2 shots of vodka. Then fill the glass about 3/4th of the way with Sprite. Then add just a splash of pineapple juice. Finally, add the Blue Maui until you get a faint (almost skyblue) blue color. Stir.

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We are what we repeatedly do. – Aristotle