In The News:

Pay Up Buddy…

The U.S. Justice Department is pushing BNP Paribas to pay up more than $10 billion to resolve allegation that it evaded U.S sanctions against Iran and other countries for years. The penalty, if paid, would represent one of the largest penalties ever imposed on a bank. The penalty isn’t all that the bank is concerned about. A major sticking point of negotiations so far is the possibility that the U.S. will temporarily restrict the bank’s ability to transact in U.S. dollars. This could cause a huge problem for the bank, as it has multiple businesses including its investment bank and trade finance operation that do their transactions in dollars. No dollar = no transactions. A settlement announcement could be only a couple of weeks away. Shares of BNP closed down on Thursday.

Nice To Be Popular….

Tyson Foods (TSN) became the latest suitor of Hillshire Farms (HSH) announcing Thursday a $6.1 billion bid. The all-cash bid comes only two days after Pilgrim’s Pride’s (PPC) made a bid for the company valued at $5.5 billion.  Either bid for Hillshire, if successful, would mark the meat-industry’s biggest merger in history. To complicate things Hillshire’s has made a $4.3 billion bid for packaged-food company Pinnacle Foods. Talk about Drama…

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian equities ended lower on Friday ahead of Chinese manufacturing data.

Europe:

European markets closed in the green on Thursday despite several sector rating downgrades.

US:

US markets closed higher on Thursday with the S&P 500 finishing at an all time high for the 13th time this year. Investors shrugged of lower GDP and focused instead on merger news and better-than-expected jobless claims. Dow: +65.56 16698.74 NASDAQ: +22.87 4247.95

In Dinner or Drink:

Jimmy Powers

2 oz. Jim Beam® bourbon whiskey
2 oz. Powers® Irish whiskey
Combine bourbon and Irish whiskey in a shot glass, and serve.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend!