In The News:
Taco Bell (YUM) is launching a national breakfast menu on March 27. The menu will feature items such as the A.M. Crunchwrap. The chain says that breakfast will be available until 11am. Taco Bell has been testing and tweaking its menu in a handful of the chain’s nearly 6,000 U.S. locations over the past several months. For the national rollout, the company has hired additional staff, trained existing staff and purchased new equipment, including for the coffee it plans to start serving for the first time. It’s not clear how Taco Bell’s entry into breakfast will alter the fast-food landscape, since Starbucks also plans to roll out new and revamped breakfasts sandwiches, including a croissant sandwich with ham, cheese and egg.
The nation’s largest bank, JP Morgan Chase (JPM) is planning additional job cuts in its mortgage business on top of the 13,000-15,000 positions already due to be slashed because of plunging demand for home loans. The announcement could come as soon as Tuesday’s JPMorgan’s annual investor day. The cuts are part of a new efficiency drive at the largest US bank by assets that also encompasses staffing branches with fewer employees. Profitability remains stronger than at competitors such as Bank of America and Citigroup but the bank is looking to find new savings, partly due to technology that allows greater automation of clerical functions in branches and partly because of a plunge in demand for mortgage refinancing.
New Kids On The Block….
HTC Corp. (2498), the unprofitable Taiwanese smart phone maker, unveiled a lower-priced smartphone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, as the company chases growth in cheaper devices. The Desire 816, a smartphone priced in the “mid-tier”, will be available in China starting in March and in other countries beginning in April. The company will also announce later this week its entries into the wearable phone gadget market.
In The Markets:
Asia was mostly higher Tuesday after a positive handoff from the US.
European markets closed at the highest levels in six years on Monday. Investors shrugged off worries over tighter credit in China instead feeling some US love as the S&P hit an intraday record.
U.S. stocks rallied on Monday, boosted by M&A activity, an upbeat German confidence report and bets that the S&P 500′s will reach new high ground spurred a buying spree. DJIA: +103.84 16207.14 Nasdaq: +29.56 4292.97 S&P 500: +29.26 4292.97
In Dinner or Drink:
Mexican Breakfast Casserole
1 bag (20 oz.) refrigerated cooked shredded hash brown potatoes
1 package (1 oz.) Old El Paso® taco seasoning mix
1 lb. bulk turkey or pork breakfast sausage
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (8 oz.)
¼ cup milk
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
1 ½ cups (from 16-oz jar) Old El Paso® Thick ‘n Chunky medium salsa
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9x2-inch (3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray. Place hash brown potatoes and 1 tablespoon of the taco seasoning mix in large bowl; toss to coat potatoes evenly. Pat in baking dish.
Spray 10-inch skillet with cooking spray. Cook breakfast sausage and onion over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain.
Meanwhile, beat eggs, cheese, milk, salt, pepper and remaining taco seasoning mix in same bowl with whisk until well mixed. Stir in sausage mixture and salsa. Carefully pour over hash browns in baking dish.
Bake uncovered about 40 minutes or until eggs are set in center. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.-Robert Collier