In The News:

A Shift…
U.S. securities regulators are embracing a plan designed to shift more stock trading onto exchanges and away from private trading venues (aka dark pools) operated by banks and other firms. The move is expected to be part of a coming Securities and Exchange Commission pilot program aimed at boosting trading in the stocks of smaller companies. The exact details of the pilot program have not been finalized however, the SEC expects it will take most of 2014 to finish up all the details for the launch.
The plan centers around two major changes. First, a widening of “tick “sizes, aka the increments between price quotes, for smaller companies. This widening would make it easier and more profitable to trade shares of smaller companies. Second, the plan would contain a “trade at” rule which would mandate trades for certain stocks take place on exchanges unless private venues offered a significant price impairments. Both proposed changes could affect the bottom line of small cap companies as well as banks and exchanges. 2015 could be an entertaining year for all….

And… We Are Done….
On Monday, Pfizer made things official saying they do not intend to make a takeover offer to shareholders of British drug maker AstraZeneca. Pfizer, the maker of drugs such as Lipitor and Viagra, has been courting no. 8 AstraZeneca since January. The pharma giant was looking for a partner in marriage who would have helped both companies become stronger. Some had hoped that the merger would not be completely dead in the water, praying AstraZeneca would engage in continued merger talks by the Monday deadline set by European law. Investors weren’t too happy with the board of AstraZeneca as the stock traded lower Monday in Europe.

In The Markets:

Asian markets closed mixed on Tuesday as investors contemplated the latest flare-up of tension in the South China Sea and the prospect of additional monetary easing in Europe.

European markets closed higher on Monday. Banks soared after the European Parliamentary elections and more hints the ECB might be easing as early as next week.

U.S. Markets closed Friday up pushing all three indices into positive territory for the year. A stronger-than-expected rebound in new home sales and positive quarterly corporate earnings had investors buying before the long weekend. DJIA: +63.19 16606.27 Nasdaq: +31.47 4185.81 S&P: +8.04 1900.42

In Dinner or Drink:

Monday Cocktail
1 1/2 oz. whiskey
1/2 oz. brandy
1/2 oz. blueberry brandy
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1 tsp sugar

Shake all ingredients with ice; strain into an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with an orange slice if desired.

Like our recipe, click here for more.

Word Of The Day…

Market Capitalization
Market capitalization is calculated by multiplying a company’s outstanding shares by the current market price of one share. Market Capitalization is used to determine whether a company is categorized as a small cap, mid cap, small/mid cap, or large cap.

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