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Jul 9

In The News:

Beauty Make Over…
Coty Inc. (COTY), the beauty-products maker, unveiled a new organizational structure built around categories and regions on Wednesday. Under the company’s new structure, all Coty brands will be housed under four consumer-driven categories—fragrance, skin care, color cosmetics and body care. The company will also organize itself under four markets—North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific/Middle East, Africa. Currently, Cody has been organized into two stand-alone division model of Coty Prestige and Coty Beauty. [Continue reading...]

Jun 3

In The News:

Good News with a Dose of Oops…
On Monday, the ISM (Institute of Supply Management) released its monthly PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) showing American factories gained momentum throughout the second quarter of the year despite an uneven global recovery. Manufacturing activity accelerated for the fourth consecutive month in May with the manufacturing sector index rising from 54.9 in April to 55.4 in May. [Continue reading...]

Jun 2

In The News:

Standing Alone…
On Friday Time Inc. will become a stand-alone company from its parent Time Warner (TWX). The magazine is going out on its own at a time when traditional magazines face increasing competition by online media for both readers and advertisers. In 2011 and 2013 Time Inc.’s ad revenue fell 6%, while circulation revenue fell 11%, bringing total revenue down 8.8% to $3.35 billion. During that same period operating profit shrank 41% to $330 million. [Continue reading...]

May 29


In The News:

Give Me A Beat…

Well it’s officially Apple is buying Beats Electronics for $3 billion dollars. The big announcement comes nearly three week after deal negotiations between the fruit and the headphone/music streaming company, founded by rapper Dr. Dre and recording impresario Jimmy Iovine, where leaked to the press.  The $3 billion price tag consists of $2.6 billion in cash and $400 million in Apple stock which will vest over a specified time period. [Continue reading...]

May 27

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. [Continue reading...]

May 21

In The News:

What Number Are We On?

General Motors (GM) cost to repair faulty vehicles hit $1.7 billion on Tuesday after the auto maker added another 2.4 million cars, sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks to this year’s list of recent safety recalls. The nation’s largest automaker has issued 29 separate recalls, covering nearly 15.4 million vehicles world-wide, since the start of the year. [Continue reading...]

May 15

In The News:


Citigroup, the third largest US Bank in assets, announced on Wednesday it has fired 11 employees so far in connection with the massive loan loss suffered by the company’s Banamex unit.  Banamex, Citigroup Inc.’s Mexican unit, showered loans on a troubled oil-services company as other banks were pulling back, setting the bank up for a $400 million loss. The loss has sparked fraud probes in both the U.S. and Mexico. [Continue reading...]

May 12

In The News:

We Want Wi-Fi…
Comcast Corp (CMCSA) is offering at least two Asian cellular operators access to its Wi-Fi hot spots in the United States. The offer is part of trial partnerships between Comcast, Japan’s KDDI, and Taiwan Mobile illustrating the cable company’s ambitions to compete with U.S. wireless carriers. The deals allow wireless subscribers to use Comcast’s Wi-Fi hot spots when they travel to the United States, reducing the international roaming charges that they would otherwise have to pay. [Continue reading...]

May 1

In The News:

On Wednesday, Facebook (FB) CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, addressed an audience of developers at the F8 conference in San Francisco and announced the company’s new privacy feature. The new feature, called “Anonymous Login,” will allow users to sign up for websites without having to enter in a name or email address. [Continue reading...]

Apr 28

In The News:

New Moves…
Facebook (FB) wants to track your workouts. The social networking giant announced that it has acquired mobile-fitness app Moves. Moves is different from most mobile-fitness apps as it is able to decipher if a person is walking, running, biking or riding public transportation. [Continue reading...]

Apr 14

In The News:


Real Thing, Baby…
PepsiCo (PEP) has announced plans to roll out three new sodas using real sugar, not their usual high fructose corn syrup. The company’s new offerings will include Pepsi Vanilla, Pepsi Wild Cherry, and good ol’ Pepsi. [Continue reading...]

Apr 9

In The News:

Sunny Skies…
The Weather Channel is back on DIRECTV (DTV) program lineup as of Wednesday after a nearly three-month blackout. An unlikely player helped swing the deal: Hilton Hotels (HLT). The satellite TV provider retreated from their earlier demand for significant cuts to the fees it pays the Weather Channel, [Continue reading...]

Apr 3

In the News:

You’re On Fire…
On Wednesday, Amazon announced they are entering the crowded market of video-streaming device. Amazon Fire TV, the size of Apple TV, comes with a voice search remote control. The streaming device has a quad core processor, dedicated graphics-processing unit (GPU) and 2 gigabytes of RAM. Fire offers content from Amazon Prime, Netflix, [Continue reading...]

Mar 31

In The News:

After years and hundreds of millions of dollars spent trying to make Chevrolet a popular mass-market brand in Europe, General Motors (GM) is making a U-turn. The company announced it is withdrawing Chevy as its No. 1 brand for mass-market vehicles in Europe and will make Opel its primary mainstream line. [Continue reading...]

Mar 24

In The News:


Pay by Phone Burger…
Wendy’s (WEN) is officially moving into the 21st century. The company announced they are rolling out a program which will allow customers to pay using their smartphone. The move follows a similar announcement last week from fast food chain Burger King who will start accepting mobile payments in April. [Continue reading...]

Mar 19

In The News:


Rumor Has It…

Microsoft is reportedly planning to launch a version of its Office software for the iPad in an attempt to cash in on the rapidly growing Apple tablet markets. Rumor has it Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will make the big announcement during a press conference scheduled for March 27. [Continue reading...]

Mar 17

In The News:

We’re Suing You..
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (aka FDIC) is suing 16 big banks that set a key global interest rate, accusing them of fraud and conspiring to keep the rate low to enrich their bottom-line. The list of banks includes giants such as Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM). The FDIC is alleging that the banks rigged the London interbank offered rate, or LIBOR, from August 2007 to at least mid-2011.

Why exactly is LIBOR important to me??? [Continue reading...]

Feb 19

In The News:

You Can Buy The Forest…
Actavis Plc (ACT), the world’s second-largest generic drug maker, is buying Forest Laboratories Inc. (FRX) for nearly $25 billion. Forest stockholders will receive cash and stock valued at $89.48 a share, 25% above the closing price on Feb. 14. With the purchase Actavis will add the Alzheimer’s drug Namenda and blood-pressure pill Bystolic to its product lineup. [Continue reading...]

Feb 4

In The News:

Not a Good Idea...

Texting in your mittens not a good idea… just asks J.C. Penney (JCP). During the Super Bowl on Sunday J.C. Penny’s official twitter account tweeted “Who kkmew theis was ghoing tob e a baweball ghamle,” and Toughdown Seadawks!! Is sSeattle going toa runaway wit h this??? Answering back the tweets companies such as Kia Motors America writing, “Hey @jcpenney need a designated driver?”. [Continue reading...]

Jan 30

In The News:

It’s Been Real…

After just 22 months, Google’s experiment in the phone making business is now over. On Wednesday, the company announced that it’s selling the handset business to China’s Lenovo Group for $2.91 billion however; Google (GOOG) will be keeping the valuable treasure chest of patents. The Internet company acquired Motorola Mobility in May 2012 for $12.5 billion. [Continue reading...]

Jan 28

In The News:

I Luv International…

Southwest Airlines (LUV) announced on Monday that it is expanding beyond the continental United States with flights to the Caribbean beginning July 1. The airline began selling tickets for flights to Aruba, the Bahamas and Jamaica from Atlanta, Baltimore and Orlando – all current routes of AirTran Airways, which Southwest bought in 2011. [Continue reading...]

Jan 27

In The News:

On Sunday a technical glitch left customers of UK largest bank, Lloyds Banking Group (LLDTF), feeling rejected as they were unable to make purchases or withdrawals. One of the bank’s executive took to social media to directly answer customer complaints and questions. “My apologies to TSB customers having problems with their cards. [Continue reading...]

Jan 24

In The News:

It’s Bad…Really Bad…
On Thursday, high-end retailer Neiman Marcus amended its earlier statement, saying 1.1 million debit and credit cards used at its stores may have been compromised in the security breach last year. Visa (V), MasterCard (MA), and Discover (DFS) found 2,400 Neiman Marcus and its Last Call clearance stores have been used fraudulently. The company has notified all customers who shopped in its stores in 2013 and offered them a year of credit monitoring and identity-theft protection. [Continue reading...]

Jan 22

In The News:

Another Round…
Two more companies announced Tuesday that they will be cutting jobs in an effort to boost their bottom line.

First, IBM (IBM) announced they are planning to cut thousands more jobs this year. The technology company expects it will take about $1 billion in charges from the re-organization efforts. It costs the company around $70,000 to lay an employee off, so the $1 billion suggests the company may be cutting 10,000 to 15,000 workers. IBM reported lackluster fourth quarter results on Tuesday, including a 26% slump in hardware revenue. [Continue reading...]

Dec 6

Here’s What’s Happening In The World Of Business and Finance…

On Friday, the NFP (Non-Farm Payroll) report gave us another Christmas present. The economy added 203,000 jobs in the month of November. Also, the unemployment rate dropped to 7.2%. We will have more details on the jobs number in our Monday edition.

We’re Growing…
On Thursday, the Commerce Department reported that the gross domestic product (GDP) grew in Q3 at a rate of 3.6%, revised upward from the 2.8% pace initially reported. The third-quarter pace was the fastest since the first quarter of 2012 and marked an improvement over the 2.5% growth rate for Q2. During the 3rd quarter, businesses accumulated $116.5 billion worth of inventories, which was the largest increase since the first quarter of 1998.

Cutting Corners…
Dell Inc. (DELL) has offered to buy out a portion of the company’s roughly 110,000 employees. Dell Inc. has offered buyouts to a portion of the company’s roughly 110,000 employees. The computer maker announced the voluntary separation program to its employees this week, giving employees until December 20 to opt for the buyout packages.
Last month, the deal to take Dell private by founder Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners closed and the days of Dell being a public company came to an end. Employee cuts had not been a part of the original game plan; however, according to a Dell spokesman, “A critical element of our strategy has been, and always will be, about improving our cost structure and freeing up capital to make the investments in growth areas that matter to our customers.”

In The Markets:

Asian markets closed out the week mixed. The Nikkei (Japan) stabilized following the government’s announcement of a $54 billion stimulus package. The Hang Sang (China) was slightly positive while the Shanghai was lower as investors wait for Friday’s jobs number.

European stock markets closed lower on Thursday after a strong GDP growth number stirred taper fears and no signal of easing measures from the European Central Bank.

US markets closed down on Thursday. Both the S&P and Dow Jones were down for a 5th straight day as better-than-expected readings on employment claims and GDP boosted bets stimulus reductions could come as soon as this month. DJIA: -68.26 15821.51 NASDAQ: -4.84 4033.16 S&P 500: -7.78 1785.03

In Dinner or Drink…

Bourbon Maple Smash
1/2 ounce pure maple syrup, preferably Grade A Dark Amber
1/2 ounce fresh orange juice
1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
4 dashes of Angostura bitters
1/2 orange wheel
2 ounces bourbon
1 1/2 ounces chilled seltzer

In a rocks glass, combine the maple syrup with the orange juice, lemon juice and bitters. Add the orange wheel and lightly muddle. Add the bourbon and stir well. Fill the glass with ice and top with the chilled seltzer.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend, yall!

Dec 4

Here’s What’s Happening In The World of Business and Finance…

Clearing the Way…

A federal judge cleared the way for the largest public bankruptcy in the history of the U.S. On Tuesday, almost five months after the city filed Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, the judge cleared the city, declaring it eligible for a fresh start. The judge approved a plan that will, among other things, allow the city of Detroit to reduce their pensions, something most municipal workers in America once thought could never happen.

Auto Sales Soar…
On Tuesday, major automakers reported their best U.S. sales numbers in six and a half years. U.S. auto sales in November rose 8.9 percent, beating the year-to-date increase of 8.4 percent. November sales were helped by aggressive discounting by the automakers and continued popularity of pickup trucks. According to industry research firm Autodata, the industry’s annual U.S. sales pace reached 16.41 million vehicles last month, the best monthly showing since February 2007, and easily beat expectations for a rate of 15.75 million.

KJ’s Take: Why do we care about auto sales? Auto sales are a good indicator of how people feel about their economic futures. If you don’t feel like your job is secure or your economic future isn’t bright, chances are you aren’t going to go buy a car.

Cyber Monday Success…

Cyber Monday online sales this year rose 21% driven by strong growth in mobile sales, according to IBM who crunches the number for the yearly event. Mobile sales increased 55%from a year earlier, accounting for about 17% of total online sales. The better online sales figures came after the retail industry main trade group reported that spending dropped for the first time in the last seven years over the Thanksgiving weekend. Estimated total spending over Thanksgiving weekend fell to $57.4 billion, down 2.7% from a year ago, according to the National Retail Federation.

In The Markets:

Asian markets were mixed on Wednesday as investors cautiously position themselves before Friday’s big NFP jobs number from the U.S.

European markets tumbled on Tuesday. Investors started pressing the panic button a bit concerned the US Fed might start tapering faster after a string of solid economic data.

US shares dropped on Tuesday with the Dow Jones and S&P falling for third consecutive session. Investor uncertainty about the when taper will begin and fears the market is overdue for a pullback sent investors running for the sidelines. DJIA: -94.15 15914.65 S&P 500: -5.75 1795.15 NASDAQ: -8.06 4037.20

In Dinner or Drink:

Fiery Blue Mustang
1/2 oz. banana liqueur
1/2 oz. Blue Curacao liqueur
1/2 oz. Everclear® alcohol

Dec 2

Here’s What’s Going On In The World Of Business and Finance:

Content is King…

Yahoo (YHOO) has announced a new addition to its team – Katie Couric. Couric, who has hosted high-profile programs on all three major U.S. television networks, will head a team of global correspondents to help the internet giant to shape its news coverage. Couric will join Yahoo next year as global anchor while continuing to host her talk show on the ABC television network.

Katie Couric is just one of several high profile journalists that have jointed Yahoo recently. Prior to Couric, New York Times tech columnist David Pogue and New York Times political correspondent Matt Bai joined the team. From outward appearances it appears that Mellissa Mayer, head of Yahoo, is committed to building out its news division in an effort to drive visitors to the yahoo site for more than search purposes.

KJ’s Take: Analysts have already weighed in on the move, calling it risky because of Yahoo’s demographics. It should be interesting to see if Yahoo can indeed shed its search functionality-only skin and rebrand itself into something more.

Big Deals, Less Shoppers…

For the first time in seven years, retail spending over Thanksgiving weekend dropped according to the industry’s main trade group. Earlier opening hours and a blitz of deals and apparently failed to pry more dollars out of the hands of budget-conscious shoppers.

According to early data sales spiked on Thanksgiving Day and online, but at the expense of business on Black Friday. Estimated showed spending over Thanksgiving weekend fell to $57.4 billion, down 2.7% from a year ago, according to the National Retail Federation. The group said it still expects total holiday sales through year-end to rise by 3.9% from a year ago.

In The Market:


Asian shares closed mixed on Monday as investors reacted to the news from China‘s securities regulator it will end the countries halt on IPO and revealed new rules on how IPO will be allowed to come market.


European stocks ended the final trading day of November flat. Markets shrugged off weak retail sales for Germany and the news S&P lifted its debt outlook on Spain.


U.S stocks closed November out lower as the markets erased gains in the last hour of trading. Investors taking some last minute gains of the table had more impact on the markets as trading volumes were lower due to the holiday shortened trading session. DJIA:-13.36 16083.97 NASDAQ: +15.14 4059.89  S&P: -1.58 1805.65

In Dinner or Drink:

Black Day in Alabama

1 oz. amaretto almond liqueur
1 oz. Black Haus® blackberry schnapps
1 oz. sloe gin
1 oz. Southern Comfort® peach liqueur
7 oz. orange juice

Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into glass

Like our drink today, click here for more.



Nov 29

Here’s What’s Happening in Business and Financial News…

Cleared for Takeoff…
On Wednesday, a federal bankruptcy judge approved the settlement of the U.S. government’s antitrust lawsuit against American Airlines (AA) and US Airways (LCC). The judge ruled that the settlement did not compromise American’s bankruptcy- reorganization plan, which had been given conditional approval back in September. The ruling clears the way for the two companies to complete their merger around December 9. The merger will create the world’s largest airline. [Continue reading...]

Nov 8

In Business and Financial News:

Facebook (FB) is changing its “Like” button around the web. On Thursday, the world’s largest social network unveiled its new, fresh design for its Like button. The company’s famous “thumbs up” is all but gone replaced by a little “f”. Facebook also introduced its new share button, which allows users to comment as well as share. Additionally, Facebook made the logo a darker shade of blue and changed its font. In addition, it is giving websites the option of lumping the like and share buttons together. Change is good?? [Continue reading...]

Oct 18

In Business and Financial News:


Google (GOOG) shares surged Thursday after the company reported a 36% climb in earnings despite slumping average ad prices as more people connect to Google services through their mobile phones. The Mountain View, California-based company’s average ad price has declined from the prior year in each of the last eight quarters primarily because advertisers are not yet paying as much for mobile ads. Despite the slump in revenue, Google reported earnings of $8.75 per share, or nearly $3 billion during Q3. Revenue last year for the same period was $6.53 per share or $2.2 billion. [Continue reading...]

Oct 14

In Business and Financial News:

Fed Sued…

A former bank examiner, Carmen Sergarra, is suing the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for pressuring her to water down her exam of Goldman Sachs (GS) and then firing her for saying, “No.” According to the complaint, Segarra was asked to look into potential conflicts of interest relating to a certain deal involving Goldman Sachs. After conducting a search of the firm, Sergarra found that the company did not have a conflict of interest policy and critized the company for it in an email to colleagues at the New York Fed. Her colleges didn’t seem to find her email very convincing and suggested in a meeting that she change her finding. Shortly after the meeting, Ms. Sergarra was fired after she refused.
Bank examiners first took up their post of “good cop” in 2008 when Goldman became a bank holding company during the financial crisis. Goldman’s conflict of interest policies, or potential lack of one, came under scrutiny by the Fed Bank examiners after a series of episodes involving complex mortgage-linked securities deals and the firm’s participation in a merger of El Paso and Kinder Morgan. Goldman provided advice to both parties in the merger despite owning an interest in one of them. Neither the Federal Reserve Bank of New York nor Goldman Sachs would comment on the matter. [Continue reading...]

Oct 11

In Business and Financial News:

Crackberry Owner…
Michael Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin, Blackberry cofounders, are considering making a bid for the struggling mobile tech company. The two cofounders have a combined 8% stake. In a filling Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Lazaridis and Fregin are “considering all available options” for their Blackberry shares, including “a potential acquisition of all the outstanding shares” of BlackBerry that the two don’t already own. Last month, Canadian private equity firm Fairfax Financial announced that it had struck a privatization deal with BlackBerry. BlackBerry (BBRY) shares were up nearly 1% in late afternoon trades. [Continue reading...]

Sep 19

In The News:

Cold Feet...

The world held its collective breath and waited patiently for the big taper announcement, only to have the Fed get a case of cold feet. Surprise… The Fed, who wrapped up a two day meeting on Wednesday, decided they would continue to press the gas pedal and keep the buying spree for assets going for a bit longer.  With the possibility of an uneven economic climate and fiscal discord in Washington over the deficit reductions and the spending limit debate, the committee felt it was best to wait to start the process of tapering off its bond buying program.

Backstory: The Fed’s bond-buying program, known as QE or Quantitative Easing, is meant to stimulate hiring and economic growth by holding down interest rates, in turn encouraging households and businesses to spend. Bottom-line: Wall Street, for now, loves the news from the Fed today. The Fed is going to have to taper at some point, but like most things in life, no knows for sure when that time will actually come. [Continue reading...]

Aug 13

In The News:


The Treasury Department released its revenue report on Monday; despite the tax hikes and strengthening economy the US reported a deficit in July.  Economists were expecting the monthly deficit to be $96 billion, and the actual deficit was $97.6 billion.  Despite the higher than expected numbers, the current budget deficit is well below 2012 levels.   The ‘improving’ budget has eased some of the pressure on Congress & the White House to resolve the US’s long term financial problems.

Private Pineapple:

If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.   In the case of David Murdock, the CEO and Chairman of Dole Foods, it only took two tries for his offer to take the fruit and vegetable giant private to be accepted.  It’s a sweet deal for shareholders who will receive $13.50 per share; an increase from his original offer in June of $12 per share.  Dole’s board has unanimously approved his offer and the company now is in the 30-day go shop period. [Continue reading...]

Aug 6

In The News:

Vroom Vroom:

On Monday, USA Today reported that Ford will hire 900 additional hourly workers for their Kansas City Plant.   Ford is shifting to around the clock production of the F-150 pickup trucks,  and need additional employees for their third shift.


Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, purchased the Washington Post and most of its media assets for $250 million dollars.   The online magazine Slat and the Foreign Policy journal are excluded from the media assets.  According to reports the paper will not have an official connection to Amazon and the company will be run soley by Bezos.

New Class

Low cost carrier Jet Blue announced new classes for their long haul flights.   Starting in 2014, Jet Blue will offer premium seats that convert to lie-flat beds and private suites with closable doors.  The company believes that the new services should generate $1.43 billon dollars in revenue.

Crying Foul:

Bill Ackman, owner of the hedge fund Pershing Square, is crying foul over George Soros and his stake in Herbalife.   Ackman supposedly filed a complaint with regulators claiming Soros committed insider trading when he discussed his company’s future actions at a think tank conference.  This type of knowledge sharing (non-public sharing) can be seen as a way to help fellow hedge funds profit.

Apple vs. Samsung (part TBD)

In the never-ending saga between Apple and Samsung, and interesting figure entered into the conflict.  The White House used its power and vetoed the ITC’s ban on the import and sale of older iPhones & iPads.  The cost to Samsung is potentially $1 billion dollars; while Apple welcomed the veto and is standing by its innovation.  Not surprising to see the White House step in as Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, is a frequent guest at White House events.

In The Markets:


Asian markets closed mixed on Tuesday.


European stocks extended their gains when investors received upbeat global business reports from the Eurozone.


US markets were mixed as investors received good news in the AM and less than stellar news in the afternoon.   Reason #123,545,654 that the Fed should speak in the AM versus the PM.

In Dinner or Drink:

Apple Citrus Refresher

2 cups apple juice
2 cups orange juice
2 cups grapefruit juice
1/2 cup lime juice freshly squeezed
24 oz ginger ale
ice cubes

In large pitcher or punch bowl combine apple, orange, grapefruit and lime juices. Just before serving, pour in ginger ale. Serve over ice cubes in tall glasses. MAKES: 8-10 SERVINGS.

Want more great drink recipes, click here.


Jul 29


In The News:

IMF hand slap:

The US received a hand-slap from the IMF (International Monetary Fund) on Friday.   In the US’s annual assessment the IMF told the Fed that it’s lack of communication regarding the exit from QE3 (Quantitative Easing) could cause damage to the US recovery as well as send destructive shockwaves across the global economy.

Inflation = Celebration?

Japan’s July CPI (Consumer Product Index) jumped to 0.4%, the largest jump since 2008.   This is a win for PM Shinzo Abe and Finance Minister Taro Aso as it shows that Abenomics is getting the desired result, higher inflation.  Normally one would not be excited about inflation but when country has struggled with deflation for 2 decades a change like this hint at economic recovery. [Continue reading...]

Jul 19


In the News:

Philly Fed:

Philadelphia area manufacturing reported a stronger than expected up tick. The expansion in US Firms helped propel the index to 19.8 in July compared to 12.5 in June; which provided the largest jump since March 2011.

Dell Drama:

The drama surrounding the potential buy out of Dell continues for at least another week.    The vote for the proposed buyout by founder Michael Dell and Silver Lake was started on Thursday at Dell’s annual shareholder meeting but has been delayed until next week.  Based on the results of the initial tally process on Thursday the outcome does not look good.  [Continue reading...]

Jun 7


In The News:

Unchanged with a hint included: The European Central Bank (aka ECB) left its benchmark interest rates unchanged today and refrained from any new measures to stimulate a shrinking euro-zone economy. The big story however, was the hint heard around the world. The central bank, who has been reluctant to implement measures to revive the economy and employment of the Eurozone, would now consider cutting interest rates if the region continues stagnant economic growth. This is the first clear-cut signal of potential rate cuts out of the mouth of the big banker in forever.

Let the QE Game begin: Bank of Japan finally made it official; we are joining the QE bandwagon on Thursday. The BOJ (Bank of Japan) delivered its plan to help spur the Japanese economy, a plan that is so aggressive in nature it caught the world by surprise. The Central Bank announced as part of its plan it will double its holdings of government bonds and the amount of yen in circulation. The object of the game like all QE is to punch down long-term interest rates (like the 10 year treasury) which will spur consumers and business to borrow, spend, and invest more. Can we say start the printers, Danno.

Home is where Facebook is… Facebook unveiled Thursday its newest adventure, Home. Home is software, created for Android devices that will take over the phone’s traditional display with populate posts, pictures, and messages from the user’s news feed. All news smartphones from HTC will come with Home pre-installed and will be available to everyone else April 12.

Used bulldozer? Think Recycling… Caterpillar Inc. recently bought a minority stake in Cat Action Services, a venture started by a group of independent Cat dealers, who action off machinery that has been used for rental or trade in’s they could not sell on their lots. Caterpillar sees it as an opportunity to expand its sales of replacement parts, warranty, insurance and customer financial. Can we say Full circle thinking…?

HP Quitter… HP Chairman, Ray Lane, has called it quits and resigned after he faced fierce criticism; from both investors and shareholder advisory firm ISS, over his role in the debacle involving Autonomy. Lane will remain on with HP as a director.

In The Markets:

Asia: Two of the three main Asian markets closed mixed as China’s markets were closed Friday. The picture was a good one with both the Hang Seng and the Nikkei in the green however, the closer to the end of the trading day and technically closure to the US jobless claim number the worse the markets became.

Europe: European markets dropped on comments from the ECB’s Draghi that the Eurozone was still at risk for a deeper recession.

US: US markets rallied higher as investor choose to look at the positive: new QE in China not the negative: a rise in the weekly jobless claims.

Dow: +55.76 14606.11 Nasdaq: +6.38 3224.98 S&P: +6.29 1559.98

In Dinner or Drink:

Today we choose drink in celebration in Caterpillar recycling gig we will be drinking…

Top Cat

35 ml vodka

35 ml peach Snaps

35 ml white rum

350 ml orange alco pop

Pure orange juice

Add all three spirits into the mixer, then pour in the contents of the Orange alco-pop, finally add as much Pure Orange as desired & shake vigorously. Serve into a pint sized glass, add straws & enjoy!

Read more: Top Cat recipe




Jun 3


In News:

Who wants Hulu??? Obviously DirecTV and two other unidentified suitors since all three have reportedly submitted bids of $1 billion plus each for the company. Seven other companies have also submitted bids the streaming content provider. Current owners News Corp, Disney, and Comcast have let it slip that they will be cutting down to a “shortlist” over the next few weeks.

Better but not quite great.. What some may say about the latest EZ PMI Numbers reported on Monday. Euro zone manufacturing PMI (Producers Manufacturing Index, a measure of manufacturing strength) came in at 48.3 for May vs. 46.7 in April. The rise was a 15 month high but any number below 50 still shows an economy in contraction. There’s always next month…

Goin it Alone: Apple will head to court solo and fight allegations it conspired with five publishers to raise e-book prices. The five publishers decided to settle with the Justice Department pre-trial. Guess we will all have to stay tuned to see which side was smarter.

Shame on you.. French prosecutors have launched an investigation into the French arm of wirehouse UBS. The prosecutors are probing whether the unit’s parent company bankers encouraged (aka helped) French clients open Swiss Bank accounts allowing them to commit tax evasion.

Settlement, Maybe.. Bank of America heads to court on Monday. At stake, whether the court will approve the proposed $8.5 billion to settle claims over bad mortgage bonds. If the settlement were to be agreed Bank of America can move toward their ultimate goal of cleaning the inherited Countrywide mess up. One hurdle standing in the way… AIG opposition of the deal, saying the bank in fact owes them $8.5 Billion in damages. Luv court room drama.

Mixed Bag: Friday brought a mixed bag of economic data out of the US. On the not so good side Consumer spending was down in 0.2% in April, the first decline since May 2012. On the good/better side of the bag Chicago PMI (Producers Manufacturing Index) was up in May to 58.7 a jump from May 49.0. Also, Consumer Sentiment rocked at 84.5 in May vs. 76.4 in April. But why is this bad? Better economic data=Better economy=sooner end of QE, Weak economic data=Bad economy= QE (Quanatative Easing) not ending in the near future.

In Markets:

Asia: Asian markets tumbled in their Monday session. It was the fourth major fall in eight sessions. Global optimism over Abenomics is starting to fade on concerns that his three arrows will fall short of expectation and not getting the job done. The Nikkei has not wiped out 17% of its value since its rally in midNovember 2012 which brought gains of 80%.

Europe: European markets closed deep in red territory on Friday. Investors took profits on the final day of the month while starting to worry what the future will be like if the Fed stimulus program starts to taper off  because of the US growing economy.

US: US markets followed Europe’s footsteps tumbling Friday on better than expected economic data. Investors got a lot more squeamish thinking about how soon the fed might start tapering off as the economic is looking better

DJIA: -208.96 15,115.57  NASDAQ: -32.38 3455.91 S&P: -23.67 1630.74

In Dinner or Drink:

We pick a drink today that global investors may have been drinking after Friday’s tumble.

Harvey Wall Banger

1 oz. Stolichnaya® vodka
1/2 oz. Galliano® herbal liqueur
2 oz. orange juice

Pour the Vodka, Galiano, and orange juice in to a shaker with ice and shake until well mixed. Then strain in to an appropriately sized glass filled with ice and serve.

For more info on our drink today.

Apr 4




In The News:

Fuzzy math: China released data that have some claiming fuzzy math. For the three months through February China’s mainland customs reports $ 94.9 billion in exports to Hong Kong, however, Hong Kong reported only $58.7 Billion in exports. The discrepancy between the two reports was the greatest reported ever. The exact reasons for the discrepancy aren’t clear however, many economist believe it may be China’s system of controls which make it hard to move investment funds in and out of the country. It is common practice for companies or peeps in China to hike the value of their goods and sending them abroad allowing the money to come back into China in greater amounts.

Samsung Store: Best Buy has discovered a way to use empty space in its stores: Turn it over to Samsung. Beginning May 1 Best Buy’s big box stores will have mini Samsung boutiques located toward the front of the store. The boutiques will carry an array of Samsung’s mobile devices, camera, and accessories while be manned by recruits hand-picked and trained by Samsung.

No good news on the EZ home front: EZ PMI (Producers Manufacturing Index) dropped in March positing 46.5 vs. 47.9 in February. What does it all mean.. The slowdown has now hit the one source of bring light, Germany.

Phone Home: Facebook is set to unveil its new HTC-made phone Thursday. The phone will run on an Android operations system and incorporate Facebook functionality. Some of the perks include news feeds made for mobile and a new scroll that helps users find information based on their network.

Same ol’ Same ol’ - BOE (aka Bank of England) announced it will leave its monetary policy unchanged, its benchmark rate at 0.5%, and its QE program dormant. The decision came after the country’s service PMI (Producers Manufacturing Index) rose from 51.8 in February to 52.4 in March the highest in seven months.

Not so good Economic Data: First, came the ADP numbers (number of jobs the private sector alone added) reporting only 119K jobs vs. 192K expected. Second, ISM (Institute of Supply Manufacturing) Index down at 54.4 in March vs. February 56… The index showed weakest in the manufacturing sector in 7 months.

In The Markets:

Asia: Asian markets were mixed in their trading session as the Bank of Japan said it would double its asset purchase insuring it will hit its 2% inflation target in two years.

Europe: European markets slid as investor anxiously waiting news from BOJ and BOE about their monetary policy.

US: US markets slid on weak economic data and rising tension with North Korea.  Dow: -111.66 14550.35 Nasdaq: -36.26 3218.60 S&P -16.56 1553.69

Dinner or Drink:

Today we pick a drink worthy of China’s fuzzy math.. A fuzzy navel.

Fuzzy Navel

1 part peach schnapps

1 part orange juice

1 part lemonade

Mix equal parts of each ingredient in a highball glass, top with ice, and serve.

More awesome drink receipes click here.


Apr 3


 In The Markets:

Jumpin Factory Orders… Activity in US factories jumped in February to 3% vs. 1% in January. A rush of orders for planes and defense before sequester, accounted for the increase causing many to think the jump is unsustainable.

Falling Activity…The Eurozone manufacturing sector fell in March to 46.8, the lowest level since December. The below 50 reading indicate, the Eurozone as a whole, is contracting and sliding deeper into recession. This is just the latest in a string of bad economic news for the Eurozone, causing some leaders to put additional pressure on the ECB (European Central Bank) to help figure out a way to get things moving in a better direction.

I’m Done… Cyprus Finance Minister, Michael Sarris, quit Tuesday after meeting with IMF (International Monetary Fund) and EU (European Union) leaders and securing a 10 billion euro bailout deal. The bailout deal will cause Cyprus depositors to lose parts of their deposits and slash its banking sector. Speculation for the departure, Sarris would have come under major scrutiny for his role in the crisis. He’s reasoning he had completed his task.

Twitter anyone.. SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) has opened the door for public companies to use social media to get the word out. On Tuesday, the SEC announced postings to social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook are as good as news releases or company websites for spreading company news to investors. The only catch companies must let peeps know which outlets they intend to use

Fannie Mae is having better days.. The behemoth mortgage lender, who needed a government bailout in a big way during the financial crisis, reported Tuesday its largest annual profit ever. 2012 brought a net income of $17.2 billion however, due to conditions set forth in the government bailout deal the company can only keep a small percentage of it profits handing the government over a huge chunk.

We have a buyer.. The Nasdaq OMX group (yes, that Nasdaq) is buying it’s self a new trading platform called eSpeed for $750 million in cash. eSpeed, a platform used to trade treasuries, will help Nasdaq break into the fixed income market. The purchase should help NASDAQ whose profits have been cut by lower trading volume in the last several years.

99 problems but getting clients ain’t one.. Rapper Jay-Z has officially thrown his hat into the sports agent ring signing his first high profile client, Robinson Cano of the NY Yankees.

In The Markets:

Asia: Asian markets were mixed in their early morning trading sessions. Investors were keeping a close eye on the BOJ new governor while digesting China’s better PMI (Purchasing Manufacturing Index) report.

Europe: European shares rallied as investors liked the news out of Cyprus that it’s creditors have given an extra year for the country to meet it’s budget expectations and new hope for increase Merger activity as a potential takeover of Vodafone was announced.

US: US Markets rallied on better than expected economic data from new car sales and increase factory orders.

DJIA: +89.16 14622.01 NASDAQ: +15.69 3254.86 S&P +8.08 1570.25

In Dinner or Drink:

Today we pick a drink to celebrate one of my favorite baseball players Robinson Cano and his new partnership with Jay-Z.

New York Cocktail

Here’s what you will need:

2 oz Canadian whisky

3/4 oz lime juice

1/2 oz sugar syrup

1 tsp grenadine syrup


Shake and strain into an old-fashioned glass three-quarters filled with broken ice. Garnish with a twist of orange.

Read more:


Apr 2


In The News:

Slow and Steady: Monday’s ISM (Institute for Supply Management) showed the US economy grew for a fourth straight month; however the numbers did show the economy grew at a slower rate than expected.

Shut Out: Commodities, who suffered their worst quarter since 2010, were shut out of the euphoria felt by the financial markets in Q1. In the past commodities and the direction of the US stock markets have gone hand in hand since the financial crisis of ’08. Investors and analyst suggest the large inventories or stockpiles of basic goods such as oil, corn, or cotton has led prices to remain low in Q1.

Apple Apology: Apple posted an apology letter to its China’s website. The letter written in Chinese and signed by Apple CEO, Tim Cook, apologized for misunderstandings created by poor communications regarding warranty policies.

Contraction: Eurozone PMI (Producers Manufacturing Index) dropped to 46.8, a three month low, in March vs. 47.9 in February. Contributing to the drop in monthly readings, a fall in output and new orders, bringing further job losses to the region.

Cleared for Bankruptcy: A federal judge has cleared the way for Stockton, California to continue with its bankruptcy, finding citing the city is eligible. The judge also allowed the city to keep its pensions intact while imposing losses instead to its Bondholders. Several municipalities such as Jefferson County, Alabama and San Bernardino, California have been keeping a close eye, as many feel the ruling has now set a precedent in municipality bankruptcies.


In The Markets:

Asia: Asian Markets were mixed as investors reacted to the possibility of slower growth in the US.

Europe: European markets were closed for Easter.

US: US markets were mixed on the first day of the month and the quarter on slower growth economic data.

DJIA: +5.69 14572.85 S&P: -7.02 1562.17 Nasdaq: -28.35 3239.17

Dinner or Drink:

Today we pick dinner. In honor of Stockton, CA home of the annual Asparagus Festival we will be feasting tonight on…

Spaghetti with Asparagus, Smoked Mozzarella and Prosciutto

Here’s what you will need:

  • 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
  • 3/4 pound spaghetti
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into strips
  • 6 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 6 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil leaves


Cook the asparagus in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. With a spider or slotted spoon, remove asparagus from boiling water to a bowl of ice water to cool and stop the cooking. When cool, strain, cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces, and set aside.

Return the water in the pot to a boil, adding additional water, if necessary. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add asparagus to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the pasta, and if needed, some of the reserved cooking liquid. Toss to coat. Add the prosciutto, mozzarella, and basil, and toss to combine. Turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.

Thank you Food for the excellent recipe.


Mar 27

corn in the field


In The News:

Buffet’s Grabbin Goldman.. Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway grabbed a bigger stake in Goldman Sahs (aka Goldman Socks) in exchange for letting go of his option, granted to him when he floated a loan to the company in 2008, to buy shares later at a below market costs later. Leave it to Buffet to masterfully create a new arrangement with Goldman where he can receive shares without deploying a dime to buy them. Don’t be fooled it was a win win for both parties. Warren got a bigger piece of the pie and Goldman got a huge boast to its reputation.

Bric Bank: The BRIC’s (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) are exploring establishing their own new development bank much like the IMF (International Monetary Fund) with a sharper focus on the nations involved. Capital plans have already been established with several different options along with a cap on counties contributions.

Ford Opposition: Ford’s CE ,Alan Mulally, oppose Japan’s entry into free trade talks with the United States. What will change his mind..? The Japanese to open its markets to more U.S. cars and measures to strengthen the yen. American Pride Baby!

Mixed Bag of Data: Economic reports out Tuesday failed to provide any clear direction how the economy is really doing. February Durable Goods Orders (Orders for goods that do not wear out quickly or have a lifespan of more than three years. Things like cars, planes, and computers) and S&P Case-Shiller home-price index were better than expected, but new-home sales for February and consumer confidence for March fell shy of estimates.

You’ve been slapped: The Federal Reserve slapped Citigroup’s hand with a consent order demanding the bank clean up their anti-money laundering procedure. The consent order, which followed similar orders last year from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the FDIC, told Citigroup they failed to comply fully with the Bank Secrecy Act. The Act requires Banks to report suspicious actives. Citigroup has 60 days to submit a written plan detailing enhancements in compliance related to anti money laundering. Citibank is not alone in getting slapped; JPMorgan received the same order for the same issue in Jan.

Sharing Seeds: DuPont has agreed to pay Monsanto $1.75 billion as part of licensing agreement between the two companies. The new licensing agreement allows DuPont to sell genetically modified seed technology for corn and soybeans. The agreement puts aside the $ 1 Billion jury awarded to Monsanto for DuPont’s infringing on Monsanto’s patients.

In The Markets:

Asia: Following in the footsteps of the US, Markets in Asia were higher, with both the Japanese Nikkei and Shanghai Composite up 0.2 percent.

Europe: European markets rose Tuesday as investor took the encouraging data from the US as an excuse to take profits.

US: US markets continued their winning ways on Tuesday with the Dow closing in triple digits having its biggest gain in nearly three weeks. Investors took the mixed bag of economic data threw the bad out and kept the good.

DJIA: +111.90 14559.65 Nasdaq: +17.18 3252.48 S&P +12.08 15693.77

In Dinner or Drink:

Today we pick a drink to celebrate the Buffet/Goldman deal. One of my personal favorites…




Red Vermouth



Measure 1/4 cup of Whiskey in a graduated cylinder and pour into a glass carafe. Repeat with 2 tsp. of red vermouth. Add a few drops of angostura and ice cubes. Mix everything together with a long handle spoon. Pour into cup holding the ice back with the spoon.



Mar 24



In The News:

New Deal. Cyprus finally got an official deal over the weekend. The deal consists of:

  • $13 Billion in finance for the government.
  • A shut down of Cyprus second biggest bank, Cyprus Popular Bank. The shutdown will impose steep losses on depositors of the bank with more than 100k euros.
  • Downsize of the countries 1# bank Cyperus PCL. The downsize will also effect depositors over 100k euros.

Because of the new deal the country will now need to impose stricter financial controls, possibly cutting off its citizens and companies from much of the rest of the euro zone.

Your Our Man… JPMorgan’s board endorsed Jaime Dimon too remains as both CEO and Chairman of the board citied JPM’s consistent and outstanding performance under Dimon guidance. Some critics had called for a split between CEO and Chairman of the Board after the London whale tubal.

New Crackberry On The Block.. Blackberry Z10 went on sale Friday. If you’re an ATT customer you can buy it for 199 clams.

New Apples.. Apple announced it will unveil its new iPhone and iPad 5 at its annual headquarter event on June 29. June 29th marks the 6th anniversary of the iPhone.

What No Bach?..Musicians from the San Francisco Symphony went on strike March 14 and the strike is still on. San Fran becomes the latest in a long list of labor disputes at US orchestras that have been hard hit by audience shifts in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Welcome To The Family.. Apple Inc. announced it has acquired indoor GPS Company, WifiSLAM, for approximately $20 million. The newest member of the Apple family could help the company catch up to its rival Google, by providing cell phone GPS to work indoors thus giving the user the ability to access indoor maps of their location. Currently, Google maps does this for ‘Droid users however, the service has been unavailable to iPhones until now.

No confidence… The IFO German Business Confidence declined unexpectedly in March to 106.7 from 107.4 in February. It was the first time the index has declined in five months. Why is this important… Germany is still the savior and leader of the Eurozone. A strong Germany economy gives investors hope the Eurozone one day will find its way out of crisis. Peeps start to panic anytime there is any type of ding in the armor of Germany.

In The Markets:

Asia: Asian markets were mixed Monday as news spread of the EU and Cyprus negotiated a last-minute deal Sunday night securing the countries solvency for now.

Europe: European markets closed lower Friday as the world at large hold’s it collective Breath while the Cyprus Parliament votes on the latest bailout deal. The ECB made it clear to Cyprus this is your last chance to get your act together promising to pull the funding deal if the Parliament could not come to a comprise and vote in favor of the deal.

US: US markets closed mostly higher Friday on stronger corporate earnings and fears about the Cyrus drama begin to melt. DJIA +90.54 14512.03 S&P 500 +3.18, NASDAQ +22.40 3245.00

In Dinner or Drink

We choose drink. A nice Grand Apple in celebration of Apple’s new additions.

Grand Apple

1 oz apple brandy 1/2 oz cognac 1/2 oz Grand Marnier® orange liqueur

Stir ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon.

Special Thinking to for the excellent drink recipe.

Feb 12

Before 24.. Global Financial News you can use..


Who: Asian Markets

What: Nikkei +215.96 11,369.12   Most Asian Markets were closed today for the Chinese New Year celebration.

But Why? Despite being one of the only Asia Markets open today, the Nikkei added to its recent rally. Exports again led the rally as the Yen continues to weaken against the US Dollar. Comments from prospective Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda saying he is open to further easing this year caused the Yen to weaken against both the US Dollar and Euro.

OH No you didn’t.. North Korea has confirmed they tested a nuclear missile early this morning.

Who: European markets

What:Euro Stoxx 500 -7.69 2622.61

But Why? European markets closed in the red on Monday as investors took profits, a major European drug company coped with rejection and worries about what drama was going on in the Euro zone Finance Meeting.

Sorry Charlie, no better living through chemistry for you..Novo Nordisk share plunged 13 percent Monday. The shares took their  worst fall in four years on the announcement its new insulin drug will be required to supply additional test before U.S. regulators will give their stamp of approval. The potential approval process could last several years and threaten the company’s long-term financial picture.

Shall we dance, Cyprus.. One of the many topics on the agenda of euro-zone finance ministers, currently meeting  in Brussels, a proposal for an aid package for Cyprus. Making this a bit more tricky  Cyprus  has a large exposure to Greece’s banking and financial sectors. Despite the risk, Eurogroup Chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem, commented Monday work would continue towards drawing up an aid package. Stressing however, no final decisions would be happening until March after the country had their general elections.

Who: US Markets

What: Dow – 21.73 13971.24   Nasdaq -1.37 3192.00  S&P 500 15147.01 -0.92

But Why? US Markets lost some ground on Monday. Investors seemed to be hang out on the sidelines as they took some profits and anxiously waited for the President’s State of the Union. Investors and most Americans will be watching  Tuesday  as President Obama makes his state of the union address.  Many are hoping the speech will  provide hints how a budget deal may be reached and what his potential plans for future economic recovery will be.

Crackberry.. We’re going to have to give you up.. Home Depot announced today it would swap out 10,000 blackberry and replacing them with I-Phones.

You sold what?? Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt sold 42% of his share of Google recently. The sale could net him $2.5 billion. Wall Street had mixed reviews what this the Google big picture. One half believes Schmidt when he said he need the money for his next big adventure. The other half believe it doesn’t bode well for confidence in Google. It could have been worse if Google current CEO or other exec had sold their shares.

Feb 9

Before 24.. Financial News you can use.

Who: Asian Markets
What: Nikkei +416.83  Hang Seng +108.40  Shanghai +1.34

But Why:Asia markets closed in the green Wednesday morning. Leading the way the Nikkei (Japan), who jumped too a four-year high.A less expensive Yen helped propel export stocks as investors bet on the effects of a cheaper yen: better profits. The Shanghai (China) composite closed flat on lower volume as millions of Chinese get ready for the national week-long New Years celebration holiday next week.  The Hang Seng (Hong Kong) added triple digits as the New Chinese leadership wants to narrow the gap between the have’s and the have not’s.

Really those pesky exchange rate places in the airport can cause a market move? Yes, they can. Because the Yen is less expensive than the Dollar right now Japan exporters are ridding high. Essentially it is cheaper to buy something made in Japan than most anywhere in the world. Investors are betting Japan’s corporations profits will rise.

It’s always political..Investors also are banking on Japan’s version of free money( also know as QE).  Earlier this week an official with the Bank of Japan, Governer Massaaki Shirakawa, said he would resign in March earlier than end of his five-year term in April.  Speculation for the cause of earlier retirement..  Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (Japan’s new sheriff)  has put the central bank under relentless pressure to do more to pull the economy out of the doldrums aka. monetary easing.  Prime Minster Abe has made it clear that  his pick for the Bank of Japan governor will help promote his mission of  aggressive monetary easing  to help stimulate Japan’s economy. Here’s to things that make you go hmmmmm.

Who: European Markets
What: Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.6% to 285.56
But Why:

Sometime Bad news is really Good News? According to Markit’s January Composite PMI (Purchasing manufacturing Index) the Euro Zone activity shrunk at a rate smaller than it had in the previous 10 months. The Index was helped by a steady increase in growth from Germany. The index also  measured  the Euro zones services sector which rose to 48.6 in January from 47.2 in December. (Any figure below 50 indicate contraction. Figures over 50 indicate expansion) This gave the markets and investors a reason to dream of the good old days of the past when the Euro zone was thriving.

It’s a small world after all.. Also adding to the dream machine news from the  U.S and China show the world’s economic picture is improving.  In the US data released in the am stated non-manufacturing sector remained in expansion territory last month while beating forecasts.  China economic data, the  HSBC China Services Purchasing Managers’ Index,  rose to 54.0 in January from 51.7 in December.
But wait.. Lurking in the shadows: The Euro zone debt crisis soap opera.  With a political scandal in Spain and a banking scandal in Italy spooked  investors to avoid bonds and stocks in Europe’s southern countries. Money moved out of weak country bonds like Spain and Italy into more secure countries like Germany. European Finance ministers are meeting this week. ECB Chief Banker Mario Draghi is still trying to convince the world the Euro zone is making a speed recovery from the depths of financial ruins.
What does this  mean? The European markets aren’t buying what the ECB is handing out. I smell nervous investors coming soon.

US Markets
WHAT: DJIA: +99.22 13979.30 Nasdaq: +40.41 3171.58 S&P:+15.58 1511.29

But Why:  US stocks rallied across the board  on better than expected economic data, new deals, and increase in profits.

Nothing makes you smile more that economic data… The US service sector expanded in January and on the hou frsingont prices hit a 6 year high.

Show me the money.. Technology stocks led the rally across all 10 sector groups.  The largest rally in tech came from Computer Sciences who jumped $3.84 a share after better than expected earnings.  Why is this important? It shows companies are investing in their infrastructure aka they are investing in their future.

We have a deal: Those are the four best words in Micheal Dell’s world. After months of speculation Dell’s CEO confirmed he will be taken the tech giant private in a deal worth $24.4 Billion dollars. Financing for the deal came from fund affiliates of Silver Lake Partners, Microsoft and the big guy himself Micheal Dell.

Fraud? ..After four years of investigation the US Justice Department formally announced it will  sue S&P for fraud over their mortgage ratings, which some belief contributed to the financial crisis. The Justice Department claims S&P inflated ratings on  mortgage investments which in turn made it seem they were less risky and more attractive to investors large and small.

Backstory: S&P or ratings companies  rate companies, bonds, or other investment vehicles. This rating acts like a Good Housekeeping seal of approval. The ratings are supposed to tell investors if the investment vehicle is safe or risky helping the investor determine if it is suitable for their investment dollars.  S&P is charged with inflating ratings so more companies would ask them to rate future investment vehicles therefore making them more moolah.  If your memory is sharp you may be asking: wasn’t  S&P one of the first ratings agency to downgrade the US government ratings?  Yes you would be correct, causing some on wall street to say paybacks are hell and Karma will eventually catch up to you.

May 23

The Before 24.. Global Market News for your next 24.


The View:


Asian markets closed mostly positive in their early Monday trading session on news that China’s Premier Wen Jiabo commented that policy easing supporting growth in the country could be the near future. The Shaghai rose 3.78 points and  the Nikkei gained 22.58 points. The loser in the region the Hang Seng which was down 29.53 hurt by the losses in the European financials like HSBC and Standard Charter.


European stocks closed down for their worst week in almost eight months. The markets were under pressure from slowing growth in China and continued concern over the fiscal crisis in Europe. Bank stocks rose on Friday as talk of a European ban on short selling arose again after the Thursday downgrade of Spanish banks. A spanish news paper was quoted as saying Spanish Banks were going to ask the Country’s financial regulators  to reinstate the ban. A spokesperson for the European Securities and Market association declined comment. Miners and other companies that are heavily exposed to China drove the market losses. Also aiding the down turn a  government think tank said on Friday that annual growth could slow to 7.5% in the second quarter due to a curb in the property sector and global headwinds.

Europe started it’s Monday trading session on an up note, bouncing off five month lows, aided by the news from China of possible policy easing.


US stocks closed down for a 6th straight trading session as markets continue to feel the pressure of uncertainty in Europe. The Dow was down 73.11, the Nasdaq lost 34.90, and the S&P down 9.64.

The Facebook IPO was obviously the story of the day. Plagued with issue from the beginning the stock traded along a tight $38.00 range.

Oil prices dipped below $100.00 a barrel closing down $1.00 at $91.59. Oil was down last week by 4.6% suffering its third week of declines. Larger than expected volume of orders and confirmation of purchase to some institutional clients made for a bumpy first day of trading. Zyga the online game maker that uses Facebook technology also had a bumpy ride. Greater than normal trade volume caused the markets internal circuit breakers to shut down trading on several occasions.

Treasury yields were lower as the European Debt crisis caused investors run into safe havens to take shelter.

Mar 27

The Before 24… Global Market News for your next twenty-four…..


The View: Investors and markets become giddy at the idea QE3 may still be on the table for the US.


Spurred by Bernake’s comments most Asian markets followed both the European and US markets, climbing in their Tuesday morning trading.  The Nikkei climbed 2.4% and the Hang Seng  also added 1.8%. China’s Shanghai was the only market closing lower after government data showed the nation’s largest industrial groups were down 5.2% from last year.


European shares edged higher Monday. The rally was led by improved German business sentiment. The Ifo Buisness-climate index, a good bellweather of the Germany economy, rose to 109.8 for a fifth straight month. Also leading the rally comments made by Fed President Bernanke  in a speech Monday saying future improvement in the labor market is dependent on further economic growth. The markets took this language as indication the Fed would start another round of quantitive easing.


US markets all closed in the green Tuesday on remarks from the Fed president.  The Dow gained 160.90 points, the S&P added 19.40 poinsts, and the Nasdaq grew 54.65 points.  The US market’s choose to ignore the weaker new home sales number instead keenly listening to Bernanke’s speech. Some analyst question what was and wasn’t said about QE3. Bernanke did mention and maintained his position on low-interest rates. He also stated the US needed more growth to bring down the unemployment rate and implied the US wasn’t quite there yet. He didn’t however say in explicit language  QE3 was definitely coming down the pipeline. Investors and the markets seemed to have taken the language about growth being  needed to help lower the unemployment rate as a que that QE3 could and would be used to stimulate the economy into growth mode. As with most things interpretation lies in the ear of the beholder and we will have to wait and see which camp is correct.

 Commodities were mixed on Monday. Oil gained $0.17 and the WTI was up $0.21. Gold added $29.6o to close at $1692.00. In the food comodities Wheat and Soybeans lead an agricultural commodity rally. Soybeans were up as more ,asset managers are starting to increasing the buy soybean futures contracts (the contract that states the  amount someone would buy soybeans at a specific time in the future) on continued fears Brazil’s crop will be smaller than expected. Wheat rallied on the same type of fear. This time it is fear that Europe’s crop will shrink due to a lack of rain in the region.  

The 10 year closed at 2.25%. While the dollar lost some of its power on expectations the Fed will print more money with it starts up QE3 again.

Feb 28

The Before 24…

                     Global market news for your next twenty-four


The View:

Good economic data and a reprieve from higher oil prices helped global markets rally.


Asian markets closed higher in their Tuesday trading session as oil prices recede slightly and investors look toward tomorrow and what news the LRTO will bring to the markets. The Nikkei was added 88.59 points hitting a 7 month closing high. The Shanghai added 4.79 on reports the Chinese government has softened it stand on local government funds. Now allowing banks to lend money to local governments to fund projects.  The Hang Seng rallied 350 points as investors optimism soared with higher corporate earning.


European markets closed lower as the debate continued over the effects of the higher gas prices on the global economy and continued Greek debt issues. Not helping investors jitters comments from Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel saying there is no 100% guarantee a new Greece bailout package would succeed. Shortly after the close Germany’s parliament approved the Germany bailout plan despite Merkel losing part of her “majority” in the  vote.  Investors  jitters increased  as the LTRO ( the European version of the US tarp) edges closer. The last LTRO was held in December and caused risk appetite among investors to die off. Most analyst are predicting the results of this weeks action will give some investors the direction they may have been looking .

European markets traded slightly higher in their early Tuesday morning session as investors wait for the LTRO tomorrow. This despite the news late Monday that S&P has officially down Greece to selective default. investors and the global will have to wait to see if the ISDA, the official body who will decide if it really is a default and cause the CDS (Credit default Swap) to kick in.


The US markets closed mostly flat in their Monday trading session. The Dow closed down for a second day losing 1.44 points and again staying under the illusive 13K number. The trend of mid morning reversals continued. The US markets all opened down, including the DOW by  triple digits rallying back only to rally throughout the session .  A better than expected US housing reading and Dallas February manufacturing active grew faster than in January helped fuel the markets rally.  The S&P rose 1.86 points while the Nasdaq notched it’s third straight day of gains adding 2.41 points.

The commodities picture was mixed on Monday. The WTI  snapped it’s 7 day winning streak closing down. Meanwhile Gold saw a $3.10 gain. Food commodities were all higher Monday. Corn closed in the green despite strength in the dollar and a new “rumor” that the amount of corn acreage planted this spring may increase due to record prices in the last year. Soybeans closed higher for a 6 consecutive day and reached five-month highs. helped by projections of a smaller than expected crop from South America may cause additional export demand for the US. Wheat rode the rally wave Monday  traded higher. Aided by short covering of positions and spillover of supply from it’s best friends corn and soybeans.

The Bond markets were slightly higher across the board as Euro worries and the effect higher gas prices will have on GDP (Gross Domestic Product).

Jan 3

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Global Market news for your next 24..


The View:
Global markets experienced a bit of New Year cheer choosing to absorb the positive and shrug off the negative.

Asian Markets railed in their Tuesday morning session on news of China’s better than expected PMI. China’s December PMI came in at 50.3 beating the 49.1 expected by analyst. The numbers showed a swing in manufacturing from contraction to light expansion. Also aiding the rally gains posted by the European markets on Monday. The Hang Seng rose 2.4% to 18877.41. The Nikkei and the Shanghai markets are closed for New Year holiday.

European markets rallied modestly on Friday ending 2011 on a high. Overall the European markets were negative as the sovereign debt crisis and all the jitters it caused have taken a toll on the equity markets.
European markets rallied on their first trading day of 2012. A better than expected purchasing managers index from Germany helped boost the European Stock markets into the green.
Europe was led by German stocks which rose after the counties manufacturing purchasing managers index rose to 48.1 in December from 47.9 in Germany providing investors a small glimmer of hope in the manufacturing sector. Bond yields for Europe largely stayed the same including Yields for Italy’s debt which were up two basis points to 6.88%.
Spanish stocks rose despite a warning from the government ton Friday that they would miss their budget deficit target by a winder margin then first anticipated.
European markets were mostly in the green in their early Tuesday morning trading despite the news that the Euro zone manufacturing PMI increased to 46.9 in December however it was still the fifth month of contraction. Instead the markets decided to focus on the German’s unemployment rate for December, which was came in at a record low.
The Euro still remains under pressure against the dollar holding around the 1.29 level.


US equity markets closed down on the final trading day of 2011. The Dow fell 69.48 points ending the year up 5.53% for the year. The S&P dropped 5.42 points close to flat for the year. The Nasdaq closed down on Friday losing 8.59 points and ending the year negative for the first year since 2008.
Commodities markets closed mostly higher on Friday. Gold rose $25.90 to end at $1566.80 while Oil fell $.82 to end the session at $98.83 a barrel.
Natural Gas prices on Friday closed at a two-year low as a warmer winter causes demands to plunge Food commodities closed out 2011 higher. Grains such as wheat, corn and soybeans were higher on a weaker dollar and continued dry weather in Argentina causing demand to strengthen.
Treasury yield were down on the last day of the year. The 10 year yield closed at 1.878% as investors still remain shaky which direction they think the market will go. Treasury holders over the last year saw a gain on their investment. The 10 year for example earned it’s holders a 17% return in 2011.

Oct 19


The View:

Investors still remain jittery and uncommitted to any rally
in global markets.

Asia Markets:

Asian markets ended sharply lower in Tuesday trading
sessions. Continued investors nervous about the Euro-zone debt crisis,
weakening economic numbers from China, and IBM ‘s earning report caused the
markets to tumble. The Nikkei lost 1.6%, Hang Seng tumbled 4.2% and Shanghai
fell 2.3%.

Already jittery investors got several new reasons to become even more cautious of the markets.  First, the same comments that rocked both the European and US markets took it toll on
Asia Tuesday.  Comments on Monday from Merkel calling the idea of a comprehensive bailout plan a”Dream” dashed the euphoria investors were feeling toward the subject. The second, economic data
out of China showed GDP grew at a rate of 9.1%, which for most of the global
would have made us dance however, in China it was below expectations and
substantially lower than the 9.5% gained in the second quarter.  This growth however was still strong enough to potential  dampened  any hopes that China would begin to loosen it’s
monetary policy.

European Markets:

European shares declined in their Monday session after
comments from euro-zone officials put a damper on investor’s high hopes of a
speedy yet comprehensive bailout plan. Early gains were erased after German
Finance Minister Wolfgage Schaeuble commented the upcoming European Union
summit may not bring a solution to the euro-zone debt crisis. German Chancellor
Angela Merkel agreed calling the resolving of all the problems at the EU
summit was a dream.  Harsh words after
the G-20 finance ministers of the weekend tried to reassure nervous investors
by calling for a complete plan that will help tackle the European debt crisis
be announced at the European  Union summit next week.  Except for a bit of
reassure to investors the G20 meeting failed to yield any significant progress
toward the Eurozone debt crisis. Also adding to fears of a stalling global economic
picture, data released this morning from the US showing a significant drop in

European stocks were bumpy in their early Tuesday trading. Causing
the decline China’s disappointing GDP numbers, UK reported inflation, and rumor of a potential downgrade of France’s covited triple AAA rating.

US Markets:

US Markets declined on Monday for their worst session in two
weeks, as the fuel that has fired the rally over the last two weeks is starting
to run out. The Dow plumpted 247.49 points, the S&P fell 23.72 points and
the Nadsaq lost 52.93 points.  The Dow and Nasdaq are now both  down 1% year to
date. The S&P is down 4.5% for the year.

The markets were in the red from the start with bleaker
economic reports caused investors to again feel jittery about the US economic picture.
The Empire State index, a gauge of the  manufacturing sector,  printed -8.5. The number was  down for a fifth month in a row in October after a slight improvement from September.
The industrial production also reported this morning, rose 0.2% in
September on increase demand for cars and computers. Both reports show a
continued slowing of the US economy.

Also weighing on investors minds the second bank after JP
Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, reported lack luster earnings.  Wells reported, for the first time in two
years, disappointing Q3 quarterly results. Analyst and investors were caught
off guard as Wells was considered one of the least vulnerable banks to the
recession because of it’s low cost deposits and steady lending.

Treasury’s continued to be the beneficiary of global nervous
investors closing Monday at 2.159%.

As investors flocked to Treseary’s the moved away from Gold.

Food commodities such as Corn, Soybeans, Wheat were all down
as investors remain pessimistic about global demand.

Oct 17


The View:

Investors and the markets are become more jittery than optimistic.

Asian Markets:

Asia markets closed down in their Friday session on downgrade
of Spain and economic news from China. The Shanghai was down 7.41 points, Hang
Seng was down 256.02, and the Nikkei was down 75.29 points.

China reported a CPI of 6.1%; expectations were for 6.2%,
and a PPI of 6.5% well off the 7.3% that was reported in August.  Markets were a bit disappointed as they were hoping to receive significantly lower numbers prompting the Chinese government
to start loosening monetary policy. Unfortunately, that was not the case as
inflation still remained at uncomfortable levels prompting some in Investors Friday
to take money off the table.

European Markets:

Shares in the European Markets fell on Thursday with the
financials taking some of the hardest hits. Investors began losing their euphoria with European officials and plans to stabilize their debt issue.  Weak data from China and a downbeat earnings from JP Morgan Chase seemed to reignite market’s jittery nervous.

Investors and the markets seemed to get back to their jittery
self’s after little details were forthcoming from European Commission President
Manuel Barroso outlined the plan late Wednesday.

Financials had already taken a beating in the early morning trading after JP Morgan slight drop in 3rd quarter earnings, when Fitch slashed its ratings on Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyd’s after their diligence determined they were less like to receive UK government support in the future. Also Fitch
added Barclay’s to its negative rating watch list sending the shares down 7.4%.

Two pieces of news did seem to steady the markets. First,
Fitch confirmed the UK’s triple a rating with a stable outlook. This despite
the rumor circulating Fitch would instead downgrade the countries ratings. The
markets also seemed a bit pleased with Slovakia final approving the EFSF plan
allowing the plan to become operational.

European markets rallied in their early Friday morning
session despite downgrades of banks. Fitch downgrade UBS and placed several banks on their negative outlook.

US Markets:

US Markets closed mixed on Thursday as the financial sector
lead the way after JPMorgan reported softer Q3 earning numbers.  The Dow fell 40.72, S&P erased 3.59 points and the NASDAQ closed positive 15.51.

JP Morgan, thought by many to be not only a bell weather
stock but one of the top financial stocks, took a hit on Thursday after report
weaker earnings. JPM’s earning stroked new investor fears about health of US
banking industry and what banks who reporting earnings will look like. Investor’s
nerves are starting to become a bit jittery as earning season moves in next

Commodities were also lower on Thursday. Crude fell for a
second straight day sliding to $84.23 a barrel. Gold also traded down 0.8%.

Food Commodities were mixed on Thursday. Corn and wheat were
down, however Soybeans were up as the traders and the market continued to react
to Wednesday crop report.

Treasury’s yield continued to stay around the 2.00 mark in

Oct 13


The View:

Investors and markets are feeling more confident about the
Eurozone’s issues allowing the risk trade to be put back on the table.

Asian Markets:

Asian markets climbed on Thursday. The Nikkei gain 1%, Hang
Seng rose 2.3% and the Shangai composite added 0.8%.

Exporters and resource companies were among the biggest
gainers as Asian markets felt more comfortable that the latest plan to resolve
the European soverign-debt woes still stood a shot at passing all it’s
obstacles.  The markets rallied despite China reporting lower export growth in September coming in at 17% , the weakest number since February, caused by a stalling global economy . Also reported
China’s Trade Surplus fell in September. More signs that China’s economy is defiantly
in slowdown mode causing analyst to wonder what effects it will have on Europe’s
economy future.

Exporters were among the best performers as investors were
encouraged that economic stability in Europe may be on the horizon and could
help sustain a slowdown in the European economy.  Resource stocks also notched solid gains as
economic sentiment  and the prospects for demand to improved.

European Markets:

European stocks ended their Wednesday session higher.  Financial shares lead the gains amid investor’s expectations that European policy makers will finally work out a plan to stem the euro zone debt crisis. Despite Slovkia’s initial rejection of the EFSF expansion investor felt confident by the news that lawmakers in the country were going to regroup and hold another vote
before the end of the week. Investors nervous also seemed to settle down as the
European Commission, the Eurozone’s executive arm, called on European
governments to release a the sixth tranche of emergency lending to Greece and
move the Eurozone’s permananet rescue fund up by a year. The commission also
stated the European Stability Mechanism should be up and running in July 2012
not the mid-2013 previously predicted. The European Stability Mechanism is the permanent bail out program that would replace the current EFSF program.  Most importantly, the European commission stated the EFSF should be available as a last resort to lend money to governments
in need. Finally the markets heard that progress is being made.

Also aiding the European market’s rally the release of better than expected Euro-zone data. The data released Wednesday morning showed industrial production in August rose 1.2% from July and rose 5.3% year to year.

European markets were lower in their early Thursday morning
trading session on new concerns about the European economic picture for the
rest of the year and a warning from Deutche bank that earning maybe worse then
first thought due to the effects of the debt crisis. The ECB in it’s monthly
report said the EZ economy is slowing down and could be facing several
headwinds in the last quarter of the year. Trichet also said Thursday that
forcing private bondholders to accept losses on sovereign debt could damage the
euro’s reputations.  The latest bailout plan for Greece negotiated during the summer called for a voluntary exchange of Greek bonds. This element of the plan is now being called into questions and some want to make it a mandatory part of the equation.

US Markets:

US stocks rallied Wednesday amid investors continued
optimism about European ‘s plans to stabilize their banking system. The Dow,
which is now up 5.6% on the month, gained 102.55 points. The NASDAQ climbed
21.70 and the S&P gained 11.71 points.

Despite investors putting risk back on the table several
market watchers content that Wedsenday’s rally was caused by short covering and
that the market is still stuck in the same trading range that began nearly two
months ago.  The Dow has been range bound between 10700 and 11700 mostly reacting to headlines from the European debt crisis and fears of an US and global recession.

The dollar was weaker in Wednesday trading causing Gold to
rise 1.3% to $1681.30.

Oil  closed down 0.3% as the International Energy Agency lowered it’s forecast for global oil demand.

Food Commodities were down after the USDA released it’s crop report yesterday cutting it’s outlook for corn for the third consecutive month. Still traders are optimistic the rally is long from over . As corn prices go down speculation calls for dips in price to spur foreign buyers such as China.

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