Yahoo finance API is not available right now, please try again soon...
Apr 7

In The News:

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

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs…

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

It Was The Russians…

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

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

In The Markets:

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

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

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

In Dinner or Drink:

Big Dumb Russian

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

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

Like our recipe, click here for more.

We are what we repeatedly do. – Aristotle

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...]

Jan 13

In The News:

Weak Jobs…

On Friday, the December NFP (Non-Farm Payroll) report was released, showing the economy added only 74,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 6.7%. The report has again sparked the argument of whether the unemployment rate is dropping because people are getting new jobs or because people have stopped looking. According to Friday’s report, the U.S. labor force shrank by 347,000 in December with only 62.8% of U.S. adults looking for work, the lowest number since 1978. In 2013, the labor force shrank by nearly 550,000 workers to about 154.9 million, marking only the third year since 1948.

KJ’s Take: The good news is that the economy added 74,000 jobs; however, the job market is still fragile but healing.

From Bad, To Worse…

Target’s (TGT) data breach had officially gone from bad to worse, as the big box retailer estimates that at least 70 million customers may have been impacted, almost twice as many at the 40 million it disclosed late last year. A forensics investigation conducted by the company has found that information separate from the payment card data (such as email, customer names and address) was also taken during the breach. The customer data was stolen from systems beyond point of sale, meaning that customers who emailed Target with questions or made purchases via the Internet may be impacted as well.

We’ve Been Compromised…
On Friday, Luxury merchant Neiman Marcus confirmed thieves stole some of its customers’ payment card information and made unauthorized charges over the holiday season. The company wouldn’t estimate how many customers may have been affected however; they have notified customers whose cards they know were used fraudulently. Neiman Marcus, which currently operates more than 40 upscale stores and clearance stores, is working with the Secret Service on the breach.

In The Markets:

Asian markets closed mixed on Monday as China decided to postpone its 5 new IPO’s so government officials could ensure new security measures are working correctly.

European shares closed slightly positive on Friday on news the German airline, Deutsche Lufthansa AG, would lower fuel and restructuring cost in 2014.

US markets closed flat on Friday as investors reacted to the disappointing jobs number released on Friday. DJIA: -7.71 16437.05 S&P: +4.24 1842.37 Nasdaq: +18.47 4174.67

In Dinner or Drink:

Broken Spur Cocktail
3/4 oz. sweet vermouth
1 1/2 oz. port
1/4 tsp. triple sec

Stir all ingredients with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.
“What the mind can conceive, it can achieve”- Napoleon Hill

Jan 10

In The News:

Jobs, Jobs,Jobs….
The NFP report released Friday showed the economy only add 74,000 jobs in the month of December. We will break the numbers down in our Monday edition.

Game Over…

On Thursday, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) announced its plans to sell, or exit over time, its business of issuing prepaid cards for corporate payrolls and government tax refunds and benefits. The cards have become a headache of risks in operations and regulation. Last month, JPMorgan warned 465,000 holders of the cards that their personal data may have been accessed by computer hackers who attacked its network in July. The company also issued incorrect replacement cards to some 4,000 people receiving payments from the state of Connecticut, causing the state treasurer to blast the bank for its “obvious lack of attention to detail.”

In addition to the operational nightmares that the cards have caused recently, government regulators have been focusing on companies, such as JPMorgan Chase, to determine whether corporate payroll programs that use the cards have sufficient safeguards against burdening employees with fees. This may have been the company’s deciding factor in getting out of the business, as they have shelled out over $15 billion in fines to government regulators in the last year.

I’m In A Slump…

Shares of Sears Holdings Corp. tumbled 13% in after-hours trading on Thursday after the company reported a 7.4% decline in quarter-to-date holiday season comparable sales. Sears U.S. sales tumbled 9.2% and Kmart sales dropped 5.7%. The company forecast an adjusted loss in the quarter ending Feb. 1 to be $2.01 to $2.98 a share. For the year, the company is projected to have an adjusted loss of $7.64 to $8.61 a share.
Sears is just one of several low end discounters that have had a rough holiday season as consumers still feel economic pressure in their daily lives. As earning season begins watch for lower quarterly earnings from low end discounters like Kmart, Sears, and Family Dollar.

In The Markets:

Asia ended the week mixed. The Shanghai Composite (China) closing in the red on news China exports tumbled in December. Another sign the world’s second biggest economy is on the starting to crumble. The Hang Seng (Hong Kong) and the Nikkei (Japan) closed higher as investors remained cautiously optimistic about Friday’s jobs report out of the US.

European markets finished lower on Thursday following the ECB’s (European Central Bank) decided to keep rates low while the region’s recovery finds its footing.

US markets closed mixed on Thursday as all eyes were focused on what potential surprises Friday’s  jobs reports might tells us. DJIA:-17.98 16444.76 Nasdaq: -9.42 4156.19 S&P: +0.64 1838.13

In Dinner or Drink:

Friday Frozen Mudslide
1 1/2 oz. Absolut® vodka
1 1/2 oz. Bailey’s® Irish cream
1 1/2 oz. Kahlua® coffee liqueur
8 ice cubes
1 1/2 oz. cream
1 scoop Haagen-Dazs® vanilla ice cream
2 scoops Haagen-Dazs® chocolate ice cream

Begin by crushing the 8 ice cubes in a blender. When ice is finely crushed, add the remaining ingredients and blend for 45 seconds on blender’s highest setting. Pour into glass and serve immediately.

Have a wonderful weekend, Ya’ll!

“If you don’t have daily objectives, you qualify as a dreamer.”
- Zig Ziglar

Dec 27

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

Standup Airline…
On Thursday, some lucky fliers scored some really cheap flights on Delta Air Lines (DAL) due to a computer glitch. From approximately 10:00 am to noon EST, certain flights and their prices on the company’s website and other air booking sites were showing up incorrectly. Customers were able to pick up deals like a roundtrip ticket from Cincinnati to Minneapolis for February, for $25.05 or a roundtrip between Cincinnati and Salt Lake City for $48.41. Both of the tickets normally cost over $400.00. A spokesman for the airline said that the glitch has been fixed and that Delta will honor any fees purchased at the incorrect price.

Cut Off….
1.3 million Americans are set to lose their unemployment benefits Saturday as federal emergency benefits will end when funds run out for a program created during the recession to supplement the benefits that states provide. Initially the cutoff will affect 1.3 million people, but 1.9 million more will lose benefits by mid-2014 when their 26 weeks of state paychecks run out, according to the National Employment Law Project. The benefits average about $300 a week.

Wheels Up…
Textron Inc. (TXT), the manufacturer of Cessna aircraft, will expand its lineup of propeller-driven aircraft after reaching a deal to purchase Beechcraft Corp. for $1.4 billion, as the company seeks to counter a slump in business-jet sales.The Providence, Rhode Island-based company will purchase all outstanding equity interests in Beech Holdings LLC, the parent of Beechcraft. The deal, which includes the repayment of Beechcraft’s working capital debt, will be financed by a combo of available cash and around $1.1 billion in new debt.
Adding Beechcraft models, such as the twin-engine King Air, will complement Cessna lineup which ranges from two-seaters to the Caravan turboprop used to fly people and cargo to small airports. The market segment is less competitive than private jets, where Cessna has struggled since they don’t build large, long-range planes now favored by corporate buyers.

In The Markets:

Asia markets finished out the last trading week of 2013 on a positive note. A lowering of the rate Chinese banks charge each other provided relief for investors looking for liquidity (cash) in the market as companies and banks look to shore up their balance sheet before year-end.

Europe continued its five session winning streak. A decrease in US jobless claims by 42K sent another sign to the world the US economy is moving in the right direction.

US markets rallied on Thursday extending the Dow Jones record run to 50 record highs and continued its 6 session winning streak. A larger than expected decline in weekly jobless claims kept investors in the buying spirit. DJIA: +122.33 16479.88 NASDAQ: +11.76 4167.18 S&P 500: +8.70 1842.02

In Dinner or Drink:


Beach Party
1.5 oz. Malibu® coconut rum
1/2 oz. Midori® melon liqueur
1/2 oz. triple sec
pineapple juice
grenadine syrup

Pour rum, melon and triple sec and pineapple. Can be Blended or shaken and served over ice. Add just a small trickle of the grenadine over the top.

Like our drink today, click here for more .

We hope you have a wonderful last weekend of 2013.

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” Walt Disney

Nov 11

In Business and Financial News:

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs…
On Friday, we learned how many jobs were added to the economy in October and what a pleasant surprise it was. The economy added 204,000 jobs in October, amazing everyone including highly trained analysts who had expected last month’s government shutdown to somewhat damage the labor market. Also as part of the NFP (Non-Farm Payroll) report, the U.S. Labor Department said that the unemployment rate edged up to 7.3% from 7.2% due to the 16 day fiscal standoff in Congress. So, if you’re scratching your head on this one, here’s the backstory. The Department of Labor census takers conduct a survey of a sampling group once a month. They call each of the sampling households and ask questions, including if they worked last week. They do not ask questions like, are you unemployed or how long you have been unemployed? They then take the “no’s” and “yes’s” and formulate the unemployment rate. During the 16 day shutdown, thousands more people were at home and not technically employed, potentially raising the numbers of “no’s” in the survey. [Continue reading...]

Oct 3

In Business and Financial News:

Now Hiring…

The private sector added fewer jobs in September than expected. On Wednesday, the ADP (Automatic Data Processing) survey was released showing US business added 166,000 jobs in September, slightly more than July and August. Analysts, however, had expected the number to be closer to 180,000 jobs. The report also revised August to 159,000 and July to 161,000; both revisions was lower than previous estimates. Overall, the report showed hiring in the private sector slightly below the monthly average of 175,000 jobs for the year.

KJ’s Take: Normally there are two reports about jobs, the ADP and NFP (Non-Farm Payroll). Due to the government shut down, the NFP report will not be released on Friday. The ADP didn’t hold a lot of surprises. However you feel about ObamaCare, it was always common knowledge it would have some kind of effect on hiring and job creation until all of the details are ironed out. [Continue reading...]

Sep 9

In The News:

No Clear Signal…

The much anticipated August monthly employment report, the Non-Farm Payroll (aka NFP), was released Friday. The report, a closely watched barometer of economic health, showed 169,000 jobs were added in August. However, economists had expected businesses to add 180,000 jobs; therefore, it met the criteria used for the disappointing category. The unemployment rate did tick down to 7.3%, which did inch closer to the Fed’s mandate.  The improvement should not be taken as a positive sign. The “drop” is attributed to a greater number of people feeling discouraged and leaving the job seeking for others to undertake.

August report was billed as the “job number report of 2013″.  Everyone was betting on the number giving the world a clear signal that taper would begin in September.  Bottom Line… The taper guessing game will continue on for another couple weeks until the Fed’s September meeting gives us our next clue.

You’re dumped, kinda

International Business Machines Corp (IBM) will move around 110,000 retirees off the company- sponsored health plan. Instead, it is giving each retiree eligible for Medicare a payment to buy coverage on the health-insurance exchange Extended Health.  The move will affect anyone who is eligible for Medicare on Dec. 31, 2013. Instead of subsidizing the retiree health premiums directly, the company will now give retirees an annual payment via a health retirement account. The account can be used by retirees to buy Medicare Advantage plans and supplemental Medicare policies on the exchange, as well as pay for other medical expenses. However, if the retirees don’t enroll in a plan through Extend Health, they won’t receive the subsidy. IBM is careful to point out the growing cost of care has made its current plan unsustainable without big premium increases and the move is not to be mistaken for cost cutting.

Bottom Line: Time Warner also announced over the weekend it would introduce the same type program. Both companies won’t be the first or last big company to turn to third parties as an alternative for Medicare eligible retirees.


[Continue reading...]

Aug 5

In The News:

Long Road

The never-ending story of the US‘s road to recovery hit a bump Friday when the Non-Farm Payroll (NFP) report was released.   Highlights from the report were:

  • Employment numbers were up to 162,000; unfortunately they were well below the estimates of 184,000.
  • Many of the jobs created were in low-wage industries such as retail and restaurants.
  • The jobless rate fell to 7.4%, a four and half year low.   Don’t let the decrease fool you; most likely this was a result of workers giving up finding a job and dropping out of the labor force.
  • May and June’s job numbers were lowered for a combined total of 27,000 lower than originally stated.


The gloves are officially off!  Time Warner Cable dropped CBS and its affiliates Friday at 5:00PM EST after the latest round of talks failed.   The root of the issue stems from the fee amount Time Warner pays for the ‘privilege’ of carrying CBS programming.    Time Warner has already reached out to the roughly three million subscribers affected by the blackout, and has filled the channels vacated by CBS.   [Continue reading...]

Mailing List

© 2013 Before 24 / Contact / Privacy Policy / Legal