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??

Growth In The U.S….
On Thursday, the GDP (Growth Domestic Product) was announced for Q3. The U.S. economy expanded at a rate of 2.8%, a surprising sign of strength in the economy. Much of the surge came from businesses restocking their inventories. The third-quarter results were nearly a full percentage point stronger than most economists had predicted and show that the economy was picking up speed this summer. Analysts expect slow growth in the October-December quarter in part because of the government shutdown.

While consumers stepped up spending on goods, overall spending weakened to a 1.5% annual rate, down from the second quarter’s 1.8% pace. Spending by consumers is critical to growth as it drives roughly 70 percent of economic activity. This year higher taxes and slow wage growth have weighed on consumers’ wallets since the start.
KJ’s Take: Positive growth beats negative growth any day. Just ask your bank account.

99 Problems But Twitter Ain’t One…
On Thursday, Twitter (TWTR) began its new life as a public company without a hitch. Shares opened at $45.00, up 73% from the $26 IPO price set Wednesday evening. After a trip up then down, the excitement quickly ran its course causing the shares to spend much of the day hovering around $46 before closing below the opening price, at $44.90. The San Francisco-based company raised as much as $2.1 billion and ended the day with a market capitalization of about $25 billion.

You’ve Been Downgraded…
Friday, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services cut France’s credit rating by one notch to AA, sharply criticizing President François Hollande’s strategy for repairing the country’s economy and saying he has little room to fix the country’s finances. S&P also shifted its outlook for the rating to stable from negative.

S&P’s decision comes as doubts begin to take hold in France about Mr. Hollande’s approach to reigniting economic growth through a series of incremental steps, instead of bigger bold moves. Recent unrest in the rural region of Brittany, widespread tiredness of higher taxes among both corporations and households, and a number of clashes between the president and members of his fragile majority in parliament, have exposed the limitations of Hollande go-slow strategy. S&P’s action today is the third downgrade of France by a major ratings agency since Mr. Hollande was elected in May 2012, and follows its decision to strip France’s coveted triple-A rating in January 2012.

In The Markets:

Asian markets closed out their trading week down. Signs of strength in the U.S. economy increased investors’ concern that the Federal Reserve could start to roll back its stimulus earlier than expected.

European markets closed flat on Thursday after investor initial euphoria over a surprise rate cut by the ECB (European Central Bank) faded once they stopped to consider the reason behind the move.

US stocks tumbled Thursday as the taper guessing game ruined a perfectly good trading day. DJIA: -152.92 15593.98 NASDAQ: -74.61 3857.33 S&P: -23.24 1747.15

In Dinner or Drink:

Bourbon Sour
2 oz. bourbon whiskey
1 oz. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. superfine sugar
1 slice orange
1 maraschino cherry
In a shaker half-filled with ice cubes, combine the bourbon, lemon juice, and sugar. Shake well. Strain into a whiskey sour glass, garnish with the orange slice and cherry.

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Have a safe and wonderful weekend, yall