In The News:

I’m Out..

Former US Treasury Secretary, Lawrence Summers called President Obama Sunday to say he is out of the running to succeed Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve. In  a letter to the  President following their phone conversation  Summer wrote ”I have reluctantly concluded that any possible confirmation process for me would be acrimonious and would not serve the interest of the Federal Reserve, the Administration or, ultimately, the interests of the nation’s ongoing economic recovery,”

Larry Summers was the President’s top pick in the race and it was highly speculated he would have been announced sometime this week.  The move now, forces the President to look for another top choice. Two potential candidates the President has already met with Janet Yelllen, Congress’s pick and the Fed’s vice chairwomen and Donald Kohn, who is a former vice chair of the Federal Reserve.  There is still time for the President to choose his next candidate; Fed Chairman Bernanke’s term isn’t up until January 31, 2014.

Wanted: Used IPads...

Microsoft has quietly started a new trade in program for IPad users offering to buy old IPads for Microsoft store gift cards. Current IPad 2, 3 or 4 owners can bring their gently used tablets into a Microsoft store and receive a minimum of $200 gift card. The cards can be used toward the purchase of a Surface RT or Surface Pro tablet, as well as other products offered in the stores.

Recently Microsoft turned up the heat in the battle with Apple by cutting the price of its Surface tablet to $349 hoping to entice back to school shoppers. Past sales of the Surface have lagged well behind Microsoft’s expectation causing a $900 million write down earlier this year. Has Microsoft found a way to bring consumers to their side?

Minimum Raised…

California is on its way to becoming the first state to raise the min. wage from $8.00 to $10.00 by January 2016. The legislation easily passed the Democratic controlled state Senate and Assembly. The bill is opposed by state Republicans, who say it will become a job killer. No other state has set its minimum wage that high however, 10 states do tie their minimum wage to the consumer price index and several states could be near $10 by 2016. Currently, Washington has the highest minimum wage at $9.19 an hour. Bottom-line: The strikes several weeks ago may have done their job by getting politicians to react. This isn’t an issue that will go away quickly. Time will tell if any more states take Cali’s lead… and then there is that big election coming 2016.

Another couple of hints…

On Friday we received two reports that gave us a hint into how the US economy is doing.

  • Retail sales were released for August showing a rise of 0.2%. The number however, missed Wall Street expectation of 0.5%.
  • PPI (Producers Price Index) showed a rise in prices of 0.3% in August. The number beat Wall Street estimates of 0.2%

Bottom-line: Both reports show slow but steady progress. Retail sales are always important as consumer spending is a big component of the total GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Improving retail sales numbers usual equate to a rising GDP for the quarter. PPI (Producers Price Index) is one of the first indicators of the monthly reports cycle that can show if inflation is creeping in. Both numbers this round hold a bit more weight as they are the last two pieces of economic data the Fed will see before the big FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting happening this week.

In The Markets:

Asia:

Asian markets closed higher Monday as global markets reacted to the announcement Larry Summers, a fan of tapering QE, was out of the Fed race.

Europe:

European stock markets closed positive, Friday. Investors consulted their tea leaves in an effort to gauge whether the Retail Sales and PPI reports would help or hurt the Fed’s case for tapering.

US:

US stocks rose on Friday with the DJIA posting its best week since January. A possible diplomatic deal with Syria calmed investor’s jitters.   DJIA: +75.42 15376.06 NASDAQ: +6.22 3722.18 S&P: +4.57 1687.99 WTI:-0.05 108.55 Brent:+0.12 112.75  Nat.Gas: +0.035 3.673

In Dinner or Drink:

California Punch

  • 0.75 oz. Smirnoff No. 21® Vodka
  • 0.25 oz. Tanqueray® London Dry Gin
  • 0.25 oz. Cognac
  • 0.25 oz. Grenadine
  • 2 oz. Orange juice
  • 1 splash(es)lime juice
  • 1 splash(es)sugar syrup
  • 1 piece(s)lemon wedge(s)

Glass: Hurricane Glass

         1.    In a shaker add Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka, Tanqueray London Dry Gin, cognac,

grenadine, orange juice, lime juice, sugar syrup and shake well.

        2.    Serve over ice in hurricane glass.

        3.    Garnish with lemon wedge

Like our drink today, click here for more.