Marriott Has A Million Rooms Worldwide, Plus Oil Is On The Up-And-Up


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“France is at war.” — France President Francois Hollande, in a rare joint Parliament session speech yesterday, during which Hollande proposed sweeping new proposals aimed at eliminating terrorism in the wake of Friday’s Paris attacks.


Oil On the Up-and-Up

  • Friday’s Paris terror attacks impacted Monday’s markets, but perhaps not how you expected. Though ISIS hoped to spread fear and negativity across Europe, quite the opposite occurred in the markets, with energy rallying after France launched airstrikes in Syria. The negativity was prevalent throughout the travel and leisure sector of the market, however, which lost nearly 2.3 billion euros in market cap yesterday.
  • Oil’s price rise helped set U.S. stocks on the right path, recovering from sharp declines last week as only the transportation sector ended in the red. Markets remain relatively calm as the Federal Reserve prepares to announce its interest rate decision in December and earnings season winds down.
  • On the other hand, Asian stocks were hit by selloffs Monday, with airlines and tourism stocks unsurprisingly being impacted the most. Also not helping matters was China announcing that margin requirements would be raised from 50% to 100%, forcing speculators to be more risk-averse.

Japan’s Recession

Japan’s third quarter data came out early Monday morning, and let’s put it bluntly: things aren’t looking good. Japan economy contracted by 0.8%—its second quarter in a row of negative growth, officially putting Japan back in a state of recession. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has tried to resolve the situation for the past two quarters with his “Abenomics” economic plan, but it hasn’t quite done the trick. Analysts believe that the country will eventually need a larger stimulus package, but it’s ultimately up to Abe.


Marriott Hits the Million Club

Marriott Hotels outbid bitter rival Hyatt Hotels to acquire Starwood Hotels & Resorts for a luxurious $12.2 billion. The deal adds 5,500 hotels to Marriott’s ever-expanding collection of properties—now totaling over 1 million rooms worldwide. Marriott executives believe the acquisition will provide more options for customers throughout the world and improve upon its loyalty program. The hotel giant prides itself on a core value of embracing change and expansion, and this deal fortifies that claim. Let’s see how it pays off for customers.

Liberty Global Expands

British telecommunications company Liberty Global agreed to buy Cable & Wireless Communications for $5.3 billion yesterday. What are the consequences of yet another telecom merger? Liberty Global will inherit 10 million Caribbean and Latin American TV subscribers with the deal, setting the company up nicely in emerging markets, an area they’ve been eyeing for the past couple years. It’s a win for Liberty Global, and another notch on owner and cable mogul John Malone’s belt.

War On All Fronts

An interesting opponent has risen to challenge ISIS—from the tech world, no less. Notorious hacker group Anonymous has formally declared war on the terrorist organization following the Paris attacks. Anonymous’ goal is to eliminate ISIS propaganda by taking down affiliated websites, social media accounts and videos from across the web. This isn’t the first time Anonymous has gotten involved with vigilante cyberattacks, though—it began terrorists following the all-too-recent attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the kosher market in Paris.



  • Urban Outfitters buys pizzerias in desperate comeback move
  • Craft brewery Ballast Point acquires alcoholic beverage conglomerate Constellation Brands for $1 billion
  • Taco Bell announces move to cage-free eggs by end of 2016
  • Warren Buffett ups stakes in IBM/GM, cuts Walmart/Goldman Sachs

  • Monday: Dillard’s Earnings
  • Tuesday: Consumer Price Index; Walmart, Home Depot, Dick’s Sporting Goods Earnings
  • Wednesday: Fed Minutes; Housing Starts; Lowe’s, Target, Staples Earnings
  • Thursday: Best Buy, Gap Earnings; Weekly Jobless Claims
  • Friday: Abercrombie & Fitch, Foot Locker Earnings


Friday’s terror attacks were felt by those far beyond Paris, and will continue to be felt in Paris’s economy. With Francois Hollande planning to declare a state of emergency for the next three months, worries abound over whether this will cut into the 80 million people who visit France each year. Considering Paris is the third most popular tourist city worldwide, there’s reason for concern:

  • The city of Paris attracts over 16 million visitors per year, which translates to a whopping $17 billion in tourist spending.
  • The city is also a major attraction for business visitors—over 38% of international travelers visit for business. Since corporations are typically more sensitive to security risks, this could affect the number of visitors in the short-term.
  • Worst of all, a dip in tourism could have potentially negative effects for the French economy: tourism supports around 10% of jobs in France.


A man in prison has a visitor. Afterwards, a guard asks the inmate who the visitor was to him. The inmate replies: “brothers and sisters I have none, but that man’s father is my father’s son.” Who was the visitor to the inmate? (Answer)



Valuation Period — The time between the end of the business day of the first business day and the end of the business day of the second business day. The valuation period refers to variable annuities. Annuities are financial products that provide an income source in retirement. Variable annuities are annuity products that provide annuity payouts based on the current value of the annuity’s investments.


1,000 resignations: more than 1,000 members resigned from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints after the Mormon church would no longer baptize the children of same-sex couples.

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