Olive Garden food flunks CNNMoney taste test

Is Olive Garden food that bad? We tried it 

When a big hedge fund released its scathing takedown of Olive Garden’s food, we couldn’t resist weighing in. Is the food that bad?

We are not food critics, but we’re both passionate about Italian food, which stems from our personal backgrounds.

Cristina’s grandmother who comes from Rome had her rolling homemade gnocchi before she could ride a bike. She still picks the crispiest pieces of pancetta out of the pan while making carbonara.

Paul learned how to cook Sicilian food from his dad … and urges Cristina to embrace the awesome culinary combination of pignoli and raisins.

Activist investor Starboard Value has accused Olive Garden owner Darden (DRI) of wasteful practices, bad management and raising prices

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Investors will feel hangover once Silicon Valley sobers up

cash burning

Silicon Valley is partying like it’s 1999, but there’s a growing realization the good times can’t last forever.

Marc Andreessen, an early Facebook (FB, Tech30) backer, sounded the alarm last week about young tech companies irresponsibly burning cash at unsustainable rates. The venture capitalist predicted many startups will “vaporize” when the market turns south.

Andreessen’s warning was targeted at startup companies that don’t trade on the stock exchange yet, but investors with exposure to tech stocks should not ignore these concerns.

If startups begin imploding, the fallout is likely to infect publicly-traded tech companies, especially those that aren’t profitable.

“A company not very profitable is trading on hopes and dreams. That would damage those hopes and dreams,” said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.

Related: Spendthrift

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Stocks: ‘September slump’ strikes again

september stock slump

If you are one of the 50% of Americans who have money in the stock market, you probably wanted to reach for Benadryl at some point this month.

The “September stock slump” came back with a vengeance in 2014. The SP 500 finished the month down over 1.5%, its worst performance since January. The Nasdaq — the main gauge of tech and biotech stocks — lost 1.9%. Even the Dow, the index that tracks America’s large and well established companies, ended slightly in the red, down 0.3%.

How did things unravel?

It’s a valid question to ask. There was so much excitement in September, what with Alibaba (BABA, Tech30) becoming the largest initial public offering in history, and the SP 500 and Dow actually setting records. Then things

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House Dems want NY Fed hearings, too

ny fed reserve bank
A frustrated ex-Fed investigator provided several news outlets with apparent secretly-made recordings from her time as a Wall Street regulator.

Three Democratic members of Congress joined their Senate colleagues in calling for a probe of Wall Street regulators.

The three members — Reps. Maxine Waters of California, Al Green of Texas and Keith Ellison of Minnesota — signed a letter Tuesday urging hearings on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and whether it’s too close with the banks it supervises.

They were responding to a collaborative This American Life and ProPublica story centered around the experiences of a frustrated ex-Fed investigator who said her bosses refused to get tough with investment bank Goldman Sachs (GS). The news outlets posted audio she apparently secretly recorded when meeting with her supervisors.

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This app is helping Hong Kong protesters organize without a cell network

Hong Kong protesters: young and rebellious 

Anyone who has ever been to a big sporting event or a stadium concert knows that large crowds can quickly overwhelm local cell towers, making communication pretty much impossible.

Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong — who need functioning phones to organize — appear to have found a solution to this problem.

More than 100,000 people in Hong Kong downloaded an app called FireChat in a recent 24-hour period. The app allows protesters to keep chatting, even when their phones lose mobile network connectivity.

FireChat works by connecting users in a daisy chain, or mesh network, via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. No mobile network is required, and users can choose to remain anonymous.

“With FireChat, it’s completely decentralized,” said Micha Benoliel, CEO of Open Garden,

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Will October rattle markets more than usual?

“October is historically a turnaround month, where the markets tend to turn around after weakness but often the weakness carries on into October. Maybe, we have to get to the middle of the monthuntil we get some Chinese data and then we turn around. We think stocks are probably headed higher from here to year end,” said Jeff Kleintop, chief international market strategist at Charles Schwab.

Read MoreWhy the next global crisis may come from China

October is a critical turning point for Fed policy and in a highly choreographed wind down, the Fed Oct. 29 is expected to announce it is finishing its quantitative easingthe controversial bond buying program that many strategists say has added liquidity and helped provide a strong backdrop for stock market gains.

The Fed then begins a slow walk toward its first rate hike sometime

Article source: http://www.cnbc.com/id/102045994

Cramer: Scaling peaks inside the market

Also Cramer said the latest data from Case-Shiller was nothing to write home about. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, prices in the 20 cities fell 0.5 percent in July. A Reuters poll of economists had forecast a flat reading. Nonseasonally adjusted prices rose 0.6 percent in the 20 cities on a monthly basis, disappointing expectations for a 1.1 percent rise.

The data could mean housing prices have peaked, too.

On top of that, Cramer noted that the strong U.S. dollar could mean that US exports have peaked and he thinks the price of bonds is probably near a peak too.

All told, it would sound like the market is in trouble. However, just because areas have peaked, Cramer isn’t sure investors should write the market off, altogether.

“Not all peaks are bad,” he said. For

Article source: http://www.cnbc.com/id/102046655

Cramer: Russell 2000 death cross, a buy signal?

However, Lang says in the case of the Russell 2000, an index of small cap stocks, conventional wisdom does not apply. In fact, conventional wisdom has it backwards.

Using information compiled by Ryan Detrick from SeeItMarket.com, Lang says that since December of 1988, there have been 19 death crosses in the Russell 2000.

And, yes, they were bearish in the very near-term. Initially, the Russell 2000 tumbled, selling off an average of 1.92 percent in the first five days after the death cross.

However, on average the losses quickly began to reverse.

According to the research, ten days later, the Russell 2000 was only down an average of 0.7 percent. Three months later, the Russell 2000 had gained an average gain of 1.57 percent.

Believe it or not, from

Article source: http://www.cnbc.com/id/102046362