READ THIS FIRST - 05/01/2019

Updated: Jun 5, 2019

Happy May Day !!   I really had no idea what May Day was all about.. So.. I looked it up.. It dates back to Ancient Rome ..and Most countries in the Northern Hemisphere celebrate it is some way..It is usually a "welcoming of Spring" ..  In the USA several of the celebrations involve cake. Which should make Jim Gaffigan happy... Anyways, Can we fast Forward to May 5th for Cinco de Mayo??? and have some TEQUILA!!!!  By the way, Cinco de Mayo is an American Celebration.  We probably liked the way it sounded.. and Corona Beer advertised the CRAP out of it.. (It worked!!) It is only a minor day in Mexico commemorating the victory of Mexico over the French at the Battle of Puebla.  Mexico's Independence Day is September 16th and THAT is a Big Deal south of our Border... to the news.. 

Coup in Caracas??  Juan Guaido (Some call him “Opposition Leader” and some call him “Acting President of Venezuela") staged a “military uprising” .. Violent street battles erupted when military loyal to Dictastor Maduro (apparently, some of these troops were imported from Cuba) fought with the troops that were fighting for the resistance.  Maduro’s forces fired rubber bullets and drove tanks over protestors. (Awesome thing for your "leader" to do, eh?? )  Last night Maduro congratulated his military.  This ain’t over.. and its gonna get worse before it gets better.. A shooter has killed 2 students and injured four on the campus of UNC Charlotte, NC.  The shooter is in custody and smiled as he was being arrested for killing fellow students. Drugs? Angry ex-boyfriend? Loner who was teased and just found out he failed his Finals and isn't graduating? or "D" None of the Above?  .. .. In the Swamp, House and Senate leaders met with President Trump to discuss an Infrastucture Bill. Democratic Leaders called the meeting productive and said that Trump agreed to spend $2 Trillion to fix roads, bridges, the electric grid and other infrastructure.  (You think they read the Rant for the past six months crapping on them for doing NOTHING??) .They will meet again in three weeks to discuss how to pay for it.  Isn’t this odd? Politicians working together to pass Legislation that everyone knows has been needed for 20 years.   I keep waiting for the "catch".. I can just see the meeting. Trump says something like, “OK , how about you stop with the lawsuits and trying to get my taxes and let's pass something this year to make America stop hating ALL politicians so much.. then you can go back to attacking me in 2020 before the elections? Deal?? ..  and.. Here Comes  the “Biden Sluuurge”  (I just invented that.. its when Biden slurs 17 times during a speech.. then Surges to the lead in the polls.  Slurge.  Aren’t I Clever!!) .. He is 17 points ahead of  Bernie Sanders in a worthless poll that I cannot believe people actually care about. I’m sure the Maduro Socialist mess in Venezuela isn’t helping Socialist Bernie, either.. and..Former President Bill Clinton will begin doing a Podcast.  You think he is willing to get up at 5am? He can join the Rant! .. and Elon Musk skates again.  Musk has come toanother agreement with the SEC over tweeting things about Tesla without having them approved by their lawyers.  So, I guess he is on Double Secret Probation now?  Like in "Animal House"??  Is it time for a Toga Party?  TOGA.  TOOOGGAA... SPORTS:  NHL:  Columbus wins 2-1 over Boston and takes a 2-1 series lead.  San Jose wins 4-2 over Colorado to take a 2-1 series lead. .. MLB:  The Yankees CC Sabathia gets his 3,000th career strike out against the Arizona Diamondbacks.. and.. High School Senior from Texas, Matthew Boling, set a National Record running the 100 Meteres in 9.98 seconds. Boling’s nickname is “White Lightning” but I think that is a bit racialist so Imma call him “Matt” .. and ESPN Magazine is Kaput!  ESPN decided to pull the plug on the publication after 21 years. There will be a “Handful of layoffs”.....CELEBRIDIOTS: Oprah is OUT at "60 Minutes".  The Media Mega-Star is leaving the CBS show because they are tried to "over-control" her.  She claims they made her "Practice saying her name" because the "Level of emotion was not right".  Geez.. When Oprah comes on your show you let HER tell you how to get ratings up.. not the other way around, you DOPES!!! No wonder you're struggling....  Fox Entertainment says Jussie Smollet will not be back next year on “Empire”. Given the ratings it doesn’t look like anyone else will be, either.  Again, joking aside.. Smollet’s family better put him in therapy.  He is certainly a suicide risk..... and.. Some has been ex-Football player and his dopey wife chimed in on the “Instagram Break-up” of Olivia Culpo and Danny Amendola.  Amendola didn’t like the “Hollywood” and Instagram thing that is a big part of Culpo's life .. So, this ex-football player and his dopey wife called Culpo a “Social Climber”  AHHAH. You are IDIOTS!!!  Olivia Culpo comes from a family in Rhode Island that owns a bunch of restaurants.  She played Cello in the Rhode Island Philharmonic.  She wasMiss USA and then won freakin Miss UNIVERSE.  ..and she is worth a few million dollars.. You can claim she wants the spotlight and is a Hollywood attention needer.. but.. Social Ladder?  She is at least a DOZEN RUNGS above your stupid, unemployed azzz on ANY Social Ladder!!! ..and of course.. because this is the RANT.. Ill point out that she has two hot sisters, too. HERE ... and Model Erin Heatherton’s life has been headed South. Five years ago she was a Victoria Secret model and dating Leo DiCaprio.  Now, she has filed for bankruptcy.  She claims that she has made less than $3,000 this year and that Victoria Secret told her to lose some weight. HERE  Screw them, Erin !!! I don’t like those gross, too-skinny girls. (Although, you might want to cut down on the Mocha/Caramel Lattes)... Get your bankruptcy finalized and call me.  I'll get your finances in order and you have 7 years left of Raj-Tub eligibility.  Things are lookin UP!!! .. Things are looking MORE up for Actress Ana de Armas.  Ana will be the New "Bond Girl" ..She is one of those girls that depending on which picture you look at is "HOT" or "Just OK"  HERE is one of the Hot ones!! HERE is one even better... (You didn't think I'd give you the second rate ones, did you? .. Im all about keeping the Bond Girls Happy!!!) 

From SeekingAlpha.com

The FOMC is expected to leave borrowing costs unchanged today as it maintains a "patient" monetary policy stance in the midst of a strategy rethink. It's a tough balancing act for Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, who will want to avoid sounding too dovish, due to the strength of the U.S. economy and the fact financial conditions have improved considerably in the last several months. Tilting to hawkish could also spook financial markets and draw the ire of President Trump, who yesterday called for the Fed to cut rates by a percentage point and a return to quantitative easing.

Apple comeback

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares are up 6% premarket following the tech giant's first quarter results. iPhone sales appear to have stabilized following a difficult holiday period, while services revenue jumped as consumers signed up for an expanding list of digital subscriptions. Apple is also going to put another $75B into its buyback pot, raise its dividend 5% to $0.77 per share and gave guidance for next quarter that was higher than analysts expected.

Bulls take charge

Sell in May? Doesn't look like investors are buying that advice today. Dow futures are up 80 points, the Nasdaq is 0.8% higher and the S&P 500 could breach the 3,000 level this session. It's the best start to any year in nearly a decade for U.S. stocks amid a robust earnings report from Apple (AAPL), ongoing bets for a dovish Fed rate decision later today and hints of progress in U.S.-China trade talks. Many see the stronger earnings performance, set against a better-than-expected reading for first quarter economic growth as an indicator U.S. equities have even more room to run.

May Day?

Most of Europe is off today for May Day, but Brexit can't press the snooze button. Theresa May is set to face questions on her strategy at three public and private meetings and reportedly wants to wrap up talks with Jeremy Corbyn's Labour party on a compromise Brexit solution next week. Channel Four also reports that she’s about to offer the opposition pretty much everything it wants to get a deal done, adding to the threats of tomorrow's local elections and the EU poll later in May.

U.S.-China trade talks continue next week

"Ambassador Lighthizer and I just concluded productive meetings with China's Vice Premier Liu He. We will continue our talks in Washington, D.C. next week," U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wrote on Twitter. Reports meanwhile suggest that President Trump has dropped a central demand that China halt alleged instances of commercial cyber theft to reach a trade deal by the summer. Chinese officials say Beijing has complied in full with a September 2015 agreement, that stated neither government would "engage in or knowingly support" online theft of intellectual property.

Erasing the risk for Elon Musk

Elon Musk and the SEC are finally heading out of the boxing ring as U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan approved a deal that will govern the Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO's use of Twitter. The settlement lays out in more detail what types of statements by Musk must be reviewed by Tesla’s legal counsel before publication, such as financial statements, previously unreported production figures and delivery numbers. SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson still decried the agency's agreement, saying Musk had not yet admitted what is "crystal clear to anyone who has followed this bizarre series of events."

New Middle East marketplace for Amazon

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has launched a new Middle East marketplace, two years after buying the Dubai-based e-commerce company Souq.com for $580M. With the launch, Amazon said Souq.com will be rebranded to Amazon.ae, although Souq remains available in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Reports also suggest that Amazon is gearing up to start activities in Israel and has approached local retailers to invite them to sell their products via a dedicated shopping website.

Eric Schmidt to leave Alphabet board

Former Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt is leaving Alphabet's (GOOGGOOGL) board, marking the end of an era for perhaps the company’s most well-known figure. Schmidt served as the public face for the tech giant and oversaw Google's expansion from a stand-alone conduit for internet queries into a conglomerate stretching into mapping, email and software, as well as banner acquisitions of upstarts like YouTube. He'll still retain an office at the company, where he will remain as a technical adviser.

Education publisher merger on the horizon

McGraw-Hill Education (NYSE:APO) and Cengage Learning Holdings II (OTC:CNGO) are planning an all-stock merger, which would set them up to better compete as the rise of digital books and course materials pressures their businesses, WSJ reports. The new company is to be called McGraw Hill and will be led by Cengage CEO Michael Hansen. Based on revenue multiples of publicly traded rivals, the combination could be valued at around $5B, trailing the roughly $8.5B market capitalization of London-based Pearson (NYSE:PSO), the biggest player in the U.S. higher-education market. CNGO +22.6% premarket.

What else is happening...

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) rolling out biggest change to its app in the past five years.

Beyond Meat raises price range in upsized IPO.

FDA clears new tobacco product - iQOS from Philip Morris (NYSE:PM).

Markets still closed in Japan as Emperor Naruhito ascends throne.

China's Belt and Road scores Swiss endorsement amid debt worries.

Macau's April casino revenue posts worst drop in nearly three years.

Is the unraveling of Venezuela's economy coming to an end?

Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) keeps Massachusetts gaming license with $35M fine.

Berkshire (BRK.ABRK.B) commits $10B to help bankroll Occidental (NYSE:OXY) deal for Anadarko (NYSE:APC).

Tuesday's Key Earnings

Apple (AAPL) +6% AH on strong Services, upside outlook. AMD (NASDAQ:AMD) +6% AH following a revenue beat. ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) +0.8% as production rose. General Electric (NYSE:GE) +4.5% as profit tripled, guidance confirmed. General Motors (NYSE:GM) -2.7% on mixed results. McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) +0.2% on stronger comp sales. Merck & Co (NYSE:MRK) +2.5% topping EPS expectations. Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) +2.6% after Q1 beat, raised outlook.

Today's Markets 

In Asia, Japan closed. Hong Kong closed. China closed. India closed.  In Europe, at midday, London -0.2%. Paris closed. Frankfurt closed.  Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.3%. S&P +0.3%. Nasdaq +0.8%. Crude -0.4% to $63.68. Gold -0.1% to $1284. Bitcoin +2.1% to $5294.  Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 2.5%

Today's Economic Calendar

7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications 8:15 ADP Jobs Report 8:30 Treasury Refunding Quarterly Announcement 9:45 PMI Manufacturing Index 10:00 ISM Manufacturing Index 10:00 Construction Spending 10:30 EIA Petroleum Inventories 2:00 PM FOMC Announcement 2:00 PM Chairman Press Conference

Regards,

Roger “Raj”  Searing rajsearing@gmail.com



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