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Read this First 02/03/2022

We are so screwed .. Not because the Ground Hog in PA saw his shadow and is calling for six more weeks of winter.. Because 3 in 5 Americans surveyed say they TRUST the Groundhog over the Meteorologists..

Actually.. wait a minute.. Maybe they have a point .. the Meteorologists have gotten WAY WAY better at predicting for the next few days.. but.. 6 weeks out?... Hmmm..I dunno.. Can ANYONE predict that?? .. Farmer's Almanac? .. Ouiji Board? .. Groundhog ?? .. Coin Flip?? .. anyways...

Syria: US Special Forces blew a bunch of stuff up and leveled a building in a, "successful counter terrorism" mission against a "High value target". Not a lot of details being disclosed.. The area is near Turkey and suspected to be home to several al qaeda and isis-isil- other terrorist leaders.. Witnesses say the troops approached with loud speakers blaring, "Women and children. LEAVE the area" for over an hour..

Residents say they heard helicopters around 1am and then a barrage of attacks at 3am. First responders say they found a woman that had detonated an explosive vest and 12 others dead, including children. .. The Pentagon is acknowledging it was US Special forces but not saying much else, yet..

The World Health Organization is SOUNDING THE ALARM over the enormous extra medical waste created by the pandemic. They estimate 87,000 tons of medical masks, moon suits and gloves have shown up at waste facilities... Umm.. Errr.. uhhh.. Im not a doctor.. but.. after a few days, MAX.. COVID would be dead on a mask. The "medical waste" is really just "waste" .. Just burn the stuff. Problem solved..

LA Mayor Garcetti is under fire for taking a picture with basketball legend Magic Johnson at the Rams game.. while NOT WEARING A MASK .. ooohhhooohhoohh.. He claims.. get this.. "I held my breath" ..ahahhahhaha.. Sure dude .. and.. you're holding a (worthless) cloth mask ... and BTW.. Magic is HIV positive.. he is in the high risk group .. You elected this guy, LA .. blame yourselves..

Billionaire Elon Musk is fighting with a teenager .. The college student built an app that tracks Elon's private jet. Musk offered him $5,000 to stop citing security concerns and the kid said, "NO" !!! Not sure how he does it.. but I DO know that private flights have to have manifests so maybe he hacked that database? .. I dunno .. but.. Musk may have to start reserving 4 or 5 Jets and cancel the other 4 right after take off..


GOLF: Sebastian Heisele, Scott Jameison and Thomas Detry lead in the UAE with Round 1 finishing up .. and..

PGA: AT&T PEBBLE BEACH Pro-Am starts today.. (Pebble, SpyGlass Hill .. and Monterey Peninsula) .. Favorites are Patrick Cantlay and defending Champ Daniel Berger (although he was complaining about a bad back) .. If I was a betting man .. I might throw a fiver on little known Mav McNealy for a top 10.. Just sayin...

The Washington Redskins have changed their name ... drumroll ... To..... The Washington Commanders .. now.. I am a cynic .. and can make fun of anything.. but.. Gotta say.. I don't hate it.. Strong name .. unlikely to upset any "Groups" .. kinda "military sounding".. Raj Approves... (Which I am SURE makes Dan Snyder's DAY)


SPOTIFY .. A few more artists have asked for their music to be removed from Spotify as some embarrassing revelations resurfaced about Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. Mitchell, in the past, donned blackface, a pimp suit, and afro and hat for Halloween .. Neil Young said in an interview during the height of the "Aids" crisis in the USA, "I don't want some fagg*t at the grocery checkout touching my potatoes-and giving me Aids .... So.. Uh.. What about THAT guys?

You know what? During the AIDS crisis there was a lot of misinformation and FEAR. People were dying all over the place. From 10 years ago and before, people dressed up like other people. There was no hypersensitive cultural appropriation nonsense. Also, I listened to the "misinformation" from Rogan's show. One guy is the most published cardiologist in his field, EVER..and the other guy owns NINE mRNA patents and if he isn't considered the "Father" of mRNA he was in the room for the birth. SO..

How about a truce.. how about people that fought censorship (Neil and Joni) stop fighting FOR censorship? ..and for Rogan's response he promises to balance out his guests with views on both sides.. So.. I think you all should declare a TRUCE.. and concentrate on the common enemy...


Goldberg is being raked over the coal for her stupid comments on the Holocaust. She was booted from the Screaming Yentas show for 2 weeks because the network got grief from the mobs .. A writer in NYC is telling Whoopi to drop the Goldberg and go back to your REAL NAME, Caryn Johnson. He says she chose Goldberg to appropriate being a Jew because a black Jew sticks out and gets attention...

Maybe she did.. maybe she didn't .. I don't watch the screaming yentas so my opinion is not a strong one.. but.. I don't think her career should be over because of a stupid analogy...even if it was 100% wrong... and..

The only person having a worse week than Whoopi in celebridiot land is Jeff Zucker, former head of CNN (you thought I wasn't gonna get to him?) Zucker resigned over an affair with a staffer that he was required to disclose but didn't.

He is pushing the narrative that it was discovered during the "Chris Cuomo investigation" .. BULL - SHEET .. It was a WELL KNOWN "secret" for years... If that's true (and it is) .. Why now? Why resign now? .. That an EASY question.

Zucker is a blow hard and abject failure. For as much as he hated Trump, when Trump left, CNN tanked. America saw them for what they are, low talent freaks with an agenda. Anchors are being tossed for their behavior .. Ratings are down 80-90%.. Zucker can be describe only as a FAILURE .. so..How can he "spin this" ..

Act like the "Stand up Guy" .. Issue an insincere apology and pretend to take the high road like, "I'm not above the rules. I made a mistake and I have to take the punishment." AGAIN.. BULL - SHEET .. You're a failure who blew up a network. You were gonna be fired anyway.. Sit Down Humpty Dumpty .. and..

The WOMEN of CNN are asking, "Why is Allison still here?? She got promotions for sleeping with the boss. She has to go" .. Geez.. This is a tough one. I hear what they are saying.. but.. Good God.. LOOK at him !!

She had to sleep with him?? ..That TROLL?? CNN should give her hazard money like a war time soldier for having to see him naked. .. and pay for her PTSD treatment!!!!

I love and respect you readers WAY too much to leave you with the visual of a naked Jeff Zucker while drinking your coffee and starting your day .. so..

Let's see how Czech Republic model Khloe Terae spent the first day of the Chinese Year of the Tiger, yesterday .. By.. donning a Tiger skin Bikini of course !!! ..HERE.. (shhh.. I know its more of a leopard skin print.. but she was TRYING..Just GO with it.. !!!) .. If you can't read that click ..HERE.. for a bigger spread..


And just like that, the volatility came back. A tarnished earnings report from Meta Platforms (FB), formerly known as Facebook, dented whatever sentiment the market seemed to take hold of over the last few days following the big reverberations seen in January. Shares of Meta tumbled 23% in after-hours trading on Wednesday, wiping out $200B in market capitalization, while the worries spilled over to Nasdaq futures, which slid more than 2% overnight (that came after the biggest four-day rally since November 2020). Analyst commentary: "It's a black eye quarter," Wedbush's Dan Ives said following the Q4 results. "It's a dark chapter quarter at a time when the bulls need to see good news." Investors were surprised by weaker user growth (DAUs missed estimates of 1.95B), while Meta gave a disappointing sales forecast for the current period ($27B-$29B vs. $30.3B). Looking under the surface, one can see that the vast majority of Facebook's revenue comes from targeted advertising, though the company has been severely hurt by Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) privacy changes, which will result in a $10B hit in 2022. CEO Mark Zuckerberg also acknowledged that Meta is facing serious competition for user time and attention (think TikTok and Roblox (RBLX)), causing the company to pivot into a whole new arena: the Metaverse. Outlook: Meta still has to convince shareholders that its embrace of the Metaverse will pay off, and despite the rebranding, the company at the moment is primarily an advertising company. "They're a basketball player saying that they're a skier," Dan Ives pointed out in an interview. Many say the firm will also have to sink big bucks and capex to get ahead of the curve in developing the Metaverse, where it will have the opportunity to make revenue from transaction-based or token-based sales (like NFTs) and not only from advertising.

When Facebook (FB) sneezes, it's no surprise that other social media companies catch a cold. Related stocks crumbled in the AH session on Wednesday, with shares of Twitter (TWTR) falling 8%, Pinterest (PINS) dropping 10% and Snap (SNAP) slumping more than 17%. For good measure, semi-social name Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) was also in the red, falling almost 2% even though it flexed its muscles during regular trade following its own upbeat quarterly numbers. Fallout: Lackluster results from PayPal (PYPL) during the morning may have foreshadowed what was to come after the bell. PayPal hares tanked nearly 25%, notching their worst one-day performance on record and reaching their lowest level since May 2020. Earnings came in soft due to higher expenses, while the company ditched a growth strategy that saw it spend heavily on incentives to attract new users. It was only a short while ago that PayPal had been an investor favorite (pandemic online shopping), though the stock got hit with several analyst downgrades following the Q4 results. That wasn't all. Spotify (SPOT) made waves for the second time this week by plunging as much as 23% AH with an earnings report that rippled through markets. Estimates for user growth in Q1 were barely in line with analyst projections, and the company scrapped annual guidance for the foreseeable future since the "vast majority of our initiatives are multi-year in nature and measured as such." However, sales outperformed in the current quarter, with subscription-based revenue climbing 22% to €2.3B and advertising revenue surging 40% to €394M. Go deeper: For the first time, Spotify acknowledged that it might take financial hit from the controversy surrounding Joe Rogan, who signed a reported $100M deal with the streamer back in 2020. It's "too early to know what the impact may be," CEO Daniel Ek said on an earnings call, noting that "usually when we've had controversies in the past, those are measured in months, not days." Musicians like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have already pulled their music from the platform because they believe Rogan's podcast was spreading false information about COVID vaccines, and they have since been joined by artists like India Arie and Young's former bandmates Crosby, Stills and Nash.

Pressure is growing on the European Central Bank to raise interest rates as eurozone inflation hit a record 5.1% in January, topping estimates by the most in two decades. Until now, the ECB has lagged other central banks in responding to escalating price pressures, and has said it wouldn't increase its key interest rate until it ends its net bond purchases, meaning a "very unlikely" hike in 2022. "I don't think that something happening at the Fed is bound to happen in Europe," ECB President Christine Lagarde said back in December, though financial markets are now showing a hike of 10 basis points anticipated for September. Forex: Currency traders are meanwhile preparing for an exciting session today with meetings from both the ECB and the Bank of England. Any signs of a hawkishness from Lagarde could see the euro recover lost ground against the pound, though she may be more hesitant to do so, given that January's core inflation figure - which strips out volatile components like food and energy - actually eased to 2.3% from 2.6% in December. Contrast that to the U.S., which saw a core inflation figure of 5.5% last month, and an overall headline rate of 7%. On the other side of the continent, the Bank of England is expected to deliver its first back-to-back interest rate hike since 2004, increasing its benchmark lending rate by 25 bps to 0.5%. If that were to happen, sterling could advance against the euro, approaching some of the strongest levels seen since Brexit. The BOE is also likely to take initial steps toward unwinding some of its £895B stimulus program and investors will be on the lookout for comments from Governor Andrew Bailey. Over in the U.S.: The greenback is taking a breather from a recent three-day slide, finding some footing as a tech slump didn't leave much appetite for riskier currencies. "The bigger challenge to the dollar has come from overseas, particularly in Europe," according to analysts at ING. "Stubbornly high inflation here is prompting a re-assessment of the amount of patience the likes of the ECB can show. And the re-pricing of the ECB cycle is providing support to European currencies in general."

Sarah Bloom Raskin is heading to Capitol Hill this morning for a confirmation hearing to become the Federal Reserve's Vice Chairwoman of Supervision (i.e. the government's most influential overseer of the American banking system). She'd also fill one of the three open spots on the central bank's board of governors, which wields much influence over the world's largest economy. Her resume features a Fed governor position from 2010 to 2014 before moving on to become former President Barack Obama's deputy Treasury Secretary. Bigger picture: Raskin is known as a climate hero in many circles for her calls on financial regulators to use their powers to mitigate the risks of climate-related events. The stance has raised some pushback, with a group of 41 oil-and-gas trade groups urging lawmakers to oppose her confirmation. However, Raskin was careful to address those concerns in prepared remarks, saying she wouldn't discourage banks from investing in fossil fuels in her capacity at the Fed. "The role does not involve directing banks to make loans only to specific sectors, or to avoid making loans to particular sectors. And the role exists within the laws passed by Congress that govern the Federal Reserve and its responsibilities." Diverse makeover: The hearing today will also cover the Fed board picks of Dr. Lisa DeNell Cook and Dr. Philip Nathan Jefferson. Cook, which has written extensively about the economic consequences of racial disparities and gender inequality, as well as wages, poverty and income distribution, currently serves as a Michigan State economics professor and formerly worked as a senior economist on Obama's Council of Economic Advisers. Jefferson is a former Fed economist who currently serves as dean of faculty and academic-affairs vice president at North Carolina's Davidson College.

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan -1.1%. Hong Kong closed. China closed. India -1.3%. In Europe, at midday, London -0.2%. Paris -0.4%. Frankfurt -0.7%. Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.3%. S&P -1.1%. Nasdaq -2.2%. Crude -1.7% $86.77. Gold -0.4% at $1803.80. Bitcoin -5.5% to $36,403. Ten-year Treasury Yield +1 bps to 1.78%

Today's Economic Calendar

What else is happening...

Earnings: Can Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) maintain its robust financial performance? Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) plunges despite strong earnings and outlook. Energy watch... OPEC+ agrees on 400kb/d output increase for March. Biden administration pushes again for more EVs in USPS fleet order. Soaring oil profits prompts Shell (NYSE:SHEL) to lift shareholder returns. Turnaround? Nokia (NYSE:NOK) reinstates dividend, launches buyback program. CNN (T) chief Jeff Zucker resigns, citing undisclosed relationship. New York Times' (NYSE:NYT) profit soars as subscriptions drive stellar quarter. Electric Last Mile (NASDAQ:ELMS) plunges 50% as top execs leave amid investigation.


Roger “Raj” Searing "Raj Searing™”, "Read this First™", "@rajsearing™", "TheRantRoom™" and “™” are Trademarks of RRRAJ, LLC. All Rights Reserved-2003, 2008.


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