Read this First 06/04/2019
30 years ago today, the Chinese government "cracked down" on a group of protestors in Tiananmen Square. They were taking part in an "unauthorized demonstration" to mourn the death of Hu Yaobang, a liberal Communist Party reformer. There was SOME video of the event showing tanks running people over, but we STILL don't know if the death count was hundreds or thousands. Chinese officials have reacted angrily to comments from US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, pointing out the anniversary of the event. China claims Pompeo grossly mischaracterized the event and it trying to influence Chinese Government.. and... Down in the Swamp, the House passed a $19.1 Billion dollar disaster relief package that was long held up over payments to Puerto Rico. What many in the press refused to report was that Puerto Rico had bankrupted itself and had a power grid that they never upgraded or fixed. These problems existed BEFORE the hurricane. There were many in Congress that wanted to give humanitarian relief and FEMA aid, but not pay to repair problems there BEFORE the storm...also in the Swamp, Large Tech companies got CLOBBERED yesterday and dragged he markets down after stories circulated about Senators and Congressman wanting to pursue anti-trust cases against "Big Tech" and privacy violation cases against other "Big Tech". These would certainly be short term negatives but will they really go after those companies that donate BIG to their campaigns?? ... and.. What are we going to do about Chicago? I mean.. we put workplace shootings and school shootings on TV for weeks. 17 people were killed at the Parkland Florida High School. It was a horrible tragedy. But, 17 People have been shot in Chicago since Memorial Day Weekend !! ...and this happens EVERY WEEK of EVERY YEAR. There were 52 shootings and 10 deaths THIS WEEKEND. This year there have been 972 shootings, 781 seriously wounded, 191 Shot & Killed and 209 total Homicides. The Federal Government needs to take over their court system. The police KNOW who the "bad guys" are. They keep arresting them and judges keep LETTING THEM OUT!! Now, YES, in most cases it is gang members killing drug dealers but little kids get caught up in it, too. This crap HAS TO END. National Guard, Martial Law in those neighborhoods, FEDERAL judges issuing jail, prison, or secured mental health sentences. .. The investigation of the Virginia Beach shooting is getting slightly clearer and a LOT more peculiar. It seems the shooter had a few "run-ins" with co-workers over the years that were "minor" but had become more "aggressive" in recent months. Cameras show the man showing up to his workplace (after having resigned by email), casually brushing his teeth and then talking carelessly with a co-worker. Then he went and got a gun and shot 11 former co-workers and another man that was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. My first question is: Was he on psychotropic medication?? (Like Prozac, Zoloft, etc) The coincidence of people on these meds and mass shootings is terrifying. (Can't be sure if its a causal relationship.. or if its just people that are on these meds already have mental disorders that make them violent and dangerous). Guns, Bump stocks, Arming teachers.. all are important, of course. But, the drugs are the MOST common link and no one seems to be talking about it.. and the rumors are TRUE, Jeopardy James was stopped ONE GAME before setting the ALL TIME record. Librarian Emma Boettcher got two of the "Daily Doubles" and put herself ahead of James in Final Jeopardy. They both got the answer right and she won. A TRUE gambler James congratulated Emma and said he got outplayed. Now, the cynic in me wants to check bookies world wide to see if there was a DUMP. Which means, a friend or distant relative of James bets BIG that he will lose before breaking the record.. then collects and secretly splits the money with James. I WANT to believe that.. but .. I watched the episode and unless he was purposely buzzing in late he didn't dump because he gave no wrong answers.. ..SPORTS: NHL: St Louis beats Boston 4-2 (was actually 3-2 and the Blues got an empty netter). Series tied at 2-2. Boston's Captain and enormous defenseman Zdeno Chara was knocked out of the game in the second period. He returned to the bench but did't play in the third. If he is out for the series, that changes A LOT.. The MLB Draft happened and Adley Rutschman of Oregon went first to the Baltimore Orioles. Im sure the switch hitting catcher is THRILLED. He'll be able to find a cheap apartment. He'll just need to use the money he saves for guns and security .. .. There is an entertaining story going on in Women's Golf. Hank Haney is a well known golf instructor who has taught more than 200 Tour Professionals including Tiger Woodsat one point. (Hank TRIED to fix Charles Barkley but that was just NOT happening) Hank was suspended from his PGA Sirius Radio Show for saying he "had no idea who was going to win the LPGA US Open. I don't follow it closely and Michelle Wie is out.. So, can I say it will be someone named 'Lee'"? As you can imagine, the off-hand comment caused outrage among many woman golfers, including Michelle Wie. Wie tweeted that the comments were disappointing and angering and sexist and racist. (Now, Disappointing and Angering are your own emotions Michelle so I can't challenge them ..and the "Lee" comment is racist, for sure.. but.. Sexist? They are ALL women. It's the WOMENS'S OPEN!!.....and Michelle, I think you should Rehab in the Raj Tub for a while to discuss the point with me...and BRING BACK MY FLOATY UNICORN!!! HERE ) ..Here is the thing, 5 Lee's made the cut. Minjee Lee, Mi Hyang Lee, Jeong Eun Lee, Andrea Lee, and Jeongeun Lee WON .. and.. Here's another thing. Because there were already 5 Jeongeun Lee's on the Korean Tour, this particular Jeongeun Lee lists her name on the LPGA Tour as "J. Lee6" (That's a real thing. Not a joke). So, Hank is doubling down with the tweet, "I told you a Lee would win !!" Wow..I guess Hank doesn't want his job back. But, Seriously. How do we break this down in the "real world" and not the Outrage Mob world???. In reality, there are a TON of Asian golfers on the LPGA Tour. So, Hank is NOT wrong.. But..Hey Hank, if you called me..you'd probably still have your job... Here is your CORRECT answer: "Well, the young ladies in Korea have been having such tremendous success through their hard work from very early ages. Because of the huge interest over there in Korea, these girls are taking profession golf by storm. Several of these women have the same last name, Lee. Can I pick a Lee? There are 6 in the field. I tried to pick "Wood" and "Singh" in a men's pool one time hoping to win with Willie Wood and Chris Wood or Jeev Milkha Singh and Vijay Singh but they caught it and wouldn't let me!" .. See, Hank.. its all in the phrasing!!! ....CELEBRIDIOTS: Actor Bradley Cooper and Model Irina Shayk'smarriage is "hanging on by a thread" according to friends of the couple. Geez, a Hollywood actor and a model.. and it DIDN'T work out? HMMM...Who coulda seen THAT coming.. oh yeah .. ME!!! (Check your rants from three years ago.. I can't remember if I said I give it THREE years or ONE year) .. and.. the CFDA Awards happened. Don't bother looking it up.. it's just another one of those things that people get together to give each other awards and then pretend they "Won" something.... I am gonna say it looks like the Publicist for the Formally Cute "Olsen Sisters" has instructed them, "Don't Ever Open Your Mouth in Photos" HERE if you do, people will say you look like that guy in "The Scream" HERE .. (Yeah, I know what most of you are thinking: The Guy that "rates skanks in swimsuits" is making references to Edvard Munch artwork from the 1890's? ..is this the REAL Raj or a ghostwriter.. Its the real Raj, HATERS) .. .. anyways.. Emily Ratajkowski was there so, of course, she WINS..HERE but.. I asked her if it would be ok If I gave it to someone else for a change. She said, "Sure Raj, I can't fit anymore of your trophies on my shelf anyway..and the new shelf won't be ready for a month.. so.. go right ahead" .. Ok.. actually, she said, "What the .. .who are you? .... SECURITY !!!!!!! " .. So, the Winner of the CFDA Awards is Joan Smalls HERE , who is actually 5'11" so she isn't Small at All .. and would you take the 4 inch HEELS OFF Joan!!!..You're making me feel like Danny DeVito !!! (Sorry for the short joke Danny. YOU RULE!! It's Always Sunny!!!)
The House Judiciary Committee unveiled a sweeping "top-to-bottom" review of unnamed tech companies late Monday as reports surfaced of a dual effort from the DOJ and the FTC to tackle the perceived dominance and potential abuses of Big Tech. Shares yesterday plummeted in response: Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) -7.5%, Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) -6.1%, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) -4.6% and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) -1%. "The growth of monopoly power across our economy is one of the most pressing economic and political challenges we face today," said David Cicilline, who chairs the Antitrust Subcommittee, adding that "market power in digital markets presents a whole new set of dangers."
Futures advance after tech rout
Paring some earlier losses, U.S. equity futures are now up by 0.5% following yesterday's slide into correction territory for the Nasdaq Composite. While U.S. lawmakers are gearing up for what could be lengthy investigations into the biggest and most influential companies in the tech sector, the probes are at their early stages, based on the published accounts, so no significant fines, forced company breakups or changes in business practices are expected anytime soon. The dollar also steadied overnight, while Treasuries were set to halt a one-week rally.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell will have a chance to share his latest thoughts this morning when he delivers the opening remarks to the "Conference on Monetary Policy Strategy, Tools And Communication Practices." The speech comes after St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on Monday that unresolved trade disputes and below-target inflation "suggest that the central bank needs to tread carefully in order to help sustain the economic expansion" and indicated that a rate cut could be warranted. Policymakers up to this point have largely stood by their outlook that interest rates were at an appropriate level and would likely remain unchanged throughout the year, though fed fund futures have steadily upped bets for a cut in 2019.
"I think we'll have a very very substantial trade deal, it'll be a very fair deal, and I think it’s something we both want to do," President Trump told Theresa May and business leaders at the start of a roundtable meeting. During his state visit to the U.K., Trump is also likely to demand that May's successor ban China's Huawei from 5G networks. Britain has yet to make a final decision, security minister Ben Wallace declared, adding, "we listen to our allies in the Five Eyes, we listen to our European partners. If we want to allow people access to our markets we have to say that there are rules."
Red line ahead of tariff talks
Mexico would reject a U.S. idea to take in all Central American asylum seekers if it is raised at talks this week with the Trump administration, which has threatened to impose tariffs if Mexico does not crack down on illegal immigration. The Mexican economy, which is heavily reliant on exports to the United States, shrank in the first quarter and would reel under U.S. levies. Goldman Sachs economists on Monday gave a 70% chance of the tariffs on Mexican imports coming into effect on June 10.
Australia overnight lowered its key cash rate to a record low of 1.25%, marking the first cut in almost three years and the latest in a swing by central banks around the world toward looser monetary policies. It's an attempt by the RBA to revive a slowing economy and tepid inflation at home, as well as guard against a darkening global backdrop. The Australian dollar inched up 0.2% to $0.6987 following the decision, while financial markets now predict a second rate cut by September with a 50-50 chance of a third move before the end of the year.
A new version of iOS, which powers iPhone and iPad, will introduce a dark mode and an abundance of new features for stock apps like Mail and Maps. Apple (AAPL) also confirmed it will ditch iTunes in favor of three separate apps for music, podcasts and films and shows. The new Mac Pro - a high-powered, professional desktop computer - was unveiled with a starting price of $5,999, but could top $11,000 if the monitor and stand are included. Apple also spent time talking about Watch upgrades and showed off a series of new health apps.
Renault board weighs FCA talks
As Renault (OTCPK:RNLSY) board members meet today to consider merger talks with Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU), the French government is scrambling to ensure that it will have influence over the proposed deal that could significantly change the balance of power in the global auto industry. To ensure that its interests were protected, alliance member Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) also said that a tie-up would "require a fundamental review of the existing relationship." The merger would create a behemoth that would displace General Motors (NYSE:GM) as the third-largest car company in the world, behind Volkswagen (OTCPK:VWAGY) and Toyota (NYSE:TM).
Analyst quiet period ends for Uber
Uber (NYSE:UBER) will likely be the focus of dozens of fresh research reports starting today as the quiet period ends for the 29 investment banks that underwrote its IPO. After a rocky debut, followed by the ride-hailing giant’s $1B loss in the first quarter, there will be plenty to weigh in on, including valuation, prospects for revenue growth, spending and possible paths to profitability. Trading about 8% below its IPO price, Uber is valued at roughly 5.08 times 2019 estimated sales, a slight discount to rival Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT).
What else is happening...
Latest retail hit as Forever 21 explores restructuring.
Siemens (OTCPK:SIEGY), GE (NYSE:GE), Philips (NYSE:PHG) in alleged medical equipment scheme?
Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) sees dividend, spending boost after 2020.
Some countries are benefiting from the trade war.
SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) to book $11B profit on Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) share sale.
Internal changes blamed for FedEx (NYSE:FDX) misrouted Huawei packages.
Talent war sees Walmart (NYSE:WMT) target high-school students.
Monday's Key Earnings
Box (NYSE:BOX) -14.3% AH on downside revenue outlook.
In Asia, Japan flat. Hong Kong -0.5%. China -1%. India -0.5%. In Europe, at midday, London +0.9%. Paris +0.2%. Frankfurt +0.2%. Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.5%. S&P +0.5%. Nasdaq +0.5%. Crude -0.8% to $52.84. Gold +0.2% to $1331. Bitcoin -6.9% to $7928. Ten-year Treasury Yield +2 bps to 2.1%
Today's Economic Calendar
Auto Sales 7:00 Fed's Evans Speech 8:30 Fed's Williams: "Building Cultural Capital in the Financial Services Industry: Emerging Practices, Risks and Opportunities" 8:55 Redbook Chain Store Sales 9:45 Fed's Evans: "Monetary Policy Strategy, Tools and Communications Practices" 9:55 Jerome Powell: "Monetary Policy Strategy, Tools and Communications Practices" 10:00 Factory Orders 3:45 PM Fed's Reserve Gov. Lael Brainard” “What Does Full Employment Look Like for Your Community or Constituency?” 6:45 PM Fed's Kaplan: "Monetary Policy Strategy, Tools and Communications Practices"
Roger “Raj” Searing firstname.lastname@example.org
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