Read This First 06/23/2020
Russia is "taking the lead" on state of the art "Covid-19 technology to protect children" at school.. because.. its all about kids.. and all about safety.. (If you're sensing some skepticism and cynicism you are on the ball this morning). Russia has installed systems in 1600 schools so far and plan to have them in all 53,000 schools by next year. The system has cameras everywhere, facial recognition, heat sensors and more. They will be able to see if a child has a fever by color coding on video screens. They can track the children and use contact tracing in the event of a Covid outbreak. Yup.. It's a FULL ON Big brother project. The state spying on and controlling all the kids. This BEST part about this new system? They call it, "Orwell" !!!!!!. AHHAHAHHA.. .. Putin is sticking his thumb in EVERYONE's eye !!! and saying, "Go ahead and try to stop me. I'm protecting them from Covid.. Oh, and I'm gonna run for "President" again."
The Supreme Court dealt a blow to SEC power in an 8-1 decision. The SCOTUS says the SEC is limited to making the defendants "disgorge the PROFITS made from Fraud" and not more than that amount. While I am sure the decision has good legal basis (maybe other remedies are available in courts) I am not in favor of this decision. If they TRY to defraud you out of millions but fail, the SEC can't take their money? .. Scum bag fraudsters are bad for America. Whether they are selling vitamins that do nothing or pushing scams on Wall Street they make all legitimate businesses suffer a little.. and...
My apology to Chicago
I point out the out of control Chicago murder statistics on a fairly regular basis. The more people that are aware of this disaster the more likely a wave of "ENOUGH" happens and something gets DONE.. I'm sure some Chicago readers don't like that part of the Rant...Well, I apologize. Yesterday, I gave erroneous stats. I said 86 were shot Father's Day weekend, 11 minors, and 12 total dead. I should have waited for all precincts to report. it was actually MUCH worse.. 104 Shot, 14 dead including a toddler. This gets them to 406 shot, 56 "shot and killed" and 60 total homicides for June. (Chicago Sun-Times and a website called www.heyjackass.com are the ones keeping track of police records. Look it up of you think I'm making this stuff up)
BANG BANG .. NYC continues to see a spike in shootings and the NYPD says this might be the "new normal" so get used to it. Police feel that no elected officials support them and they are second guessing their career choice. Sounds an awful lot like Baltimore five years ago after the Freddie Gray riots. That's where the Mayor took sides with the rioters against the cops. How'd that work out for them? (If you really don't know.. the next Mayor went to jail and murder is rampant)...and..
Say So Long to the US version of the Vatican City? The Mayor of Seattle says they will move to dismantle the little protest city called CHAZ or CHOP or the "Insolent Child Playpen with Guns". The Mayor said that after the shootings and murder she cannot allow things to continue. Hmmm... Maybe better to break it up BEFORE businesses are looted and people are killed? Just a thought for next time...
Could it be the Loser Media is actually doing their job? .. a Little bit?? .. Governor Andrew Cuomo was pressed about his order that killed so many people in nursing homes. His answer is absolutely ridiculous. (I am not kidding. He actually said this..) "The Feds missed the boat and didn't tell us the virus was coming in from Europe and not China" .. Uh.. yeah.. what does that have to do with ordering nursing homes to take back recovering patients, many that were still contagious?
Governor, You have made up all sorts of lame excuses and dodged the question. You had beds. Hundreds at the Javitz center and a thousand on the hospital ship the Navy sent. Only a FEW patients ever went to that ship. You ordered nursing homes to take back patients instead of putting them on the Navy ship. You KILLED thousands of people. Other Governors SHUT DOWN nursing homes to visitors and did not let sick people in. You killed them. .. and kudos to Stephanie Ruhle for pressing him on the subject. Eventually, Cuomo babbled and blamed the Republicans. But, she made him squirm.
Cuomo should not be able to speak in public without reporters grilling him on this until he admits he killed these people with his incompetent decision... Also, Murphy of NJ and Wolf of PA. In PA there were 4330 deaths from COVID at Nursing homes out of 6426 total COVID deaths. That's 67% for you non-math majors. To compare, Florida has had a TOTAL of 3200 Covid Deaths and 1300 in Nursing homes with almost DOUBLE the population and the same population density. (FL populations 21.5 million and PA population 12 million. They rank 8th and 9th in the Nation in population density).
In Da Swamp: There is talk of another stimulus/relief package. Sure Girls and Boys.. its only money... what could possibly go wrong? .. and..
It's being reported Black Lives Matter protesters outside the White House tried to tear down the statue of Andrew Jackson and were met with police resistance.
I would say its not really fair to call it a BLM action. You have BLM protesters in the group but it's rarely clear that any of them are the ones breaking stuff and looting. The problem is the founders of BLM are three women who advocate non-violent civil disobedience to protest police brutality. But, the media will report anyone wearing a BLM shirt as a BLM protester when they have no affiliation with the original group. Sort of a "splinter" group thing. They are all over the place and many contend they represent BLM when they have no official affiliation. Actually, one of the biggest BLM agitators is Shaun King who is currently pushing to tear down statues of Jesus because they are "White Supremacist". Shaun is a white man that pretends he is black and is quite vociferous in support of BLM.
(FACT CHECK ON MYSELF: For clarity. Shaun King is a writer/activist who several years ago was "outed" by former schoolmates for pretending to be black. His parents are both white. King explained the he has several half-brothers and sisters because his mother was very promiscuous and that he does not believe the father on his birth certificate is his father and that his REAL father was a black man. .. Seems pretty easy to figure this one out....a "23 and Me" DNA test costs $200) ..and..
Men, keep the CATS HIDDEN .. New data released show that women on dating apps are much less likely to "Swipe Right" and seek a date with a man if there is a cat in your profile picture. (Think that means ALL Cats? Including Tigers? They didn't specify in the study) .. This kind of "study" is WAYYYYY more accurate than a normal survey. On surveys people lie. They lie because they want to look good to the interviewer. They lie because they are embarrassed to admit the truth.. Sometimes they lie without really thinking that they are lying. When you "swipe right" you are saying "what I just saw and read is someone I would date"... DOGS did much better. Both men and women with dogs in their photo saw their matches and their likes go WAY up. Draw your own conclusions.. ...now I have to make up crap to write about in the Sports Section when there are no sports going on.....
MLB: There MIGHT be baseball. Word is there is a tentative agreement for a 60 Game Season. Things still being hashed out and nothing is definite. Hurray? ...
NASCAR: Drivers new and old threw their support behind black driver Bubba Wallace and condemned the ignorance of racist gestures like the make-shift noose found in his team's garage. .. Then.. Ryan Blaney held on to win after a restart with two laps to go. Blaney edged Rickey Stenhouse Jr by .007 seconds in a photo finish. .. Apparently Blaney just swerved up and down the track and blocked anyone trying to pass him. Sounds like the old lady down the street from me.. but.. she isn't doing it on purpose.. I hope..
GOLF: The Travelers practice rounds start today in Connecticut. This is one of those events that sometimes the scores go REALLY low. In fact, Jim Furyk shot a PGA Tour record 58 here a few years back. Cross fingers no Thunderstorms ..
Tuesday RIP's. RIP to Jean Kennedy Smith, 92. She was the last living sibling of JFK... and for you Lord of the Rings fans, RIP to actor Ian Holm, 88.... RIP to two football players. Jim Kiick who, despite his name was not a kicker but a running back. He played on the undefeated Miami Dolphins team. and.to Max Tuerk, 26 a star USC Lineman who was drafted by Chargers but injuries kept him out of line up...and RIP to Filmmaker Joel Schumacher, 80. Director of Batman movies, St. Elmos Fire, Lost Boys and many others..
TV Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel is taking some time away from this show. It may or may not have something to do with tapes that surfaced of Jimmy impersonating Snoop Dogg and singing Snoop's Christmas song which drops N-bombs all over the place. I gotta say. I know the N-word is off limits for white people .. and I TOTALLY get it .. but.. singing along to a rapper that you admire?.. Should that get you "Cancelled"? ... I dunno.. Ill bet Snoop thought it was funny..
Keep the receipts!!! Justine Bieber responded to charges of sexual assault from a few years ago by posting the receipts proving she was never AT the Four Seasons in Austin, TX. Biebs said that she and her then-girl toy, Selena Gomez (HOT!! Pictures of her from unrelated story because I like to look at her. HERE ... ) stayed at a different hotel one day and at a private house AirBnB on the next day and showed proof by posting receipts... Hmmm.. so.. no one ever, in the history of famous people, snuck out of somewhere and met a mistress or fan girl at a hotel, eh? OK.. Sure.. Got it.!!!! .. and..
Carrie Underwood celebrated the first day of summer by showing off her bikini on Instagram. HERE .. Gee Carrie. Is that a clothes store in your town? or is that your CLOSET? If it's your closet, I suggest you come out of the closet....
Trade-related headlines are casting light on the delicate state of the markets after a comment from Peter Navarro sent assets whipsawing. In an interview on Fox News, the White House trade adviser said a hard-won U.S.-China trade deal was "over," though he later clarified that his remark had referred to the "lack of trust" in the Chinese administration. President Trump later confirmed the trade deal between the U.S. and China was "fully intact," adding he hoped Beijing would continue to live up to the terms of the agreement. U.S. stocks are likely to continue their climb higher today, with futures tied to the S&P 500 ahead by 0.8%, as manufacturing and services sectors begin to recover from lockdowns. Data from Europe overnight showed an upturn in June, while surveys of American purchasing managers will be released at 9:45 a.m. ET.
Predictions on the current stock rally continue to rage and forecasts for the economy are no different. "You'll see a big V in terms of the economy going up for the next few months because it's been closed," Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman told Bloomberg Invest Global on Monday, though it may "take quite a while before we sync up and get back to 2019 levels." Also at the event, hedge fund manager Bill Ackman said he believes the recovery will begin by year-end and sees a normalization of the economy in the second half of 2021.
Worker visas added to green card ban
The Trump administration's ban on green cards issued outside of the U.S. will stay in effect until the end of the year and many temporary work visas like H-1Bs will be added to the freeze as well, according to the Associated Press. The move is estimated to free up as many as 525,000 jobs while the economy is suffering from the effects of COVID-19. Tech-industry officials and other business leaders have warned that the decision would cramp companies' ability to recruit top talent to the U.S. and the order is likely to be challenged in court by business groups.
Macs leave Intel for custom silicon
At its Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) officially announced the transition from Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) chips to custom silicon for Macs based on ARM (OTCPK:SFTBY) architecture. It's also making two changes to its app approval policies and will let iPhone users change default mail and browser apps, helping address antitrust concerns. Other highlights: The CarKey feature will enable iPhones and Apple Watches to unlock, lock, and start NFC-compatible cars, while some COVID-19 features were introduced like hand washing reminders.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is shutting down its Mixer live-streaming service and will move its streamers and the audience to Facebook Gaming (NASDAQ:FB). It's a setback for the company's ambitions to compete with Twitch (NASDAQ:AMZN) and YouTube (GOOG, GOOGL), but looks likely to broaden its gaming service reach: Microsoft will provide its Project xCloud streaming service to Facebook Gaming. "It became clear that the time needed to grow our own livestreaming community to scale was out of measure with the vision and experiences we want to deliver to gamers now," said Microsoft's Phil Spencer. As of last August, Mixer had about 30M viewers.
Fastly (NYSE:FSLY) has surpassed Zoom (NASDAQ:ZM) to become the best performer among tech companies since the coronavirus pandemic began roiling the economy. Shares surged 15% on Monday to record a 60% gain over the past seven trading days, and are up 222% since the market's peak on Feb. 19 (Zoom is up 159% over that stretch). As a cloud computing services provider, Fastly has major customers like Shopify (NYSE:SHOP), Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) and Slack (NYSE:WORK), which are all seeing usage spikes with so many people working remotely. Go deeper: Seeking Alpha author Steve Auger called the bullishness back in May.
The ADL and NAACP last week called for big advertisers to pull spending from Facebook (FB) for July to protest toxic content on its platforms. Several apparel brands have taken up the call, including The North Face and Patagonia, while Ben & Jerry's is considering joining the group. "What they've been doing is not fully right with our values, period," said CEO Matthew McCarthy. "The reality is, anything that's right for the business, but wrong for our values, is wrong." While Ben & Jerry's parent Unilever (UL, UN) said the move is not a solution "at this stage," the ice cream brand has taken different positions than the broader company in the past.
As part of its summer menu, Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) will begin selling a breakfast sandwich made with Impossible sausage at most U.S. locations. "Over the years, in response to customer interest, we have added plant-based milk alternatives such as soy, coconut, almond, and oat milk. We are thrilled to expand our plant-based menu into food with this new breakfast sandwich," said Michael Kobori, chief sustainability officer at the company. Previously, Starbucks partnered with Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) to offer similar plant-based sandwiches in Canada and China.
Shares of Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE) surged 16% on Monday after signing a "Space Act Agreement" with NASA. The deal will see the company find would-be space travelers, train them and organize transport to the International Space Station. "We are excited to partner with NASA on this private orbital spaceflight program, which will not only allow us to use our spaceflight platform, but also offer our space training infrastructure to NASA and other agencies," Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides said in a statement.
It's the single-largest energy infrastructure investment in the region, and the biggest in the world in 2020. A consortium of six global investors has entered into a $20.7B agreement with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company to acquire a 49% stake in a newly-formed subsidiary, ADNOC Gas Pipeline Assets, with lease rights to 38 pipelines. Those involved are Global Infrastructure Partners, Brookfield Asset Management (NYSE:BAM), Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, NH Investment & Securities and Snam.
What else is happening...
MLB is back, but questions remain about the season.
Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY), Translate Bio (NASDAQ:TBIO) expand mRNA vaccine collaboration.
SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) plans to sell up to $21B worth of T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) stock.
Spotify (SPOT) launches on Comcast's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Xfinity cable service.
Carnival (NYSE:CCL) cancels all cruises through Sep. 30.
JPMorgan predicts Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) will lose a third of its value.
American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) to raise $2B from increased share sale.
In Asia, Japan +0.5%. Hong Kong +1.6%. China +0.2%. India +1.5%. In Europe, at midday, London +1.3%. Paris +1.6%. Frankfurt +2.5%. Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.9%. S&P +0.8%. Nasdaq +0.7%. Crude +1.8% to $41.45. Gold +0.3% to $1772.40. Ten-year Treasury Yield +2 bps to 0.72%
Today's Economic Calendar
8:55 Redbook Chain Store Sales
9:45 PMI Composite Flash
10:00 New Home Sales
10:00 Richmond Fed Mfg.
1:00 PM Results of $46B, 2-Year Note Auction
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