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Read this First 06/25/2020

"Whites Only". Did you EVER think you'd see a sign like that in the window of a store in the USA, again? I mean OTHER than a "memorabilia of history" store? .. Well.. there is one in OREGON... Lincoln County, OR issued a policy that says white people have to wear face masks to enter stores. "Non-White" people are exempted. The reasoning is, "that some black people think that if they wear masks in public they will be racially profiled" .. Uh.. Really?... REALLY??? There is a Pandemic going on and EVERYONE is wearing masks. .. The exemptions for people that have ailments and have trouble breathing are reasonable. But, WHITES ONLY? This is ABSURD !!! These politicians in Oregon are nuts ...

Not that you were planning on it.. but... Don't fly Pakistan Airlines. The government grounded a THIRD of their pilots because their pilots licenses were "Dubious". I read that as, "they faked it and had someone else take their test" or "they just paid a guy for a fake license". Sorry.. paid a Guy or a Girl. Don't want to be sexist about criminals..

The "missing $2 Billion" is still missing.. or may have never existed.. The Chairman of the German Company "WireCard" has been arrested and the company has filed for insolvency. The giant payments processor appears to have been booking fake charges and overcharging banks and card companies for fees. The accounting auditors refused to sign off on their books because they could not account for $2 Billion that was supposedly in two Philippine Banks. The Philippine Central bank said, "Nope. Ain't here". Think it's Fraud? Think the Chairman has some deal with nut-job Philippine President Duterte? I think he'd rather go to jail than deal with Duterte ..

COVID Update: Worldwide Cases up to 9.5 million. 2.4 million in the USA. Many States still seeing a spike in new cases. I still haven't seen ANY hospital "overwhelmed" and unable to treat patients...Given all the mass protests and re-openings 2-4 weeks ago you'd EXPECT a spike. But, unless the treatment facilities are at risk of being overrun what's the issue? So, if you're over 70, have diabetes or any ailment that restricts breathing or oxygen getting to your blood: BE CAREFUL. Otherwise, Stop with the "Panic" headlines...

In Da Swamp: Investigators have turned up a "missing" page of notes from disgraced former FBI official Peter Stzork. The notes are from a meeting with Stzork, Comey, President Obama, VP Biden, and Susan Rice regarding the tapes of General Flynn. calls with Russian Ambassador Kislyak. President Obama instructed that "the right people" investigate Flynn. Since he was still President it is not that scandalous that Obama would instruct the FBI to look into phone calls to Russian Ambassadors. But, Comey had said the calls appeared "Legit" and Flynn was Intelligence in the incoming Administration. He should be talking to his future counterparts. .. and..

Also at this meeting it appears that VP Biden brought up, "The Logan Act". This act forbids private citizens from speaking on behalf of the USA to Foreign leaders over US Policy matters. It's never been used to prosecute ANYONE.

The "Scandal" here is this: VP Biden said he knew nothing about the Flynn case .. then later that that he "Was aware" of it.. Then recently said it was "all a smoke screen to divert attention from the Covid-19 Crisis". Now, it's been shown that Biden didn't just KNOW about the investigation, he was PART of it ..

Biden will get away with this for TWO reasons. 1) He is a Democrat so the press will leave it alone.. and 2) America will truly believe Biden cannot remember being part of an investigation in January 2016 because everyone knows Biden can't remember what PLANET he lives on ...

If you like riding on Segways (the motorized two wheeled scooter-things) you had better go do it NOW. Segway will halt all production on July 15. The idea never took off as anything other than a novelty. I hear "Paul Blartt the Mall Cop" will pull the power switch to end production..


PGA: Round One at the Travelers starts today with a few less players... Another player and a few caddies have tested positive for COVID-19. Five players have dropped out. Webb Simpson after a family member tested positive. Brooks Koepka his brother Chase after Brooks' caddy tested positive. Graeme McDowell after his caddy tested positive and Cameron Champ who was the only PLAYER to test positive. The players and the Tour seem to have the same perspective: Do your best to stay clean but some positive cases are bound to happen...

More Fake Noose: Bubba Wallace pushed back at critics saying that HE did not find the noose, HE did not report the noose, and even though it was there from 2019 being used as a "Door pull" that SOMEONE at some point put a noose as a door pull and no one did anything. Umm.. Well. .Yes, Bubba. The media frenzy over the "Wild Noose Chase" is not your fault. Actually, it's not a noose at all. (Yes I know how to tie knots. A noose would be a bad choice for a door pull because it could slip out. The picture looks like a loop with whipping. A bowline would be a better knot because it creates a loop that won't slip. A few knots at the end of the rope would suffice, too.). So, one could SEE how the mistake was made but NASCAR and the media in General are at fault here. Investigate a little BEFORE you announce the scandal.. and...

CELEBRIDIOTS: #metoo is #Racist? Bill Cosby's wife, Camille did her first interview in six years. She says she is thankful the judge allowed an appeal and that the #metoo movement is "rooted in racism". Umm.. Uhh.. Camille? I'll agree that they have gone a little overboard and this whole "Cancel people without Due Process" culture is dangerous. But, I went and looked at the powerful men "Cancelled" by the #metoo people and, well, other than Bill, I couldn't find ANY Black men. Quincy Jones had a movie made about his womanizing an R. Kelly finally went to jail but those things were in the works for years. The powerful men of media, comedy, hollywood, business that went down were not black... Oh, and Epstein didn't kill himself ... and..

My former neighbor, Bruce Springsteen, is throwing some hate at President Trump. Bruce did an interview with The Atlantic and told the reporter he thinks "Trump is a threat to our Democracy" and he "doesn't think our Democracy can stand four more years of his custodianship". Umm.. Bruce? We aren't a Democracy. We're a REPUBLIC. If the citizens of the Republic want a different leader we vote on one every four years...Unless you think Trump will take over the military and declare himself dictator he'll have either 4 or 8 years.. aahhhh.. Nevermind.. Big Fan of your music... and..

For you Zoey Deschanel fans: She is officially "available" again. She just finalized her divorce. The Actress described as "Cute and quirky" .. HERE.. and ..HERE.. was married for four years this time. This is her second divorce. Look, I understand. It's REAL hard for guys to live up to dating a woman after ELF. .. HERE.. I'm here for you, Zoey. But, I am NOT wearing that Elf outfit... You can wear yours, though..


German payments company Wirecard has filed for insolvency proceedings, a week after auditors found a €1.9B hole in its balance sheet and an admission by the company that the money may never have existed. Shares were suspended from trading before the announcement, but have fallen nearly 90%, wiping out almost $12B of market value since the disclosure last week. CEO Markus Braun was also arrested on suspicion of falsifying accounts at the company, which processes tens of billions of euros in credit and debit transactions every year. Once the darling of Germany's fintech world, Wirecard (OTCPK:WCAGY) eventually ascended to the DAX, the stock index of Germany's 30 largest companies.

Fears over a second wave shook investors on Wednesday as a rise in new coronavirus cases left businesses struggling to decide whether they should open, close or find a compromise. In the red for most of the night, S&P 500 futures have pared most of their losses to trade near the starting line ahead of some important economic data. Weekly jobless claims are expected to have declined to 1.3M in the week ending June 20 (from 1.508M), overall orders for durable goods are seen rebounding 10.6% in May, while the final GDP reading for Q1 probably decreased at a 5.0% annualized rate. Go deeper: On the earnings front, Nike is seen posting a fall in Q4 revenue after the bell.

Dividend-focused bank investors will be paying attention this evening to the first round of the Fed's annual stress tests on the largest U.S. financial institutions; they already paused buybacks for the quarter. Complicating things, the Fed this year will not outrightly "pass" or "fail" banks, making the results even more ambiguous for analysts and investors trying to calculate the health of the industry. The Fed also is expected to provide guidance on how banks would fare if the coronavirus crisis worsens.

Ford (NYSE:F) is taking the wraps off its 2021 F-150 tonight and the stakes couldn't be higher. Traditional and hybrid versions of the pickup are scheduled to be unveiled and the all-electric version is seen coming sometime in the next two years - in line or slightly later than new electric pickups from GM (NYSE:GM), Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), Rivian and Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA). Reports suggest the new F-Series will feature a lay-flat "sleeper seat" that mimics a first-class airline experience, Sync 4 infotainment with over-the-air update capabilities and a larger touch screen. Go deeper: Almost 900K F-Series pickups sold last year to generate about $42B in revenue, ranking near the iPhone among the biggest U.S. consumer products.

CEC Entertainment (CEC), the parent of Chuck E. Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza, has filed for Chapter 11 after the COVID-19 pandemic closed its locations and kept families at home. The current crisis was described as the "most challenging" in the company's history and it intends to use the bankruptcy process to continue talks with stakeholders and landlords to restructure its balance sheet. CEC Entertainment, which was taken private by Apollo Global Management (NYSE:APO) in 2014, announced plans to go public last year, though the proposal was eventually terminated after its reverse merger with Leo Holdings collapsed.

The tech giant is temporarily shuttering seven stores around Houston, Texas as COVID-19 cases rise in the state, following the closure last week of nearly a dozen Apple Stores (NASDAQ:AAPL) across Florida, North and South Carolina, and Arizona. "We take this step with an abundance of caution as we closely monitor the situation and we look forward to having our teams and customers back as soon as possible," the company said in a statement. Apple Stores tend to be located in important shopping centers and malls, which may be a good indicator of how smoothly retail operations are reopening in the U.S. Go deeper: California Disneyland to delay reopening indefinitely.

It's a significant development in the years-long battle between Google (GOOG, GOOGL) and media companies. "Today, we are announcing a licensing program to pay publishers for high-quality content for a news experience launching later this year," Brad Bender, Google's VP of News, wrote in a blogpost. "This program will help participating publishers monetize their content through an enhanced storytelling experience. Where available, Google will also offer to pay for free access for users to read paywalled articles on a publisher’s site."

SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) founder Masayoshi Son says he's left the board of China's Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) coinciding with the departure of Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma. The development doesn't signify any disagreement between him and the company, according to Son, who characterized the move as "graduating" from his most successful investment (now worth about $600B). In the rest of his annual presentation to investors, Son expressed confidence, saying the market is underestimating SoftBank's potential and that its shareholder value is closer to $218B (vs. market capitalization of about $101B).

Singapore has given local telcos final approval to start building two 5G networks as it aims to have full islandwide coverage by 2025. Chinese telecom equipment giant Huawei lost out to Nokia (NYSE:NOK) and Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) to build the main next-generation networks, but may be involved in the broader ecosystem at a reduced capacity. The U.S. has urged its allies to exclude Huawei from their 5G networks, accusing the tech firm of being backed by the Chinese military and including security vulnerabilities in its hardware that could be used for espionage by Beijing.

What else is happening...

Airlines slammed as states deter visitors due to spike in cases.

No evidence of contracting COVID-19 from food, packaging.

Zoom (NASDAQ:ZM) adds security chief to C-suite.

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) launches cloud service for no-code apps.

Theaters on watch as Disney's (NYSE:DIS) 'Mulan' may be postponed.

Minnesota sues Exxon (NYSE:XOM), Koch over climate change.

Bayer (OTCPK:BAYRY) to pay up to $10.9B to settle Roundup lawsuits.

Wednesday's Key Earnings

BlackBerry (NYSE:BB) -5.5% AH after pandemic-hit Q1 results. KB Home (NYSE:KBH) -13.6% AH missing expectations, weak guidance.

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan -1.2%. Hong Kong -0.5%. China +0.3%. India -0.1%. In Europe, at midday, London -0.2%. Paris +0.1%. Frankfurt +0.1%. Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.3%. S&P -0.2%. Nasdaq flat. Crude -0.5% to $37.81. Gold -0.2% to $1770.90. Ten-year Treasury Yield -2 bps to 0.67%

Today's Economic Calendar


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


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