Read this First 07/22/2020


GET OUT !!!  The US abruptly ordered China to close their consulate in Houston. The US cited the need to "protect American Intellectual property and private data". Everyone knows China has been stealing this stuff for decades. Both Democrats and Republicans have complained about it for years. China is not happy, of course.  They deny the charges and issued a statement: “China urges the U.S. to immediately rescind its erroneous decision, otherwise China will undertake legitimate and necessary responses.” .. Apparently, one of those "responses" is to burn documents. There is a fire inside a container in the courtyard that US officials and media are not allowed to investigate... 

Earthquake in Alaska.. a 7.8 Earthquake hit Alaska and was centered near Perryville. There isn't much out there on this story. It happened last night and there is some building destruction but no reported deaths.. 

You guys will NEVER believe this one.. but there was actually a mass shooting in Chicago!!  Yeah!!  Who would have seen that coming.???   Some cities would call that remarkable. But in Chi-town that's just called, "Tuesday". .. 15 people were shot at a funeral in South Chicago. A black sedan pulled up and just started shooting a crowd that was coming out of a funeral home. At least one of the funeral attendees returned fire. 60 shell casings were found. Remarkably, no one died there... . On the day, 23 people were shot and 4 died yesterday in Chicago. But, Mayor Lightfoot likes this road that Chicago is on. She refuses to let Federal law enforcement help. She "doesn't want to go down that road". Remember?  She said that just yesterday... 

Answer the Census - We're Counting on You !!!  .. Pero, no tu !!! (if you don't want to run that through Google Translate, that's Spanish for "But, not you" ) .. President Trumphas issued an executive order stating Illegal immigrants cannot be counted in the 2020 redrawing of voting districts.  Of course, this will OUTRAGE Democrats and you can expect lawsuits filed immediately....  and

APPLE says they will be carbon neutral by 2030.  Their corporate offices and data centers are already Carbon neutral but they pledge to remove carbon from their supply chain and all products in the next 10 years. I'm usually a skeptic.  But, I think they'll actually do it.. 

There are now 31 States on the list that "cannot come to NY unless they agree to quarantine for 14 days"... which, of course, means they won't come.  Really?  Really Cuomo??  Montana has a "spike" of 86 new cases and they make the list?  A more important question is this: With Broadway shut and all the restaurants closed why would anyone WANT to come to NY City?  To get shot? Mugged? Robbed? .. To smell the piss on the streets ??   I've said it many times. NYC is simultaneously the most vibrant city in the world and the most disgusting and repulsive.  With all the "Energy" gone..what's left???

Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and three others were arrested on bribery and money laundering charges. The scheme was as large as $60 million and the biggest bribery/money laundering case in State history. It was basically a "pay for play" set up where Householder and others awarded contracts to people for donations to his campaign and other money ... 

In Da Swamp: Well, You KNEW it was coming. They have kept Joe Biden in his basement as long as they could. But, he gave a interview yesterday and ..ohhh my....he babbled a bunch and then came out with a winner... 

While discussing voter fraud Joe said, "we will have lawyers monitoring every voter registration physician" ..umm.. So we have Doctors for registration booths, now? (What do you think he meant?  "position" maybe??.. "Location"??)..Even the liberal interviewer rolled her eyes...  Add that to the "120 Million Americans are dead from COVID 19" from a few weeks ago.. and his campaign might claim he has COVID- 119 and has to quarantine until after the election... also.. 

Joe's Head of Communications is under fire for prior sexist social media posts.  Kamau Marshall posted that he "liked power women as long as they know their place" ... OUCH.. Now, I don't believe in the "Cancel" crap and that's a minor offense. But, you never know what the mob will do... and by the way you have it ALL WRONG. I LOOOVEEE powerful women and part of the FUN is them NOT knowing their "traditional place".  Go CRAZY with it, Girls !!!  That's what makes life interesting. You never know what she's gonna do next !!!!

One more "Biden" bit .. One of the news services I read to bring you the Rant is Reuters News.  How's this for a head shaking headline from them: "Reuters/Ipsos poll shows Biden leading Trump by 8 points, also has a big advantage with undecided voters"  uhh.. umm... WHAT???  If they are undecided, they are undecided. How could that be an advantage???  You gotta re-write that headline.  Maybe ask the NY Post for help. They always have good ones... 

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has been hospitalized with "minor, non-Covid related" issues. The million year old .. I mean, 82 year old, Ross is doing well and expects to be released "soon" according to his spokesman.

Rep Ted Yoho of Florida is under fire for calling Alex O'Cortez a "F**king B*tch" on the steps outside of Congress. The story hit all major news feeds IMMEDIATELY. To her credit, AOC denounced it and then said, "B*tches get stuff done".  NICE !!! That may be the FIRST thing she ever said that I agree with ..   ...and in a similar story... 

Al Jazeera reporter Kimberly Halkett called White House press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany a "lying b*tch"... and did ANY of you see THAT story? Of course not. She is a Trump supporter. ... Halkett claims she did NOT say it even thought the tape replay is pretty clear.  She claims she said, "Ok, so you don't want to engage".. WHAT???? That doesn't even sound CLOSE !!!  It's gotta at least RHYME a bit, KIM !!! Go with "I said Sweaty Pits" and claim it was hot.. ..or "Oh, that's Rich" and claim you like to say things that 90 year old ladies say.. C'mon Kim !!!  Let ME write your material.

SPORTS:

NBA: The Bubble in Orlando seems to be working. They tested all the players after week one and NO ONE tested positive.  We'll see what happens after they sneak in a few ladies... 

MLB: I heard a good one yesterday about the kneeling for the Anthem by baseball players. "If you made me watch a whole MLB baseball game I'd need to take a knee, too"  HAHAHAH..

Soccer: A group of women, including Serena Williams, Natalie Portman, Jennifer Gardner and Eva Longoria are bringing a woman's soccer team to LA.  Good for you girls !!!  Support those ladies !!!  It would be quicker to just take a pile of money and burn it .. China has a bonfire going in Houston, I heard.  Just drop it there ... 

CELEBRIDIOTS:

Ali Wentworth, 55 and the wife of George Stephaopopououpoulus, raised eyebrows when she said she watched porn with her teenage daughters. Of course, THAT was the headline.. But, the truth is she did something that could be considered "good parenting"...

If you read the WHOLE story.. She said her "15 and 17 year old daughters are going to be able to access porn through the internet, anyway. I wanted to explain to them that it's acting and not "real" but boys will watch this and think its "normal" so you girls have to be in control of your sexual situations and make sure you set boundaries that you are comfortable with when you are with your boyfriends" ..  You might not do the same thing. But, teaching our young ladies that they are in charge of their lives and should be strong and resilient is a GOOD thing !!!...  Unfortunately,  she said that her sex life with George is still hot ....and that ruined it all .. I barfed my english muffin on the keyboard so tomorrows Rant may be late... 

Some Birthdays this week.  Robin Williams would have been 69.  Gone too soon ... and Gisele Bundchen turns 40 and enters her last year of Raj Tub eligibility. .. HERE .. I'm pretty sure more people in BAHSTON miss her more than Brady ... and.. Happy 28th to Selena Gomez. ..HERE.. Come by and Ill make you a cake .. I think those scars are HOT!!! .. 

Former Skiier Lindsey Vonn does NOT like being out of the limelight.. So, she posted a "LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME" video of her "training for the Olympics with her dog" ...HERE ...   OK Lindsey.. You're hot.  You're FUN.. can I go home now?

From SeekingAlpha.com

The U.S. State Department has ordered the closure of China's consulate in Houston to protect property and "private information" of Americans as reports came in last night of documents being burned in the compound's courtyard. "We urge the U.S. to immediately withdraw its erroneous decision. Otherwise China will make legitimate and necessary reactions," China's Foreign Ministry declared, as the U.S. dollar surged against the Chinese yuan, breaking the key 7 level. On Tuesday, the DOJ also accused two Chinese hackers of working for the government to steal terabytes of data, including coronavirus research, from Western companies across 11 nations. Go deeper: China may respond by closing the U.S. consulate in Wuhan.

Tensions hit sentiment

S&P 500 futures pulled back 0.4% overnight following the diplomatic flare-up, which adds to concerns over the deteriorating relationship between the economic superpowers. President Trump already dimmed hopes of a Phase 2 trade deal earlier this month, saying the relationship with China had been too badly damaged by COVID-19. Investors are also questioning whether Congress will reach an agreement on the next coronavirus stimulus bill before lawmakers start their summer recess, while Trump warned the pandemic will probably "get worse before it gets better."

Earnings

Two big names are on the radar today as earnings season kicks into high gear. Following a record number of car deliveries earlier in July, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) may report a fourth straight quarterly profit, which could qualify the high-flying stock for inclusion in the S&P 500. Shares have jumped more than 50% this month alone (adding to the stock's more than 3x increase this year), as investors bet on a sudden jump in demand from passive funds that track the benchmark. Don't forget about Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)! Much of the focus will continue to center around its cloud business amid recent trends towards remote work.

Twitter cracks down on 'QAnon' activity

"We've been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm," the company said via its Twitter Safety account. "In line with this approach, this week we are taking further action on so-called 'QAnon' activity across the service." A Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) spokesperson said more than 7,000 QAnon-related accounts were banned in recent weeks, while the platform limited the distribution of 150,000 others. According to Wikipedia, QAnon is a "far-right conspiracy theory detailing a supposed secret plot by an alleged 'deep state' against U.S. President Donald Trump and his supporters." Last year, the FBI designated QAnon as a potential domestic terror threat.

Abandoning hopes

While U.K. and EU negotiators began the latest round of Brexit negotiations on Monday, the two sides remain deadlocked over fishing rights, level playing field guarantees, governance of the deal and the role of the European Court of Justice. With just days to go until Boris Johnson's deadline for an outline agreement, senior sources told The Telegraph that there is now an assumption that "there won't be a deal." What would happen in that case? The U.K. would leave the bloc on December 31 by following default WTO rules and specific agreements for certain goods. The British government has also abandoned hopes of clinching a U.S. free trade deal ahead of the presidential election in November, with the novel coronavirus outbreak blamed for slow progress.

Record retail trading volumes

Earnings yesterday from some of the biggest publicly traded brokers have highlighted the major jump into retail trading. TD Ameritrade (NASDAQ:AMTD), which is set to be acquired by Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCHW), added a record 661K new funded retail accounts in Q2, surpassing the 608K new accounts during the first quarter. A record 3.4M daily average revenue trades were also noted, more than four times last year's levels and 62% more than the prior quarter. Interactive Brokers (NASDAQ:IBKR), which additionally beat on the top and bottom lines, said its daily average revenue trades increased 111% since the same quarter last year, while customer accounts grew to 867K.

737 MAX may not return until next year

The latest timeline anticipates the FAA won't finish work to lift its March 2019 grounding order until late October or early November because the agency has decided to ask for public comments before finalizing software and hardware changes, WSJ reports. Completing pilot training and maintenance checks is expected to stretch well into December, and only then will the MAX be ready to return to commercial service. That means the jets are expected to be grounded at least as long under current Boeing (NYSE:BA) CEO David Calhoun as under his predecessor, Dennis Muilenburg, who was ousted at the end of 2019 after repeated delays in getting the plane back in the air. BA -1.3% premarket.

Self-driving partnerships

Ending work on autonomous commercial vehicles it began with startup Aurora in 2019, Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) has selected Waymo as its exclusive, strategic technology partner for "Level 4" fully self-driving technology across its full product portfolio. The collaboration will start with the Ram ProMaster full-size van, though it's likely to expand given Fiat's expected merger with PSA Group into a company called Stellantis. It's been quite a run for the Alphabet (GOOGGOOGL) unit. Waymo, considered the leader in autonomous vehicle development, inked another partnership in June with Volvo Cars (OTCPK:GELYY) to develop self-driving electric vehicles designed for ride-hailing.

What else is happening...

Senate committee clears Shelton, Waller for Fed positions.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) pledges to be 100% carbon neutral by 2030.

Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) sales are rebounding as stores reopen.

Tesla's (TSLA) Elon Musk qualifies for another $2.1B payday.

Jamf (JAMFprices upsized IPO above range at $26.

Tuesday's Key Earnings

Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) +2.3% saying the worst is over. Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) +2.6% topping estimates, raising guidance. Philip Morris (NYSE:PM) +4.2% posting better-than-feared results. Snap (NYSE:SNAP) -6.2% AH on lagging Q2 growth. Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN) +1.3% AH following Q2 beats, upside outlook. United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL) +1.2% AH expecting to lower cash burn.

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan -0.6%. Hong Kong -2.3%. China +0.4%. India -0.2%. In Europe, at midday, London -0.9%. Paris -1.2%. Frankfurt -0.6%. Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.4%. S&P -0.4%. Nasdaq flat. Crude -1.3% to $41.36. Gold +0.7% to $1856.50. . Ten-year Treasury Yield -2 bps to 0.59%

Today's Economic Calendar

7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications 9:00 FHFA House Price Index 10:00 Existing Home Sales 10:30 EIA Petroleum Inventories 1:00 PM Results of $17B, 20-Year Bond Auction

Regards,

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

DISCLAIMER:

This RANT is intended SOLELY as Commentary, Satire and/or Social Criticism and is for ENTERTAINMENT.  Content in this RANT is based on PUBLICLY AVAILABLE INFORMATION and is purely the OPINION of the writer. It is NOT intended to be relied on as fact.  Sometimes I get drunk and make stuff up. Some of this information is garnered from well respected news sources and some is not. As Raj puts it: "If you cannot tell that most of this Rant is just my opinion then you are too stupid to be reading it!!!!

Stop before you hurt yourself! " The Rant is inspired by how I feel that day, what I ate for dinner the night before, who is pissing me off, what I find entertaining, and information I sometimes get from: Bloomberg,1010WINS, Foxnews.comCNN.comABCNews.comCNBC.com and another dozen random news ".coms", The NY Post, The Asbury  Park Press, The Drudge Report, The Daily Mirror, The Independent, The Standard, MSN, AOL, The Daily Beast, Breitbart, Wall Street Journal, Barstool Sports, Bleacher Report, CNBC, Various Analysts at brokerage firms, SeekingAlpha, Twitter, Instagram, PopSugar, Harpers, Washington Times, al Jazeera, The Washington Post, The Financial Times, Reuters, Maxim, RT News, Eonline,Vanity Fair, Politico, The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Guardian, Pravda, Forbes, Money, GQ, Men’s Health, YahooNews.com TMZ, ESPN.go.com, Golf Digest, and the Victoria Secret Catalogue. This email is for entertainment only. We disclaim any and all responsibility for damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to, or reliance on any of this information that we already told you is worthless.   If it gets forwarded out we have no control over where it ends up and are not responsible for the content of any site it may end up on.  We try to remain free of viruses and all other diseases that can hurt computers but we do not warranty that…especially if someone forwards it to you.  Action figures are sold separately and batteries are not included. If you choose to share this information with people that have no sense of humor you are advised to stand back at least 6 feet. If you receive this rant stapled to other papers do not put in the microwave.  Please drink responsibly.


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