Read this First 1/6/2020

Before we get started.. I made this GREAT Shrimp with Garlic and Peppers last night for my girlfriend for dinner... So, my breath may melt the keyboard this morning.. Please ignore any typos or spelling errors....


BOUNTY !!! ...Because the Iranians long to be like the Cowboys of the USA from 100 years ago, a cleric eulogizing dead terrorist Qassem Soleimani put an $80 Million Bounty on the head of President Trump. Here is the problem. That dude don't have no $80 Million.. and I would be REALLY pissed if I was an Iranian and figured out how to beat the USA Security and actually get to Trump..and then NOT get PAID !!! .. Actor/Comedian/Trump hater George Lopez, tweeted out in response to the $80 Million Bounty, "We'll do it for Half". Hmmmm.. You think the Secret Service should go visit him?.. .. and..


So, here is the update to the "Trump gave the order to take out the Terrorist Leader of a part of the Islamic Republican Guard" saga.

The Iraqi Parliament has voted to tell the USA to remove their troops from Iraq. This means.. well... exactly NOTHING. The US Troops are there at the request of the President of Iraq. The Parliament cannot send them home. The vote was ONLY by the majority Shiite members... voting alone. The Sunnis and the Kurds were not in favor of the vote and didn't show up.... and...

The Iranian Foreign Minister announced that Iran will defy the 2015 agreement on Nuclear Enrichment. (Uh, You were already not complying) .. and..


In London, displaced Iranians were having "demonstrations" and partying that Soleimani is dead. It seems that plenty of Iranians hated this guy an blamed him for a lot of the turmoil and oppression in Iran... and..


Sr. Iranian General Gholamali Abuhamzeh said, "We will get Americans wherever they are!!!" . Really?? .. You think he's gonna send troops from Tehran over here to attack the Raj Tub? The Raj Tub is about LOVE not War.. I don't even have a missile defense system..and...


Its Human Nature to pay attention to the things around us that effect us the most.. So, it's hard to get a real handle on what is happening in Australia. The fires there are HUGE and CRAZY. Talking about "square miles" and stuff like that can be hard to picture in your mind. Maybe this will jar you into understanding: A Half a BILLION animals have died because of the fires. Let that sink in for a minute... and..


In Da Swamp: Sing with me folks, " The best things in Life are Free... but you can give them to the birds and bees.. I want Mooooney!!! Thats what I want!!! " That's a song by the Flying Lizards but is apropos of the Democratic Presidential Primary. Mike Bloomberg has moved into a tie for Third place with Elizabeth Warren and it only cost him $200 Million dollars of ads.. Biden still has a Huge Lead.. Hmm.. Biden/Bloomberg ?? I could only support that if you flipped it .. ..and...


As you'd expect, Sr. Democrats like Elizabeth Warren are saying that Trump's actions in Iran are to distract from Impeachment. Uh, Elizabeth? There is no Impeachment. The process was put on hold by your House Leader because she didn't want to lose, remember?? .. and.

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January 6th in History .. Today in 2001, Congress finally certifies the Presidential Election and George W. Bush is named President after the "Hanging Chad" controversy.. and on Jan. 6th 1994 skater Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed in the leg at a competition by competitor Tonya Harding's boyfriend...


SPORTS: Thanks to Rant Reader Bobby J... The reason the "Armed Services Bowl" had no Armed Services teams? The Air Force and Navy were great this year and played in REAL Bowl games and Army was ineligible because they were 5-8..... and..


NFL: The Vikings take down the Saints in Overtime after a few miscues by normally solid Drew Brees.. .. and the Patriots lose to the Texans. For those wondering if that is "IT" for Tom Brady.. he says, "NO, I am NOT retiring" I think Gisele might have different ideas about that.... at least that is what she is telling me while I am typing.. The Bills lose to the Texans and it was painful to watch Josh Allen choke so badly. In crunch time he REALLY blew it. They were the better team and he lost it for them.. and.. The Seahawks advance after squeaking by the Eagles after Eagles QB Carson Wentz went down with a head injury at the end of the first half..

GOLF: Justin Thomas is on fire and may win a few majors this year. He wins the Sentry Tournament of Champions in a playoff over Xander Schauffele and Patrick Reed.


I gotta give a shout out to the "Islanders Guy". He is probably sitting in his apartment ALONE right now.. But, this is TOO Funny... A NY Islander Fan ended up on the, "Kiss Cam". After kissing his girlfriend he stepped out his seat onto the stairs while the camera was still on him..... he put his hand in his pocket.. then got down on one knee.. His girlfriend said, "Oh My GOD.. Oh My GODDD!!!" ..then put her hands over her mouth and started crying.. and the guy.... TIED HIS SHOE!!!.. and then sat down again.. AHHAHAHAHA... Dude, that is CLASSIC..and VERY FUNNY.. But, I'm betting she is in bed with your best friend right now... Paybacks are a bitch..

CELEBRIDIOTS: Ricky Gervais did not disappoint and CLOBBERED the Hollywood egomaniacs.. He told the winners not to make political statements because they, "spent less time in school than Great Thornburg" .. He told them they do "not live in the real world and are in no position to lecture anyone on anything". AHHAHAH.. He said about, "The Irishman" movie (which is 3 hours long) that when the movie was over, "Leo DiCaprio's girlfriend was too old for him" HAHAHAH.. Ricky, you can Co-Write the Rant if the whole "Hollywood Thing" doesn't work out... and....Actor Joaquin Phoenix gave it to the self-important hypocrite celebs and said, "Stop taking Private Planes to Award shows and then complain about climate change". BINGO !!!!

The Best Drama went to "1917" and Best Musical/Comedy to "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood". The Best TV Series went to "Chernobyl" and then I went to BED ... and...


I don't want her dead or anything.. But, it would be good if Gwenyth Paltrow just went away and never resurfaced again....and...


I want to chastise all the young, hot Hollywood women. You LOST... You LOST to 53 Year Old. HERE .. .. Yes, I know there is a ton of Botox, make-up and photoshop..and she is married to a Billionaire.. ..But, Salma looked HOT !!! .. Kerry Washington gave it a good shot. HERE .. But, came up a little short. More Rope, Less Jacket next time !!!


From SeekingAlpha.com


Stocks are set to kick off the week with more losses, as the DJIA suggests another 200-point drop to erase New Year gains amid an escalation in geopolitical risk in the Middle East. Besides targeting 52 Iranian sites, President Trump threatened to slap sanctions on Iraq 'like they've never seen before' after a vote to expel U.S. troops, while Iran said it will no longer abide by uranium enrichment limits. WTI oil prices jumped as much as 2% overnight as Brent crude topped $70 a barrel for the first time since September, while gold soared to nearly $1,600 an ounce, its highest in more than seven years. Go deeper: Investors need not make knee-jerk reactions, according to Jeff Miller.

Defense spending referenced as warnings escalate

"The United States just spent Two Trillion Dollars on Military Equipment. We are the biggest and by far the BEST in the World! If Iran attacks an American Base, or any American, we will be sending some of that brand new beautiful equipment their way...and without hesitation!" President Trump tweeted over the weekend. Increased military spending could make defense stocks a winning trade once again in 2020. The iShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETF (BATS:ITA) has rallied more than 70% since Trump was elected on Nov. 8, 2016, while the S&P 500 is up around 50% in that time. Go deeper: Not all Aerospace & Defense ETFs are equal, writes Atlas Grinned.

Inflation and repo stabilization

Low global interest rates are here to stay "for the next five to 10 years," which should lead Fed officials to hold themselves accountable to their 2% inflation target, according to New York Fed President John Williams. He also said the Fed's response to inject liquidity into repo markets following a cash crunch in September had "worked exactly as we wanted." "As the level of reserves have been brought back to the appropriate level, we've seen money markets operate very smoothly." Go deeper: 'The Coming Reflation - Michael Gayed Talks With Alpha Trader.'

Night of upsets at Golden Globes

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood from Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE) and 1917 from Universal (NASDAQ:CMCSA) took home the top prizes for best picture in their respective categories on a night packed with upsets at the 2020 Golden Globes. Other big award winners included AT&T (NYSE:T) (+6), ViacomCBS (NASDAQ:VIAC) (+3) and Disney (NYSE:DIS) (+3). Despite 17 nominations, the most of any single studio, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) only garnered two trophies during Sunday's ceremony, though its nominations still underscore the changing Hollywood landscape. Go deeper: 'Frozen II' becomes highest grossing animated movie ever.

Beyond real estate

Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) has reportedly signed a deal to sell roughly half of its real estate to private-equity firm Oak Street, including its headquarters, a distribution facility and an undisclosed number of its 1,500 stores. The embattled retailer will then lease back the space in a transaction that will generate more than $250M in proceeds, which will be used to repay debt, buy back shares and fund a turnaround effort under new CEO Mark Tritton. The company is also expected to evaluate the rest of its real estate and retail concepts like Buy Buy Baby and Harmon drugstores. Go deeper: Shock Exchange says to sell BBBY heading into earnings.

Xerox scores financing for HP bid

Citigroup, Mizuho Financial and Bank of America have agreed to provide Xerox (NYSE:XRX) with up to $24B in financing for its takeover offer for HP Inc. (NYSE:HPQ), sources told the WSJ. It's a sign the company is pushing forward with an unsolicited $33B deal that its larger rival had rejected as too low and not in the best interests of its shareholders. Xerox on Nov. 5 made the cash-and-stock offer for HP, whose market value has since risen to almost $30B, making it nearly four times Xerox’s size.

France warns on digital tax retaliation

Any retaliation to France's new digital services tax could "deeply and durably affect the transatlantic relationship," French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire warned the U.S. on Monday. "If the Americans decide to go ahead and impose sanctions... in this case we would retaliate," he told France Inter radio. Washington has threatened to impose duties of up to 100% on imports of champagne, handbags and other French products worth $2.4B after a government investigation found the tax would harm U.S. tech companies.

First cannabis ETF to launch in Europe

Despite a poor year for the sector, marijuana funds have proved popular in North America, prompting plans by Canadian fund group Purpose Investments to launch Europe's first cannabis ETF on Jan. 13. The Medical Cannabis and Wellness ETF will be listed in Germany and made available to investors in the U.K., Italy and Ireland. The world's largest cannabis ETF, the U.S.-listed ETFMG Alternative Harvest (NYSEARCA:MJ), has $673M of assets and lost 28.5% last year, while the second largest fund, Canada's $327M Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (HMLSF), lost 33.8%.

Cutting heavy-duty truck emissions

The EPA will begin seeking public input today on new rules (to be proposed early this year) that will significantly decrease emissions of smog-forming nitrogen oxide and other pollutants from heavy-duty trucks. The Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association, which represents the four largest truck makers in North America - Daimler Trucks (OTCPK:DDAIF), Paccar (NASDAQ:PCAR), Volvo Trucks (OTCPK:VOLVY) and Navistar (NYSE:NAV) - is backing the initiative and said it wants a national program with "sufficient regulatory lead time, stability and certainty." The EPA last toughened NOx standards for highway heavy-duty trucks and engines in 2000.

Extra simulator training for 737 MAX pilots?

Boeing (NYSE:BA) has long maintained 737 MAX pilots don't need supplemental simulator training beyond what they receive to fly other 737 models, but many FAA officials are now regarding that stance with increasing skepticism, WSJ reports. Under consideration is mandatory flight-simulator training as regulators propose rewriting emergency checklists for pilots and creating some new ones. While the FAA's formal decision isn't expected until February or later, the idea would entail extra costs and delays for airlines. Go deeper: Shares of Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV), the largest U.S. MAX operator, are off 3% premarket.

What else is happening...

'Iran fears are overdone' - Wall Street's biggest bull.

Saudi Aramco (ARMCO) falls to lowest level since IPO.

Mega recall for faulty Daimler (OTCPK:DDAIF) sunroofs.

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) weighs brick-and-mortar play in Germany.

Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) Tim Cook took home $125M in 2019.

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan -1.9%. Hong Kong -0.8%. China flat. India +1.9%. In Europe, at midday, London -1%. Paris -1.2%. Frankfurt -1.7%. Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.7%. S&P -0.7%. Nasdaq -0.8%. Crude +1.1% to $63.72. Gold +1.8% to $1579.80. Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 1.78%


Regards,

Roger “Raj” Searing rajsearing@gmail.com

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