Read this First 1/7/2020

CES Starts Today -- (What the F is that, Raj? You ask...) Its the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. That's where new, cool tech gadgets get introduced. They are not all "Ready for Worldwide Distribution" but cool stuff gets unveiled. What kinda stuff? This year you'll see Flying cars, big-screen TVs that rotate vertically to better show your mobile videos, a trash can that changes its own bag.. and LOTS of other stuff...


The Impossible Burger's brother is coming .. Impossible Foods, the maker of the meatless hamburger, is rolling out "meatless pork". What do you think? Is it really better for you? Will this "take over"? Will the Cow and Pig population have strikes??? I tried the Burger King Impossible Whopper and its not perfect but its not horrible. The only horrible part of the experience was, well, I had to be IN a Burger King... and...


A stampede at the funeral of slain Iranian General Soleimani has killed 32 and injured over 100. Iranian officials say there was no "attack" but just overcrowding. Most of those killed were elderly. The burial never actually happened because the procession could not get through the crowds to get to the cemetery. One thing is for sure, a bunch of Iranians are mad at the US and making threats like, "we're gonna get them and destroy what they love". I hope that doesn't mean they are going to target the Tito's Vodka factory or Sierra Nevada brewery. .. and...


A One-Two punch in Puerto Rico.. A 5.8 magnitude Earthquake hit Puerto Rico yesterday knocking out power and damaging buildings. No deaths were reported but the quake was strong enough that it knocked things off shelves at stores and cracked some home foundations. A popular coastal rock formation shaped like a round window, known as Punta Ventana, was destroyed and then a few hours ago, ANOTHER quake hit. This one 6.4 magnitude. There are injuries reported and assessments are being made as the sun rises... and...


In Da Swamp: Watch Out Biden!!! Judge Judy just agreed to go out on the campaign trail and stump for Mike Bloomberg. The thought of that might make you smile. But, I am telling you that is HUGE. The demographic that watches her (and will listen to her) is exactly what Bloomberg needs. ..and


The rest of the Swamp just pushes themselves further and further from "Real America".. The infernal "talking points" from the Far Right and Far Left have turned into the "Parents talking in Charlie Brown" for most Americans. Whhaah Wahhh Whhhhaaaaa.. The "outsider" candidates like Bloomberg and Yang or Gabbard should just run 30 second commercials of these "So-called Leaders" in Washington jabbering.. with the last 5 seconds speaking over the prattle, "Do you REALLY want MORE of this? Vote Yang in 2020 or you'll have to deal with this until 2024"


Ya Like Bagpipes? A 7/11 in Sacramento California has a problem with homeless people camping out on the sidewalk outside their store. So, they installed speakers and blast bagpipe music. The neighbors are freaking out. They say they hear bagpipes even when they're not home because its seared into their brains. I like bagpipes. They are cool at weddings and funerals and maybe a parade. But, if I had to hear them 24/7 outside my house?? I'd probably be taking a sledgehammer to those 7/11 speakers !!!


What is: The Big One??? Get out the Popcorn..and maybe the tissues.. the three biggest Champions in Jeopardy history start a match against one another tonight. Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer. Each night there are Two Games and the Aggregate Winner gets the point. The first to three points wins. So, the event could last three nights.. or seven. In addition to naming the "once and for all" Champion (well, "Human" Champion.. IBM's Watson Computer isn't in the Competition).. there is speculation this might be the last Hurrah for Alex Trebek. Comments regarding his cancer treatment are cryptic and he "let leak" that his "farewell address" (when it eventually comes) will only be 30 seconds long and he will thank the fans....


SPORTS: NFL: The Cowboys finalized the firing of Jason Garrett this weekend and have announced Mike McCarthy will replace him. McCarthy coached the Green By Packers for 12 years and won Superbowl XLV in 2011 in Cowboys Stadium.


NCAA Football: He is IN !! Injured Alabama QB, Tua Tagovailoa, will enter the 2020 NFL Draft. Tua was a Heisman Candidate and possible #1 Overall Draft pick before getting injured. Now, its unsure where he will go. If healthy, he is great. But, he has suffered two injuries and is now a bit of a risk... and..


The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns beat the Miami of Ohio RedHawks 27-17 to win the LendingTree Bowl. If you're wondering, "How many more of these silly BOWL games"?? Fear not.. that was it except for the National Championship Game Monday Night...


GOLF: PGA Tour in Hawaii on Thursday for the Sony Open and Europeans in Johannesburg for the South African Open starting tomorrow night


CELEBRIDIOTS: Geez, there wasn't a whole lotta "fallout" for Ricky Gervais after his Golden Globes roast. Any "normal" host would have had the Radical left "Cancel People" calling for his career to end over Racism, Sexism and all those -isms they whine about. Maybe they know he doesn't care .. Maybe they're afraid of him. I'm not afraid of you, Ricky!! But, I STILL say you should have used my joke at the end of your Epstein dig. (I'll bet $20 that Epstein still votes for a Democrat in 2020)...


There were a few of the Deranged Media out there that went after Ricky claiming he used, "right wing talking points" in calling Hollywood "spoiled hypocrites" and "telling them to shut up and sing/dance/act". Gervais has responded: "How the FCK can teasing huge corporations, and the richest, most privileged people in the world be considered right wing?"... It's not, Ricky. They can't take a joke and aren't smart enough to come up with a better response... and...


Jay-Z and Beyonce showed up an hour late for the Globes. Interesting move.. you don't have to wait on the Red Carpet line and you can eat before so you don't have food in your teeth for your acceptance speech (Bey didn't win. Elton John and Bernie Taupin did). Jay-Z owns a stake in the company that makes "Ace of Spades" champagne which competes with Moet&Chandon, the Globe's Sponsor. (There were bottles prominently displayed on every table). Jay-Z brought his OWN Champagne. Sorry, Jay. That ain't "Flexin your muscles".. its low class. Moet&Chandon was paying for the gig. If you want "Ace of Spades" there then tell your partners to write a check... and...


Harvey Weinstein showed up at his rape trial and was met with protesters. He claims he will be "Totally Vindicated". (Uhh, maybe in a court in Iran .. But you're in NY, dude.. the #metoo-ers will get the judge fired and burn down the jurists houses if they don't convict you.) .. The woman lawyer that is leading Weinstein's defense apparently plans to go with the "Flip the Victim" thing. (No, you dirty minds.. that's not a sexual reference) .. She plans to say that Harvey was a powerful man and the women USED him to further their careers. Uhhh.. Yeah.. I'm not sure a NY Jury is gonna buy that one. Also, is she licensed in California, too? Because they just indicted Weinstein for sexual assault there, too..... and ..


Globes Omission: For those that claim I left out Annabelle Wallis HERE and and Zoey Deutch HERE from "Winner" designation, I will say this .. You gotta POINT !!! Both hot.. both looked great and didn't wear weirdo stuff.. In my defense I can't see ALL the Hot Ones.. There is only so much time in the day !!! Neat Side Fact: Zoey's mom is Lea Thompson.. the Mom in Back to the Future Movies. No wonder she's hot !!!


From SeekingAlpha.com:


What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, except at CES... hopefully. Exhibitors are optimistic the technology displayed at the world's biggest trade show will spread into the broader market, and with 175,000 attendees searching for innovations of the future, there's a good chance it will. This year's edition of the Consumer Electronics Show runs from today until Jan. 10, featuring the latest advances in areas like artificial intelligence, automation, transportation, surveillance, connected devices and smart cities. Go deeper: Kirk Spano explores themes at CES 2020.

CES thus far

Uber (NYSE:UBER) and Hyundai Motor (OTCPK:HYMLF) are partnering to develop electric air vehicles, joining the global race to make small self-flying cars to ease urban congestion. Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) demonstrated what it called the world's first artificial human, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) launched an autonomous driving computer and Toyota (NYSE:TM) said it's building the prototype city of the future in Japan. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is also teaming up with Lamborghini and Rivian to offer its Alexa voice assistant in vehicles. Go deeper: Markit discusses the auto industry side of the event.

Deepfake crackdown

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is banning videos that have been manipulated using advanced tools, though the policy "does not extend to content that is parody or satire, or video that has been edited solely to omit or change the order of words." That could expose the company to new controversy and put it on a slippery slope of deciding which videos are satirical. Late last year, Google (GOOG, GOOGL) updated its ad policy to prohibit the use of deepfakes, while in November, Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) said it was considering identifying manipulated photos, videos and audio shared on its platform. Go deeper: 'Facebook: Further Growth Potential For 2020' by The European View.

Risk reassessment

Black gold and gold surrendered some hefty gains overnight as some speculated Iran would be unlikely to strike against the U.S. in a way that would disrupt crude supplies, and its own exports. "Oil traders have been unwinding their hedges, thinking that Iran's economic hardships would deter an attack that puts the economy into an even deeper hole," said Stephen Innes, chief Asia market strategist at AxiTrader. U.S. stock index futures meanwhile continued to show a broad advance, though gains were pared to around 0.2% on reports suggesting Iran was weighing 13 "revenge scenarios" to avenge the death of Qassem Suleimani. Go deeper: Taylor Dart says oil sentiment remains relatively subdued.

Impossible Pork

The meatless wars are heating up as plant-based food makers target new product lines after biting into the U.S. burger business. Impossible Foods will introduce imitation ground pork and sausage later this month, including a patty for a new sandwich at dozens of Burger King (NYSE:QSR) restaurants, as the company turns its focus to international expansion in 2020. Rival Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) already began supplying plant-based sausage to Dunkin' Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN) and Tim Hortons restaurants last year, mainly for breakfast sandwiches. Go deeper: Starbucks jumps aboard the latest dairy-free milk trend.

Finland targets four-day workweek

Calling it the "next step for us in working life," Finland's newly installed prime minister, Sanna Marin, has proposed putting the entire country on a four-day workweek that consists of six-hour workdays. Neighboring Sweden tested out six-hour work days a couple of years ago, and in France, the standard work week was reduced to 35 hours (from 39 hours) in 2000. The corporate world is also experimenting with the idea. In November 2019, Microsoft Japan (NASDAQ:MSFT) revealed that a trial four-day workweek had boosted productivity by 40%.

Australia bushfires to hit the economy

Killing 25 people and leaving thousands homeless, Australia's huge bushfires have already burned through more than 25.5M acres of land and the economic costs are adding up. Shane Oliver, AMP's Sydney-based head of investment strategy, estimates a minimum 0.4% hit on GDP in the March quarter, which could mean growth stalled completely in the period and prompt another interest rate cut as early as February. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also pledged at least $2B in investment over the next two years for a "bushfire recovery fund" to help rebuild devastated regions.

Model Y program launches in Shanghai

Elon Musk was on site as Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) delivered its first China-made Model 3 sedans to the public at an event in Shanghai, where the automaker began building its foreign car plant just over a year ago. The EV maker also announced the kick-off of its Model Y program in the country (the all-electric crossover offers optional third-row seats and has a 300 mile range). "Ultimately Model Y will have more demand than probably all of the other Tesla cars combined... and will have advanced manufacturing technologies that we will reveal in the future," Musk told the crowd.

Biggest commercial satellite operator

SpaceX (SPACE) launched another 60 satellites in its Starlink network last night, becoming the largest commercial satellite operator. The launch aboard a Falcon 9 rocket brings to 182 the number of spacecraft the firm has now put in the sky as part of its plan to beam broadband internet service to Earth. SpaceX has regulatory approval to launch up to 12,000 platforms but has talked of an eventual 40K, depending on how the project develops.

737 MAX crisis

Boeing (NYSE:BA) is reassigning 3,000 workers to other jobs, but does not expect to furlough any staff, as it halts production of its grounded 737 MAX in mid-January. Major supplier Spirit AeroSystems (NYSE:SPR) meanwhile said it would offer voluntary layoffs to some employees due to a lack of "clarity on the timing for resuming MAX production." The announcements come after American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) and Mexico's Aeromexico disclosed they were the latest carriers to reach settlements with Boeing over losses resulting from the 737 MAX crisis.

What else is happening...

General Motors (NYSE:GM) is suffering a prolonged sales slump in China.

Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) will pursue legal action against Ghosn.

Go green... JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) to become carbon neutral in 2020.

Fitbit (NYSE:FIT) holders have approved Google's (GOOG, GOOGL) buyout.

Juul (JUUL) picks CFO to lead transformation.

Losses prompt Pier 1 (NYSE:PIR) to close nearly half its stores.

Food delivery software startup Olo (ORDR) plans 2020 IPO.

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan +1.6%. Hong Kong +0.3%. China +0.7%. India +0.5%. In Europe, at midday, London +0.1%. Paris +0.6%. Frankfurt +1.1%. Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.2%. S&P +0.2%. Nasdaq +0.3%. Crude -0.6% to $62.91. Gold -0.1% to $1567.90. . Ten-year Treasury Yield -1 bps to 1.8%

Today's Economic Calendar

8:30 International Trade 8:55 Redbook Chain Store Sales 10:00 Factory Orders 10:00 ISM Non-Manufacturing Index 1:00 PM Results of $38B, 3-Year Note Auction


Regards,

Roger “Raj” Searing rajsearing@gmail.com

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