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Read this First 1/8/2020

CNN Settles !!! .. The "Covington Kids" $800 Million lawsuit against CNN has settled for an undisclosed amount. This has got to have NBC Universal and the Washington Post shaking in their boots. The defamation suit goes after these "News" organizations for running stories they KNOW are not true in order to get attention. (Trust me, I saw it FIRST HAND. The arrogant reporters just say, "we'll run a retraction or correction if we have to." That doesn't change the damage). The Attorneys for Nick Sandmann claim, "these cases are not about compensating Nick. They are about deterring the defendants from doing the same thing in the future" OK Lawyers.. but its ALSO about your 33% fee...

Iran fired 15 missiles at Iraqi targets, some that had US Military present. One hit a military base, a few hit al assad air base, and a few missed everything. I was hoping this would be what Iran referred to as "serious retaliation" but the Iranian leader said this was a "slap to the face" of the US and its Allies. There were no US Casualties....and....

A Ukrainian plane leaving Tehran went down killing 167 passengers and 9 crew. The plane was a Boeing 737 (not the 737 Max that was grounded after the other crashes). The Ukrainian Airline claims there was nothing wrong with the plane after its recent inspection. The investigation into the crash is just starting... and..

No end in sight for the brush fires in Australia. Firefighters from around the globe are flying there to help. Rescuers are scooping up koalas and kangaroos to save them from the fires. Estimates of the damages in the Billions.. and..

In Da Swamp: I just can't take it anymore. Impeachment tactic this.. leverage that.. Idiots that call themselves "Journalists" writing stories like, "Get ready for Bernie Sanders in the White House". Really? How is it that I write this Rant for free every day and these losers get paid? There is NO chance Bernie wins. NONE. There is a better chance he has another heart attack than wins the Presidency. (not wishing that on you Bernie.. just making a point). They write CRAP. The ONLY things that matter in the 2020 Election are the swing states. Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Florida and Wisconsin.. and maybe North Carolina and Arizona. Biden may be able to turn Pennsylvania and North Carolina.. But, Bernie isn't winning.. he isn't even gonna finish 2nd in the Primary. Bloomberg will spend his way there. (By the way.. Bloomberg just bought a $10 Million, 60 second SuperBowl Ad.. So did Trump.. )

Ken Jennings takes round 1 of the Jeopardy Greatest of All Time Tournament with a narrow victory over James Holzhauer with Brad Rutter getting derailed on several Double Jeopardy fails. I watched. These guys are freakishly smart...

SPORTS: NFL: The NY Giants hire Joe Judge to be their new Head Coach. Judge was the Special Teams and Wide Receivers coach for the Patriots and is reportedly well respected by coach Bill Belichick. No relation to Aaron Judge.. Also, The Carolina Panthers hire Matt Ruhle as their new coach. Ruhle took Baylor from 1-11 to 11-2 in two seasons and made the Sugar Bowl this year. Carolina owner, hedge fund guy David Tepper, gave Ruhle a 7 year, $62 million contract.. which is like you or me paying a guy $20 ..

NBA: Blake Griffin had knee surgery and is out for the year ...and Lakers Anthony Davis fell hard on his tailbone last night and left the game..

Soccer Player Kealia Ohai was traded from the Houston Dash to Chicago and her boyfriend is mad at how the story was reported. The headline was, "JJ Watts fiance is traded ...". Houston Texans star, JJ Watts fired out, "Her name is Kealia Ohai and she is a star in her own right". Most headlines since have been, "Kealia Ohai, JJ Watts fiance, has been traded" .. Now, be honest... after reading the first line of this paragraph did YOU know who she was? or ..Did you wonder why I was mentioning an obscure women's soccer player in the rant?.. Look, JJ, I get it.. you have your future wife's back.. but you are a QB wrecker in the NFL. Women's soccer makes headlines during the World Cup every few years. No one can name more than one or two. .... Oh, HERE is Kealia .. she is a star in MY book, too.. and...

NHL: The Nashville Predators fire coach Peter Laviolette after a little slump. They replaced him with.. uh.. John Hynes. Umm. WHAT? Hynes got fired by the NJ Devils a few weeks ago because they have a decent team of players and under his coaching were in last place. This hire makes NO sense. Hynes can't win and Dale Hunter (who just won gold as the coach of the Canadian World Juniors) and Mike Babcock (who has a Stanley Cup Trophy) are both and...

Several states are looking to Legislate that athletes born male cannot participate in girls sports because of the unfair advantage. New Hampshire, Washington, Georgia, Tennessee and Missouri are trying to bring some sanity back into the conversation. Surgeries and drug treatments do not change reality. There are only TWO fair ways to move forward. 1) Create a third category. Boys, Girls and Trans... or 2) If the cells in your body have a "Y" Chromosome you compete as a male.

CELEBRIDIOTS: PUT THAT PHONE DOWN!!!.. No, that wasn't a parent at the table next to you at dinner. That was the Judge telling Harvey Weinstein he would put him in jail if Weinstein did not put the phone away. The Judge then yelled at Weinstein's lawyers because there is a strict order banning all phones in the court. They said, "Sorry, we did have him turn over his cell phone but then he had two more in his coat" .. The judge was not amused. He said, "Im not looking for excuses. I'm looking for Compliance!" Way to get the Judge in your corner, there Harvey !!! ..and...

Actress Chloe Sevigny is expecting her first child. Congrats, Chloe ..

Oh, and forgot to do the week's R.I.P's, yesterday... RIP to David Stern former commissioner of the NBA that made many owners and players rich, dies at 77 after a brain hemmorage .... and a RIP to Nick Gordon, 30. Gordon was found guilty of playing a role in the death of Bobbi Kristina Brown (Whitney Houstons daughter who was 22 years old at the time). Brown denied it but he supplied the drugs for Bobbi Kristina... and he OD'd himself ... Also.. RIP to Author Elizabeth Wurtzel, 52 of Cancer. Wurtzel wrote the book, "Prozac Nation" about her battles with depression. Some considered her a strong voice for young women with stress and anxiety and some considered her a self indulgent whiner .. and RIP to 45 Year Old Silvio Horta. The creator of the show, "Ugly Betty" was found dead at his apartment. No details.. and ...

Mercedes introduced its new concept car at CES. It is both cool and creepy looking at the same time. It uses a new battery technology and no fossil fuels... I dont know.. YOU decide if its great.. or a waste of research dollars.. HERE ..and..

Never trust a skinny Chef. So.. Former "Reality TV" actress and now "Celebrity Chef" Vicky Pattison is posting bikini shots from her vacation and I gotta say ..It's not a "weight loss secret". Your FOOD SUXX.. Vicky.. you gotta pick one or the other .. If you want to be an Instagram Bikini poster.. do that.. if you want to be a chef.. do that.. You can't look like this HERE and expect me to believe the food you cook is any good. I speak for most of the world when I say, "I want my Yoga Instructor in shape..and I want my Chef's and cookie makers Chubby". Now, GET WITH THE PROGRAM !!! ..

Markets have recovered following initial panic after Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles at bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq. Down by nearly 400 points overnight, DJIA futures have recouped all of their losses, while oil has given back gains and gold is off its highs. The direction of today's session will likely depend on the U.S. response. President Trump will make a statement this morning, but tweeted last night that "all is well" and seemed to suggest there were no American casualties in the attacks. Go deeper: Defense stocks soar after Iran retaliates.

A Boeing (NYSE:BA) 737 passenger plane operated by Ukraine International Airlines crashed minutes after takeoff from Tehran overnight killing all 176 people on board. Ukraine's embassy in Iran pointed to an engine failure - the turbines are made by CFM International (GE, OTCPK:SAFRY) - though Iran said it wouldn't give the recovered black box to Boeing. The 737-800 (only three years old) is a predecessor of the 737 MAX, the type that regulators grounded worldwide in March after two fatal crashes in a span of five months. Go deeper: Boeing concedes to MAX simulator training.

Continuing its surge into 2020, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) rose as much as 4.7% on Tuesday to carve out yet another all-time high at over $470/share. The extended rally has pushed the company's market cap to the highest ever recorded by a U.S. automaker, topping the $80.81B cap of Ford (NYSE:F) in 1999 and easily outdistancing the record cap for pre-bankruptcy General Motors (NYSE:GM) or post-bankruptcy GM. Global records? Tesla's market cap still trails Toyota (NYSE:TM) and Volkswagen (OTCPK:VWAGY), which were valued at $231.76B and $98.05B, respectively.

Lawyers for fugitive ex-Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) chief Carlos Ghosn blasted the carmaker hours before he was scheduled to hold a highly anticipated news conference, accusing the company of using a "flawed, biased" internal probe to engineer his arrest. Keep your eyes on the presser, which begins at 8 a.m. ET. Ghosn is likely to name people behind what he says was a plot to halt his plans to integrate Nissan more closely with France's Renault (OTCPK:RNLSY), though the Japanese group is expected to go on the offensive to head off the attacks.

Results today from Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA), Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) and Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) will be among the last ahead of the fourth-quarter earnings season, which kicks into full gear over the coming weeks. While profits are expected to fall slightly - capping 2019 as a lackluster year - Wall Street is hopeful that earnings will rebound in 2020, possibly rising 9.6%. That would be the third-best growth rate in the last seven years, helping justify high stock prices and boosting further economic growth.

Shares of Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) rose 2% in Korea overnight after the company said operating profit likely slumped 34% in the fourth quarter. The figure was much milder than analysts had forecast, indicating that memory chip prices have bottomed out and strengthening hope of recovery from an industry downturn. Samsung, the world’s biggest maker of memory chips, has seen earnings drop since late 2018 on rising inventories and trade gloom.

That's up from 40 a year ago, with customers including Delta (NYSE:DAL), Daimler (OTCPK:DDAIF), JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) and Anthem (NYSE:ANTM), as well as industries ranging from energy to electronics. IBM's (NYSE:IBM) announcement suggests that quantum computing is no longer a lab or university experiment, said Matthew Brisse, an analyst at research and advisory firm Gartner. By 2023, a fifth of organizations, including businesses and governments, are expected to budget for quantum-computing projects, up from less than 1% in 2018. Go deeper: Arturo Neto says IBM Cloud will drive cash flows and dividends.

McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) is expanding its pilot of Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) burgers to 52 restaurants across Canada after rolling out the plant-based meat burgers in 28 local outlets in October. The news comes after BYND shares soared 12.4% on Tuesday and follows an announcement from rival Impossible Foods, which said it won't be able to partner with the Golden Arches until the company is able to scale up production. "I wish we had vastly more capacity than we do right now because the demand is high," said CEO Pat Brown.

Following a week of tremors, a magnitude-6.4 earthquake rocked Puerto Rico on Tuesday, triggering a blackout on the island that is still recovering two years after Hurricane Maria. The territory's federal board, which last year struck a $35B debt restructuring deal with creditors, authorized $260M in emergency reserve funds for expenses related to the quakes. More than 133K Puerto Ricans moved to the U.S. mainland in 2018, accelerating an exodus that has further dampened the local economy.

What else is happening...

Finland shoots down rumor of four-day working week.

Lackluster demand sees weak factory data out of Germany.

Aramco (ARMCO) not benefiting from oil price gains.

Sonos (NASDAQ:SONO) sues Google (GOOG, GOOGL) over speaker patent infringement.

T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) adds 1.9M net customers in Q4.

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan -1.6%. Hong Kong -0.8%. China -1.2%. India -0.1%. In Europe, at midday, London -0.5%. Paris -0.5%. Frankfurt -0.7%. Futures at 6:20, Dow flat. S&P +0.1%. Nasdaq +0.1%. Crude +0.1% to $62.77. Gold +0.5% to $1582.10. Bitcoin +5.7% to $8312. Ten-year Treasury Yield -2 bps to 1.8%

Today's Economic Calendar


Roger “Raj” Searing

"Raj Searing”, "Read this First", and “” are Trademarks of RRRAJ, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


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