Read this First 10/28/2020

Happy BIIIRRRTTHHDAAYYY Mr. Billionaaiiiirreeee.. Today is Bill Gates 65th Birthday. You'd better call him and wish him a happy birthday or you might get cut out of the will....

French "Political Satire" publication Charlie Hebdo is back in the news as they are under fire for a cartoon about Turkey's PM Erdogan. Turkey has called the cartoon loathsome and Islamophobic and called for a "boycott of all French Goods". You think that includes the "knock-offs" of Louis Vuitton's made in China? Or just the REAL stuff? ..

Italian Police are using water cannons, tear gas, and stun grenades to push back the "anti-lockdown" protestors in Rome. .. Geez.. Given how bad they were hit in the early days of the pandemic you'd think they would be careful.. apparently, "lockdown fatigue" has set in ...

Watch out for Cocks in the Philippines... Police raided a "cock fight" in the Philippines and one of the arresting officers was killed. Cock owners attach razor blades to the birds so they can cut up their "opponents". Well, one officer tried to catch one of the birds and it jumped up and cut his femoral artery. Dead !!! ...

Forget the Giants versus Eagles rivalry. NY Looters are WAY better than Philadelphia looters. The unrest in Philadelphia after a police shooting (of a guy charging police with a knife.. or put another way.. a "justified shooting") had of course led to rioting and looting. (Because its 2020.. and they have a liberal city government..so.. that's what happens) .. The videos I saw showed looting.. at the Dollar store.. I mean.. C'Mon guys !!! In NY they loot Louis Vuitton.. and Gucci.. and Prada... You guys gotta STEP UP YOUR LOOTING GAME !!!! .. City officials have accepted the Federal Governments offer to send in National Guard troops and hopefully the unrest ends today...

In Da Swamp... Can I Change My Vote? .. This is a top trending search on Google over the past week. Given that Biden has a healthy lead in the polls.. but that lead has been shrinking over the past two weeks.. This is a BAD THING for Trump. The short answer is, "Yes" in SOME states but NO in MANY ... NY makes it easy. Just show up at the polls and vote. The election board will then discard your mail in ballot. Other states require requesting new ballots and signing things.. which most people are too lazy to do.. If you want to know what your state allows... Well.. Google "Can I change my Vote" .. you'll get your answer AND be part of the "Trend" ... and...

HACKED!!! .. The Trump Campaign website was hacked! (an unproven source says the password was "MAGA2020" and a hacker just guessed it. They demanded crypto-currency or they would "release sensitive information" but the campaign said, "there is no information kept on this site" and refused. Authorities got control of the website back last night...

The "Polls" show Trump closing the gap with Biden but still only give him a 4% chance of winning. Should we believe them? They were wrong LAST time about him? ( I say he is toast. .. too many "undecided women" are leaning toward Biden because he is a "nicer guy" even though he is a dummy.).. But.. we'll see ..

To my friends in California that are angry at your Governor for cancelling Thanksgiving I was given the "Answer" yesterday. The Governor is restricting Thanksgiving to six people .. Well.. You're allowed to have up to 30 people at a Funeral... So.. Have a Funeral for your Turkey and invite whomever you want !!!! ... Winnah Winnah Chicken.. sorry.. Turkey Dinnah!!!!

Scientists in Boston may have found a pill to cure..... SNORING!!!! Now, before you get all excited.. the first trials were a success 75% of the time but they only had 20 people in the trial. (Which means that it is statistically worthless).. Further trials are taking place. The pill combines some medications already approved for other ailments like, "ADHD" and "Urinary Incontinence" along with new compounds. Snoring and Obstructive sleep apnea can lead to VERY dangerous things like strokes, arrhythmia, and heart attacks. ..If this thing works, it could be LIFE changing for millions of people.. and cut down on the Divorce Rate .... Personally....I could decrease my snoring by 50% if I stopped drinking red wine, as most longtime readers know.. But, THAT AIN'T HAPPENING.. So.. GIMME THE PILL !!!!

SPORTS:

The LA Dodgers are your World Series Champions. The "stories" are 1) Mookie Betts is EARNING his MONEY. As a Yankee fan, the GREATEST THING this decade was the Red Sox NOT re-signing him.. .. 2) The Rays pull Blake Snell (Their Ace) who had 9 strike outs through 5 innings because "the stats say" going through the line up a third time most pitchers give up more hits..and.. well.. that didn't work out .. and 3) Dodger Justin Turner was removed from the game in the 8th inning because his Covid-19 test came back positive.. but. then he returned (with a mask on) to celebrate the win on the field. Is that OK? .. I guess it is.....

GOLF: The PGA Tour is in Bermuda for the Bermuda Championship (real creative on the Naming, guys).. Practice rounds today.. Many of the top golfers giving it a miss and heading to Houston for the warm up to the Masters...

The Euros are in Cyprus to open bank accounts and hide money because Cyprus has no taxes and won't rat you out to your home nation... uhhh.. for the Aphrodite Hills Open...

CELEBRIDIOTS:

" A Long Long time ago.. I can still remember how the music used to make me smile... " Songwriter Don McLean, now 75, wrote that song, "American Pie" in 1971. Don's American Pie is now a girl named Paris Dylan .. she is 25 years old.... and Don wants you to know she is NOT a gold digger.. She has toured with him for over a year and he says, "I'm not squandering my fortune on her" like the tabloids say. "She helps me get out there.. I've played in 85 cities in the last year and made money in every one".

Some OTHER things to know about Paris? She is a former Playboy model.. She was negative 23 years old in 1971 when Don released American Pie. She is 26, which means Don is breaking the "Half your age plus 6 years" guideline for divorced people dating.. and she looks like this.. HERE... No, you're not seeing double...and she is not twins..

The leader of the "Sex Cult" nxivm was sentenced to 120 years in prison. The case involved heiress Clara Bronfman (who was the $$$ lady) and several girls including actress from "Smallville" Allison Mack. At the sentencing he called his accusers liars. Sick dude.. Im sure some "Prison Justice" is awaiting him. They don't like the kid-touchers in the joint .. so I'm told...

Singers Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani announced their engagement on Social media.. and.. apparently some people care...and..

Which Botero would YOU want? Some of artist Fernando Botero's works have sold for MILLIONS .. would you rather have that? .. Or Daniela Botero .. HERE... the actress/model. I'll give you THREE Guess who Raj would pick.. and the first two don't count ..HERE is another look....See that Emily??? ...THAT is a HOT bikini..

From SeekingAlpha.com

Another hearing for Big Tech

It's been a common sight over the past few years, but Big Tech leaders are again going before Congress. The CEOs of Facebook (FB), Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) and Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) are scheduled to appear virtually today before the Senate over Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The law allows social media companies to be exempted from the content third parties post on their platforms - because they are not deemed to be "publishers" - but critics take issue with the classification, given their current moderation policies. In prepared testimony, Mark Zuckerberg said Congress needs to "update" Section 230, while Jack Dorsey feels "eroding" the legislation would "collapse how we communicate on the Internet."

Selling picks up, oil tumbles

An alarming rise in new COVID-19 cases continues to weigh on market sentiment, with U.S. stock index futures sliding over 1% overnight and crude futures off 4% to under $38/bbl. Many European nations are tightening restrictions on business activity, clouding the global economic outlook and recovery, while investors are still waiting for more stimulus for the U.S. economy. Election uncertainty also has market players hesitant to make big moves despite the earnings parade coming down Wall Street. Today's Q3 results feature three Dow members, including Boeing (NYSE:BA), Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) and Visa (NYSE:V).

Microsoft kicks off tech heavyweight reports

The software giant beat estimates after the bell on Tuesday, but its stock slipped 1.7% AH on a weak forecast for its "More Personal Computing" category. While growth is expected to continue through FQ2, the growth rate will be smaller due to the seasonably higher sales during the previous three months. It was an all-out impressive quarter for Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) as pandemic tailwinds continued, though some noted that Azure growth was also slightly below estimates (even though the figure skyrocketed 48% Y/Y).

Gulf Coast braces for Zeta

Gulf of Mexico operators like BP (NYSE:BP) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX) have shut roughly half of all oil and gas production in the basin ahead of Hurricane Zeta. The storm is forecast to be a Category 2 at landfall and could make a direct hit on New Orleans. Already this year, Louisiana has been hit by two tropical storms and two hurricanes: Laura, which caused at least 27 deaths after it struck in August, and Delta, which worsened Laura's damage in the same area weeks later.

Apple bolsters search efforts

There may be a new search player on the block. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has started to show its own website search results when iPhone users type in a query from the home screen on iOS 14. While this might seem small, sources tell the FT that it's an important advance in Apple's in-house development and the latest in the Google/DOJ saga. Google (GOOG, GOOGL) currently pays Apple an estimated $8B-12B to be the iPhone's default search tool, but if regulators block the partnership, Apple would be able to use its own search capability as an alternative. Go Deeper: Apple signs former 'Daily Show' host Jon Stewart.

Rocky start to Facebook's political ad ban

Political advertisers are complaining that some ads were incorrectly blocked as the blackout period went into effect, while others criticized rule-breaking posts that could be misleading. In an attempt to clamp down on misinformation, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) said last month it would impose a moratorium on new political ads in the week before the Nov. 3 election. The changes apparently set off some technological issues for advertisers, as well as glitches in Facebook's system. "We're working quickly on these fixes, and will share an update once they are resolved," tweeted Rob Leathern, Facebook director of product management.

Drive-thru is changing in the coronavirus age

Restaurant Brands (NYSE:QSR), the company that owns Burger King, Popeyes and Tim Hortons, is planning to modernize and speed up the drive-thru experience at over 10,000 restaurants in North America by mid-2022. That includes the installation of over 40,000 digital menu screens, or four per drive-thru lane, which offer contactless payment, integrate loyalty programs and use predictive technology to suggest products based on weather, time of day and trending items. Last month, Burger King also unveiled two new restaurant designs that feature food delivered via conveyor belt at drive-thru lanes, a dedicated delivery drive-thru lane and burger pickup lockers.

Dodgers win World Series, losses pile up for MLB

The Los Angeles Dodgers may have reason to celebrate after winning the 2020 World Series, but the league as a whole is reeling from financial difficulties. The MLB lost $3.1B this year, according to The Athletic, due to the shortened season, fan-less games and other disruptions related to the coronavirus pandemic. While there are very few publicly traded MLB teams - Atlanta Braves (NASDAQ:BATRA) and Toronto Blue Jays (NYSE:RCI) - additional cuts to advertising and broadcast revenues may weigh on ESPN (NYSE:DIS), TBS (NYSE:T) and Fox Sports (NASDAQ:FOX).

What else is happening...

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) to hire 100,000 seasonal workers for holidays. An 'enormous tech bubble' has already popped - David Einhorn. Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) swings back to profit driven by growth in the Core Bank. Antitrust probe puts Visa's (V) planned Plaid acquisition in jeopardy. Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY), Glaxo (NYSE:GSK) to supply 200M doses to COVID-19 vaccine alliance. Is Jeff Bezos interested in CNN (T)?

Tuesday's Key Earnings

3M (NYSE:MMM) -3.1% on soaring healthcare sales, holding off on guidance. Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) +0.3% AH reporting record revenue, raising FY view. Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) -3.2% warning on heavy machinery demand, no outlook. Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) -6.9% missing expectations, lower guidance. First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) +12.6% AH on big earnings beat, 70% sales increase. JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) -5.4% predicting continued cash burn for Q4. Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) -1.1% falling back after strong earnings. Microsoft (MSFT) -1.8% AH with Azure growth below estimates, weaker PC forecast. Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) -1.3% ruling out vaccine before election day. Raytheon (NYSE:RTX) -7% as defense weakness added to commercial aerospace woes.

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan -0.3%. Hong Kong +0.5%. China -0.3%. India -1.3%. In Europe, at midday, London -1.4%. Paris -2.5%. Frankfurt -2.8%. Futures at 6:20, Dow -1.5%. S&P -1.3%. Nasdaq -1%. Crude -4% to $37.98. Gold -0.6% at $1901.40. Bitcoin +3.2% to $13636. Ten-year Treasury Yield -3 bps to 0.75%

Today's Economic Calendar

7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications 8:30 International trade in goods (Advance) 8:30 Retail Inventories (Advance) 8:30 Wholesale Inventories (Advance) 10:00 State Street Investor Confidence Index 10:30 EIA Petroleum Inventories 11:00 Survey of Business Uncertainty 11:30 Results of $26B, 2-Year FRN Auction 1:00 PM Results of $55B, 5-Year Note 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. Some of this information is garnered from well respected news sources and some is not. (In fact, sometimes I get drunk and make stuff up. It's usually about me dating hot women.) Raj warns all readers: If you cannot tell that most of this Rant is just my opinion then you are too stupid to be reading it!!!!

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