Read this First 2/28/2020

Turn your head and Cough !! .. Much of the World Media is consumed with COVID19-Coronavirus and fear of new outbreaks is crippling towns across Italy, Japan, South Korea and Iran. People are being urged to travel only if absolutely necessary. Reports vary widely exactly how "deadly" the virus can be with figures ranging from 2-4% mortality rates. But, those numbers appear to be skewed because, well, 1) they are coming from China and 2) They include the city of Wuhan where people were sick and dying before they knew what was happening. To be sure, there is Widespread Panic.(The thing, not the Band)..and..


Already dealing with a virus outbreak, Italy is now on edge because Pope Francis appears to have a cold and was sneezing a lot "The Day After he met with some people with Coronavirus". Umm.. the gestation period is 10 days to two weeks. If he has Coronavirus he got it more than a DAY ago ..and...


I wish this was a joke.. but.. sales of Corona Beer in the USA are WAY down and 35% of those surveyed said they would NOT drink a Corona because of the virus. Good God, are we REALLY that stupid as a Country? I mean.. seriously, maybe we NEED a good killer virus to weed out some of the dead weight!!! (quick aside: My friend went to a Superbowl party and his Chinese/American friend (born here 40 years ago) brought Corona Beer with him. HAHAH... Gotta LOVE that.. ) ...and...


So, I guess an "Abundance of Caution" is a smart strategy.. but.. Ill bet this virus is no worse than a bad year for the Flu in the USA and probably the world. So, don't be tempted to buy boxes of face masks. They don't do much anyway..and...


Many Media outlets are running with a fake story planted by pranksters about a "Chinese Army of Ducksthat are being sent to Pakistan to attack/eat/scare away the Locusts". They have pictures of corrals of ducks. Totally Fake and totally eaten up by the so called "Main Stream Media" who are mostly tabloids at this point ... and..


Some BAD STUFF is going down on the Border of Syria. A Syrian airstrike (meaning, Russia Backed Syria) in Idlib has killed 33 members of the Turkish Army. Turkey has called for an emergency meeting with NATO to discuss the attack. Russia claims the strike was in Behun and not Idlib and there were no Turkish soldiers there. Russia claims if there were Turkish soldiers killed it is because they were with terrorists and not supposed to be. Turkey's President Erdogan is threatening to release millions of Syrian refugees from camps and let them pour into Europe if Europe does not help them respond to the attack.


In Da Swamp: Is it Biden's last stand? Former VP Biden is leading in the South Carolina polls and hoping to use that momentum into Super Tuesday, March 3rd. Biden has avoided the "Sunday Talk Shows" but will be interviewed by Chris Wallace on Fox this Sunday. All of that is the "Good News" for Biden. ..The BAD news is that Wallace is gonna have to ask him about the Investigation just announced by the Ukraine (a few hours ago) into the firing of the Attorney General in 2016. You know, the investigation that WASN'T happening.. Because, as the loser media tried to lie to you, "that story has been debunked" .. you know.. the Corruption that DIDN'T happen.. that got President Trump impeached?. Anyways, tune in Sunday if you want to see Joe mumble.. Chances Biden misspeaks, says something that isn't, slurs/stutters or drools, claims he met Elvis.... 100%..and..


I guess Mike Bloomberg has gotten on the "Voters are stupid. Talk in Soundbites" band wagon. "Open the Borders to foreigners with College Degrees". Sure Mike. Who is gonna Check that??? .. I am SUUREEEE there will NOT be an influx of "Graduates" from the "University of El Salvador-MS13 Campus"....and..


Lesbos HATE refugees .. So does Chios... The Locals on the Greek Islands of Lesbos and Chios had demonstrations and tried to halt the unloading of heavy equipment from ships sent by the mainland Greece Government. The equipment is to build places to house refugees from Africa and the Middle East and the locals want NONE of it .. and if you say you KNEW I was talking about the Greeks and did NOT think I was talking about Lesbians.. You're lying!!! .. and..


SPORTS: The Great One has SPOKEN !!! Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky has been in the news lately because Alex Ovechkin has a shot at Gretzky's all time goal scoring recored. Of course, Ovi would have to play 5 more years and score 45 goals a season.. and Gretzky's 2587 overall points total is a BIT more than Oveckin's 1271. (Gretzky has more ASSISTS, 1963, than anyone else has total points).. Anyways.. Gretzky was asked about fighting in hockey and said "it's no longer really part of the game . They ended it in youth hockey and college hockey. ..and will probably be banned soon". WOW .. He is probably right.. but.. can you imagine that? ... and ..


GOLF: Tom Lewis and Harris English share the lead at the Honda. I'll make two predictions: 1) Lewis and English will NOT be leading on Sunday and 2) At least TWO people in the top 10 will dump a ball in the water on the back Nine Sunday and blow their chances. (That place is HARD and there is LOTS of water and its windy) .. and..


The NFL Combine is going on and a PUNTER is getting all the attention. At the combine one of the "Photo-op/Video-Op" moments is the "225 Pound Bench Press". The linemen try to show each other up.. well.. Punter Michael Turk did 25-REPS!!.. that beat many of the Tight Ends and Linemen !!! Has there ever been a punter that was the "Back-Up Nose Guard"??


CELEBRIDIOTS: HOT POCKET !!! (If you have never seen Jim Gaffigan's Hot Pocket stand up routine from 15 years ago. you should. It is LEGEND !!! But, this is about the REAL one). Michelle Janavas, whose father invented the Hot Pocket, is getting some HOT JAIL TIME. Janavas was convicted in the "College Admissions Cheating" scandal. She will be in prison for the next five months. She paid $200,000 to the USC Volleyball coach and $100,000 to a proctor to change her daughters ACT Test Scores. (Gotta say, If Im a "minimum wage earning test proctor and someone offered me $100k to change 1 paper? You know what?? I would NEVER. I am insulted that you all immediately thought in your head, "he gonna say he'd take it. and that he doen't blame the proctor because thats like 3 years pay" .. Geez.. NO respect outta you guys. NONE !!!). ..and..


Next up? Aunt Becky !!! Lori Laughlin and her husband's court date was set by the judge. October 5th. Loughlin and her husband are going with the, "We thought it was a donation to the school. We did nothing wrong" defense. Which sounds reasonable, until you see the faked resumes about their girls being stars of a Crew Team that wasn't ... and..


Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh was sentenced to 3 years for fraud and tax evasion. Goes to show you, they ALWAYS get you on the Tax evasion thing.. PAY THOSE TAXES!!! Al Capone murdered DOZENS of people and ran a crime ring.. but they put him in jail for TAX evasion... and...


Well, there is ANOTHER Fashion week.. this one is in Paris, i think. They are not worried about Coronavirus. They actually hope to get it. Drop lots of weight without dieting. WIN!!! .. Someone has to tell these Hadid girls how ugly they are. I know the "tall, skinny, look like you're starving, emaciated look" is a "model thing". But, these girls are just plain UGLY. Im calling them the "LEE Sisters" now. HomeLEE and UGH LEE. Don't worry. I won't make you throw up your breakfast by showing them to you ..


In reality, Fashion Week has turned into a "Who is MORE WOKE" contest. Plus sized models, girls dressed as guys, guys dressed as girls, "others" .. That might have been interesting 20 years ago when there was a "Shock factor". But, now its like, whatever. Do whatever you want, but you look stupid. ..


So.. Ill just give you Hailey Baldwin who is NOT dressed like a boy.. HERE and HERE . Because.. well.. You're Welcome ... I don't know if you can tell in that second photo but her eyes are all puffy because she was crying. She blabbed at me for a half hour RIGHT before that picture about how Justine keeps stealing he lipstick and eyeliner and she keeps running out!!!


Tomorrow is LEAP DAY .. What are you going to do with your "EXTRA" day of the year? Ill probably do something REALLY EXCITING like clean my basement!!!


From SeekingAlpha.com


"The path of this scourge is unknown, therefore you can't know the economic impact. You can roll the dice but it's a guess," said Brian Battle, director of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners. On that note, stock sentiment swung wildly overnight, with DJIA futures plunging as much as 600 points only to recover those losses, and are now off 0.9%. It's been an overall wild week: The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all entered correction territory on Thursday, as well as European stocks and seven major Asia-Pacific markets. Crude prices are down around 14% since Monday, while the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yield just hit another all-time low of 1.19%. Go deeper: The equity carnage is bonds' good fortune, writes Mark Grant.

What's driving the plunge?

Besides risks to global supply chains, travel restrictions and profit warnings, many are seeing other dangers as part of a worsening economic picture. "The risk to the global consumer is the real problem. Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) can reopen their stores in China, but few people will go into them," said Michael O'Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading. Uncertainty about the U.S. presidential election's outcome is also starting to drive markets, while even before the selloff this week, equities were being measured at lofty valuations. Go deeper: 'Quantitatively Combining 7 Ways To Beat The Market' by Ploutos.

Change in forecasts

"U.S. companies will generate no earnings growth in 2020," wrote David Kostin, Goldman's chief U.S. equity strategist, despite a consensus from Wall Street that still calls for earnings to climb 7% this year. "We have cut our 2020 global growth forecast to 2.8% (from 3.2%). This would be the lowest reading since 2009," economists at Bank of America added, saying it would also be the first time since the financial crisis that it was expected to be under 3%. "Cases of the new coronavirus disease are rising quickly outside China, and the odds of the outbreak turning into a pandemic have now doubled - from 20% to 40%," according to a report from Moody's Analytics. Go deeper: Shareholders Unite says a recession is looming.

New testing protocols

The CDC has revised its guidelines to give clinicians across the U.S. more power to test people suspected of carrying the new coronavirus. Under prior rules, clinicians only tested suspected COVID-19 patients if they had traveled recently from China or had been in contact with someone known to be infected. California recently confirmed the first U.S. coronavirus case of unknown origin, while Governor Gavin Newsom said the state is currently monitoring 8,400 people for the disease.

Masks run short

The Trump administration is considering invoking special powers through a law called the Defense Production Act of 1950 to rapidly expand domestic manufacturing of protective masks and clothing to combat the coronavirus. "We will have the ability to tell corporations, 'No, you change your production line so it is now 80% of the N95 masks and 20% painter masks," White House sources told Reuters. The biggest producers of face masks in the United States include 3M (NYSE:MMM) and Honeywell (NYSE:HON). Shares of Alpha Pro Tech (NYSEMKT:APT), another N-95 maker, has surged over 620% since the beginning of the outbreak.

DoorDash takes step toward IPO

Valued at $13B during its last funding round in November, DoorDash (DOORD) has confidentially filed for an IPO with the SEC. Not too many details were offered. The draft registration statement didn't indicate a price range or number of shares that DoorDash wants to offer, and there was no proposed date for the offering. DoorDash has overtaken Grubhub (NYSE:GRUB) as the top digital food delivery company in the U.S., according to data analytics firm Second Measure.

Hungry for profits

Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) shares fell 6% AH on Thursday after reporting a Q4 net loss of $452,000, or 1 cent per share, falling shy of reporting a second profitable quarter. While Beyond continues to rack up partnerships with large chains including KFC (NYSE:YUM), Denny's (NASDAQ:DENN), McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) and Starbucks (SBUX), its products don't always become permanent menu additions. In September, Tim Hortons (NYSE:QSR) removed its Beyond burgers and sausage from all Canadian provinces except for Ontario and British Columbia. Go deeper: BYND has no real fundamental backing, writes Bears of Wall Street.

Restructuring at Bed Bath & Beyond

The plan includes a reorganization and simplification of Bed Bath's (NASDAQ:BBBY) field operations, a 10% reduction of its corporate workforce (about 500 jobs) and the outsourcing of several functions. "This will reset our cost structure, allowing us to re-invest where it matters," CEO Mark Tritton declared. The company sees the program reducing expenses by roughly $85M annually and re-establishing the retailer's "authority in the home space."

Fines for U.S. cellphone carriers

The FCC is looking to draw hundreds of millions of dollars from top U.S. wireless carriers after an investigation found the companies failed to safeguard critical data about customers' real-time locations, WSJ reports. AT&T (NYSE:T), Verizon (NYSE:VZ), T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) and Sprint (NYSE:S) are set to receive notices of apparent liability. The companies reportedly continued sharing subscriber coordinates even after they told Congress they were cutting out middleman companies from those data feeds.

What else is happening...

All of Disney's (NYSE:DIS) theme parks in Asia are now shut.

Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) begins new round of layoffs.

Coty (NYSE:COTY) +4.5% premarket on new chief executive.

Turkey bans shorting after its deadliest day in Syria.

Starbucks (SBUX) reopens 85% of stores in China.

JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) curbs global travel due to coronavirus.

California regulator proposes record $2.1B fine on PG&E (NYSE:PCG).

Thursday's Key Earnings

Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD) -9.2% as coronavirus hit guidance. Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) -2.9% AH expecting Q1 declines. Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) -4.7% despite comp sales beat. Beyond Meat (BYND) -10.4% AH following penny Q4 loss. BP Midstream (NYSE:BPMP) +0.7% topping estimates. Dell (NYSE:DELL) -2.3% AH after in-line EPS, $1B buyback. J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) -5% closing more stores this year. Keurig Dr Pepper (NYSE:KDP) -1.7% with in-line EPS, revenue miss. Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) +1.2% AH on mixed Q4 results. Seadrill (NYSE:SDRL) -15% amid weak offshore drilling environment. TD Bank (NYSE:TD) -5.4% missing EPS estimates.

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan -3.7%. Hong Kong -2.4%. China -3.7%. India -3.6%. In Europe, at midday, London -3%. Paris -2.8%. Frankfurt -3.6%. Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.9%. S&P -0.9%. Nasdaq -0.9%. Crude -3.5% to $45.43. Gold -0.7% to $1631.60. Ten-year Treasury Yield -1 bps to 1.19%

Today's Economic Calendar

8:30 International Trade in Goods 8:30 Retail Inventories (Advance) 8:30 Wholesale Inventories (Advance) 8:30 Personal Income and Outlays 9:15 Fed's Bullard: U.S. Monetary and Economic Policy 9:45 Chicago PMI 10:00 Consumer Sentiment 1:00 PM Baker-Hughes Rig Count 3:00 PM Farm Prices


Regards,

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

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