Read this First 5/13/2020
A message to all of you "know it all" amateur scientists: Covid-19 and other animal derived viruses did NOT develop in the USA. They were brought here by infected people. The Coronavirus is NOT President Trump's fault. Swine Flu was NOT Obama's fault. SARS was NOT Bush's fault.. and Clinton.. well Clinton was only responsible for 100 of those Herpes cases in the 1990's. 200 Tops ...
The Re-open debate rages. Confused officials in LA say they might not open the city until August. An armed Militia helps a 77 year old barber re-open his shop in Michigan. Twitter head Jack Dorsey tells offices they can open when they think it's safe and most employees they can work from home FOREVER.
The Supreme Court Hearings yesterday were two cases about "Trumps Taxes". One, the Manhattan DA being allowed to subpoena a sitting President and the other about whether Congress has the authority to subpoena a sitting President's financial records when there is no Legislative need for them.
The questioning by the Justices was ALL OVER the MAP. Both Liberal and Conservative Justices grilled both sides to make their case. Congress subpoenaed records from the Rose Law firm in the Clinton Whitewater Probe. But, that matter never made it to the SCOTUS to rule whether it was Constitutional. It was brought up that if Congress had unlimited authority to demand Presidential records that we might have, "another Senator Joe McCarthy smearing everyone". .. There seemed to be an agreement that the "President is not above the law" but checks and balances are important at the Federal Level .. and that a State's DA has a much higher bar to cross in any case involving a sitting President. These cases should be decided by June. Going in, I thought they'd both be thrown out or sent back to lower courts. After today, it a coin flip... and..
In Da Swamp: The Doctors appear and answer questions remotely from Senators. Fauci and Friends said all the same things they have been saying. Follow the protocol. Two weeks of declining cases/deaths before "Phase One".. etc. .. What DID change was the bipartisan, "we can do this together" spirit. We're right back in the political morass we were in 3 months ago. Posturing, smearing, lies and half-truths... Sickening...
NO CLASS??: One of the subjects discussed at the Senate Zoom Hearing was Schools in the Fall. The issue of safety, a vaccine, testing was NOT answered definitively. (Even though some dopey Senators grandstanded and "DEMANDED" answers). The truth is, "it depends". As the doctors said, "if you can test all the students returning to campus and then do random testing throughout the semester to control any potential outbreaks the kids should feel safe" (not in the Senate but a different scientist pointed out they can test the sewage and waste water in dorm buildings and if they find Coronavirus, quarantine that dorm. I never thought of that ..). .. and ..
In a related story, California announced State colleges will NOT have an "on campus" Fall semester. Kinda silly to decide that NOW. Can't they go about their business and just tell students and teachers to prepare for both? .. and..
Nancy Pelosi unveiled her 4th leg of stimulus and its pretty much the Green New Deal. Illegal aliens not only can't be deported they get a $1200 payment from the YOU. Mandatory mail in voting. Bailouts for over leveraged States. Roll backs of parts of the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act. Its 1800 pages and spends $3 Trillion of your money. Thankfully, Pelosi put it together herself. This means zero Republican input and zero Republican votes. So, not gonna pass the Senate... and..
In elections around the country Republican Tom Tiffany wins the 7th District of Wisconsin and flips it Republican and it appears that Mike Garcia may have done the same in CA district 25 for the seat formerly held by Katie Hill.. you know, the woman that resigned over the love triangle with her assistant.. What does this mean? Not much.. ..and...
Hiccup or bad news for AOC?? A judge ruled her ineligible to run on the Pro-union Working Families Party (WFP) line after she only got 13 signatures supporting her on their ballot. This means if she loses the Democratic race on June 23rd she is OUT of the General election. Normally, whomever wins the Democratic nomination in that district is the de facto winner in the General Election. But, AOC's celebrity status might have carried her. She is in a close race with fellow Democrat Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, a former CNBC host. In the end, I'm not sure it matters. After the 2020 Census this district might be gone....and..
NBC News will host a virtual town hall on "Anti-Asian Sentiment". A NON-issue in the country. Just ANOTHER narrative being forced down our throats. Make up a controversy and THEN go out and find some facts to back it up. If you want, you can claim there is an Anti ANYTHING sentiment in the USA. Hey, There is an "Anti Dog" Sentiment in our country. Then go out and find a few drunk guys kicking a dog and replay the video 37 times. You could make up entirely OPPOSITE claims and then go find "evidence" of them. People are eating MORE ice cream. Then go to the Boardwalk (when the lockdown is over) and show kids saying, "we would eat it every day if mom let us". Then cover the support group meeting for the "recently diagnosed lactose intolerant" to get people to scream, "ILL NEVER EAT ICE CREAM AGAIN". .. Think I am being silly? Wake up!! There is no more "News" in the USA. We have only: "Make up a controversy, sell advertising space, push narrative". ...
SPORTS: Mike Tyson posts a scary video where the 53 year old shows of his speed and power in the ring and fishes with: "Im Back"! Ohh My.. this could be for real. I pity the first young boxer that says, "Sure, I'll fight him. He's an old man" ..
Other Sports are coming soon .. In a few weeks we'll have MLB, NBA, GOLF ...and NASCAR starts this weekend. All without spectators for now. There are varying ideas of when and how fans can come watch. Some are calling for "every other row" seating .. or "every second or third seat in a row" .. Like restaurants, I don't see how arenas can open and not lose a ton of money with 1/3 to 1/2 of the crown missing...
CELEBRIDIOTS: Disney is moving up the release of the the film version of hit Broadway show "Hamilton". The film with the original cast will debut on July 3rd on Disney Plus. So, if you wanna watch it.. SIGN UP.. (Hint: Verizon Wireless customers can get a free year of Disney Plus). .. and NO I'm not a paid Disney salesman.. and NO I won't be watching Hamilton... unless my girlfriend forces me... ).. and..
With most of my sources of "Celebridiot babes doing stupid things" dry due to lockdown.. I bring you the Chive site where non-celebrity girls try to show off. HERE .. I think I want to go swimming... and....
Can I ask a question? Cinco de Mayo is a 12 Day thing.. like the 12 days of Christmas, right? My girlfriend says I'm just making things up so that I can drink margaritas for two weeks. .. She is WRONG!!! ..and Just like Christmas, since she doesn't BELIEVE.. She doesn't get any Margaritas!! .. More for ME !!! .. .. and Happy 8th Day of Cinco de Mayo... I'm gonna make Jalapeno ones tonight. WINNING !!!!
Investors will be closely monitoring today's speech from Jerome Powell as he discusses current economic issues in a webcast hosted by the Peterson Institute for International Economics. President Trump piled pressure on the Fed Chair on Tuesday, saying the U.S. should accept the "gift" of negative interest rates, as Fed Fund futures begin to price in a chance of America following the ECB, Japan (and maybe the U.K.) in going sub-zero. The view on the unconventional monetary policy spans the spectrum, with some market players cautioning they would be fatal and others arguing they are inevitable. "When you have negative rates, you wind up creating downward pressure on bank profitability, which limits credit expansion," Powell said in congressional testimony back in November, but given the current environment, that sentiment could change.
It didn't take long for markets to resume their climb upwards as U.S. stock index futures advanced 0.7% overnight to rebound from yesterday's selloff. Major indices slumped 2% on Tuesday amid fears about a second wave of coronavirus infections. In his testimony to the Senate, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned lawmakers that a premature lifting of lockdowns could lead to additional outbreaks of COVID-19, which has so far killed 80,000 Americans and ravaged the economy.
Expanded coronavirus vaccine trials
Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) is currently testing four different coronavirus vaccine variations and plans to expand human trials to thousands of test patients by September. The pharma giant, which is working alongside German drugmaker BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX), injected doses of its potential vaccine, BNT162, into the first human participants in the U.S. last week. If a vaccine proves safe, Pfizer "will be able to deliver millions of doses in the October time frame" and expects to produce hundreds of millions of doses in 2021. Go deeper: Gilead inks deals to sell remdesivir in 127 countries.
The Trump administration has directed the U.S. federal employee retirement fund to scrap the placement of more than $4B into Chinese investments, a decision it had intended to boost returns. At issue is whether the Thrift Savings Plan should track an index that includes some China-based stocks like Aviation Industry Corp of China, which supplies China's military, as well as Hangzhou Hikvision, which was sanctioned by Washington for human rights abuses. "Using the excuse of national security to restrict access to China's markets goes against economic rules and damages U.S. investors' own interests," responded Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian.
Another month without an airliner order
Boeing (NYSE:BA) recorded zero orders for the second time this year in April and customers canceled another 108 orders for the grounded 737 MAX, further whittling down the company's backlog of planes to 4,834 planes - its smallest since 2013. The company delivered just six planes last month, bringing the YTD total to 56, down 67% from a year earlier. Airbus (OTCPK:EADSY) meanwhile received orders for nine planes in April, bringing its 2020 total to 299 planes, and had a backlog of 7,645 jets.
End to the standoff in Fremont
Health officers for Alameda County said Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) can open its sole U.S. car factory in Fremont if it adopts extra recommendations to battle the coronavirus in its safety plans. Minimum business operations would begin this week in preparation for a possible reopening as soon as next week. "Provided that the data show progress with our COVID-19 indicators during this two week period, we would allow additional approved activities for local businesses, including Tesla," read a tweet from the Alameda County Public Health Department. TSLA +2% premarket.
Waymo has raised a further $750M for its first external fundraising round, pushing the total to $3B thanks to some additional investors. The new cash is sure to be welcome news to the finance department. Waymo is said to be costing Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) nearly $1B compared to the revenue it makes from its limited commercial robot taxi service in Phoenix, Arizona. Prior to the pandemic, the company said it was facilitating 1K–2K ride-hailing trips in Arizona a week, 5%-10% of which were without human backup drivers.
Shares of Grubhub (NYSE:GRUB) and Uber (NYSE:UBER) soared on Tuesday following reports of a merger. A deal would give Uber Eats' money-losing restaurant delivery service a leg up on market leader DoorDash (DOORD) at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has upended Uber's core business of ride-hailing. The two companies are still haggling over the deal's stock exchange ratio, though some say the tie-up could be finalized this month.
Big advertisers like General Motors (NYSE:GM), PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP) and General Mills (NYSE:GIS) are seeking to take advantage of options that became available May 1 to cancel up to 50% of third-quarter TV spending, writes WSJ's Suzanne Vranica. That doesn't bode well for owners of broadcast and cable networks, from Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and NBCUniversal to ViacomCBS (NASDAQ:VIAC) and Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS). Where's the money going? Much of it will likely be aimed at shoring up the firm's balance sheets, while some is shifting to areas like digital video and e-commerce.
Tech may be leading the way in turning remote work into the new norm after the coronavirus pandemic. Expanding on a recent trend seen at major tech companies like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) and others, which have announced work-from-home setups until 2021, Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) has upped the ante to "forever." The option wouldn't apply to those required to make a physical appearance, like certain maintenance staff, but instead would apply to those who can perform their job functions remotely.
What else is happening...
U.K. economy shrinks at fastest pace since financial crisis.
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) likely to extend French warehouse closures.
Occidental (NYSE:OXY) is offering voluntary job buyouts.
ISS against splitting Exxon (NYSE:XOM) CEO, chairman roles.
Sony's (NYSE:SNE) PS5 on track for 2020 holiday season.
J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) eyes Friday bankruptcy filing.
Neiman Marcus (NMG)-Saks (OTCPK:HBAYF) merger run up the flagpole.
MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM) discusses plans to reopen casinos.
Tuesday's Key Earnings
Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) +0.3% maintaining earnings guidance. Honda (NYSE:HMC) -5.3% following a profit plunge. Macerich (NYSE:MAC) -2% giving back "reopening" gains.
In Asia, Japan -0.5%. Hong Kong -0.3%. China +0.2%. India +2%. In Europe, at midday, London -0.8%. Paris -1.7%. Frankfurt -1.5%. Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.6%. S&P +0.7%. Nasdaq +0.7%. Crude +0.4% to $25.88. Gold flat at $1707.40. Ten-year Treasury Yield -3 bps to 0.66%
Today's Economic Calendar
7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications 8:30 Producer Price Index 9:00 Jerome Powell Speech 10:00 Atlanta Fed's Business Inflation Expectations 10:30 EIA Petroleum Inventories 1:00 PM Results of $22B, 30-Year Note Auction