Three Words: Hard to Watch. .. Democrat Debate Part 1 is in the books and it was hard to watch. There was less "Trump Bashing" than I expected. deblasidiot tried to replace it with "Rich People Bashing" and shots at "Beto" but most "big points" made were quickly "moved on from" because there were so many candidates. A few candidates tried to "Show off their Spanish" and it was met with mostly, Yawns.. You'll read about the "winners and losers" all day in the papers and on the internet but the Biggest Losers by FAR were the moderators. In addition to microphone and production issues so bad they had to "go to break".. they made TWO GIANT tactical blunders. 1) If you have 10 candidates you have to have LESS questions. Instead of covering 20 subjects, cover TEN. Cutting people off after 30 seconds doesn't "Reveal" anything about a candidate except if they memorized their "soundbites" ..and 2) The NUMBER ONE follow up has to be "HOW". Politicians promise the MOON. You HAVE to demand to hear their "Plan". Because most of their plans are stupid and won't work and voters need to hear them to KNOW that.. When Chuck Todd asked what they would do about the migrant children detention centers and he was told, "Close them down immediately". Some in the crowd cheered. Raj screamed at the TV, "Ask them HOW, CHUCK. What are they gonna do with the kids that are in there? Throw them in the Rio Grande? Hand them a McDonald's Happy Meal Coupon and send them on their way? They are 5 and 10 year olds!!!" Nope, Just the typical CRAP. With just about EVERY topic, "Im gonna..Im Gonna.. "...and not a word of HOW are you gonna??.. Republicans around the Swamp asked the President and his people to PLEASE ignore the debate and not Tweet all about it. I thought, "Good luck with that".. but it turns out.. The President was flying to Japan. When he landed in Alaska on the way he stopped to greet some troops and had a one word comment, "Boring" ... The Website Drudge Report had a snap poll for readers of who they thought "won" and of the 12,000 that answered 34.5% chose Tulsi Gabbardand Elizabeth Warren was second with 13.5%. Gabbard was the most "Googled" candidate during the debate. I'll say that is partly because almost no one outside of Hawaii knows who she is (well, YOU readers know who she is.. because I TOLD you yesterday she'd up her candidate status in the debate.) and the other reason is that she looks pretty good in Red, I am sure.. . Round 2 is tonight.
In da World, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, was shaking uncontrollably at a ceremony, AGAIN. Second time in a week. Her people tried to play it off as "dehydration" but there is something wrong there. .. and...it's not getting the headlines it did, but there are still serious protests going on in Hong Kong. They are not as big, but the protesters are demanding the "Deportation" legislation be withdrawn completely, not just "tabled". It's pretty obvious to me what's happening. Beijing is waiting for the dust to settle and the International media to go home then will try to quietly pass the measure when no one is looking. I think the protesters know that and that's why they are not going home..
The Philadelphia Energy Services refinery will NOT re-open after the fires and explosion this month. This was the largest refinery in the Northeast. This probably means higher gas prices for those in the area. Yipeee!! ..... Also, in that area, The NJ State Government is scheduled to shut down on Mondaybecause the Governor and State Reps cannot reach a budget deal. The tough part for both sides is that they cannot blame the Republicans. Democrat Majority, Democrat Governor and they cannot agree on Taxes, Drugs, Education, and a lot of other things. My response is (Seriously). Who cares? Really, who cares? Shut the Government down for a few months. Not just now, EVERY year. 90% of the State would NOT CARE. The cops stay on duty.. but.. the threats of "Parks close" and "The DMV and Tax Offices" will close. Yeah. SO?? The only people that might care are the government workers who aren't getting paychecks (although they ALWAYS get back pay when this happens even though they didnt work). The DMV? SHUT IT. Seriously. End the bullcrap "Car inspection" scam and do car registration online. For those with no access to internet (which is NO ONE) open the office one day a month. There, I just saved the State of NJ MILLIONS of dollars. The REAL risk of the shutdown is that the Politicians and Government workers find out that things go on JUST fine without them and the citizens start saying things like, "Why don't we cut salaries 25% for all of you and close one week EVERY month" .. and.. a new survey says that 84% of Americans think this generation is ANGRIERthan the last generation. Of course, the ONLY survey that is worth ANYTHING is the Raj Survey. The Raj Survey says that 99% of all other surveys are wrong, worthless, and conducted by nitwits with no clue had to do an accurate study...
SPORTS: For Sports fans that watched ESPN religiously before there was widespread internet and before ESPN got "political" it is with sadness that I report Bob Ley is retiring. Ley was one of the stalwarts of early ESPN. He has decided to hang them up.. Too bad.. Good Luck Bob.. College World Series: Vanderbilt beats Michigan and captures its second CWS in six years. Hats off to Michigan, though. They are the first team EVER to come into the tournament UNRANKED and make the Championship Game.. GOLF: Rocket Mortgage "Classic" starts today in Detroit .. and .. I KID YOU NOT .. The Olympic Committee made some announcements about the 2024 Games in Paris. The IOC will NOT support Baseball or Lacrosse as sports for the Paris game..but WILL support, BREAK DANCING. .. Good God, what planet am I on?? (And I am NOT crapping on Break Dancers. But, its not a sport)
CELEBRIDIOTS: Two R.I.P.s .. RIP to Actor Max Wright. Those over 40 years old will know him as the Father on the TV show, "ALF" ..and RIP to Beth Chapman, wife of "Dog the Bounty Hunter" Chapman. Both of Cancer ...and... I read that Serena Williams is thrilled to be getting her image on "The Wheaties Box" HERE and my first thought was, "What? That's just happening NOW" .. She has been the most dominant woman in all of female sports for over a decade. Is there some rule about being retired or almost retired to "Get on the Box"? Anyways, Good for you Serena.. not sure why it took so long.. and Singer Camila Cabello is asking her Social Media followers to stop being hateful to her ex-boyfriend. She says the hateful comments hurt HER too and do no one any good. The rumor is they broke up because the boyfriend was angry about the photoshoot in the Raj Tub. HERE .. and HERE Look, Dude. She wasn't REALLY skinny dipping. She wasn't really TOTALLY naked. It just looked that way because of.. uh.. Camera angles.. .. oh.. OK . FINE.. SHE was NUDE... but it was TASTEFUL.. it was ART!! .. ART, I TELL YOU!!!
Ahead of their G20 meeting in Osaka, President Xi plans to present President Trump with a set of terms the U.S. should meet before China is ready to settle their market-rattling trade confrontation, WSJ reports. Among the preconditions, Beijing is insisting that Washington remove its ban on the sale of American technology to Huawei and also wants the U.S. to lift all punitive tariffs. The nation additionally wants the Trump administration to drop efforts to get China to buy even more U.S. exports than Beijing said it would when the two leaders last met in December.
Following solid overnight gains in Asia, U.S. futures are suggesting the first positive session in five for the S&P 500, though the DJIA turned lower by 90 points as shares of Boeing weighed on the index. The FAA on Wednesday said it found a new issue with the 737 Max that the planemaker must address before it lifts the national grounding order (see below). President Trump further announced that a bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart could lead to a trade deal, but warned that he was prepared to impose tariffs on virtually all remaining Chinese imports if talks once again faltered.
Boeing (NYSE:BA) -5.1% premarket following a Reuters report stating the FAA had found a new "potential risk" the company must fix before the 737 MAX can return to service. The risk was discovered during a simulator test last week, which likely will prevent BA from running a certification test flight until at least July 8. In an SEC filing, Boeing said the FAA has asked it to address a specific condition of flight not covered by planned software changes.
The Fed is set to report results today from its annual stress test of large bank operations, including the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR). All eyes will be on Deutsche Bank's (NYSE:DB) U.S. subsidiary, which failed last year's test over concerns around its data collection and risk management. Analysts are forecasting higher payouts in dividends and buybacks compared to 2018 due to the promising first round results.
Car trunks, home garages and potentially by drone, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has been steadily adding options for customers to receive their packages. A new option, called Counter, will allow shoppers to pick up purchases - at no additional cost - across specialized counters in more than 1,500 Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) locations by the end of the year. Amazon is also looking to get other retailers, including small businesses, to join the program as it expands.
After getting the green light from U.S. regulatory authorities last month, IBM (NYSE:IBM) is expected to win unconditional EU approval today for its largest ever takeover, a $33B bid for open-source provider Red Hat (NYSE:RHT). The deal would expand the firm's subscription-based software offerings to counter slowing software sales and waning demand for mainframe servers. It would also help IBM catch up with Amazon (AMZN), Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) and Microsoft (NYSE:MFT) in the fast-growing cloud computing business.
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is ratcheting up his fight with Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) over its pending purchase of rival Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC). He's calling for a special shareholder meeting where he hopes to win four board seats and change the company's charter through a stockholder consent solicitation to prevent it from ever engineering a similar takeover again. Icahn argues the $38B takeover, expected to close in the second half of the year, is too expensive and could endanger Occidental’s future if oil prices sink.
In the next 48 hours, France, Britain and Germany are set to double down on their efforts to keep alive economic ties with Iran by providing a credit line to help a special mechanism called INSTEX, or Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges. The European governments are set to provide a capital injection of at least a few million euros to hasten the first transactions, allowing the import and export of goods without the need for any direct financial flows.
Saudi Arabia has removed a 49% cap on ownership of publicly traded companies for foreign strategic investors, paving the way for foreigners to take controlling stakes in sectors from banking to petrochemicals. The decision is a milestone for the kingdom, which started opening its market about four years ago when it first allowed international investors to trade stocks directly. MSCI last month started to include the kingdom’s equities in its emerging-market index (ETF: EEM).
What else is happening...
Be careful not to assume that "easy money" means "rising market," writescontributor John Hussman.
Big business targeted during first Democratic debate.
Huawei employees collaborated with Chinese military on research.
Wednesday's Key Earnings
In Asia, Japan +1.2%. Hong Kong +1.4%. China +0.7%. India -0.1%. In Europe, at midday, London +0.1%. Paris flat. Frankfurt +0.5%. Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.3%. S&P +0.2%. Nasdaq +0.2%. Crude -1.1% to $58.85. Gold -0.7% to $1405.90. Bitcoin -7.7% to $11619. Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 2.05%
Today's Economic Calendar
8:30 Initial Jobless Claims 8:30 GDP Q1 8:30 Corporate profits 10:00 Pending Home Sales 10:30 EIA Natural Gas Inventory 11:00 Kansas City Fed Mfg Survey 1:00 PM Results of $32B, 7-Year Note Auction 4:30 PM Money Supply 4:30 PM Fed Balance Sheet
Roger “Raj” Searing firstname.lastname@example.org
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