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Read this First 7/11/2019

TAKE THAT!!!  No, No Iran.. Actually, you're NOT going to take that ..Members of the Iran Revolutionary Guard attempted to seize a British Tanker overnight. The British Royal Navy says the attempt was thwarted.  Iran says, "We Didn't Do it.  That didn't happen".  Ummm... I guess we'll wait for the photos and video?   ... The Rain and Flooding in New Orleans are bad and MORE storms are expected.  Areas near the center of the city got 4 inches of rain in an HOUR yesterday and there are more storms expected throughout the week.  You know, the Obama ex-FEMA director, Craig Fugate, argues against rebuilding in flood zones.  He thinks that money should be spent relocating people away from them. He predicted years ago (Accurately) that the flooding will continue and get worse and that we are throwing money into a hole.  Thoughts?  ... and..Google is being accused of "Scrubbing" photos of Bill Clinton together with Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.  The two were together regularly while touring the World.  Clinton claims "doing work for the Clinton Foundation". Many photos were taken.  Are they really gone? or Suppressed? .. Well, I did my two minutes of research and Googled, "Jeffrey Epstein Bill Clinton" and then clicked "Images".  On the Front page was a photo of Donald Trump and Jeff Epstein from 1997.. AHHAHAHA.. and there were some photos that reporters had spliced together with Clinton and Epstein for an article.  But, they were separate pictures placed next to one another.  Im sure that's just an "algorithm", Right Google?  .. 

Down in the Swamp:  The day after President Trump was ordered to "Unblock" people he didn't like on Twitter I wondered here in the Rant, "How far is this going to go?.. Who is going to have to allow unfettered access to their account.?"  Well, Congressional Nitwit Alexandra O'Cortez is being sued for blocking people.  One suit is from a NY Man who pointed out how stupid she was to compare Nazi Concentration Camps to Border Detention Centers. Law "Experts" say that she and all other Government Officials are likely to be held to the same standard.  They are calling Social Media, "Modern Day Town Halls" and saying Public Officials cannot ban people with opposing views. Huh.. Really?  Do you see many Biden supporters at Trump Rallies?  Or Trump Supporters at rallies for Elizabeth Warren??   ....and.. Speaking of Presidential Candidates, this one is a REAL doozy.. Kamala Harris played the Race Card in the first debate against Joe Biden because Biden had made statements about "working with people you don't like to get things passed in Congress..otherwise NOTHING gets done .. like is happening today".  Biden had been in the Senate with two men called "Segregationists" and he worked to pass Legislation with them.. Thus, this makes him a "Racist" to Harris. .. Was pulling the Race Card a little dirty?  Many say so because Biden has a LONG and good record on Civil Rights issues.  Was it effective?  Yes!!!, Harris jumped in the polls and Biden dropped. (I know, there are OTHER reasons. But, that was one).  Kamala Harris' father (who is a professor at Stanford) dropped a bomb to the news media.. Kamala Harris's ancestors OWNED SLAVES. How is she gonna dance around THIS one??  I dunno, but its gonna be fun to watch ..


and.. if you planned to get to "Woodstock 50" this summer you might want to change your plans.  The organizers of the "50 Year Reunion Woodstock Event" have been denied permits AGAIN.  The organizers are saying that political forces are quashing the event.  The Local Towns say that the organizers did not fill out permit forms properly and submitted them too late... and.. It looks like the ICE RAID COMETH.  The "million illegal immigrant round up" is likely to take place this weekend (barring any more political shenanigans).  ICE is quick to point out that these illegals have been ordered deported by judges and this is not random.  Opponents say the actions are political.

SPORTS:  GOLF:  Andy Sullivan has the early lead at the Scottish Open .. The John Deere Classic starts this morning .. Not much other "Real Sports" news .. so.. we'll take you to the "Cornhole Championships" . (Fair Disclosure:  Although I like the game, I cannot call it a "Sport".  In my book, to be a "Sport" there are a few "need to have" and a few "cannots". 1) There needs to be a discernible winner. If I score more points, cross the finish line before you, play golf in less strokes than you, etc. It's a Sport. If a Judge decides like in Ice Skating or Gymnastics, it's an exhibition. The only exception to this is Boxing. They put round limits in to keep people from dying. 2) You have to sweat while doing it.  If you don't work up a sweat, it's not a Sport. .. one of the Cannots is, "You can't play it while holding a beer in your other hand". Fat Guys throwing darts will sweat, and one guy gets more points.. But, C'Mon..thats not a "SPORT") .. So.. anyways.. I bring you Cornhole Championships.. and the Grizzled Old Veteran pulling off the miracle.  (While the action is exciting, ESPN needs to fire the commentators.  One of them actually says that it's easier to make up a 5 point deficit than a six point one. WOW.. GREAT INSIGHT!!!) HERE   .. and . .. my new favorite coach is the youth hockey coach that coaches Wojciech Pawelczyk. The kid posted a video of his coach's pre-season meeting.. The video went viral. "If any of you are planning to be disrespectful to the Canadian or American National Anthem, get your stuff and get the F**K OUT. We don't do that in Hockey. We're better than that. No sense in wasting anyone's time if that sh*t is gonna happen." HERE  WINNING!!!!

CELEBRIDIOTS:  RIP to Violet from Willy Wonka.  Denise Nickerson, who played Violet Beauregaard in Willy Wonka and turned into a blueberry after stealing and eating candy, died at age 62 after a long illness...  over in Spain, a Judge ruled that a 43 year old man is officially the son of singer Julio Iglesias.  Iglesias refused a DNA test and the judge ruled, "Given the other evidence, and the fact you look just like him, I rule he is your father".  Julio had better keep singing.  This is gonna cost a few bucks... and .. Annette Lauer has officially filed for divorce from husband Matt Lauer (the former darling of Morning TV that was canned for having sex with interns.. and co-workers..and maybe a few guests).  I gotta say, I might take a run at Annette.  Think about it: She is getting a PILE of money .. She is obviously tolerant of bad behavior, and all I have to do is "not be as bad as Matt" and I look GREAT!!!! ..  Finally, theESPY Awards were last night.  I used to love watching but its getting old.  The Winners?  (Spoiler Alert, its NOT the Women's Soccer Girls).  Since I decided a few years back that it's not really "Fair" to have the athletes compete against Movie Stars and Models .. We have a few categories of "Winner". First, the Sports-Related Winner is ESPN reporter Diana Russinni HERE   Straighten that back up and get a better haircut and you might make the Overall Category next year .. The "Actual Athlete" winner goes to golfer Paige Spirinac HERE  I know she isn't really a GREAT golfer.. but if I don't let a blonde win sometimes I get hate mail.. and the Overall Winner is Russell Wilson's wife Ciara . HERE . Geez, Ciara.  Russell is supposed to "look mean" in pictures.  He's in the NFL.  Why are YOU so angry-face ??  Is it the Robe? I'Il give you back your robe if you want.. but I don't let married women in the Raj Tub.  Sorry. ( .. well... not usually.. )


The record bull market run capped another milestone on Wednesday as the S&P 500 jumped above 3,000 for the first time, nearly five years after the index hit 2,000. Stocks in the tech sector powered the historic rally since August 26, 2014, including Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) (+728%), Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) (+707%), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) (+489%) and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) (+455%), while oil companies were among the laggards. Medical implant manufacturer Abiomed (NASDAQ:ABMD) led the herd by far, surging a whopping 909%, while fifth best was MarketAxess (NASDAQ:MKTX), which climbed 487% on a rising tide of interest in electronic bond trading on Wall Street.

Building on yesterday's momentum that vaulted the S&P 500 over the 3,000 level, U.S. stock index futures are extending gains by a modest 0.2%. Although Jerome Powell's congressional testimony merely underlined the Fed case for easing policy to insure against the economic effects of a trade war and sub-target inflation, it was enough to get futures markets back pricing in a 1-in-4 chance of 50 bps cut later this month. Powell is back in the spotlight today, testifying before the Senate Banking Committee and likely emphasizing his dovish outlook in the Q&A with senators.

New U.S. tariffs or other trade restrictions may be in the pipeline as Washington launches a probe into France's planned digital services tax. The proposal, which was passed by the French Senate today, will likely be the first in a wave of proposed DSTs to take effect in Europe. It will apply a 3% levy on revenue that companies like Google (GOOGGOOGL), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Amazon (AMZN) reap in France from activities like targeted online advertising or running a digital marketplace.

The debt limit has been far from the front page as lawmakers debate the treatment of migrants at the border and battle over nominations and spending bills, but that may be changing. The Treasury Department is now taking steps known as "extraordinary measures" to prevent the government from going over its borrowing limit, with senators growing anxious that they might have to vote to raise the nation’s debt ceiling in a matter of weeks given new estimates that the government could hit its borrowing limit earlier than expected.

Continuing yesterday's big advance that brought crude over $60, oil prices extended gains overnight by 0.7% to $60.82/bbl amid the latest Persian Gulf tensions. Three Iranian vessels tried to block the passage of the BP (NYSE:BP)-operated British Heritage through the Straits of Hormuz, but backed off after the HMS Montrose - an escorting military ship - "pointed its guns" and "warned them over radio." The incident comes almost a week after British Royal Marines boarded an Iranian tanker, Grace 1, off Gibraltar and seized it on suspicion that it was breaking sanctions by transporting oil to Syria.

Are 10% moves for Bitcoin (BTC-USD) still newsworthy? Probably not, but uncertainty in the crypto space definitely made headlines after Jerome Powell said Facebook's (FB) Libra offering should "not go forward" without addressing concerns. Those include privacy, money laundering, consumer protection and financial stability, the Fed Chair declared during his semi-annual testimony before the House Financial Services Committee. The crypto shed close to $1500 to the mid-$11K level following the comments, which echoed a growing chorus of doubts about Libra from authorities around the world.

The last Volkswagen (OTCPK:VWAGY) Beetle has rolled off the assembly line in Mexico's central Puebla state, serenaded by a mariachi band and surrounded by proud factory workers. It marks the end of the road for an iconic car that ran from Nazi Germany in the 1940s through the hippie counterculture in the 1960s but failed to navigate a current swerve in consumer tastes toward SUVs. The Puebla factory, which already produces VW's Tiguan SUV, will make the Tarek SUV in place of the "bug" starting in late 2020.

Reckitt Benckiser (OTCPK:RBGLY) has agreed to pay up to $1.4B to resolve all U.S. federal investigations into the sales and marketing of an opioid addiction treatment, called Suboxone Film, by its former pharmaceuticals subsidiary Indivior (OTCPK:INVVY). "$1.4B is materially larger than the $400M RB had previously provisioned and represents about 2% of its market cap. On the other hand, this settlement removes some uncertainty from the investment case," Credit Suisse analyst Alan Erskine said. Reckitt shares advanced 2.5%in London on the news.

U.S. lawmakers weighed reforming pot laws in what advocates called a "historic” hearing on Wednesday, though there didn't appear to be a clear consensus approach, such as giving states the right for legalization, removing weed from schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act, or promoting social and racial equity in marijuana laws. "Marijuana decriminalization may be one of the very few issues upon which bipartisan agreement can still be reached in this session," said Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., adding, "it ought to be crystal clear to everyone that our laws have not accomplished their goals." Eleven states have already legalized adult recreational use and a majority of Americans support legalization.

What else is happening...

Returning to the gold standard wouldn't be a good idea, says Powell.

SEC clears first regulated version of initial coin offering.

Tech supply chain may be hurt by Japan, South Korea row.

McAfee readies return to .

Pricing at low end of range, Budweiser APAC (BUDBCreadies for biggest IPO of 2019.

U.S. probes Deutsche Bank's (NYSE:DB) dealings with Malaysian Fund 1MDB.

Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMTkeeps Pennsylvania plant open at Trump's request.

Wednesday's Key Earnings

Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) -4.5% hit by another large impairment charge

Today's Markets 

In Asia, Japan +0.5%. Hong Kong +0.8%. China +0.1%. India +0.7%.  In Europe, at midday, London -0.1%. Paris flat. Frankfurt +0.3%.  Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.2%. S&P +0.2%. Nasdaq +0.2%. Crude +0.7% to $60.82. Gold +0.8% to $1423.70.  Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 2.06%

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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