Read this First 8/10/2020
Still no power at Casa de Raj .. but.. there is always a bright side. I mean how many of you have REALLY cleaned out your freezers in the past 5 years? I'm not talking about a quick once over.. I mean EVERYTHING OUT.. including that steak from 2016 that looks like a YETI and was hiding under the old frozen pizza.... and... those sprinkles from the Carvel cake that dropped to the bottom of the freezer because the box never closed right ... Now, its clean as a whistle !!! See.. Think Positive.. Power company says it will be back today.. But, they said that yesterday.. and the day before....
To the News...
The Mt. Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupted for the second time in three days sending an ash cloud 3 miles into the air. The ash was so dense it appeared dark on the island at noon and it left villages 15 miles away covered in soot.. Cool to look at.. but not if you're actually living through it... and..
In Hong Kong, what was feared... is happening. The high profile arrests are starting. Billionaire and backer of protesters Jimmy Lai was arrested on "suspicion of collusion with foreign powers" under the new "National Security Law". Jimmy Lai was suspected of collaborating with the US to support the riots in Hong Kong last year. The arrest comes after Washington, DC sanctioned some top Chinese Officials.. China also slapped the US with "Sanctions" on Senators Rubio and Cruz in retaliation.. China called the sanctions that Rubio and Cruz backed, "blatant and barbaric interference in foreign affairs". Does any of this rhetoric mean anything? Not really.. well.. unless you're Jimmy Lai .... and..
In Belarus, there is violence in the streets as police clash with protesters following the "landslide" re-election of President Lukashenko. His opponent, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya (yes, that's actually her name) refused to acknowledge defeat saying results from three districts showed she was actually winning. I hope this is not the "new normal" where if 1% of the population doesn't like something they think its OK to Riot..
Speaking of that..
In Da Swamp: Attorney General Barr stopped beating around the bush and came right out and said it this weekend in an interview. (regarding the riots in Portland), "The American People are being told a lie by the media" .. Barr lamented how the Loser Media pushes their narrative because "they are trying to say there is no objective truth. That you have your narrative and we have our narrative and they are both valid. Anyone with eye can see the riots and the violence. You cannot call that peaceful protest, but they do" .. I couldn't say it any better, Mr. Barr... and..
The Fur is Flying in DC as President Trump signs an Executive Order reinstating the Unemployment checks after Congress failed to reach a deal. Trump's Order is for $400 not $600 a week and asks States to pay 25% of the cost. Of course, Democrats hate this idea. Speaker Pelosi says the order is, "absurdly Unconstitutional". The other actions he signed were a "payroll tax holiday for Americans earning less than $100,000" and "assistance for renters and homeowners". .. now..
You all know I hate Executive Orders. The Federal Government has devolved into a partisan viper pit where good ideas go to die. Having a President side-step the Constitution is not the way out.. But, for now.. this move is politically brilliant because the way it will play out to the Country if the Democrats fight it is, "The President tried to help us and the Democrats want to stop him" ..
NY Governor Cuomo called Trump actions, "Laughable". He said they were working on a plan to get money to States to deal with Covid costs and get schools open next month and now he is saying you're getting no money, you have to open schools and you want us to PAY 25% of the costs?.. well.. yeah Mr Governor. That's what it says.. We'll see if Congress can do their job this week and maybe he will rescind the Orders... and in Other NY news...
He thinks everyone is as stupid as him. NYC Mayor deblasidiot sent a few minions and a press crew to NYC's Penn Station in an obviously "made for press" move and set up a table they were calling a "Covid Check Point". He had a few staffers hand out forms to people getting off trains saying, "if you are coming from a restricted COVID state you have to fill this out and quarantine for 14 days or face a $10,000 fine". Ooooooooo.. THAT sounds like a lot of money. .. But.. uh.... what about the 99% of people from one of the "Restricted States" that say, "Nah, I just got on in NJ" ?? .. or the other 142 trains that day.. or the Port Authority??.. and what about the fact that you have no one FOLLOWING them?? If the guy goes to his hotel then immediately goes for a run in Central Park, How is anyone gonna know? .. This deblasidiot guy may be the worst EVER! . ..NYC, you get what you voted for !!! ... and ...
Chicago is "Doing Chicago" only worse this time.. In addition to their normal weekend of shooting and murder.. we has a "police-involved shooting". Which, you guessed it, resulted in widespread rioting and looting. Nevermind that police were called about a man with a gun threatening people.. and the suspect ran.. then turned around and shot at the officers who returned fire.. . .. None of that is important.. What IS important is that there are too many of us for the police to stop.. So, I'm going to get some free stuff !!! ... and..
Sturgis, SD. .. In what might be an ugly confrontation, the Sioux Nation is saying they will not allow bikers to pass their "Checkpoints" to cross the Cheyenne River. This could be a huge mess because the Federal and State governments consider the checkpoints illegal. If a large enough group of bikers object, there could be trouble. .. Of course, you have both sides of the Covid debate piping in... One group saying this is stupid and will be a "super spreader event" the others saying, "we'll follow the Covid protocol, space out tables, and live our lives" .. Hmmm... Bikers vs. The Sioux Nation and 250,000 people converging on a town of 7,000... What could POSSIBLY go wrong here???
GOLF: Collin Morikawa wins the PGA Championship by two shots after making eagle at the Par 4 16th hole. If you have never heard of Morikawa, get used to it. He is 23 years old and is already a "Top Ten" machine. He has only missed one cut this year...
MLB: My new favorite person in Baseball is the Organ Player for the Atlanta Braves.. Why? Reese McGuire of the Toronto Blue Jays was caught masturbating in his car in a public parking lot. Police released the video this week and it went viral... So, when Toronto came to Atlanta and McGuire stepped to the plate ... he didn't get his normal "Walk out music". The Braves organist played, "Beat it" by Michael Jackson. OUCH !!!! .. and...
In Oakland, after being hit by a pitch for the third time in the three game series, Oakland's Ramon Laureano charged the Astro's bench to attack their hitting coach Alex Cintron. Benches cleared...Laureano was ejected.. Waiting to hear from MLB...
TV Commentator/Producer/Egomaniac Simon Cowell spent 6 hours in surgery after breaking his back in a bike accident. Apparently, he was test riding a new "E-bike" outside his home in California when he fell. He is said to be, "doing fine and resting". I guess the live taping of "America's Got Talent" will have to go on without him.. I'm available to fill in, guys !!
You're going to have to wait a little longer for the Mike Tyson/Roy Jones Jr fight. They have postponed the event til November 28th. There is no official word on why they changed the date.. but.. usually its about money .. and the Tyson camp thinks they can maximize revenue by delaying a bit..
You guys all know that I love a Good Competition !!! .. Maxim is having their vote for CoverGirl .. Remember, if you don't vote you lose your right to complain when you don't like the winner.. .. HERE... Who ya Got? I think Destinee might be my Destiny..
The timeline for a U.S. stimulus package is still unclear as neither Democrats nor Republicans are giving a firm date after negotiations collapsed last week. President Trump meanwhile announced four executive actions to work around the impasse, including a $400 weekly enhanced jobless benefit - a quarter of which will be covered by states - as well as student loan relief, an eviction moratorium and a payroll tax holiday (a second round of stimulus checks must be approved by Congress). States can either use money already appropriated by the federal government to provide the 25% of unemployment benefits, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, or they can request a waiver from Trump. Go deeper: Legal questions over payroll tax supension.
More tensions surfaced over the weekend as China sanctioned 11 American officials in retaliation for similar measures imposed by the U.S. Treasury Department over Hong Kong. Speaking of the new national security law, Jimmy Lai, the outspoken publisher of Hong Kong's pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily, was arrested Monday on suspicion of foreign collusion, sending a chill across the financial hub. Investors were already on edge after President Trump signed two executive orders banning WeChat (OTCPK:TCEHY) and TikTok (BDNCE), while U.S. regulators recommended that overseas firms listed on American exchanges be subject to public audit reviews from 2022.
S&P 500 on brink of a record high
Rallies in five of the last six weeks have lifted the S&P 500 to within 1% of its all-time high reached in February, and contracts tied to the index are up 0.2% in premarket trade. Dow futures are ahead by 0.4% and Nasdaq futures are little changed. Traders are monitoring the state of stimulus talks, as well as the latest fraying of relations between Washington and Beijing (see above). On the earnings front, keep an eye on the travel and energy sectors, with Q2 results expected from Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR), Royal Caribbean (NYSE:RCL) and Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY).
Biggest share repurchase for Buffett
Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.A, BRK.B) Q2 operating earnings fell to $5.51B from $5.87B in Q1 and $6.14B in the year-ago quarter, as its "other businesses" category earnings dropped dramatically Y/Y. Warren Buffett also gravitated to his own firm's shares after keeping cash high during the coronavirus pandemic. He bought back a record $5.1B of stock during the quarter, up from $1.74B in Q1, and may have kept that higher pace through July. Berkshire Class A and Class B shares lagged the S&P 500 during Q2 with declines of more than 1%.
The Elon Musk-led company has rocketed into an elite tier of military suppliers, scoring a multibillion-dollar contract that makes it one of the Pentagon's two primary satellite-launch providers through most of the decade. SpaceX (SPACE) will split (40/60) an estimated nearly three dozen launches through 2027 with United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), barring a successful protest from snubbed bidders Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) or Blue Origin (BORGN). Until a few years ago, ULA had a virtual monopoly on such business, which focuses on the highest-priority military and intelligence payloads.
Aramco keeps dividend, sees oil recovery
Net profit at Saudi Aramco (ARMCO) slumped 73% to 24.6B riyals ($6.57B) in the second quarter (vs. estimates of 31.3B riyals), as a plunge in energy demand - due to the coronavirus crisis - weighed on sales of the world's biggest oil producer. Aramco still maintained its Q2 dividend of $18.75B, unlike BP (NYSE:BP) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), which cut their dividends in recent months. "We are seeing a partial recovery in the energy market as countries around the world take steps to ease restrictions and reboot their economies," CEO Amin Nasser declared, helping put a floor under crude above $40/bbl.
The biggest mall owner in the U.S., Simon Property Group (NYSE:SPG) is in talks with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) to transform some of its anchor department store spaces (like those formerly occupied by Sears and J.C. Penney) into Amazon fulfillment centers, WSJ reports. Department stores have traditionally drawn customers into malls. But with the deterioration of department store traffic, Simon would be gaining a steady new tenant if talks result in an agreement. For Amazon, it would locate fulfillment centers close to residential areas and help improve delivery speed in the so-called last mile of the process.
Reports from the WSJ also suggested that Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) held preliminary talks about a potential combination with TikTok (BDNCE). Twitter would be a long shot vs. much-bigger TikTok suitor Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), which is further along in talks and would have an easier time funding a deal that could run into tens of billions of dollars (TikTok is suing the Trump administration over the executive order). Another WSJ article said Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) was lobbying Washington to roll back an export ban on Huawei, claiming the moves would hand foreign competitors a market worth as much as $8B annually.
The U.S. International Development Finance Corp. has sidelined a loan agreement with Eastman Kodak (NYSE:KODK) to produce drugs that could be used to fight the coronavirus until allegations are cleared. The SEC is probing whether insider trading laws had been broken, citing "unusual trading activity" before the letter of intent was announced. The deal would provide the former photography company a $765M loan to help pay for factory changes needed to make pharmaceutical ingredients in short supply in the U.S.
What else is happening...
How will stocks perform under different U.S. election scenarios?
AT&T's (NYSE:T) WarnerMedia ousts HBO Max's top leadership.
Gold ETF expenses come under scrutiny; here's the cheapest.
Barclays (NYSE:BCS) probed by U.K. privacy watchdog for spying on staff.
Chinese luxury EV maker Xpeng (XPEV) files for an IPO.
The best performing equity ETFs in 2020 don't own FAAMG.
In Asia, Japan -0.4%. Hong Kong -0.6%. China +0.8%. India -0.4%. In Europe, at midday, London +0.5%. Paris +0.6%. Frankfurt +0.3%. Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.4%. S&P +0.2%. Nasdaq flat. Crude +1.4% to $41.80. Gold +0.6% to $2040.40. Bitcoin +2.9% to $11746. Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 0.55%
Today's Economic Calendar
10:00 Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey 12:30 PM TD Ameritrade IMX
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