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Thrilling Thursday – Senate Overrides Trump Tariffs – Everything is Awesome Again

Image result for trump nato cartoon88 to 11.

Just 11 Senators backed President Trump's call to impose additional tariffs on China and Europe and, in fact, the Senate passed a resolution calling on Trump to get Congressional approval before using "national security" as a reason for imposing tariffs.  This marks the first time Congress has actually taken a serious step to reign in Trump's powers but, watching Trump's speech at the NATO summit this morning – I don't think anyone told him what happened.  On Tuesday the Senate voted 97-2 in favor of a pro-NATO resolution and this morning Trump acted like it was his idea to keep the US in NATO – of course.    

"Let's be clear, this is a rebuke of the President's abuse of trade authority," said Sen. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican and a frequent and vocal critic of Trump's policies. "Can you imagine being Canada and being told your steel and aluminum exports to the United States (are) a national security threat?"  The tariffs measure was written by Sen. Bob Corker, a retiring Tennessee Republican who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee, and Sen. Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican and a free-trader from a steel producing state.  Everyone is suddenly very brave when Trump is on the other side of the Atlantic…   

The NATO talks have been well summed up in this one image of Trump looking in the opposite direction of everyone else in the photo leading people to speculate what it is he might have been distracted by during the group photo.

Was it the Goodyear Blimp? John Kelly jangling a set of keys? Another solar eclipse? A Space Force sighting? Someone carrying a Quarter Pounder? The skywriter he hired to spell out "OBAMA SUCKS"? The flaming wreckage of America's proud, hard-earned spot as the leader of the international community? The dot emanating from a laser pointer surreptitiously manipulated by Angela Merkel, as the others stifle their giggles and try mightily not to give up the joke?

None of the above as it turns out it was simply the President, already bored with meeting with his former allies, was looking forward to heading off to meet his idol/handler next week.  In fact, Trump has mentioned Putin over two dozen times at NATO, more times than he's referred to all of his "allies" combined – and a lot more positively too!  

Trump is currently being investigated in nine (9) separate Russia-related scandals and the last person he should be allowed to speak to is Vladimir Putin yet Trump has insisted on a private, off-the-record meeting with the guy who may have rigged the US elections in order to put Trump in power.  Sure, that's fine, right?  

There are simply so many outrageous things going on that it's really hard to get worked up about any single one.  It's like having cancer and diabetes and kidney failure and the doctor comes in to tell you that your blood pressure is too high – at a certain point, it just doesn't matter anymore.  That's how things are in the news now, and that's how the markets manage to "ignore and soar" – no matter what awful thing happens on the World Stage.  We've survived all this, why worry about that?

Image result for short term market buffettWe also get along because no one takes anything the President of the United States says or does seriously.  It's like some huge joke that's happening to someone else yet the things Trump does do matter and they will have lasting, long-term effects on this country – we just haven't started to experience them yet and, since the markets are a very short-term pricing mechanism – traders are simply ignoring things that haven't happened yet.  

As suggested by Buffett, we are ignoring the noise and playing the channel – shorting at the top and going long at the bottom.  Last week we pressed our hedges while the market was topping out but we haven't pulled our long bets as the market is still technically bullish and there's no sense in going negative until that changes.  On the other hand, the NYSE is still below it's Must Hold Line (12,800) at 12,681 and we're not ready to get more bullish until we're back in that zone so this morning I'm adding some Dow (/YM) shorts at 24,875 and we'll see how those play out.  Stops would be 24,900 or 2,790 on /ES (S&P 500) or 1,695 on the Russell (/RTY).  For the record, the Nasdaq is at 7,293 and 7,295 would be a stop but the Nas is too crazy to use as an indicator this week, though SQQQ is a primary hedge we're using.

We also hedge our hedges, of course.  From our Morning Report of June 12th, I had said:

The Dow and the S&P were higher in January but the Russell is also making new highs at 1,680 and 1,700 would be up 10% since May 1st (1,550) and again – that's crazy!  What did the markets do in the past 30 days to gain 10% in value?  10% a month is a 120% a year pace and we'll all soon be Billionaires at that rate of return so you can bet it's going to continue – but it's very unlikely to…

Image result for 1999 market bubble chartOf course the market did gain about 140% between April of 1999 and March of 2000 so it's not like it can't possibly happen.  Then it lost 80% over the next 8 months but let's not dwell on the negatives, right?  Like now, the time leading up to April of 1999 had been generally positive and the markets just entered a brand new phase of crazy as we broke over the 2,000 line on the Nasdaq, triggering an epic run.

How do you make money betting on a run like that? Well, you can simply buy something like the Nasdaq ETF (QQQ) 2020 $220 calls for $2 as QQQ is currently $175 so doubling from here is $350 and that would make those calls worth $130 for a 65x gain so, if you think you may be too bearish in a $150,000 portfolio, you can buy $2,000 worth of QQQQ 2020 $220 calls (10) and, if the Nasdaq doubles you'll have about a $130,000 gain.  See – you can more than double your portfolio while risking just $2,000 so it's not like you need to pay 250 times earnings for Netflix (NFLX) at $362 for fear of missing out

We sure haven't missed anything yet as the QQQ 2020 $220 calls are only $2.77 up just 38% for the month with a gain of $770 on 10 of them but it's enough to pay to roll our larger downside hedges – and that's all we ever needed it to do.  As I noted at the time, there's no reason to fear missing out on a market rally when it's so easy to make massive returns betting on them using a little bit of leverage.  30 days ago, QQQ opened at 175.15 and yesterday it closed at 176.42 so up 1.27 is 0.72% and our hedge made 38% so 50x what the index made and that's why we have NO FEAR of missing out! 

Meanwhile, as noted in yesterday's morning report, where we reviewed some of our Top Trade picks, there are still plenty of VALUE stocks to pick and good, solid, conservative ways to play them that have very little risk but potentially very large rewards.  Our 5 Member Portfolios are full of those kinds of plays and next week we will do our 2nd Half Reviews and see how well things are tracking as 2018 moves into the home stretch.


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  1. Good Morning.

  2. Chart of the day – it's been a good century for the top 1%:

  3. Good Morning, All!

    The Webinar replay is now available!

  4. FU LB!!!!!!

  5. Good morning! 

    The World Cup would be more fun if they played as hard as girl's soccer:

    Holy cow!  

    Good luck on Sunday, StJ!   Funny that Croatia just has your flag sideways with a coat of arms…

    Big Chart – NYSE opening at 12,750 so we'll see if they can make it over 12,800 but then they have to hold it so I still like shorting /ES at the 2,790 line (tight stops above), /YM at 24,875 and /NQ 7,300 is now a good line to short and 1,695 on /RTY with stop over 1,700.

    1% Chart/StJ – The worst thing is people are oblivious to this injustice.  

    LB/Jabob – Disappointing June sales – not a big deal at all.  

  6. Crazy how the SQQQ long calls get absolutely HAMMERED down when the markets open and the NAS is up.

  7. As expected, the Nas is going the opposite direction but I don't think it will last.  I cashed /YM and I'm flipping to /NQ shorts, now 7,307.

  8. Bummer – I have been putting in after hours orders for HMNY at 11-12 cents for the past few days. Missed it this morning.

  9. AVGO getting crushed as they pay about $3Bn too much for CA but AVGO was over $100Bn so a 20% drop is kind of silly.  I kind of want to pull the trigger right now, at $200 as BRCM was an old favorite of mine and still a good company but there were WAY better things to do with $19Bn in cash than buy CA.  Still, I don't think they are that dumb so let's keep an eye on the 2020 $180 puts, which can be sold for $20 so 5 of those short in the LTP gives us $10,000 for promising to buy 500 shares of AVGO at net $160!  

    Broadcom acquires CA Technologies for $18.9B in cash


    HMNY/Ati – I think you'll get another chance…

  10. Girl soccer/Phil – If they did play like this, they would end up with no one of the field as these are red card offenses and they now use video replay at the World Cup to check for these fouls!

    In the meantime, Sunday should be a good game. France is slightly favorite but Croatia has some very talented players and it seems to be their year so I am predicting a win for them! 

  11. Phil, just placed 2020 $30P on LB for 5.30….you still pounding the table on them , RIGHT? Thanks as always

  12. Trump’s claim that NATO will boost defense spending disputed

  13. Trump causes chaos at NATO summit

  14. DBA / Phil – Denlundy pointed out how much it's gotten killed. I am guessing it's the tariffs at this point so thank you Trump. Worth a toss now? I am still worried that we are not yet with these trade wars and as you said (and even some senators said it yesterday) – once customers switch sources, it's tough to win them back so prices could be depressed for while. 

  15. House Republicans Pass Hostile ‘Empty Oceans Act’

  16. Trump Lobs Verbal Hand Grenade at Theresa May

  17. US inflation reaches 2.9 percent in June, highest in 6 years

  18. Wow, we blasted higher yet again – just relentless.  

    /NQ almost 7,350 so I'm going to try again as long as /YM doesn't break 24,900 but I'm pretty much expecting to stop out yet again – it's just that I'd hate to miss the actual sell-off…

    The AVGO thing is so stupid we have to act.  Let's sell 5 of the AGVO 2020 $180 puts for $19 in the LTP.

    They lost $20Bn in market cap because they are buying a company for $19Bn in cash?  Even if CA is worth just $10Bn – it's not THAT bad of a deal! 

  19. LB/Jasu – Good topic for discussion.  LB's June same-store sales were up 3% from last year after growing 5% in May so "growth is slowing" but still growth from a year when they made $1Bn and $33/share is a $9.14Bn valuation.  As I was saying in yesterday's Webinar (and most days) – I don't care what the PRICE of a stock is – I care what the VALUE is and a stock that growing sales and making $1Bn a year is a nice return on my $9.14Bn.  Also, that was their same-store sales number – new stores bring total sales up 6% overall.  You just have to be patient with retailers – it takes traders a very long time to catch up.  

    In the OOP and let's roll our LB 2020 $30 calls to the $25 calls for net $2.70 ($2,700) or less and double down at $9.50 ($9,500) and let's sell 5 more 2020 $35 puts for $8 ($4,000).

    DBA/StJ – Well there was CPI inflation but the Fed is tightening so no huge upside catalyst short-term and, long-term, DBA has a lot of decay due to Futures contract rollovers.  There hasn't been a good time to buy DBA since the last market crash – it's been pretty much all downhill since 2011:

    DBA is full of stuff we export, not import – so I don't think it's likely to pop.  

  20. There goes $70 on oil – that might spur a bit more index selling:

  21. Netflix – odd that the article doesn't mention why they're not coming up with new shows. My sister, a first AD, worked for a time with them, mostly on Orange, but has since moved over to Amazon. Hmmm. No reason on her part, she's like most people in the industry a gig worker and goes where the offers are. She gets a lot of offers, though, as she's pretty good at her job. So, hmmm.

  22. Well, made a little on /NQ and then stopped out but now maybe another chance to get in.   I guess the question is whether the last move goes against me or not as there's not much profit in this nonsense. 

  23. NFLX/Snow – I have been saying for years, if they are going to act like a studio, they will end up being valued like one over time.  Some shows are hits, others are not but valuing NFLX at 250x earnings when TWX is 15 times earnings can't possibly last.  

  24. NQ is all amzn,goog,aapl,msft

  25. CBRL big slip! Tariffs?

  26. /NQ/Bert – Yes, very narrow but what's going to take them down?

    CBRL/Scott – Tariffs on Cracker Barrel?  No, I don't think that's it….

    • Stifel is out with a Q2 earnings preview on the restaurant sector.
    • The firm says its survey of consumer-focused investors shows strong results are expected out of the sector with higher check averages seen contributing to sales gains. "Restaurants appear to be either raising menu prices or discounting less, in order to combat MSD hourly wage inflation," notes analyst Chris O'Cull and team.
    • Interestingly, Stifel's survey showed that investors expect McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) to top Q2 EPS estimates (consensus $1.93. Stifel $1.95), and it also landed as their favorite large-cap idea. "Although we remain Hold-rated, we do have a more constructive view toward shares," notes O'Cull on MCD.
    • Stifel heads into the earnings rush with Buy ratings on Yum Brands (NYSE:YUM), Domino's Pizza (NYSE:DPZ), Texas Roadhouse (NASDAQ:TXRH), Wendy's (NYSE:WEN), Wingstop (NASDAQ:WING) and BJ's Restaurants (NASDAQ:BJRI).
    • The U.S. warns Western companies invested in Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline to Germany that they are at risk of sanctions.
    • The $11B project, led by Gazprom (OTCPK:OGZPY), would double capacity of the existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline under the Baltic Sea to Germany, bypassing traditional routes through Ukraine.
    • Pres. Trump sharply criticized Germany yesterday for being a “captive” of Russia because of its support for the pipeline.
    • A German business group says it is not up to the U.S. to dictate how German companies do business, that the country's energy partnership with Russia had spanned decades with mutual benefits, and that gas imports from Russia are a competitively priced and reliable energy source.
    • Germany's Uniper (OTC:UNPRF) and BASF's (OTCQX:BASFY) Wintershall are among western partners involved in the project, as well as Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.ARDS.B), Engie (OTCPK:ENGIY) and OMV (OTCPK:OMVJF).
    • Cutting prices to attract new customers or lure clients away from competitors isn't exactly a new tactic, but rivals in the ETF industry seem to be discovering it.
    • There's a lot at stake when it's a $3.5T industry that could exceed $10T in assets within the decade as investors drop expensive mutual funds in favor of the cheapest ETFs, the Wall Street Journal reports.
    • ETF fees have declined by almost a third in 10 years, according to Morningstar.The cheapest ETFs  cost $3/year for every $10,000 invested, and some analysts predict that they could go lower. Of new money flowing into ETFs in the past year, more than 75% has gone into funds that cost $15 a year or less for every $10,000 invested, a JPMorgan Chase report says.
    • BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) cut fees on several stock and bond ETFs last month, State Street (NYSE:STT) unveiled a new low-cost line of funds in October,  and Vanguard expanded its lineup of commission-free ETFs earlier this month.
    • While cutting fees helps to win market share, it could backfire if growth falters. And there are signs that low-cost funds hurt assets from more expensive legacy ETFs long been favored by large institutional clients.
    • Previously: Schwab ETF OneSource adds more commission-free ETFs (July 10)
    • Tesla (TSLA -0.6%) has crossed over 200K electric vehicle sales in the U.S. this month, according to a spokesperson.
    • New Tesla buyers after December 31 will see a 50% reduction in the federal tax credit available to $3,750 for another six months before another 50% reduction takes effect. At least 14 different states also offer EV tax incentives, with varying levels of rebates, perks, credits or exemptions.
    • The EV automaker beat GM (NYSE:GM) and Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) to the 200K mark, although those automakers will also soon hit the threshold. While there's been plenty of debate about what the potential impact on EV demand will be as the tax incentives head lower – the implications are difficult to forecast with the Trump Administration waiting in the wings to potentially issue new EV rules.
    • President Trump is scheduled to meet with business people from both sides of the Atlantic this evening, with his host Theresa May organizing a formal dinner to talk up trade prospects with the U.S. following Brexit.
    • The presence of Lockheed Martin (LMT +2.4%) among the guests]might make it awkward for May who could face a decision on whether to trim the U.K.'s commitment to take 138 F-35 fighter jets to help fund other military programs.
    • Those may include a next generation warplane needed to sustain engineering jobs at U.K. manufacturers including BAE Systems (OTCPK:BAESY)

  27. 24,900 is hit and beaten, /ES at 2,797 so 2,800 to be tested yet again but, oddly, /RTY still under 1,700 with /NQ at 7,363 – a new high and up 1.5% on the day.

    /SI back to $16 already, /YG still under $1,250 and I still like it.

    /HG still good over $2.75 too but don't be greedy, I'd take half off with a tight stop on the rest (below $2.78).

    • Bloomberg reports that, despite the recent concession from Pfizer to delay its price hikes until year-end, some drug makers are ignoring the political climate and instituting price increases now. Recent examples:
    • Celgene (CELG +2%): Revlimid +5% (+25% since Trump was elected).
    • Novo Nordisk (NVO +1.9%): Victoza +7.9%.
    • Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT): Ocaliva +7.5%.
    • Acorda Therapeutics (ACOR -1%): Ampyra +9.5%.
    • Astellas Pharma (OTCPK:ALPMY +0.3%): Vesicare +6%.
    • In a move that would make Martin Shkreli proud, Aytu BioScience (AYTU -1.4%), boosted the price of sleep drug Zolpimist by 724%. CEO Josh Disbrow says the drug was "underpriced" when acquired last month.

  28. Sleeping pill underpriced by 724%? Wow, what a genius. Shkreli needs a cell mate.

  29. Any thoughts on LB after the drop? 

  30. LB/txchily – scroll back up to 10:55 for full LB discussion and official OOP trade!

  31. Phil/volume

    Is the volume still non-existent?  Where do you find that? Thanks.

  32. Dclark, I've asked before, available on Yahoo

  33. under the historical data tab

  34. Thank you mkucstars!

  35. Glad to help

  36. LB/TX – See above, just an opportunity to buy more.  

    Thanks Airvine.  

    I sent out a note to all who contacted Greg re. PSW Investment's Pot Venture – if you didn't get it, let us know but this is a fast-action item at this point.  

    Volume/DC – I use Yahoo's SPY volume.  Much lower today than yesterday.  

    Oil just pushing back over $70 and /CL is a good long over that line with tight stops below

    Thanks Mkucs!  

    See, this thing runs great without me….  cool

  37. Consumer Price Increases Are Eating Away Worker Wage Gains

    U.S. consumer prices rose for a third straight month in June, eating away at sluggish wage growth and sending inflation to its highest rate in more than six years. 92

    China’s Debt-Control Bid Loses Steam

    China is letting up on its drive to keep a lid on debt growth as it faces a softening economy at home and a trade conflict with the U.S.

    In November, Emirates rolled out private suites on its newest Boeing 777 jets—three of the 40-square-foot single-seat cabins fit across the width of the airliner. It has upgraded its fleet of chauffeured cars that whisk upmarket fliers to and from the airport, replacing Volvos with BMWs equipped with Wi-Fi hot spots. It spent $6.7 million building a lavish lounge at Boston’s Logan airport, part of a global makeover that included upgrades for lounges in Singapore and Bangkok.

    Last year, Emirates spent $56 million on its collection of fine French wines alone. It has splashed out $780 million on the stuff since 2006 and owns its own wine cellars in France. On a recent flight, cabin crew poured a $566 bottle of 1998 Chateau Margaux for its first-class passengers. On some routes, the airline regularly offers the exclusive Hennessy Paradis Imperial cognac, which retails for more than $1,000 a bottle. Emirates surprised its first- and business-class passengers on a Dubai-Paris flight in April with an onboard wine-tasting master class led by a top vintner.

    “I want it to feel like you are walking into a Ritz-Carlton,” says longtime President Tim Clark, who helped start the Dubai-owned carrier more than 30 years ago.

    The airline is betting that the high profit margins of its luxury tickets will allow it to avoid chasing masses of travelers riding in discounted coach seats. The idea threatens to overturn one of the tenets of how to thrive as a large network carrier.

    Ticket prices are highly variable, but Emirates’ can be notably higher. On Emirates, a round trip between Dubai and London for mid-July travel was recently priced at around $10,400 in first class and $4,600 in business. A round-trip “upper class” ticket on Virgin Atlantic, with a seat that converts to a flat bed, between the cities was selling for around $3,400.

    Man, you have GOT to be in the Top 0.1% these days!  

  38. Emirates prices are lower than what Korean Air Lines charges between Los Angeles and Incheon. Ouch!

  39. Emirates/Snow – Well if it's a good deal to you – I'd say take it!  I got an offer from JetSmarter today to try them for a month and NY to Florida is $2,000 round trip in a private jet so not sure that's worth it ($300-$500 is normal coach for a trip I do often) but Florida to Bahamas is only $400 RT and that's a splurge I might make one day.  

  40. Shorting /NQ, again. Now 2 short at 7375. Good news is I had some near term FANG calls that paid off. If you can’t beat em, join em. 

  41. Phil – I agree with you on AVGO.  Think the sell off is overdone, and that some analysts may re-assess. 

    Sold some June 2019 $200 puts.

  42. Joining/Jeff – I know, it's relentless.  Be careful as April earnings provided a bit of a lift early on:

    Of course, they were coming off lows, not highs.  Hopefully the truth is somewhere in the middle of the range which, on /NQ is between 6,400 and 7,400 (6,900).  

    AVGO/Albo – They lost the entire value of the acquisition!    Came back a bit but still down 14% ($35).

    That's why I pulled the trigger, I realized they were down more than they were spending and they have $11Bn in the bank, so it's not like they are borrowing the whole thing and CA drops about $600M so, even at 10x (which is AVGO's multiple) they are worth $6Bn so only $13Bn wasted in the worst case.  

  43. Good way to analyze it.  I read one report that actually said the acquisition will be accretive.  As you said, AVGO's management hasn't made many mistakes.  I think it presents an attractive opportunity.

  44. Not to hammer home the point on PSWI's Cannabis play BUT:

    • In a preliminary look at Q2, United Cannabis (OTCQB:CNAB) expects revenue of $2M, up 1,400% from a year ago, and 800% from Q1. For the full year, management expects a minimum of $10M in revenue.
    • Source: Press release
    • Shares +0.75% to $0.675.
    • Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker isn't on board with four rates hikes in 2018 unless inflation picks up. And by picking up, he means north of 2.5%.
    • For now, he says, he's erring to the dovish side of the central bank's rate expectations.

    • The European Commission cuts Eurozone forecasts to 2.1% in 2018 from prior forecast of 2.3%, citing among the top causes for its revision trade tensions with the United States and rising oil prices leading to higher inflation.
    • The rising oil prices have also contributed to the slowdown and are expected to push euro zone's inflation up to 1.7% in 2018 and 2019 higher from the previously estimated 1.5% in 2018 and 1.6% in 2019.
    • The slowdown of the euro zone economy is set to affect all major economies of the bloc, but is expected to hit Italy harder, as the country will record the lowest growth rate in Europe, matched only by Britain among all 28 EU countries.
    • Eurozone production at factories increased by 1.3% M/M, 2.4% Y/Y compared to the forecast of 1.2% M/M and 2.1% Y/Y.
    • The numbers are a surprise on the upside in a quarter marked by mixed economic data, which underscores the difficulty faced by policy makers at the European Central Bank to rein in a large stimulus package.
    • All industrial sectors saw a higher output in May than in the previous month, most notably among producers of durable and non-durable consumer goods.
    • Analysts have raised China's 2018 growth forecasts to 6.6% from prior 6.5%, a surprising result given an escalating trade war with the United States, as they see a deleveraging drive and pollution crackdown having less of an impact than initially expected.
    • Since the last poll, China reported better-than-expected first quarter growth of 6.8%, as the property market held up despite restrictions on home purchases in many cities and consumer demand was strong.
    • Economists expect broad momentum to ease, albeit at a gradual pace, over the rest of the year, with 2Q growth forecast at 6.7%, 3Q at 6.6%, and 6.5% in the 4Q.
    • The most forecasts were collected before the US raised the stakes on Tuesday by announcing plans for 10% tariffs on an extra $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

    • The Mexican peso resumes its rally, up 0.89% against the U.S. dollar to 18.91 per dollar. Even at 18.77 per dollar earlier today, it reached a 10-week high and made it the top performing emerging markets currency for the day.
    • The peso took a hit in the runup and to Mexico's presidential election on fears that Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador would pursue severe anti-markets policies.
    • The peso fell from about 18 pesos per dollar in mid-April to about 20.84 in mid-June.
    • Since then, Lopez Obrador's election has promised to respect central bank autonomy and exercise fiscal prudence, the Financial Times reports.
    • Investors looking for bargains may also be buying after several analysts says the currency has been oversold.
    • A brutal day in the apparel store sector is taking shape after monthly sales reports from L Brands (LB -10.6%), Cato (CATO -14.7%), Zumiez (ZUMZ -11.7%) and Buckle (BKE -9.6%) disappointed,
    • Mall names being swept into the selling wave include American Eagle Outfitters (AEO -4.6%), Ascena Retail Group (ASNA -3.2%), Urban Outfitters (URBN -3.2%), Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF-2.5%), The Children's Place (PLCE -2.1%), Guess (GES -2.4%), Chico's FAS (CHS -2.4%) and Francesca's (FRAN -1.3%)

    • The first numbers are in from sports betting operations in New Jersey.
    • The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa (NYSE:MGM) reported bringing in $987K in sports betting revenue during June, while the Ocean Resort Casino brought in $193K. Sports wagering revenue from the Monmouth Park racetrack was $2.28M. All three sports betting sites were only open for part for the month.
    • Total gaming revenue in New Jersey increased 7.3% to $233.6M as the extra traffic presumably helped in other gaming areas.
    • William Hill (OTCPK:WIMHYOTCPK:WIMHF) has a piece of the action as an operator of sports books at Monmouth and Ocean Resort. "While it's still early, we're obviously off to a great start. We always knew there was a big appetite for legal sports betting during the years of litigation, and now it is being proven," says CEO Joe Asher.
    • New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement press release
    • Steel and downstream stocks could be the bright spot amid volatility within metals and mining tied to macro trade risks, says Goldman Sachs analyst Matthew Korn, adding that the sectors have fallen along with the rest of the group but without any visible significant cracks in fundamentals.
    • Goldman’s updated commodity assumptions show lower near-term base metals prices, higher near-term domestic steel prices and an unchanged medium-term bullish view on copper.
    • Given that steel prices are holding steady and no tariff exemptions are in place or in sight for NAFTA and the EU, Korn raises his U.S. steel price assumptions for H2 to an average of $855/ton HRC vs. $920/ton spot and $659/ton rebar vs. $698/ton spot.
    • Among individual names, Korn expects Nucor (NUE) and Steel Dynamics (STLD +0.1%) to announce additional capital returns in their upcoming Q2 reports.
    • Other relevant tickers include XMTAKS.
    • Source: Bloomberg First Word
    • Earlier: Commodities set to rise as trade war fears oversold, Goldman analysts say (July 5)
    • General Electric (GE +0.3%) is trading heavily but with little movement even after longtime bear Deutsche Bank upgrades shares to Hold from Sell with a $15 price target, citing recent asset divestitures.
    • DB analyst Nicole DeBlase likes that GE leadership is "taking bold actions to reshape/simplify the portfolio," and sees potential arbitrage between GE's current stock price and her sum-of-the-parts valuation of $16/share.
    • DeBlase also says GE's $25B in debt reduction could be conservative, given the $60B in potential cash inflows.
    • The firm's three Buy-rated industrial stocks – Hoenywell (HON +2.1%), Eaton (ETN +1.3%) and Emerson (EMR +1.7%) – are enjoying bigger bumps, as DeBlase says she prefers "late-cycle capex-driven exposure" given "strong prospects" for continued capital spending growth over the next several years.
    • CVS Health (CVS +3.9%) and Aetna (AET +2.4%) are rallying in apparent response to reports that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will not challenger their planned merger.
    • Merger partners Express Scripts (ESRX +2.3%) and Cigna (CI +0.9%) are up in concert as investors perceive bullish prospects for their tie-up.

    • CNBC sources say Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and startup Xealth are planning a pilot program that would deliver doctor-recommended products after patients check out of the hospital. 
    • Patients would gain access to discounted medical supplies and goods with home delivery through Amazon Prime or other participating e-commerce providers.  
    • Xealth is managing the pilot with Amazon guiding bundle setup and reseller accounts. Seattle’s Providence Health Systems and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center are also onboard as both hospital systems and Xealth investors.
    • The pilot program is under review and could start within months. 
    • Amazon shares are up 1.8% to $1,786.04. 
    • Huawei is making an artificial intelligence push that includes AI chips, according to The Information sources. 
    • The company’s Project Da Vinci wants to bring AI to everything from telecom base stations to cloud data centers to smartphones to surveillance cameras. 
    • Huawei’s telecom arm was effectively banned in the U.S. after a 2012 accusation that the company and ZTE had close ties to the Chinese government that could pose a national security threat. 
    • Earlier this year, U.S. lawmakers opposed Huawei’s plan to sell a smartphone through AT&T. 
    • Shares of AI chip rival Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) are up 1.5% to $251.19 and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) is up 1.9% to $52.16. 
    • More movers: CEVA (CEVA +0.6%), which licenses tech to the chipmakers, and companies that supply software tools to chip engineers, Synopsys (SNPS +2.5%) and Cadence Design Systems (CDNS +2%).
    • Looking at the prestige side of the TV business a year after streaming services made major strides in Emmy nominations, Netflix (NFLX -2.1%) has surpassed HBO (T +1.1%) in nominations for the first time, a comment on the company's enormous original-content budget and ambitions.
    • Netflix pulled 112 nominations to HBO's 108; last year, HBO had 110 nominations to Netflix's 91.
    • After missing the cutoff due to scheduling last year, HBO's Game of Thrones is back in the running and led all series with 22 nods, vs. 21 each for NBC's Saturday Night Live (CMCSA+1.7%) and HBO's Westworld. (The latter two programs were last year's leaders with 22 nominations each.)
    • Just behind them was Hulu's breakout original hit The Handmaid's Tale with 20 nominations. (CMCSADIS +0.7%FOX -0.6%FOXA -0.5%T).
    • NBC (NASDAQ:CMCSA) led broadcast networks with 78 nominations, while FX (FOX) had 50 nominations, most for basic cable. CBS had 34 nominations; ABC 31; Hulu 27 overall.

    • Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares hit a new all-time high of $104.29 midday before retreating slightly.
    • The company is still sitting about an $800B valuation, which puts it behind only Apple, Amazon, and Alphabet in market cap.
    • Microsoft shares are currently up 2.2% to $104.21.

  45. LB clobbered today…Dangit!

  46. Oops:

    The Justice Department will appeal the AT&T-Time Warner merger approval, according to a court document filed Thursday.

    I guess punishment for CNN fake news!

  47. /NQ 7400! Now we’re cookin’, nothing can stop us. Holy crap!

  48. These Are the Most Expensive Cities in the World

  49. Things will not be okay

  50. Twitter/Phil   Looks like you lost a few followers on twitter today.  No big deal though, so did thousands of other celebs. 

  51. U.S. Inflation Keeps Grinding Higher

  52. Morning! Which one would you guys like back? Giant baby POTUS or the balloon we flew over Parliament square. :-)

  53. Good morning!

    LOL Malsg, you know we only want the balloon!  

    Image result for it is balloon f troop

    I used to love that show…

    Twitter/Stock – I think it's great they purge the bot followers – certainly not hurting their stock price.  Remember when I used to have to bang the table on them?  

    Markets pretty calm this morning, down from overnight highs back to flat.  

    Trump is still rampaging through Europe, so anything can happen but on the trade front, there's nothing for China to retaliate against since Trump's $200Bn is on hold in the Senate – kind of.  Depends what happens when he's back next week but, right now, the market is assuming there won't be new tariffs due to the 90% Senate vote against them.

    Trump Reconvenes With May in Wake of Stinging Interview

    Tensions were running high ahead of planned talks between U.S. President Donald Trump and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, after the U.S. leader bashed the prime minister’s approach to Brexit. 108