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Wall Street Brunch- July 1

Jul. 01, 2020 9:26 AM ET36 Comments
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Let's start with a little history, shall we?

One of the largest military conflicts in North American history begins on July 1, 1863, when Union and Confederate forces collide at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The epic battle lasted three days and resulted in a retreat to Virginia by Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. On the morning of July 1, advance units of the forces came into contact with one another just outside of Gettysburg. The sound of battle attracted other units, and by noon the conflict was raging. During the first hours of battle, Union General John Reynolds was killed, and the Yankees found that they were outnumbered. The battle lines ran around the northwestern rim of Gettysburg. The Confederates applied pressure all along the Union front, and they slowly drove the Yankees through the town. By evening, the Federal troops rallied on high ground on the southeastern edge of Gettysburg. As more troops arrived, Meade’s army formed a three-mile long, fishhook-shaped line running from Culp’s Hill on the right flank, along Cemetery Hill and Cemetery Ridge, to the base of Little Round Top. The Confederates held Gettysburg, and stretched along a six-mile arc around the Union position. Lee’s forces would continue to batter each end of the Union position, before launching the infamous Pickett’s Charge against the Union center on July 3. 

On this day in 1867, the autonomous Dominion of Canada, a confederation of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the future provinces of Ontario and Quebec, is officially recognized by Great Britain with the passage of the British North America Act. July 1 becomes known as Canada Day. In 1841, Upper and Lower Canada—now known as Ontario and Quebec—were made a single province by the Act of Union. In the 1860s, a movement for a greater Canadian federation grew out of the need for a common defense, the desire for a national railroad system, and the necessity of finding a solution to the problem of French and British conflict. When the Maritime provinces, which sought union among themselves, called a conference in 1864, delegates from the other provinces of Canada attended. Later in the year, another conference was held in Quebec, and in 1866 Canadian representatives traveled to London to meet with the British government. With passage of the British North America Act, the Dominion of Canada was officially established as a self-governing entity within the British Empire. Two years later, Canada acquired the vast possessions of the Hudson’s Bay Company, and within a decade the provinces of Manitoba and Prince Edward Island had joined the Canadian federation. In 1885, the Canadian Pacific Railway was completed, making mass settlement across the vast territory of Canada possible.

The transistor radio was a technological marvel that put music literally into consumers’ hands in the mid-1950s. It was cheap, it was reliable and it was portable, but it could never even approximate the sound quality of a record being played on a home stereo. It was, however, the only technology available to on-the-go music lovers until the Sony Corporation sparked a revolution in personal electronics with the introduction of the first personal stereo cassette player. A device as astonishing on first encounter as the cellular phone or digital camera would later be, the Sony Walkman went on sale for the very first time on July 1, 1979. The initial production run of 30,000 units looked to be too ambitious after one month of lackluster sales (only 3,000 were sold in July 1979). But after an innovative consumer-marketing campaign in which Sony representatives simply approached pedestrians on the streets of Tokyo and gave them a chance to listen to the Walkman, the product took off, selling out available stocks before the end of August and signaling the beginning of one of Sony’s greatest success stories.

Now for some stock and investing news-

Futures roll into Wednesday with the Dow down 0.1% and the S&P and Nasdaq flat. Crude is 2.8% and Gold is up 0.1%.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) failed to submit certification documents to the Federal Aviation Administration describing changes to the MCAS flight control system that was faulted in two fatal crashes of the 737 MAX, according to a government watchdog report. Boeing kept the FAA in the dark on significant changes to MCAS, and changes to the system that automatically pushed down the plane's nose were not fully communicated to FAA officials, which led them to focus on other issues with the plane, the report says. Yikes. 

"Mrs. Butterworth's was really architected to resemble a loving grandmother, but we can understand how some people may view it differently, may find it offensive," Conagra Brands (NYSE:CAG) CEO Sean Connolly told CNBC, explaining the company's brand review. "The horrific violence, the racial justice, we and other companies have to up our game when it comes to diversity and inclusion, and that starts with listening and it starts with being more aware and sensitive."

Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) is entering grocery stores in mainland China through a partnership with Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), which will begin selling the meatless burger patties at its innovation-driven Freshippo chain. The news may go some way in helping shares of Beyond Meat, which have slipped about 10% over the past week after McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) ended a trial of its meatless burger in Canada.

Off to Google Finance-

Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG) announced today that farmers in its supply chain could launch improved versions of their e-commerce sites with the help of Shopify (NYSE:SHOP). With the development or improvement of individualized online marketplaces, suppliers can sell meat, dairy and grain products, and other items directly to consumers across the U.S.

NPC International, the largest U.S. franchisee of Yum Brands’ Pizza Hut, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Wednesday. The company operates more than 1,200 Pizza Huts and nearly 400 Wendy’s restaurants. NPC joins a host of other companies that filed for bankruptcy during the pandemic, including Chuck E. Cheese’s parent company CEC Entertainment, rental car company Hertz and retailers J. Crew and J.C. Penney.

Where is Jon Corzine and will MF Global be buyers of Yum?

Where is Marissa Mayer and will she ever return to Yahoo?

Where is Elizabeth Holmes and when will Theranos rise from the ashes?

Have a great day everyone. Stay safe out there.

This is the day The Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

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