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Wall Street Brunch- July 6

Jul. 06, 2020 9:11 AM ET24 Comments
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Let's start with a little history, shall we?

On this day in 1862, writing under the name of Mark Twain, Samuel Clemens begins publishing news stories in the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise. In 1861, Clemens’ brother Orion was appointed secretary to the territorial governor of Nevada. Clemens jumped at the offer to accompany Orion on his western adventure. He spent his first year in Nevada prospecting for a gold or silver mine but was no more successful than the vast majority of would-be miners. In need of money, he accepted a job as reporter for a Virginia City, Nevada, newspaper called the Territorial Enterprise. His articles covering the bustling frontier-mining town began to appear on this day in 1862. Like many newspapermen of the day, Clemens adopted a pen name, signing his articles with the name Mark Twain, a term from his old river boating days. In 1864, he traveled farther West to cover the booming state of California. Fascinated by the frontier life, Clemens drew on his western experiences to write one of his first published works of fiction, the 1865 short story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.” In 1869, Clemens settled in Buffalo, New York, and later in Hartford, Connecticut. All told, Clemens spent only a little more than five years in the West, and the majority of his subsequent work focused on the Mississippi River country and the Northeast. His 1872 account of his western adventures, Roughing It, remains one of the most original and evocative eyewitness accounts of the frontier ever written. More importantly, even his non-western masterpieces like Tom Sawyer (1876) and Huckleberry Finn (1884) reflected a frontier mentality in their rejection of eastern pretentiousness and genteel literary conventions.

On July 6, 1933, Major League Baseball’s first All-Star Game took place at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. The brainchild of a determined sports editor, the event was designed to bolster the sport and improve its reputation during the darkest years of the Great Depression. Originally billed as a one-time “Game of the Century,” it has now become a permanent and much-loved fixture of the baseball season.

The front-page headline of the Liverpool Evening Express on July 6, 1957, read “MERSEYSIDE SIZZLES,” in reference to the heat wave then gripping not just northern England, but all of Europe. The same headline could well have been used over a story that received no coverage at all that day: The story of the first encounter between two Liverpool teenagers named John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Like the personal and professional relationship it would lead to, their historic first meeting was a highly charged combination of excitement, rivalry and mutual respect. A mutual friend made the introduction in the nearby church auditorium, where John and his bandmates slouched on folding chairs and barely acknowledged the younger boy. Then Paul pulled out the guitar he was carrying on his back and began playing Eddie Cochran’s “Twenty Flight Rock,” then Gene Vincent’s “Be Bop A Lula,” then a medley of Little Richard numbers. As Jim O’Donnell writes in The Day John Met Paul, his book-length account of this historic moment in music history, “A young man not easily astonished, Lennon is astonished.” Paul’s musicianship far outstripped the older Lennon’s, but more than that, John recognized in Paul the same passion Paul had detected in John during his earlier onstage performance. Soon Paul was teaching a rapt John how to tune his guitar and writing out the chords and lyrics to some of the songs he’d just played. 

Now for some investing and stock news-

Futures roll into the week up about 1%. Crude is up fractionally and Gold is down slightly.

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) broke its silence at the end of a holiday weekend with its largest acquisition in more than four years. The conglomerate is buying Dominion Energy's (NYSE:D) Gas Transmission & Storage segment for $9.7B in cash, which includes more than 7,700 miles of natural gas storage and transmission pipelines and about 900B cubic feet of gas storage. Proceeds will be about $3B, as the deal includes the assumption of $5.7B in debt and there are some taxes to pay (that amount will be used by Dominion to buy back shares).

A pair of the limited edition red satin shorts are now being sold at the Tesla Shop for $69.420, the last three digits an apparent reference to Musk's infamous tweet in 2018 that he was considering taking Tesla private for $420 per share. As of mid-June, more than 15M shares of TSLA stock were being sold short and are currently valued at more than $18B, making Tesla by far the most shorted company by valuation on the Nasdaq. History has shown that stocks do not fare well when they see such high valuations. Time will tell if Tesla can break this trend. Is Elon Musk a CEO or simply a promoter? More on Tesla on Thursday.

Boeing in the WSB news and I am done discussing Boeing here.

I have no idea why this is considered investing news, but Seeking Alpha and now Wall Street Breakfast are running "updates" on Kanye West running for President. I have asked that all political talk be left out of comments, but is this "news" really related to investing or is it just for clicks and comments? The floor is open for discussion on this topic today.

Off to Google Finance -

Uber has bought food-delivery service Postmates for $2.65 billion in stock, the companies announced Monday. The deal brings together the fourth-largest U.S. food delivery service with Uber Eats, which trails only DoorDash in market share, according to Second Measure and Edison Trends. The companies said Uber intends to keep the Postmates app running separately, “supported by a more efficient, combined merchant and delivery network.” 

Back from Google Finance.

We watched "Hamilton" over the weekend on Disney +. My wife and I enjoyed it and we will be watching it again soon. Would have rather seen it on Broadway, but who knows when that opportunity will come about?

Where is Jon Corzine and is MF Global buying shares of Uber today?

Where is Marissa Mayer and is she now working at Seeking Alpha in the Entertainment News division?

Where is Elizabeth Holmes and will her "massive" fraud trial ever see a court room?

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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