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Wall Street Brunch- July 27

Jul. 27, 2020 9:34 AM ET21 Comments
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Let's start with a little history, shall we?

On this day in 1794, Maximilien Robespierre, the architect of the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror, is overthrown and arrested by the National Convention. As the leading member of the Committee of Public Safety from 1793, Robespierre encouraged the execution, mostly by guillotine, of more than 17,000 enemies of the Revolution. The day after his arrest, Robespierre and 21 of his followers were guillotined before a cheering mob in the Place de la Revolution in Paris. During the next few days, another 82 Robespierre followers were executed. The Reign of Terror was at an end. In the aftermath of the coup, the Committee of Public Safety lost its authority, the prisons were emptied, and the French Revolution became decidedly less radical. The Directory that followed saw a return to bourgeois values, corruption, and military failure. In 1799, the Directory was overthrown in a military coup led by Napoleon Bonaparte, who wielded dictatorial powers in France as first consul and, after 1804, as French emperor.

On July 27, 1943, Joseph Stalin, premier and dictator of the Soviet Union, issues Order No. 227, what came to be known as the “Not one step backward” order, in light of German advances into Russian territory. The order declared, “Panic makers and cowards must be liquidated on the spot. Not one step backward without orders from higher headquarters! Commanders…who abandon a position without an order from higher headquarters are traitors to the Motherland.” Stalin needed to “motivate” both officers and civilians alike in their defense of Leningrad—hence, Order No. 227. But it was hardly necessary. On the same day the order was given, Russian peasants and partisans in the Leningrad region killed a German official, Adolf Beck, whose job was to send agricultural products from occupied Russia to Germany or German troops. The Russian patriots also set fire to the granaries and barns in which the stash of agricultural products was stored before transport. A partisan pamphlet issued an order of its own: “Russians! Destroy the German landowners. Drive the Germans from the land of the Soviets!”

From Yesterday's Date- On July 26, 1775, the U.S. postal system is established by the Second Continental Congress, with Benjamin Franklin as its first postmaster general. Franklin (1706-1790) put in place the foundation for many aspects of today’s mail system. In 1774, the British fired Franklin from his postmaster job because of his revolutionary activities. However, the following year, he was appointed postmaster general of the United Colonies by the Continental Congress. Franklin held the job until late in 1776, when he was sent to France as a diplomat. He left a vastly improved mail system, with routes from Florida to Maine and regular service between the colonies and Britain. President George Washington appointed Samuel Osgood, a former Massachusetts congressman, as the first postmaster general of the American nation under the new U.S. constitution in 1789. At the time, there were approximately 75 post offices in the country. 

Now for some stock and investing news-

Futures kick off the week up slightly. Crude is down 0.2% and Gold is up 2%.

Rush Street Interactive has agreed to merge with special purpose acquisition company dMY Technology Group (NYSE:DMYT), in a deal that values the online sports-and-casino betting company at about $1.8B including debt.

AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) has entered into a global development and commercialization agreement with Daiichi Sankyo (OTCPK:DSKYF) for latter's DS-1062, a TROP2 directed DXd antibody drug conjugate (ADC), for non-small cell lung cancer and triple negative breast cancer.

Ottawa is "intent on getting it done," Canada's Natural Resources Minister Seamus O'Regan declared, vowing to get TC Energy's (NYSE:TRP) Keystone XL pipeline across the finish line. Keystone XL would ship 830K barrels of crude a day to Steele City, Nebraska, from Hardisty, Alberta, giving Canadian oil companies a new route to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Off to Google Finance-

Apple Inc. shares AAPL, -0.24% are up 1% in premarket trading Monday after J.P. Morgan analyst Samik Chatterjee boosted his price target on the stock to $425 from $365. "We believe investors looking for further upside have to focus on the longer-term earnings trajectory rather than expect near-term upside, as the likelihood of an earnings beat in F3Q (Jun) as well as strong early 5G cycle volumes (driving upside to calendar 2H20 estimates) appear to be priced in," wrote Chatterjee.

Hershey, Skyworks Solutions, and J.M. Smucker were among the large U.S. companies this past week that said they would increase their dividends. 

People socializing less and working from home caused a slump in demand for personal care items like deodorant and makeup, consumer goods giant Unilever ULVR, +1.17% said on Thursday. But Unilever, which also owns Ben & Jerry’s and Magnum, said locked down Americans ramped up their ice cream consumption, enjoying at-home eating while staying indoors to control the spread of coronavirus. 

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

Where is Marissa Mayer and when will her online sports betting company be bought out?

Where is Elizabeth Holmes and will she ever stand trial for "massive" fraud?

Where is Elon Musk and why is it OK for him to take billions in government money but it is not OK for another round of stimulus checks?

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.

(Apologies for Brunch being later this morning. Had some work to before posting)

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