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Wall Street Brunch- September 24

Sep. 24, 2020 7:10 AM ET46 Comments
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Let's start with a little history, shall we?

On September 24, 622, the prophet Muhammad completes his Hegira, or “flight,” from Mecca to Medina to escape persecution. In Medina, Muhammad set about building the followers of his religion—Islam—into an organized community and Arabian power. The Hegira would later mark the beginning (year 1) of the Muslim calendar. At Medina, Muhammad built a theocratic state and led raids on trading caravans from Mecca. Attempts by Meccan armies to defeat the Muslim forces failed, and several leading Meccans immigrated to Medina and became Muslims. Muhammad later become more conciliatory to Mecca, and in 629 he was allowed to lead a pilgrimage there in exchange for a peace treaty. Shortly after, he was attacked by allies of the Meccans, and Muhammad denounced the treaty. In January 630, he returned to his birthplace with 10,000 men, and the Meccans swore allegiance to its Muslim conquerors. He was now the strongest man in Arabia. During the next few years, most of the peninsula’s disparate Arab tribes came to him to ask for alliance and to convert to his religion. By his death, on June 8, 632, Muhammad was the effective ruler of most of Arabia, and his rapidly growing empire was poised for expansion into Syria and Iraq. Within 20 years, the Byzantine and Persian empires had fallen to the prophet’s successors, and during the next two centuries vast Arab conquests continued. The Islamic empire grew into one of the largest the world has ever seen, stretching from India, across the Middle East and Africa, and up through Western Europe’s Iberian peninsula. The spread of Islam continued after the fragmentation of the Arab empire, and many societies in Africa and Asia voluntarily adopted Muhammad’s religion. Today, Islam is the world’s second-largest religion.

On September 24, 1988, Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson runs the 100-meter dash in 9.79 seconds to win gold at the Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. Johnson’s triumph, however, was temporary: He tested positive for steroids three days later and was stripped of the medal. On September 24, in the 100-meter final, Johnson lined up in lane 6, while Lewis took his position in lane 3 and fellow contender Linford Christie of Great Britain lined up in lane 4. Johnson got off to an explosive start, and though Lewis was known for his closing speed and set an American record—a non-wind-aided 9.92 seconds—in the event, he simply could not catch up and finished several full strides behind Johnson. After the race, Johnson declared to reporters, ”The important thing was to beat Carl. That was my main goal, not the world record. Just to beat Carl Lewis to win.” On September 27, Johnson tested positive for steroids. He denied willfully using steroids, instead claiming that an herbal drink he’d been given before the race had been spiked. The International Olympic Committee refused to accept his explanation, and Johnson was stripped of the gold medal, which was then given to Carl Lewis.

On this day in 1948, motorcycle builder Soichiro Honda incorporates the Honda Motor Company in Hamamatsu, Japan. In the 1960s, the company achieved worldwide fame for its motorcycles (in particular, its C100 Super Cub, which became the world’s best-selling vehicle); in the 1970s, it achieved worldwide fame for its affordable, fuel-efficient cars. Today, in large part because of its continued emphasis on affordability, efficiency and eco-friendliness (its internal motto is “Blue skies for our children”), the company is doing better than most. Starting in the 1960s, the company produced a few small cars and sporty racers, but it wasn’t until it introduced the Civic in 1973 that it really entered the auto market. The car’s CVCC engine burned less fuel and could pass American emissions tests without a catalytic converter; as a result, the car was a hit with American drivers frustrated by rising gasoline costs. The slightly larger, plusher 1976 Accord won even more fans, and in 1989 it became the most popular car in the United States. Soichiro Honda was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1989. He died two years later at the age of 84.

Now for some stock and investing news-

Futures looking a touch cloudy. No need for shades today.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) appears to be recovering from its network outage per anecdotal reports and tracking on DownDetector.com. The full extent of the outage and if it led to any issues with vehicles hasn't been determined yet. Shares of Tesla are down 8.15% on the day and swapped hands as low as $383.00. The good news is that Tesla can once again reach the magical $420 price!

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced an order to ban gasoline-powered cars in the state by 2035. The directive means that all new cars sold in the state must be zero-emission vehicles by that time.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) is poised to pay almost $1B, in what would be a record penalty for an investigation into so-called spoofing of metals futures and Treasury securities, Bloomberg reports. It's also expected that JPMorgan will admit to wrongdoing, an admission many companies generally avoid when settling charges that they violated securities laws. Spoofing usually entails flooding derivatives markets with orders that traders don't intend to execute to deceive others into moving prices in a desired direction.

Following in the lead of Delta yesterday, United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL) and the union representing its pilots have agreed to delay furloughs until October 30, according to Reuters.  Both airline companies are also under pressure to lower their monthly cash burn rates with the prospect of international travel bookings staying sluggish for an extended period of time. 

Blue Origin (BORGN), the space outfit founded by Jeff Bezos, is planning to make its 13th trip to space this morning (11 a.m. ET) to test technologies for future moon missions as part of NASA's Artemis program. The company will be using its New Shepard rocket that will be flying for the seventh time, setting a record for rocket recycling.

Where is Jon Corzine and will MF Global be buyers of $JPM today?

Where is Marissa Mayer and will Yahoo erect a statue of her any time soon?

Where is Elizabeth Holmes and is she still raising money for a Theranos comeback?

Where is Trevor Milton and will GM send him a Christmas card this year?

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.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

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