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With so much to follow in Washington right now – and so much happening all across the country – I want to make sure the investigations into Russian
interference in the 2016 election don’t get lost in the shuffle. Special counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury, signaling that the investigations
are reaching a critical moment, and new information continues to surface.
We’ve seen findings that Russians purchased political ads on Facebook, Google and other online platforms to spread disinformation and stoke fear. And
internal reviews of that spending indicate the Russians used sophisticated targeting to sow discord. In addition to the propaganda, we also know of at
least 21 states where Russians tried to hack into election systems, a story which hasn’t gotten the thorough attention it deserves.
I’ve talked about the Russia investigations with folks in Maine and all across the country – including some who wonder what the point of all this is. People
understandably want to put the 2016 elections behind them and leave this in the past – but, unfortunately, Russian meddling isn’t a thing of the past. It’s a
real concern for the future of our electoral system. As former FBI Director James Comey said during his testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence
Committee: “They’ll be back.” Putin doesn’t “side” with anyone but himself – he’s not a Republican or a Democrat, and this was not a one-off. Russia has
tried to undermine democratic regimes in France, the Netherlands and Germany with its disinformation campaigns, and it’ll be back to attempt to
undermine ours in 2018 and 2020. I don’t have any doubt about that.
Our country’s voters have critical decisions to make in the months and years ahead, and we need to make sure all Americans get the chance to make
their own choices free of foreign interference. I consider this some of the most important work of my career. As a member of the Senate Intelligence
Committee, I’m focused on learning exactly what the Russians did and how they did it. We must uncover the facts, hold people accountable and prevent
this from happening again.
I appreciate you taking the time to read my thoughts, and I’ll keep you in the loop as this continues to develop.
Thank you for your support.
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Trumpiversary: Here Are the Winners & Losers
9:33 am ET November 9, 2017 (Zacks) Print
Before President Trump’s election, many pundits found it difficult to assess the outcome of his victory as his proposals seemed contradictory or lacked
details. On the contrary, such pro-economic policies helped technology and financial stocks rise sharply, helping Wall Street’s major equity indicators
showing the best rally in the past 81 years.
Defense stocks have, in fact, left the rest in the dust. The sector gained the most following tensions between Trump and North Korea. Trump’s
Afghanistan strategy has also lent such stocks a fillip. However, not everyone has partaken in this year-long rally. Let us thus take a look at the potential
gainers and losers of the ‘Trump trade’.
Trump Rally Fed Off Wall Street Anxiety
It’s been a year since Trump’s stunning performance on election night that had rattled the global equity market. The Dow futures tumbled nearly 900
points as investors remained concerned about Trump’s questionable campaign promises on trade and immigration.
But, investors’ apprehensions ebbed by morning and U.S. stocks started moving north. In fact, the Dow’s 1-year gain since Trump’s win turned out to be
the highest post-Election Day rise since 1945. The blue-chip gauge surged 28.5% since Nov 8, 2016.
The S&P 500 also rallied 21% since the close of trading on Election Day 2016. This is the benchmark index’s third best performance during a President’s
first election since World War II, lagging that of Presidents John F Kennedy (1960, 29%) and George H. W. Bush (1988, 23%), as per Sam Stovall of
Though Trump had taken over a progressing economy with the stock market near an all-time high, his pro-growth and business-friendly policies as well as
bets on deregulation gave investors ample scope.
Technology and Financials Benefit From Trump Policy
Promises of pro-business legislation by Trump have primarily supported the gains for the software industry and the manufacturers of the internal
technologies — the semiconductor makers. The House’s latest corporate tax plan will lower taxes from 35% to 20%. As a result, tech companies’ after-tax
earnings will improve and lead to repatriation of trillions of dollars held abroad by such companies. Tech companies can use this extra cash for research
and developments, and mergers and acquisitions.
If the bill turns into a law, tech bigwigs including Apple Inc. AAPL and Microsoft Corporation MSFT as well as semiconductor giant NVIDIA Corporation
NVDA will largely benefit as they have billions of dollars stashed outside the United States. In fact, NVIDIA – Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock – became the
biggest gainer since the election, up a staggering 209%. Looking at the big picture, the technology sector is up around 39%.
You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Financials, in the meantime, has benefitted from the possibility of deregulating the sector. At the same time, Trump appointed Jerome Powell as the next
Federal Reserve chairman, someone who favors his regulatory changes.
Trump views the Dodd-Frank regulatory overhaul as a harsh measure, especially, on smaller banks. Trump has called for repealing parts of the Dodd-
Frank Act, which has for a considerable period of time limited operational flexibility. Trump’s administration also aims at increasing the minimum asset
threshold for banking behemoths, which will lend more flexibility, boost valuations, strengthen consolidation and increase lending. The value of stock and
options held by Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co., turned out to be the highest since Trump’s win, while the broader financial sector
soared almost 35% in the said period.
Defense Stocks – By Far the Best Trade
Aerospace and the defense sector has been the best trade since Trump’s election. While deal making activity boosted the sector, Trump’s unrelenting
war of words against Pyongyang provided enough impetus to the sector to climb further north.
Let us also not forget that Trump revealed a reversal of strategy in Afghanistan, promising to “fight to win” instead of withdrawing entirely. He vowed to
ramp up U.S. engagement in Afghanistan, the country’s longest war to date. He added that moving troops away from Afghanistan would create a
“vacuum,” which terrorists would “instantly fill.”
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. KTOS, AeroVironment, Inc. AVAV and Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. AJRD have been the best-performing
components in the defense sector, with their stock value doubling since Trump’s victory.
Aerospace company Boeing Co gained the maximum at 87% since the election. Trump’s pledge to significantly increase federal spending related to
national security was cheered by Republicans and helped defense and aerospace stocks scale higher. He had promised to seek a $54-billion hike in
spending on tanks, ships and weapon systems. The defense budget will climb 10%, according to the White House, while Trump recommended $30 billion
in supplementary military spending for this year.
Which Sectors Are Not So Lucky?
Not everyone, though, has participated in the year-long rally. The three worst performing sectors since Trump’s election have been consumer staples,
energy and telecommunication services. While staples and energy managed to eke out marginal gains, telecommunications tanked nearly 10%.
While volatility in oil prices during Trump’s regime made investors cautious from investing in the energy sector, staples and telecommunications were
affected due to higher interest rates. The Federal Reserve has lifted rates twice this year and is expected to raise it again next month.
Retailers too have been affected during Trump’s regime, as they continue to adapt to changing consumer tastes and preferences as well as evolving
shopping methods. Notably, Macy's Inc M was among the biggest losers since the election, down 52.3%. Currently, the omnichannel retail company has a
Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
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|8.8 Mile SOUTH LOOP
Up Mt. Charleston Real Time
Videos from Nov. 2011
|7.2 Mile RAIN TREE
Up/Down (Mt. Charleston)
|A specially equipped "firefighter drone chopper", similar to a MQ-8C Fire Scout (or their likes), could have stopped the fire in the first few hours after the thunderstorm had passed.
|Also, a Howard Hughes would have a 100 of those stationed in every western state, taking off as soon as a thunderstorm had passed to attack the fires - and not wait until it gets out of control!"
|My suggestion below dates from July 2013, at the height of the fire!
|(Excerpts from my July/Aug. 2013 web page)
|Mt. Charleston South Loop Trail
(now damaged by wildfire)
Click for video
NOTE: Some videos may have been removed by now!
|Mt. Charleston Mummy Mountain
& Raintree (Saved!)