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Today's History for Wed July 22 2020

Let's start with a little history, shall we?

On July 21, 2007, the seventh and final Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is released, with an initial print run of 12 million copies in the United States alone. Like each of the previous Harry Potter novels, Deathly Hallows was slated to be made into a major Hollywood film. The bespectacled boy wizard Harry Potter is the brainchild of the British author J.K. Rowling, who was born July 31, 1965. Rowling’s first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, debuted in Britain in 1997 (it was retitled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when it was released in America the next year) and went on to become an international bestseller. Children and adults alike were captivated by Harry, his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger and their adventures at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The books, which chronicled Harry’s struggles against his enemy, the evil Lord Voldemort, have sold over 400 million copies and been translated into more than 60 languages. The series is also credited with boosting childhood literacy around the globe.

On July 21, 365, a powerful earthquake off the coast of Greece causes a tsunami that devastates the city of Alexandria, Egypt. Although there were no measuring tools at the time, scientists now estimate that the quake was actually two tremors in succession, the largest of which is thought to have had a magnitude of 8.0. The quake was centered near the plate boundary called the Hellenic Arc and quickly sent a wall of water across the Mediterranean Sea toward the Egyptian coast. Ships in the harbor at Alexandria were overturned as the water near the coast receded suddenly. Reports indicate that many people rushed out to loot the hapless ships. The tsunami wave then rushed in and carried the ships over the sea walls, landing many on top of buildings. In Alexandria, approximately 5,000 people lost their lives and 50,000 homes were destroyed. Outside the city, 45,000 people were killed. In addition, the inundation of saltwater rendered farmland useless for years to come. Evidence indicates that the area’s shoreline was permanently changed by the disaster. Slowly, but steadily, the buildings of Alexandria’s Royal Quarter were overtaken by the sea following the tsunami. It was not until 1995 that archaeologists discovered the ruins of the old city off the coast of present-day Alexandria.

On July 21, 2011, NASA’s space shuttle program completes its final, and 135th, mission, when the shuttle Atlantis lands at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. During the program’s 30-year history, its five orbiters—Columbia, Chall enger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour—carried more than 350 people into space and flew more than 500 million miles, and shuttle crews conducted important research, serviced the Hubble Space Telescope and helped in the construction of the International Space Station, among other activities. Upon landing, the flight’s commander, Capt. Christopher J. Ferguson, said, “Mission complete, Houston. After serving the world for over 30 years, the space shuttle has earned its place in history, and it’s come to a final stop.” During its 26 years in service, Atlantis flew almost 126 million miles, circled Earth 4,848 times and spent 307 days in space. The estimated price tag for the entire space shuttle program, from development to retirement, was $209 billion. NASA retired the shuttles to focus on a deep-space exploration program that could one day send astronauts to asteroids and Mars.

Now for some stock and investing news-

Futures roll into Tuesday up around 0.7%. Crude is up 2.4% and Gold is up fractionally.

Walt Disney $DIS has fired ABC News' Barbara Fedida, who was one of the most powerful executives in television news, after an investigation confirmed allegations that she made insensitive remarks and racial slurs about colleagues. Former Fox News $FOX reporter Jennifer Eckhart has leveled rape allegations against former Fox host Ed Henry, while journalist Cathy Areu alleged that she was sexually harassed by Henry, as well as current on-air talent like Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Howard Kurtz and Gianno Caldwell.

Amazon $AMZN Prime Day 2020 will be postponed by three months, according to an email to third-party sellers that suggests this year's big deals will launch in October. "This year we'll be holding Prime Day later than usual, while ensuring the safety of our employees and supporting our customers and selling partners," the company announced, adding that it would share "more details soon." While Prime Day in the U.S. is being put on hold, Amazon said Prime Day will take place in India next month on August 6 and 7.

Starbucks (NASDAQ: $SBUX) customers in China can now order drinks on Alibaba's (NYSE: $BABA) Taobao marketplace, Koubei, digital payment app Alipay and mobile map app Amap. I am long both $SBUX and $BABA.

Volkswagen (OTCPK: $VWAGY) and Ford (NYSE: $F) are asking the U.S. International Trade Commission to allow SK Innovation (OTC:SKOVF) to manufacture batteries at a plant in Georgia for Ford's EV cars.

JMP Securities drops Tesla (NASDAQ: $TSLA) to a Market Perform rating from Market Outperform on a valuation call following the 293% YTD rally. "The company’s valuation now slightly exceeds the $1,500 price target that we established recently, and we believe that any intermediate-term success that TSLA might discuss during its earnings call tomorrow is now fairly reflected in the stock price. We continue to believe that TSLA can become a $100 billion car company by 2025, but we cannot arrive at a reasonable basis for arguing that the stock should be valued above current levels, even considering our fundamental outlook," updates the firm.

Off to Google Finance-

Discount grocer Aldi said Tuesday that it will open more than 70 stores by the end of the year, with hopes of attracting new customers and wooing some away from grocery rivals, including Walmart and Kroger.

Beijing is considering retaliating against the Chinese operations of two major European telecommunication-equipment manufacturers, Nokia Corp. and Ericsson AB, should European Union members follow the lead of the U.S. and U.K. in barring China’s Huawei Technologies Co. from 5G networks.

notes via user dcv

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