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Coronavirus will impact stocks more than earnings



Wall Street gets an update on the coronavirus epidemic in China each night, and while the numbers are not always dependable, stocks are reacting to the information, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Friday.

The ongoing global health concern led to a mixed day of trading in the market, he said. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell about 25 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite both rose about 0.20%. The major averages, however, all posted weekly gains.

“Until the outbreak burns itself out, the coronavirus statistics, and not earnings, will continue to control the day-to-day action,” the “Mad Money” host said.

Cramer went on to reveal what he has circled on his calendar for the coming shortened week of earnings reports after the Presidents Day holiday Monday:

Tuesday: Walmart, Medtronic earnings

Walmart reports fourth-quarter fiscal 2020 earnings in the morning. The retailer is expected to record $142.5 billion in revenue and $1.44 of earnings per share, according to FactSet estimates.

“We want to know how much they’ll be hurt by the China slowdown, and in particular whether their supply chain will be disrupted,” Cramer said.

Medtronic also reports third-quarter fiscal financial results early in the morning. Analysts project the medical device company will have $7.8 billion in sales and earn $1.38 per share.

Wednesday: Dish Network, Bausch Health, Analog Devices, Elanco Animal Health, Pioneer Natural Resources, Energy Transfer Partners earnings

Dish Network will hold an earnings call at noon to discuss its results from the December quarter. The satellite television provider is expected to show $3 billion on the top line and 58 cents in earnings per share.

Cramer hopes to find out Dish’s plans for the assets it’s buying from Sprint and T-Mobile as part of the phone companies’ prospective merger.

Bausch Health’s fourth-quarter earnings report comes out in the morning. The Canadian pharmaceutical company is projected to record about $2.2 billion in revenue and $1.15 in earnings per share.

Cramer said, “Unless Bausch reports on a real bad day for the coronavirus, I think this stock can go higher.”

Analog Devices releases its earnings report from its first quarter of the 2020 fiscal year before the morning bell. Wall Street expects the chipmaker to bring in revenue of $1.3 billion and profits of $1 per share.

Elanco Animal Health reveals its quarterly results in the morning, as well. The company is expected to collect $790 million in revenues and produce 23 cents of earnings per share, FactSet said.

Pioneer Natural Resources, one of the few oil companies Cramer continues to follow, reports earnings after the closing bell. Wall Street is looking for revenues of almost $2.48 billion and earnings per share of $2.11.

“These guys always play it straight. They’ll give us the real skinny on where the industry’s headed,” Cramer said. “I trust them.”

Energy Transfer also reports in the afternoon. The propane pipeline transporter is expected to bring in $13.47 billion on the revenue line and make a profit of 36 cents per share.

“I think you’re going to be able to figure out that we simply have too much pipe for ETP’s own good,” Cramer said. “Avoid this stock.”

Thursday: Norwegian Cruise Line, ViacomCBS, American Electric Power, Con Edison, Domino’s Pizza, Ventas and Zscaler earnings

Norwegian Cruise Line reports fourth-quarter earnings prior to the morning bell. The company is estimated to show $1.4 billion of revenue and 70 cents earnings per share.

“Right now, this whole industry is in crisis” because of the coronavirus outbreak, Cramer said. “I think it’s too risky … but I want them to make the case.”

ViacomCBS will report financial results in the morning for the first time since Viacom and CBS officially re-merged in December. Wall Street expects the media company to report about $5.7 billion in revenue and $1.40 in earnings per share.

“The combination is what attracted me to this thing, but these days ViacomCBS has to do a lot more to entice other shareholders. Until then, [it’s] a broken stock.”

American Electric Power reports quarterly earnings before the market opens for trading. The utility company is expected to print $4.27 billion on the revenue line and produce 58 cents in profits per share.

Consolidated Edison reports after the market closes. Analysts are looking for $3.1 billion of revenue and 80 cents of earnings per share.

Domino’s Pizza earnings report comes out in the morning. Wall Street estimates the pizza chain to count $1.1 billion in revenue and $2.98 in earnings per share. Cramer wants to find out how delivery aggregate apps, such as Postmates and DoorDash, continue to impact the pizza chain.

“The competition’s hurt them, but the action in the stock … tells me that maybe there’s some good things happening,” Cramer said.

Ventas has a fourth-quarter earnings report coming out before the market opens. The real estate investment trust is estimated to have revenues of $969 million and earnings of 92 cents per share.

“I’m betting CEO Deb Cafaro gets the story back on track,” the host said. “She’s historically been a bankable chief executive. Plus, Ventas is paying you a 5.3% yield to wait for the turn that I think Deb is going to engineer.”

Zscaler reports earnings at the end of the trading day. The cybersecurity company is projected to have $99 million in sales and 3 cents in earnings per share, according to FactSet.

Friday: Deere earnings

Deere & Company reveals its fiscal 2020 first-quarter earnings in the morning. The agricultural machinery manufacturer is estimated to have $6.2 billion in revenue and $1.29 in earnings per share.

“The group’s been doing terribly, but never fear,” Cramer said. “This is an election year and in election years farmers tend to get big handouts, even bigger than the usual subsidies.”

Disclosure: Cramer’s charitable trust owns shares of ViacomCBS.


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These high-income taxpayers are getting a visit from the IRS




The IRS will soon start make house calls to high-income individuals who didn’t submit a tax return.

Starting this month, the agency will send its revenue officers to visit people with income in excess of $100,000 and who failed to file Form 1040 in 2018 or in previous years.

“These visits shouldn’t come as a surprise to the taxpayer because the IRS has contacted these individuals multiple times regarding their tax issues prior to their cases being assigned to an IRS revenue officer,” said Hank Kea, director of field collection operations, small business/self-employed division, at the federal agency.

Kea discussed the new measures on a phone call with reporters on Wednesday.

So far, the IRS anticipates making about 800 in-person visits to these high-income non-filers in the first two months, he said. Thousands more will follow through the year. The agency anticipates sending additional revenue officers out as it identifies more cases of noncompliance.

“When you look at the tax gap, there’s a significant amount of revenue lost to individual high-income non-filers, and it literally does measure into the billions,” Kea said.

The visits are taking place at a time when taxpayers enjoy reduced odds of an audit by the IRS. During the fiscal year 2019, only 0.45% of taxpayers were audited.

Third-party data

The IRS can sniff out unreported income and earnings through third-party reporting sources, including your employer, your bank or brokerage, and small businesses that pay you.

When those entities detail your wages on your Form W-2 or report payment on a Form 1099, a corresponding report goes out to the taxman.

The IRS flags returns in which taxpayers’ returns fail to match those third-party reports.

By the time a revenue officer has been dispatched to your home or office, the IRS has already been in touch with you via snail mail several times to address your obligations.

“When clients of mine get a visit from the IRS, they get a little note posted to the door, saying to call this person at the IRS,” said Laurie Kazenoff, partner at law firm Moritt Hock & Hamroff LLP.

“In my mind, the visit serves two purposes,” she said. “It jolts the taxpayer into compliance and the second reason is to gain information about the taxpayer — see where the taxpayer lives and the vehicles they drive.

Bear in mind that the IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers through unsolicited calls or e-mails. Be wary if someone claiming to be from the IRS calls you out of the blue and demands payment; it’s probably a scammer.

File and pay on time

The Internal Revenue Services offices in Washington, D.C.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

If you’re dreading filing your tax return because you have a large sum due, always take the first step of at least submitting your Form 1040.

The IRS tacks on steep penalties for those who fail to file.

In that case, you’re responsible for 5% of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month that the return is late.

While you can file for a six-month extension to submit your 2019 tax return, you have until April 15 to pay whatever sums you owe.

More from Smart Tax Planning:
What Trump’s tax overhaul extension plans mean for you
One in 5 fear they’ll owe the IRS money this spring
How to protect yourself from tax scams this season

The failure-to-pay penalty is equal to 0.5% of the taxes owed after the due date for each month or part of a month the liability goes unpaid.

In a dire situation, you could file your return on time and work out a payment plan with the IRS.

Options include a 120-day installment plan with no set-up fees; however, penalties and interest will accrue until you’re fully paid.


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China Expels Three Wall Street Journal Reporters




China revoked the press credentials of three Wall Street Journal reporters based in Beijing, the first time in the post-Mao era that the Chinese government has expelled multiple journalists from one international news organization at the same time.

China’s Foreign Ministry said the move Wednesday was punishment for a recent opinion piece published by the Journal.

Deputy Bureau Chief Josh Chin and reporter Chao Deng, both U.S. nationals, as well as reporter Philip Wen, an Australian national, have been ordered to leave the country within five days, said Jonathan Cheng, the Journal’s China bureau chief.

The expulsions by China’s Foreign Ministry followed widespread public anger at the headline on the Feb. 3 opinion piece, which referred to China as “the real sick man of Asia.” The ministry and state-media outlets had repeatedly called attention to the headline in statements and posts on social media and had threatened unspecified consequences.

“Regrettably, what the WSJ has done so far is nothing but parrying and dodging its responsibility,” Foreign Ministry spokesman

Geng Shuang

said in a daily news briefing Wednesday. “The Chinese people do not welcome those media that speak racially discriminatory language and maliciously slander and attack China.”

The three journalists work for the Journal’s news operation. The Journal operates with a strict separation between news and opinion.

Wall Street Journal Publisher and Dow Jones CEO William Lewis said he was disappointed by the decision to expel the journalists and asked the Foreign Ministry to reconsider.

“This opinion piece was published independently from the WSJ newsroom and none of the journalists being expelled had any involvement with it,” Mr. Lewis said.

“Our opinion pages regularly publish articles with opinions that people disagree—or agree—with and it was not our intention to cause offense with the headline on the piece,” Mr. Lewis said. “However, this has clearly caused upset and concern amongst the Chinese people, which we regret.”

Dow Jones is owned by

News Corp.

Secretary of State

Mike Pompeo

criticized China’s action, saying: “The United States condemns China’s expulsion of three Wall Street Journal foreign correspondents. Mature, responsible countries understand that a free press reports facts and expresses opinions. The correct response is to present counter arguments, not restrict speech. The United States hopes that the Chinese people will enjoy the same access to accurate information and freedom of speech that Americans enjoy.”

China is battling a fast-spreading coronavirus, as well as questions from Chinese citizens and some global health experts about Beijing’s handling of the epidemic, which has included the lockdown of much of Hubei province, with a population of nearly 60 million. Public anger at a perceived lack of transparency surrounding the coronavirus has exploded online, overwhelming the country’s censorship apparatus.

In August, the Chinese government didn’t renew press credentials for Chun Han Wong, a Beijing-based correspondent who co-wrote a news article on a cousin of Chinese President

Xi Jinping

whose activities were being scrutinized by Australian law-enforcement and intelligence agencies.

Mr. Xi’s private life and those of his relatives are considered sensitive by Chinese authorities. The Foreign Ministry had cautioned the Journal at the time against publishing the article, warning of unspecified consequences.

Mr. Wong was the first China-based Journal reporter to have his credentials denied since the newspaper opened a bureau in Beijing in 1980.

Beijing has taken a more combative stance with the foreign media in recent years, as Mr. Xi’s government has exerted greater control over information and reasserted the Communist Party’s influence over citizens’ lives.

It has declined to renew the credentials of several reporters, but it is rare for it to expel a credentialed foreign correspondent.

China hasn’t expelled a credentialed foreign correspondent since 1998.

Chinese authorities expelled two American reporters simultaneously in the aftermath of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, though they worked for different news organizations.

John Pomfret

was a correspondent for the Associated Press while

Alan Pessin

was Beijing bureau chief for Voice of America.

The simultaneous expulsions of Wall Street Journal reporters Wednesday marks “an unprecedented form of retaliation against foreign journalists in China,” the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China said. “The action taken against The Journal correspondents is an extreme and obvious attempt by the Chinese authorities to intimidate foreign news organizations by taking retribution against their China-based correspondents.”

Censorship has been more strictly imposed on domestic news outlets and social media, and authorities have strengthened internet firewalls designed to keep Chinese people from accessing foreign reporting that Beijing deems objectionable.

On Tuesday, the U.S. State Department said it had decided to identify the U.S. operations of state-run Chinese news outlets as foreign missions akin to embassies or consulates, the latest in a series of moves designed to pressure China’s Communist Party into loosening controls on diplomats and foreign media. Employees of those news organizations will now be required to register with the State Department as consular staff, though their reporting activities won’t be curtailed, U.S. officials said.

Mr. Geng, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, called that change “totally unjustified and unacceptable” and warned of unspecified repercussions.

The phrase “sick man of Asia” was used by both outsiders and Chinese intellectuals to refer to a weakened China’s exploitation by European powers and Japan in the late 1800s and early 1900s, a period now described in Chinese history textbooks as the “century of humiliation.”

The Journal’s use of the phrase in a headline, on an opinion column by Hudson Institute scholar

Walter Russell Mead

that referred to the coronavirus epidemic in China, sparked waves of angry commentary on Chinese social media.

The three Journal reporters are based in Beijing.

Mr. Chin, 43 years old, has worked for the Journal in various roles since 2008 and in recent years covered cybersecurity, law and human rights. A team he led won a 2018 Gerald Loeb Award for its coverage of the Communist Party’s pioneering embrace of digital surveillance.

Ms. Deng, 32 years old, joined the Journal in 2012 and has reported out of Shanghai, Hong Kong and Beijing. Her recent areas of focus included China’s economy and finance, and the trade war between the U.S. and China. Ms. Deng is currently reporting in Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus epidemic originated late last year.

Mr. Wen, 35 years old, started at the Journal in 2019 and has been reporting on Chinese politics. He co-wrote the article with Mr. Wong on the cousin of Mr. Xi whose activities were being scrutinized by Australian law-enforcement and intelligence agencies.

All three have reported on the Chinese Communist Party’s mass surveillance and detention of Uighur Muslims in the country’s far western Xinjiang region.

Copyright ©2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8


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Main opposition UFP floor leader hits on gov'ts past 3 years in policy speech



심재철 교섭단체연설, 文정권, 헌정•민생•안보 실적 지적

In the South Korean parliament today, the floor leader of the newly formed main opposition party took to podium for a policy speech..
Shim Jae-cheol, the floor leader of the United Future Party, used his speech to criticize the Moon administration’s record over the last three years in terms of the economy, diplomacy and the constitution.
He brought up a few items in particular the big increases in the minimum wage, the relationship between Seoul and Washington and its policies on North Korea.
Shim claimed none of these initiatives have brought the changes they sought to achieve.
The floor leader also called for improving the country’s disaster management system.
He vowed to raise the budget for dealing with infectious diseases and called for the ruling party to adopt a resolution on banning the entry of foreigners from China.

#policy #election #speech

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