Berloiz Symphonie Fantastique

“You wind up screaming at your own funeral.”

In 1827, the 23-year-old Hector Berlioz attended a performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet at the Odéon Theatre in Paris; Harriet Smithson, a charismatic Irish actress, was playing Ophelia. Berlioz was smitten and wrote her an impassioned letter – Smithson did not reply. Undeterred, he continued to bombard her with messages but she left Paris without making contact.

Symphonie Fantastique is cast in five movements: the first a dream, the second a ball where the artist is haunted by the sight of his beloved. After a country scene, the fourth movement slips into nightmare: “Convinced that his love is spurned, the artist poisons himself with opium,” explained Berlioz.

“The dose of narcotic plunges him into a heavy sleep. He dreams that he has killed his beloved, that he is condemned, led to the scaffold and is witnessing his own execution.”

Alibaba & Cainiao invest in ZTO

ZTO and Alibabba

HANGZHOU – Chinese e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba and its logistics arm Cainiao have agreed to invest $1.38 billion in exchange for an about 10 percent equity stake in delivery company ZTO Express.

The agreement, announced on Tuesday, will see Cainiao and ZTO deepen their collaboration in the transformation of China’s logistics industry, Alibaba said in a press release.

PayPal Holdings Inc.

PayPal Holdings, Inc. engages in the development of technology platform for digital payments. Its solutions include PayPal, PayPal Credit, Braintree, Venmo, Xoom, and Paydiant products. The firm manages a two-sided proprietary global technology platform that links customers, which consist of both merchants and consumers, to facilitate the processing of payment transactions. It allows its customers to use their account for both purchase and paying for goods, as well as to transfer and withdraw funds.

The firm also enables consumers to exchange funds with merchants using funding sources, which include bank account, PayPal account balance, PayPal Credit account, credit and debit card or other stored value products. It offers consumers person-to-person payment solutions through its PayPal Website and mobile application, Venmo and Xoom. The company was founded in December 1998 and is headquartered in San Jose, CA.

Girl with a Pearl Earring

Girl with a Pearl Earring is an oil painting by Dutch Golden Age painter Johannes Vermeer, dated c. 1665. Going by various names over the centuries, it became known by its present title towards the end of the 20th century after the large pearl earring worn by the girl portrayed there

American Airlines: Not So Dire (AAL)

As air travel starts to bottom out and the sector begins to review the aide offered to the sector via the CARES Act, American Airlines Group (AAL) remains the beaten down stock to watch. Investors constantly focus on the debt loads of the major airlines and make incorrect assumptions about this airline.

My investment thesis continues to view the stock in a bullish light as the market is far too negative regarding a dire situation for the airlines and especially American Airlines.

Citigroup Inc. (C)

Citigroup, Inc. is a holding company, which engages in the provision of financial products and services. It operates through the following segments: Global Consumer Banking; Institutional Clients Group; and Corporate and Other. The Global Consumer Banking segment provides traditional banking services to retail customers through retail banking, including commercial banking, and Citi-branded cards and Citi retail services. The Institutional Clients Group segment provides corporate, institutional, public sector and high-net-worth clients around the world with a full range of wholesale banking products and services.

This segment includes fixed income and equity sales and trading, foreign exchange, prime brokerage, derivative services, equity and fixed income research, corporate lending, investment banking and advisory services, private banking, cash management, trade finance and securities services. The Corporate and Other segment includes certain unallocated costs of global staff functions, other corporate expenses and unallocated global operations and technology expenses, Corporate Treasury, certain North America and international legacy consumer loan portfolios, other legacy assets and discontinued operations. The company was founded in 1812 and is headquartered in New York, NY.