Posts Tagged ‘holiday shopping’

Holiday Shopping Dead Today

Holiday Shopping Dead Today

holiday shopping Courtesy of Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker

Roosevelt Field, one of Long Island’s biggest shopping malls, was a ghost town today.  The streets and parking lots around it were barely plowed and the people were clearly staying away.

I was only there to take care of business at the Apple Store, which in Roosevelt Field has just moved into a ginormous space, taking over what once a Restoration Hardware.  While there are lines out the door to the Apple Store here on a regular basis (even in August), today the Geniuses were milling about without much to do, the first time I’ve ever seen anything like that.

The other stores were dead as well.  Some of the vacant stores were filled in with seasonal offerings and they were the definition of sad.  One example would be the fur coat store being run as a department store annex to discount away all the unsold furs, one would assume.  There were three people in it, 2 were salespeople and one was a DJ, complete with monster speakers and 2 turntables blasting Michael Jackson songs.  I had to look away to avoid that cringing feeling one gets when one encounters something really embarrassing, like when Uncle Joey and Uncle Jesse used to perform rap songs to put the girls to bed on Full House.

Not a good year for holiday retailing, especially in the Northeast.

See also Phil’s Holiday Shopping Survey.   

 


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Small Businesses Fend Off Empty Holiday Shelves

Small Businesses Fend Off Empty Holiday Shelves

Courtesy of Mish

Retailers Prepare For Start Of Holiday Shopping Season

Tight credit and slow sales are putting retailers in a crunch this holiday season. Unable to finance their inventory via traditional means, CNN Money notes small businesses struggle fending off empty holiday shelves.

Retailers traditionally borrow money to buy holiday inventory. But credit for small businesses has dried up this year, and with the recession slowing sales, few merchants have cash on hand. The crunch is forcing business owners to find new ways to keep running.

For a handful of New York City retailers in one hard-hit stretch of Brooklyn, a small community lender is playing the role of Santa Claus. Lesia Bates Moss, president of Seedco Financial Services, noticed an ever-increasing number of vacant storefronts along Atlantic Avenue. In response, she hosted a meeting with a dozen area retailers to find out how her organization could help.

One common problem the merchants cited was getting enough credit to buy sufficient holiday inventory. So Seedco Financial, a nonprofit that specializes in financing for underserved communities, launched a streamlined holiday program: Retailers who could provide a marketing plan for spending the money and driving foot traffic would get fast loans.

On Monday, Seedco staffers started delivering checks. A typical loan request is for around $20,000, to be repaid over the next year at interest rates of 6% to 10%.

Toys and beer glasses: Karen Zebulon, the owner of toy and clothing retailer Gumbo on Atlantic Ave., is one of Seedco Financial’s borrowers.

"Especially this year, because we have had such hard times, we really need a boost," she said. "If I can really strategize and plan and buy the right merchandise, I think it can be a turning point for me.

Artez’n Gift and Gallery, which sells products made by local Brooklyn artisans, also got a loan from Seedco. Owner Jessica Furst got her check on Monday and "ran to the bank." She plans to use the cash to stock up on one of her best-selling items: pint glasses with illustrations of Brooklyn landmarks on them. They’re a proven customer lure, drawing in tourists and others who make a special trip to Artez’n for the glasses.

With sales slow this year, Furst wouldn’t have been able to afford to produce the Brooklyn beer glasses without the last-minute loan.


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Round-Up of Holiday Spending Surveys, Reports

Round-Up of Holiday Spending Surveys, Reports

holiday shoppingCourtesy of Michael Panzner at Financial Armageddon

If the following round-up of holiday spending surveys and news reports (with salient quotes) is anything to go by, those who have been counting on a V-shaped recovery in the (consumer-dependent) U.S. economy might want to reconsider:

"Consumers in a Frugal Holiday Mood, The Conference Board Reports" (PR Newswire)

U.S. households are expected to spend an average of $390 on Christmas gifts this holiday season, down from last year’s estimate of $418, The Conference Board reports today.

The survey of Christmas gift spending intentions covers a nationally representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. It was conducted for The Conference Board in November by TNS, the world’s largest custom research company.

"Consumers are approaching the holiday season very cautiously," says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "Job losses and uncertainty about the future are making for a very frugal shopper. Retailers will need to be quite creative to entice consumers to spend, both in stores and online this holiday season, as consumers most certainly will expect major markdowns and bargains."

"AP-GfK Poll: Debt Turning Shoppers into Scrooges" (Associated Press)

A lot more Americans are feeling stressed out by debt this holiday season, raising the glum likelihood they’ll behave like Scrooge rather than Santa.

In fact, fully 93 percent say they’ll spend less or about the same as last year, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll. Half of all those polled say they’re suffering at least some debt-related stress, and 22 percent say they’re feeling it greatly or quite a bit. That second figure is up from 17 percent just last spring, despite all the talk about economic recovery.

Most people — 80 percent — say they’ll use mostly cash to pay for their holiday shopping, and that generally means buying less.

"Stock Watchers Keep Eye on Black Friday Store Sales" (USA Today)

U.S. consumers are expected to spend $437.6 billion in the November and December period, a 1% drop from $442 billion last year, according to the National Retail Federation. Six out of 10 consumers (61%) said they would only buy goods "on sale," a survey by NPD Group found.

"Survey Shows Consumers Intend to Spend Less on Credit This Holiday Season" (Credit Union Times)

A survey of consumers


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Zero Hedge

Elon Musk's Great Model 3 Bait and Switch

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The Tesla Model 3 was supposed to be the "entry-level" electric vehicle for the middle class, that "made it up in volume": leading up to the release of the Model 3, it was positioned as the people's EV that everybody could afford and that, once mass produced, would help Tesla generate cash and profits consistently. The car's relatively modest $35,000 price tag was heralded as one of its key selling points, low enough that Tesla could generate the volume needed to gain operating leverage from selling it to the masses. 

But as Elon Musk himself admitted this weekend on Twitte...



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Phil's Favorites

Why China can't meet Trump's $200 billion trade demand

 

Via Pixabay

 

Why China can't meet Trump's $200 billion trade demand

Courtesy of Amitrajeet A. Batabyal, Rochester Institute of Technology

President Donald Trump has demanded China cut its trade deficit with the U.S. by US$200 billion by 2020 or face a host of punishing tariffs. After recent talks with the U.S., China ...



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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap May 20, 2018

Courtesy of Blain.

This was a generally quiet week in the senior indexes, consolidating some of the prior week’s move up.   That said the Russell 2000 had some very nice action with a “breakout!”.  Otherwise pretty quiet on the news front except for TRADE WARS!(tm):

On Thursday, several news outlets reported that China had made an offer to cut its trade surplus with the U.S. by $200 billion, but a China official on Friday denied that an offer had been made.

For the week the S&P 500 closed down 0.5% while the NASDAQ fell 0.7%.  The Russell 2000 diverged, gaining 1.3%.

The only major economic report this week was retail sales which gained 0.3% in April...



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Biotech

Could this be the year for a Canadian Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences?

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

Could this be the year for a Canadian Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences?

Courtesy of John Bergeron, McGill University

In 2013, Kyoto University’s Shinya Yamanaka was awarded one of the first Breakthrough Prizes in Life Sciences for his discovery of “induced” stem cells that enabled researchers to convert adult cells back into stem cells.

The Breakthrough Prize is not to be sneezed at. Founded in 2013, the prize “honours transformative advances toward understanding living systems and extending human life.” It’s also the most financially attractive aw...



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Insider Scoop

36 Biggest Movers From Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Gainers
  • Quotient Limited (NASDAQ: QTNT) rose 29 percent to close at $6.05 following commencement of EU blood grouping field trial.
  • Mannatech, Incorporated (NASDAQ: MTEX) climbed 22.64 percent to close at $19.50 on Friday after the company reported commencement of modified Dutch auction cash tender for up to $16 million of common stock.
  • Shineco, Inc. (NASDAQ: TYHT) gained 19.41 percent to close at $2.03 following Q3 results. Shineco posted Q3 earnings of $0.21 per share on sales of $13.3 million.
  • ...


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Digital Currencies

5 Factors That Drive Bitcoin's Ups & Downs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

By Kayla Matthews via Hackernoon.com

The price of Bitcoin has been wildly volatile. From November to December 2017, it increased by 223 percent. It fell by 59 percent between January and February 2018, increased by 64 percent from February to March and then dropped again during March by 40 percent.

While this isn&r...



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ValueWalk

Buffett At His Best

By csinvesting. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Bear with me as I share a bit of my history that helped me create SkyVu and the Battle Bears games. The University of Nebraska gave me my first job after college. I mostly pushed TV carts around, edited videos for professors or the occasional speaker event. One day, Warren Buffet came to campus to speak to the College of Business. I didn’t think much of this speech at the time but I saved it for some reason. 15 years later, as a founder of my own company, I watch and listen to this particular speech every year to remind myself of the fundamentals and values Mr. Buffett looks for. He’s addressing business students at his alma mater, so I think his style here is a bit more ‘close to home’ than in his other speeches. Hopefully many of you find great value in this video like I have. Sorry for the VHS...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

The Stock Bull Market Stops Here!

 

The Stock Bull Market Stops Here!

Courtesy of Kimble Charting

 

The definition of a bull market or bull trends widely vary. One of the more common criteria for bull markets is determined by the asset being above or below its 200 day moving average.

In my humble opinion, each index above remains in a bull trend, as triple support (200-day moving averages, 2-year rising support lines, and February lows) are still in play ...



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Members' Corner

Cambridge Analytica and the 2016 Election: What you need to know (updated)

 

"If you want to fundamentally reshape society, you first have to break it." ~ Christopher Wylie

[Interview: Cambridge Analytica whistleblower: 'We spent $1m harvesting millions of Facebook profiles' – video]

"You’ve probably heard by now that Cambridge Analytica, which is backed by the borderline-psychotic Mercer family and was formerly chaired by Steve Bannon, had a decisive role in manipulating voters on a one-by-one basis – using their own personal data to push them toward voting ...



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Mapping The Market

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

Via Jean-Luc

How propagandist beat science – they did it for the tobacco industry and now it's in favor of the energy companies:

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

The original tobacco strategy involved several lines of attack. One of these was to fund research that supported the industry and then publish only the results that fit the required narrative. “For instance, in 1954 the TIRC distributed a pamphlet entitled ‘A Scientific Perspective on the Cigarette Controversy’ to nearly 200,000 doctors, journalists, and policy-makers, in which they emphasized favorable research and questioned results supporting the contrary view,” say Weatherall and co, who call this approach biased production.

A second approach promoted independent research that happened to support ...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!

 

We have a great guest at today's webinar!

Bill Olsen from NewsWare will be giving us a fun and lively demonstration of the advantages that real-time news provides. NewsWare is a market intelligence tool for news. In today's data driven markets, it is truly beneficial to have a tool that delivers access to the professional sources where you can obtain the facts in real time.

Join our webinar, free, it's open to all. 

Just click here at 1 pm est and join in!

[For more information on NewsWare, click here. For a list of prices: NewsWar...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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