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

"I'll Die For Hong Kong": Students Transform Campuses Into Armories As Protests Rage For 4th Straight Day

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

The situation in Hong Kong went from bad to worse on Thursday, as the unprecedented weekday protests - a violation of the tacit agreement between the pro-democracy movement and the business community not to disrupt weekday commerce -continued for a fourth day on Thursday.

After a squad of HK police officers earlier this week raided the campus of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, but purportedly found nothing, protesters accused them of unjustly harassing students, many of whom are simply trying to get through the semes...



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Phil's Favorites

Disney Did In 1 Day What Took HBO 4 Years: 10 Million Streaming Subscribers

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

Somewhere Netflix and Amazon video are sweating.

Disney announced today that Disney+ has reached a stunning 10 million plus subscribers just 24 hours after its launch yesterday in the U.S., Canada, and Netherlands; the figure surprised analysts who had expected a much slower rollout for Disney to reach that level, although let's just ignore that most of the new "subs" are only there thanks to one of the various free streaming offers (perhaps someone should launch WeStream).

Separately, Apptopia reported 3.2 million mobile app downloads in the first 24 hours, with an estimated 89% of mobile downloads in the U.S., 9% in Canada, and 2% in the Netherlands. In just one day, users spent 1.3 million hours watching it, Apptopia said, more th...



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The Technical Traders

Great Cycles Article PG 9 in TradersWorld Mag - Free

Courtesy of Technical Traders

  1. How to Use Price Cycles and Profit as a Swing Trader
  2. Geodetics and the Affairs of Men – USA, and China
  3. Cosmological Economics
  4. Time Machine
  5. Trading Means Pr...


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Digital Currencies

Is Bitcoin a Macro Asset?

 

Is Bitcoin a Macro Asset?

Courtesy of 

As part of Coindesk’s popup podcast series centered around today’s Invest conference, I answered a few questions for Nolan Bauerly about Bitcoin from a wealth management perspective. I decided in December of 2017 that investing directly into crypto currencies was unnecessary and not a good use of a portfolio’s allocation slots. I remain in this posture today but I am openminded about how this may change in the future.

You can listen to this short exchange below:

...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Silver Testing This Support For The First Time In 8-Years!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Its been a good while since Silver bulls could say that it is testing support. Well, this week that can be said! Will this support test hold? Silver Bulls sure hope so!

This chart looks at Silver Futures over the past 10-years. Silver has spent the majority of the past 8-years inside of the pink shaded falling channel, as it has created lower highs and lower lows.

Silver broke above the top of this falling channel around 90-days ago at (1). It quickly rallied over 15%, before creating a large bearish reversal pattern, around 5-weeks after the bre...



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Insider Scoop

Analysts Upbeat On Skyworks' Fundamentals

Courtesy of Benzinga

Skyworks Solutions Inc (NASDAQ: SWKS) reported better-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and revenues, but the stock is slipping in reaction to the year-over-year declines in both metrics.

The Analysts

Bank of America analyst Vivek Arya reiterated an Underperform rating and $92 price target for Skyworks shares. (See his track record ...



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Chart School

Gold Gann and Cycle Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Gold has performed well, golden skies are here again. In fact it has been a straight line move, and this is typically unusual and a pause can be expected.

It seems the markets are happy again, new highs in the SP500, US 10 year interest rates look to re bound, negative interest may soften. The US FED has reversed their QT and now doing $250BN (not QE) repo. The main point is the FED has stopped QT, and will do QE forever. The evidence now is the FED put is under market risk and the possibility of excessive losses do not exist. 

Point: If in future if there is market risk, the FED will print it's way out of it.
Subject To: In this blog view. The above is so until the amount required rocks confidence in the US dollar as a reserve currency.&n...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Today's Fed POMO TOMO FOMC Alphabet Soup Unspin

Courtesy of Lee Adler

But make no mistake, if the Fed wants money rates to stay down by another quarter, it will need to imagineer even more money.

That’s on top of the $281 billion it has already imagineered into existence since addressing its “one-off” repo market emergency on September 17. This came via  “Temporary” Repo Man Operations money, and $70.6 billion in Permanent Open Market Operations (POMO) money.

By my calculations that averages out to $7.4 billion per business day. That works out to a monthly pace of $155 billion or so.

If they keep this up, it will be more than enough to absorb every penny of new Treasury supply. That supply had caused the system to run out of money in mid September.  This flood of paper had been inundati...



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Biotech

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

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

 

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Courtesy of  , Visual Capitalist

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

As evidence of cannabis’ many benefits mounts, so does the interest from the global pharmaceutical industry, known as Big Pharma. The entrance of such behemoths will radically transform the cannabis industry—once heavily stigmatized, it is now a potentially game-changing source of growth for countless co...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

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Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

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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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