While the economy continues to go down hill, stock markets and real estate have been going gangbusters. The flood of money has created winners and losers. Income that was previously spent on travel is going into savings and other purchases. The Chinese travel market has stopped further hitting the international tourist market. People are being more cautious in spending their money. Used car sales have been on the rise.  

A lot the bankruptcies that we have seen are companies that were struggling badly even before Covid. Look at JCPenny – when is the last time they made a profit – a really meager gain in 2017, but other than that huge losses back as far as the eye can see. Finally folded in May 2020. This is more of an act of mercy than anything else. Ascena is another example, the parent of Ann Taylor and Dressbarn. These are all brands that had been struggling.

Selection of Retail Bankruptcies in 2020

·         Century 21 

·         Stein Mart 

·         Tailored Brands 

·         Lord & Taylor 

·         Ascena 

·         The Paper Store 

·         RTW Retailwinds 

·         Muji USA 

·         Sur La Table 

·         Brooks Brothers 

·         G-Star Raw 

·         Lucky Brand 

·         GNC 

·         Tuesday Morning 

·         Centric Brands 

·         J.C. Penney 

·         Stage Stores 

·         Aldo 

·         Neiman Marcus 

·         J. Crew 

·         Roots USA 

·         True Religion 

·         Modell's Sporting Goods 

·         Art Van Furniture 

·         Bluestem Brands 

·         Pier 1 

·         SFP Franchise Corp 

The largest US retailers are getting bigger, and their latest quarter figures are very encouraging in terms of revenue growth:

Largest US Retailers

Quarterly Revenue Growth 

WMT

5.6%

AMZN

40.2%

HD

23.4%

TGT

24.7%

COST

12.4%

CVS

3.2%

2.  What about gold? Is it out for the count? Gold has been pushed forward by uncertainty and reached a high point in early August at just over $2,000/oz. This has been a phenomenal run from one year ago, when the metal was trading at only $1,500/oz. It has retrenched somewhat since August and is at just under $1,900/oz now. A couple of factors speak in gold’s favour-monetary policy is likely to remain very loose and investors afraid of price inflation will be drawn to gold. However, gold has also been a safe haven in times of political uncertainty, and this presidential election has the opportunity to offer that in spades, which I do not think is reflected in the price of gold currently. It looks like we may well have a contested election result, and the legal fighting back and forth we saw in 2000 between Gore and Bush is likely to be a walk in the park compared to the upheaval we will see with a hung election in a few weeks.

Direct download: Octavio_Marenzi_22.Oct.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST



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