Sizing Up Christmas–In Advance

imageThe news came out in a press release from ShopperTrak this weekend:

CHICAGO – Nov. 28, 2015ShopperTrak, the leading global provider of consumer behavior insights and location-based analytics, today released its preliminary sales estimate for brick-and-mortar retail on Thanksgiving Day (11/26/15) and Black Friday (11/27/15). The two dates accumulated a projected $12.1 billion in combined sales, which is an estimated decrease versus 2014.

Specifically, Thanksgiving Day, a notably controversial day for retail, grossed an estimated $1.8 billion in sales, while Black Friday garnered an estimated $10.4 billion in sales.

“This year, we saw Black Friday ads emerge before Halloween, as retailers aimed to get at the shopper’s wallet early,” said Kevin Kearns, ShopperTrak chief revenue officer. “And from our data, we saw greater retail sales generated prior to the Black Friday weekend, which is a result of retailers successfully elongating the holiday season. Ultimately, while many question the ongoing relevance of Black Friday, it is still the biggest sales day of the year and signals the start of the holiday shopping season.”

Today we move on into CyberMonday, an almost equally over-hyped event as Black Friday.

As a ballpark guestimate, we would put online gifting at about 1/10th of  brick and mortar, probably because people like to feel and touch before buying physical goods.  Plus, if you are doing things like buying jewelry, if you don’t have a ring-sizer handy, a jewelry store with a sales clerk is a mighty useful thing to have.

Same is true for buying things like slippers and shoes, although the last three pairs of shoes I’ve purchased have come from Amazon.  My shoe size hasn’t changed much in the past 40-years.

This oddball 10:1 ratio of bricks to clicks wasn’t something I pulled out of thin air.  It comes from a Sunday press release:

comScore (NASDAQ : SCOR), a global media measurement and analytics company, today reported U.S. desktop retail e-commerce spending for the first 27 days of the November–December 2015 holiday season. For the holiday season-to-date, $23.4 billion has been spent online, marking a 5-percent increase versus the corresponding days last year.

Thanksgiving Day saw a 9-percent gain to $1.1 billion in spending to surpass the billion dollar threshold for the second consecutive year and marking the first day of the 2015 season to reach that level. Black Friday (November 27) followed with an even stronger spending day with $1.66 billion in desktop online sales, up 10 percent from Black Friday 2014.


I would like to believe that there has been a corresponding increase in the value of goods purchased, but it looks suspiciously like prices are going up (hence the increase in dollar-volume) but you may not be getting a lot more in terms of physical goods under the tree.

For one, the Federal Reserve’s Money Supply is up 5.9% compared with last year  (Verifiable over here)  And then there’s the matter of population increase.  Our population has gone up some what with all the border crashers and Obama-dumpings..

.Online continues to edge up market share. So yes, it is likely the cash register and SSL receipts don’t lie. But it’s also a safe bet that most everything else does.

That is after all, the ‘Merican Way!

Look for happy talk to fade by midweek and job happy talk to ramp up in its stead.

The 2016 Super-Rally Ahead: Cars Tuesday, Jobs Friday

No shortage of stories like this one:  Yellen will check her list twice before Fed raises rates and November jobs report likely to give Fed go-ahead to raise interest rates .

The week ahead doesn’t include any major reason to get out of bed (so I won’t until almost publishing time – most of the research for this morning was done Sunday).  As promised, my new schedule experiment kicks in today.

So for the current pre-opening stock quotes look here:

Copper had dropped a couple of cents over the weekend, which we take as a hint that world war won’t break out until at least lunchtime, today.

There’s frankly not enough economic news to turn my brain on this early.  I may even snooze late on Tuesday since the only big deal in the numbers will be auto sales.

Wednesday we will begin Peoplenomics with the fresh ADP numbers,. Thursday I will be up early to wax on about the Challenger Job Cut report.  But Friday the market-mover for the week – an d possibly the last nail in the coffin to seal the rate increase.

That is when the new unemployment data comes out and I expect the number of unemployed to drop and that should kick the Fed into a hike.

Not that nearly 100-million aren’t looking for a job.  Hell, I’d go back to work at age 66 if there was anything worth doing that paid for crap.  In fact, even without a fat paycheck, some $15-dollar an hour job gives more purpose than  collecting Social Security…

But whether the rate is objectively real (is likely isn’t when you deconstruct it a bit).  It just helps spin the narrative and let’s toss in a major climate spending plan from one (or many) presidential wannabes and next thing you know, it will seem like America is “back in the pink,” again.

[Reader Note to Under 40s  Since so many under 40’s are still uneducated, the phrase “back in the pink” means returned to a wholly healthy condition (pink cheeks, not pink bawdy parts, ahem…) and feeling mighty good.  We have recent and going experience “out of the pink” around here.  More details may be isolated for mental dissection over here.

I don’t blame under 40s for possibly not knowing this…They have been to busy figuring out genderizing,  a zillion silly aps, and serial phone g issues to worry about the arcane lingo d’ olde-speak.’]

Turkey and the Knee Pads

Geez, after what is sounding somewhat like a set-up, Turkey is making a big deal about recovering the body of one of the Russian pilots shot down recently as Turkey recovers body of pilot from downed Russian jet.

The Russians are still super-pissed and whipped economic sanctions on Turkey which may become an inconvenience.

While Turkish president Erdogan has on knee pads begging for no ass-whipping, the country’s prime minister has put on the “victim hat” to see how that plays.

Unlike the mush-minded West, I doubt Putin will be swayed…but payback will come of his clock, not Turkeys.  All it would take for WW III would be Turkey bottling up Russia’s fleet…but that’s getting ahead of events slightly.

Climate Hysteria Week

We note that a “global conference on climate change” is getting underway today amid muich overblown pseudo-science.  A longish discussion of some underlying macro facts is in the Coping Section following.

I am sure you’ll ne pleased to learn that First People of Canada are now worked up over climate:

On the eve of the Paris Summit on climate change and on this day of the 100% Possible March in Ottawa, the Assembly of First Nations Quebec – Labrador (AFNQL) is in support of the actions proposed to deal with the current climate crisis and also supports the groups and individuals who will walk today in Ottawa to demand bolder climate commitments and to build a clean, renewable and equitable future. The AFNQL also wishes to highlight the presence and commitment of Grand Chief Serge Simon from the Mohawk Council of Kahnesatake who will join the March.

At latest check, however, New York is still not underwater and  you’ll have to pardon our skepticism of the climate alarmists who, coincidentally, have draconian, discriminatory tax-raising plans for Global Government in their back pocket.

Watch closely, however, as the country formerly known as the United States of America does a quiet lay-down before the United Nations as we cheer our Constitution being torn up by widely expanded treaty interpretations.

Reichtag without the fire…just a warming to convince the frogs they’re being slowly boiled.  Who would believe inter-glacial period thresholding thermodynamics, anyway?   It’s so easier to tax than depopulate, besides.

Which would you rather have:  Your johnson in your pants or your government in your wallet?

Season-Ender: No Hurricanes in Florida

Oh, sure, Florida Power and Light is going on about ongoing vigilance and system improvements and what not.  “…Inspecting 1.2 million utility poles, restoring or replacing those that no longer meet FPL’s standards for strength…”

A longer term view of the Atlantic Hurricane Season is somewhat correlated to the peak in Sunspot activity and following by a year to three from solar maxima (peak in 2000, 2011);


None of this data (and absolutely zero discussion in the Climate Change conferences of any of the Tesla technology “Atmospheric heaters” that were operated during the all time peak of hurricanes, specifically the HAARP and other government-operated global heaters around the world.

Jeez…how soon people forget.  Dial the fluoride up and it never happened, right?

Wikipedia has a list of ionospheric heaters if anyone wants to question my observed correlation with outlier data in this timeframe:

Please understand that I’m an Extra Class, commercial licensed radio/comms guy who was running a government microwave system in Alaska when I was 18, so I do know a wee bit about where I point on this stuff.

When you combine the heat-pumping of these system based on ERP, you’d talking about the equivalent of over one million of those home space heaters (set on high, 1,500 watts) compared with effective radiated power (ERP)

An article published earlier this year, “HAARP: Secret Weapon Used For Weather Modification, Electromagnetic Warfare” begins with this savory quote:

“It isn’t just conspiracy theorists who are concerned about HAARP. The European Union called the project a global concern and passed a resolution calling for more information on its health and environmental risks. Despite those concerns, officials at HAARP insist the project is nothing more sinister than a radio science research facility.”
– Quote from a TV documentary on HAARP by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

And then things go downhill from there.

Until this morning when we haves a climate “emergency” which is sadly predictable theater for the masses. Gee, gosh-golly, damn, look surprised.

Florida doesn’t have a major hurricane hit in 10-freaking years and Obama wants to “fix” Global Warming?  WTF?

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Drawing a Difficult “Crime Line”

A Sunday press release that caught my eye as being of interest:

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the Thanksgiving Day shooting of a Muslim taxi driver in Pittsburgh, Penn., as a hate crime similar to a growing number of attacks targeting the nation’s Muslim community following the recent terror attacks in Paris.

CAIR said the 38-year-old driver, who is of Moroccan heritage, picked up a man early Thursday, and that during the trip, the passenger reportedly began asking the driver about his background, including asking whether he was a “Pakistani guy.” The passenger also allegedly asked the driver about the terror group ISIS and reportedly mocked the Prophet Muhammad.

While we don’t advocate shooting people (and what people’s private religious beliefs are is none of our business), we do note that the Pittsburgh event may be seen as a “heads up” to the Muslim community.

You see, two weeks ago, Pittsburghers were being flooded with media stories like “Former FBI Investigator address local Terrorism [concerns]  ISIS releases propaganda video Monday in which it warns any country that attacks it would suffer the same fate as Paris…:”

While this shooting should be viewed as a hate crime, a third-party view might hold that it’s a blowback from Islamist jihadists making very direct threats against the American public.

Maybe recent immigrants to America don’t see it, but folks in steelworker country aren’t exactly wimps and when conditioned by previous events, blowback should not be surprising.

Put more directly:  With not ISIS there would have been no shooting, so careful with the victim card lest we go back to first causes.

18 thoughts on “Sizing Up Christmas–In Advance”

  1. Currency….
    I had heard about this.. but reading and on the news channels they are talking about the IMF voting today to add china’s Juan in the basket of backing currencies?????? or did I hear and read that wrong..what affect will that have on the dollar bill that they have been printing non stop for years to buy back old debt and spur banks to lend ..
    Will the petro dollar fade away what affects could we see over something like that if the juan becomes the currency of choice..

  2. Hate crime??? No such thing.Classifying crime as “hate crime” is thought control and a violation of the 1st amendment. It was an unjustified shooting. I.e. assault of whatever degree. What does the reason matter in terms of the act being criminal? In addition the Federal government has no criminal jurisdiction in Penn.

    • I believe Mr. Ure pretty much elaborates on it when he explains that it is a blowback from ISIS actions. To quote Mr. Ure “With not ISIS there would have been no shooting”…Ergo, it wasn’t an assault for the sake of assaulting or because the assailant was upset with his own life, it was an assault that would never have occurred but for the fact that the victim was of a specific religion. Mr. Ure, for one is sympathizing with the assailant’s actions and maybe even rationalizing it. Could you imagine if local law enforcement felt the same way as Mr. Ure and did not prosecute the assault as a violation of state law, which you agree should be punished. But if they don’t, then there should be a mechanism for Obama, err, the federal government to step in, don’t you think?

  3. “There’s frankly not enough economic news to turn my brain on this early…”
    – Gold and silver beat down.
    – Baltic Dry recently hit record low.
    – China’s Juan.

    Don’t you have an opinion on these things?

  4. Global warming (true or not) is not the only possible major problem we face — it’s continued pollution of the ocean with everything from CO2 acidification to huge plastic waste gyres to itty bitty plastic particles getting into animal food chains and leached out chemicals infused in ocean waters. Not to mention the continued outflow of contaminated water from Fukushima and gradual dispersion of Chernobyl waste through the world, and the aging of more and more nuclear power plants.

    • Acidification of the oceans has just been shown to be a product of coral growth, in part, opposite of conventional wisdom. The coral extracts alkaline substances when growing acidifying the water

    • The ocean also acidified when coral reefs grow as they extract alkaline when growing opposite of expectations, researchers have just discovered

  5. Several reports are surfacing, including ship trafficking sites that Turkey has closed the straits to all but their own shipping. This could become the tipping point. No way will Putin allow this to continue…

    I just finished your novel & loved it. They say that you should write about what you know about, and you surely accomplished that, maybe in a tad too much detail for some readers. My eyes glaze over when reading an action/adventure novel when the author goes into excruciating detail about every weapon in the story.
    Please keep up the good work.

  6. Seems one country’s populace actually have a ‘say’ in what their politics, sports, entertainment and economics can do or not do.’
    ‘NO’ to Olympics for Hamburg, they don’t want to host it and can’t say as I blame them.
    Now, as for ‘Merica? Nope, the propagandapolitic has us all tied up it seems. We’ve become emotional cripples or zombies.

  7. How much fun could a person have? Get to watch this planet get turned into a Mars replica and be eaten to pieces by over 8 billion little bugs with 2 legs and nearly no brains — now that’s real fun for ya’ll.

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