Excuse the long title, but oftentimes, we poor writers need to make a list when there is a lot to cover. Days like today…with a lil ADHD in the air…
Now, park your sensibilities and come with me…
Retail Really Matters
Can’t run a country on political payoffs and war-making, can we?
Just out are the latest Retail Sales figures and a chart:
“Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for November 2022, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $689.4 billion, down 0.6 percent (±0.5 percent) from the previous month, but up 6.5 percent (±0.7 percent) above November 2021. Total sales for the September 2022 through November 2022 period were up 7.7 percent (±0.5 percent) from the same period a year ago. The September 2022 to October 2022 percent change was unrevised from up 1.3 percent (±0.2 percent).
Retail trade sales were down 0.8 percent (±0.5 percent) from October 2022, but up 5.4 percent (±0.7 percent) above last year. Gasoline stations were up 16.2 percent (±1.6 percent) from November 2021, while food services and drinking places were up 14.1 percent (±3.0 percent) from last year…”
Big Important Note!!!
When the Fed really does get its wish – and prices come down on the inflation side – what we will see in the stark debris will be that RETAIL DOLLARS will collapse.
I know “Shut up Ure, you whine all the time about this damn made-up paper versus widget count hole that will open up and swallow America when least expected….”
Yeah, but it’s true, I tell yah.
Any good news in retail has to be tempered with the latest shipment information coming from the ports and railroads. Port data will dribble out between now and next week, but the rail picture (Association of American Railroads data) is worrisome:
“For the first 49 weeks of 2022, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 11,376,119 carloads, up 0.1 percent from the same point last year; and 12,810,570 intermodal units, down 4.9 percent from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 49 weeks of 2022 was 24,186,689 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 2.6 percent compared to last year.”
Intermodal means containers. And, honestly, the silver lining here, if you have a construction outfit, a farm in the Outback, or just want an easy get-away in the woods, you can pick up a use HI Cube 40-foot container for about $5,000 and that’s the tall containers with 9-feet of interior headroom, even after finishing. They’re 9’6″ overall. With only one trip on them, more money, sure: about $6,500. But shop around, wheel and deal.
I’m always shocked that there is a “storage unit industry” in America. If people lived more streamlined lives…less crap…lower risk of “things owning you” rather than the other way around… Rich of me to talk about…
On and new business formations has fallen on its ass, too:
I’d offer an insightful remark, except I was taught “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.” Oh, like not a democrat, huh?
We have been somewhat worried by the slowly creeping increase in unemployment compensation filings the past couple of weeks. Since we think of these as a bellwether of things to come. Today?
We worry too much, I suppose.
Post Fed Blues
We managed to pick off a cheap lunch with all the market machinations around the Fed rate decision Wednesday. Up half a point and that made the dollar stronger (more buyers for our version of made-up money). Which in turn ripples out to? It takes fewer of the stronger dollars to “buy the Dow” and that makes the reported price go down.
This ain’t all bad, I tell you: Reason is it keeps the price of imported goods (and raw energy products) down. The bad news, however, is that on the long wave economics side, we see that the Big Slide (The markets and BTC peaked Nov. 8, 2021!) is likely to continue at the open today. Early futures looked like this:
The problem that should be visually apparent: we could drop below critical support if we slide today down more than the early futures. All it will take for that to occur would be worrisome news out of somewhere in left field. (Ukraine’s to our left if we look the right way.)
We will just have to see how all this unwinds, though looks to us like the market ought to rally ahead of the weekend, just based on what our odd brand of research tells us. Differential parabolic SARs looked ready to rally, the MACD was in position to move up as were the money flows into the market (Fed uncertainty is gone) and nuttiness in Europe would drive any sane people to move their money (and future plans) out of a region which is stepping on Kosovo to join NATO. AYFKM?
More downside action is possible, but the real line in the sand is lower support. And although our personal money-management style is best suited for casino use, we are mainly odds players who like to bet on the side of the House. That’s where the money is.
Say, if you really like buying at the high and holding, you’re really going to be sucked in with the BTC rally over $18,000 this week. Why? Because in our view, this is still the Elliott wave counting equivalent of a shit sandwich until it busts significantly above the overhead trend channel resistance.
We love fairytales as much as the next person, but how many conmen does it take for people to wake up, seriously?
Today’s financial therapy for the gullible includes: Where Is Gary Wang? SBF Previously Said The FTX Co-Founder ‘Is Scared’ and how about Musk Sells $3.6 Billion of Tesla Stock As Twitter, Recession Fears Grow? What we really want to know from a financial engineering CEUs standpoint, is whether Musk moves are driven by the Tesla stock decline, the Twitter costs, or is this just what eventually happens when cryuptonistas get into rehab?
Global Stupidity Check
For the liable trial, we are not saying the specific entities here are stupid. Only that their reported behaviors lead us to ask in that direction. Some examples:
Do they own a shoe company, or something? Planning to walk more? Europe’s largest bank vows to stop funding new oil projects globally. Oil-hating is the new economic racism, we suppose.
Someone besides us think this is a rip-off of Heathkit? WP: US plans to send Kyiv kits to convert conventional bombs into guided ones. Will the instructions be in…er…what language?
Having been too dumb to “work it out” we look for Ukraine to explode going into Christmas week: They are preparing a sweeping attack from Lviv to Zhytomyr: Elite Belarusian forces with new tactical markings have been deployed on the border with Ukraine. Wait! Did I say explode
Does this sound like nuke-talk? Sure does to us: Statements of Russian Commander: “We cannot continue the war by conventional means – Our resources have limits” (Video).
The West just keeps doing things to piss Russia off. This week’s Ure-a-peein stroke-o-genius?
Meanwhile, China is building 100-year supply lines from Africa while all we have is drooler-speak like Seeking to compete with China, Biden assures America’s support to Africa at leadership summit. All talk and no action – unless you kick in 10 percent.
Interesting to Notice
Data reach means data breach? Senate, growing number of states move to ban TikTok – UPI.com
AND keep an eye on SEC “Reform” because we’re really wondering where the special favors carve-outs will be as
ATR: Prepping Food Threat
Our long-lived (19-year-old) Zeus the Cat is holding on, but still on the mend. He is well enough to trip people – me – and that’s got my left knee sprain re-torqued. Thanks pal.
But the most interesting thing about Zeek’s recovery is he has decided to invade the grow room garden beds. In the process ruining most of my Romaine crop!
As you can see, he’s lost a lot of weight. But for whatever reason, he’s now sleeping in the lettuce. Is there more oxygen? I’ve told him “You’ll never put on any weight eating lettuce…”
“Want a side of cat butt on the peppers and bok choi too, fatso?” If lippy is healthy, he’s on the road to recovery.
I’ll put in a planter of iceberg next. Hopefully, they will be too uncomfortable to sleep on. For now, I’m wondering whether to pour some chunky bleu cheese on the cat-in-a-manger…
“Oh, just lettuce be.”
Write when you get tossed (ahem…)