Same Store Sales
The "unexpected" weakness among US consumption, that segment accountable for 70% of US GDP, continues this morning when moments ago Macy's reported a trifecta of weak data, reporting a miss on Q3 sales which came at $5.87 billion below the $6.1 billion expected, and down from the $6.2 billion a year ago, but also a plunge in comparable store sales which tumbled by 3.9%, far worse than the expected drop of -0.4%, and nearly three times as bad as the 1.4% drop a year ago.
As one witty observer noted over the weekend, "no one with an IQ greater than their shoe size, save corrupt, captured American economists, buys the fake October unemployment report," and while we agreed with the pretext of his thesis, we thought a quick sanity check on the sudden surges in Retail employment and Construction jobs and wage growth would help clarify a few things for those who 'believe' in miracles. As the following two simple charts show, we have seen this odious pattern of mal-investment, mis-allocation, and erroneous executuve extrapolation before... and it did not end well.
- Compare: S&P 500 Futures Advance After U.S. Stocks Ignored Global Rally (BBG)
- And contrast: Global Stock Rally Grinds to a Halt (BBG)
- And be very confused: Global Stocks Lower on U.S. Interest Rate Uncertainty (WSJ)
- Hilsenrath: Fed Wavers on September Rate Rise (WSJ)
- Time for more QE: Abe Adviser Says Next Month Good Opportunity for BOJ Easing (BBG)
- Brazil downgraded to junk rating by S&P, deepening woes (Reuters)
- Kiwi dollar tumbles after New Zealand cuts interest rates (Reuters)
What happens when we roll back into the next official recession, unemployment soars, and consumers really stop spending? What is revealed when you look under the hood of this economic recovery is that it is a complete and utter fraud. The recovery is nothing but smoke and mirrors, buoyed by subprime auto debt, really subprime student loan debt, corporate stock buybacks, and Fed financed bubbles in stocks, real estate, and bonds. The four retailers listed below are nothing but zombies, kept alive by the Fed’s ZIRP and QE, as they stumble towards their ultimate deaths. The coming recession will be the knife through their skulls, putting them out of their misery.
- Fed expected to push ahead with rate hike plan (Reuters)
- Upbeat earnings lift European stocks ahead of Fed (Reuters)
- Chevron to Cut 1,500 Jobs (Rigzone)
- Can Windows 10 Revive PC Sales? (WSJ)
- U.S. Junk-Bond Buyers Left in Dark as Private Deals Become Norm (BBG)
- Jeb Bush Drawing Big Bucks From GOP Establishment (WSJ)
- Myriad of Greek Risks Means Money Managers in No Hurry to Return (BBG)
- Gas production at Gazprom set to hit post-Soviet low (FT)
Despite the absence of bad weather, good weather, port strikes, and snow, The National Retail Federation today slashed its retail sales forecast for 2015 from 4.1% growth to just 3.5%. Sales grew at a 2.9% pace in the first half of 2015 and hope remains that the next 5 months show growth of 3.7% (with same store sales growth revised lower). The excuse reason for this markdown..."spending has been hampered by lackluster growth in our economy. Much of that blame can be shifted to Washington where too much time has been spent crafting rules and regulations that almost guarantee negative consequences for consumers and American businesses alike."
- Greece licks wounds after bailout vote, ECB move expected (Reuters)
- Lose-Lose: Pushing Greece Out of Euro Is Costlier Than Write-Off (BBG)
- EMU brutality in Greece has destroyed the trust of Europe's Left (Telegraph)
- Schaeuble Shrugs Off Greek Vote Saying Euro Exit Is Best (BBG)
- Merkel’s tough tactics prompt criticism in Germany and abroad (FT)
- Investors Get Caught in Oil’s Slippery Wake (WSJ)
- Obama Girds for Battle With Congress on Iran Deal (WSJ)
Moments ago MCD reported its May comp store sales which confirmed what we cynically noted is the reason for the data halt, namely that no matter what it does, MCD simply can not "turnaround" its foundering business, and after a drop of -0.6% in April, May global comp sales dropped once again, this time by -0.3%. This was the 12th consecutive month of global comparable store declines. Next month will be the 13th. There won't be a 14th.
"...with each passing session the casino is getting more dangerous, but the lemmings have no clue and the narrative gets ever more specious."
We recently revealed that $5.3 trillion of government debt trades at subzero interest rates. In today’s fiscally profligate world that is a thundering tell. What it signifies is nothing less than financial regime change. There are no markets left in any meaningful sense of the word - just a raging casino infected with the madness of the crowds and the central bank pied pipers who mesmerize them. Every day there are new confirmations of the mania.
A funny thing happened in Britain... as calorie intake has fallen by 8% in the last decade and 4.4% since 2010, driven both by eating out less and eating healthier at home, so obesity levels are stabilising versus recent years with the number of patients diagnosed as obese also declined by 15% yoy in 2013/14, following a 7% decline in 2012/13. In the US, however, the latest data shows that obesity is still rising...
McDonalds Stock Slides After Fast-Food Chain Reports 9th Consecutive Month Of Declining Global SalesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/09/2015 07:30 -0500
While the debate rages just what is causing the persistent weakness in McDonalds same store sales now stretching into its second year, there is no debate that whatever the reason may be, the once-iconic fast food chain is hurting. Because after staging a modest year end comeback and almost rising back to flat in December when it almost broke even, dropping "only" 0.1%, since then global sales have once again slowed down markedly, and have dropped by 1.8% and 1.7% in January and February respectively.
The End Of Guitar Center (And An Irrational Addiction To Growth & The Scourge Of Unregulated Structured Finance)Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/05/2015 20:15 -0500
The fact is, the die is cast. In a couple of weeks, Guitar Center will need to report its Christmas performance to its bondholders. If things do not look good, its bonds will be ripped apart like RadioShack’s. Here’s what this really means: it’s the end of big box retail, an irrational addiction to growth, and the scourge of unregulated structured finance. For a few years, unwise urban planning and unregulated banks created a new bubble in the American suburbs. The objective truth is that the growth of the last decade was financed by banking fraud, and that financial trickery of this sort only fools people in the short-term. Eventually, you must have a product people demand, sold by competent people who care about the business, financed in a way that makes sense.
Lately, we hear a lot about Orwell’s “1984? and Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” but perhaps the best crystal ball to our current state of affairs is Plato’s Republic. You see both Rand and Orwell were describing a world outside of themselves. A world they couldn’t understand or accept. And while those works are brilliant and incredibly prophetic, I expect that to understand a world borne of narcissistic sociopathy one must examine the construct of such a world by a narcissistic sociopath.
October was a historic month for McDonalds. While the investing public was already well aware that things are bad and getting worse when it comes to demand for the iconic hamburger following MCD's 30% plunge in Q3 profit, moments ago the troubled fast-food chain reported that in the first month of the fourth quarter it celebrated a tragic anniversary: one year of US comp store sales without a single increase, following a 1% drop in US October sales! This is the first time in history when MCD has anniversaried negative same store sales in the US.