Same Store Sales
America's favorite "fast casual" darling is set to hold a kind of ad hoc “try not to poison anyone” meeting on February 8, when all stores will close “for a few hours” so that management can “discuss some of the changes [its] making to enhance food safety, to talk about the restaurant’s role in all of that and to answer questions from employees.”
- China trade surprise brings relief (Reuters)
- Obama knocks Trump, voices optimism (Reuters)
- Republican Candidates Criticize Obama’s State of the Union Address (WSJ)
- Republicans and Democrats Agree: We Hate Wall Street (WSJ)
- Oil rises for first time in eight sessions on China, U.S. stocks draw (Reuters)
- U.S. Exports First Freely Traded Oil in 40 Years (WSJ)
- China Imports Record Crude as Price Crash Accelerates Buying (BBG)
In March 2014 Wall Street’s ex-items S&P 500 earnings forecast for 2015 was about $133 per share; it ended up 20% lower at $106. Yet here they go again - the consensus for 2016 started out at $137 per share last spring, and is just now beginning to make its way back toward the high $120s. It is a barometer of the abject complacency and intellectual sloth that has descended on the casino owing to two decades of Fed coddling and seven year of free money for the carry trades. In the case of Chipotle, it was always just a burrito. In the case of the US and world economy and financial markets, it’s not even that.
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.