Cyber Monday – Record Retail Sales Trump Cliff Concerns, for Now

ilene's picture

Cyber Monday – Record Retail Sales Trump Cliff Concerns, for Now

By Phil of Phil’s Stock World

We shopped ’till we dropped this weekend.

Consumer spending over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend climbed 13% to $59.1B, although the growth was slower than the 16% last year. Average spending per customer rose 6.3% to $423. Online sales on Black Friday jumped 26% and topped $1B for the first time, says ComScore, which forecasts that Internet sales over the holiday season will grow 17% to a record $43.4B.  Movie tickets also hit a record $290M for the weekend.

Congress returns to work this week and seems to have made no actual progress on a deal to avoid the Fiscal Cliff – just 5 weeks away from triggering now.  Over in Europe, there’s the imminent Greek Cliff, with the Troika making their 3rd attempt today to come up with an agreement to reduce Greece’s debt burden so that Government can get a round of bailout money that must be on hand on Friday.

Over in Spain, pro-independence parties won Catalonia’s elections as that country makes another step towards revolution and Egypt’s markets fell 9.6% as President Morsi takes that country another step towards Dictatorship by granting himself “sweeping powers and judicial immunity.”  Who does that guy think he is – Hank Paulson?



While all this geo-political nonsense may not bother the mighty US Consumer – investors sure are nervous about massive and sudden cuts like the cuts to Defense Spending illustrated in the chart.

As you can see, realistically, we’ve had military spending cuts before and survived – it’s more the immediate and indiscriminate nature of forced sequestration that has market participants spooked.



Friday’s low-volume rally already gave us crosses on our strong bounce lines (see Friday’s post) at Dow 12,950, S&P 1,400, NYSE 8,100 and Russell 805 as we wait for the Nasdaq to confirm the move by taking out 3,000.  Hopefully, the Nasdaq will get a little help from AAPL this week, thank’s to C, which initiated AAPL at a buy this morning with a target of $675.

Also, Gene Munster’s crew was at Mall of America for two hours on Friday: Shoppers bought 17.2 items/hour at the Apple store, 3.5/hour at Microsoft (mostly XBoxes). 22 iPads were sold. Zero Surfaces.  If that’s a trend – it’s a very good one for AAPL!

UBS also came out for AAPL this weekend and set a $780 target on the stock asserting that a combination of valuation, earnings momentum and technical factors “suggest that it is a good time to be building positions into the new year.”

After having very little data to discuss for the past couple of weeks, this week has plenty with the Chicago Fed already lame this morning (-.56%) and the Dallas Fed at 10:30 am. Tomorrow we have Durable Goods, Case Shiller, Consumer Confidence and the FHFA Housing Price Index and Wednesday brings us the MBA Mortgage Index and New Home Sales along with Oil Inventories and the Beige Book.  Thursday is the usual 400,000 lost jobs along with the 2nd estimate of the Q3 GDP, which is expected to be a not-too-bad 2.8% and we wrap up all the Housing data with Pending Home Sales at 10.  Friday we finish off the week with Personal Income and Spending and then the Chicago PMI Report will take us into the weekend.

Our bullish premise is that housing is picking up steam and it’s going to make or break this week so let’s stay on our toes.


For more reasons to be bullish, read this week’s Market Shadows Newsletter: From Fed, With Love. In the newsletterLee Adler discusses how the Fed tanked the markets in 2008. Lee Adler and Richard Chappell discuss reasons for a bullish bias. Richard and Dr. Paul Price share the details on what they are buying and why.

Special offer from Phil’s Stock World: Sign up for a free trial to Phil’s Stock World/Stock World Weekly by clicking on this link. 

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Uncle Remus's picture

I bought a couple thousand rounds of ammo yesterday. Did that help?

SheepDog-One's picture

A couple thousand rounds, man that must have cost you a chunk these days!

Uncle Remus's picture

Nah. I used my EBT card. Been using these guys too.

dexter_morgan's picture

The #1 item on Yahoo's 'trending now' list is Dolly Parton and her lesbo denial. Says a lot about all dem consumers out dere...........

dumpster's picture

add in inflation and sale were down . no writer has a clue about the value of dollar going down.. showing up in increased sales LOL

SheepDog-One's picture

This is a lie there wasnt any 'record retail sales' at all and in fact it was a faceplant. In reality, sales were down 1.8%.


ilene's picture

thank you sheepdog, i'll check that out

azzhatter's picture

I spent a little more than $423.00 and more than last year. I shopped online and bought 10 oz of silver and 2 oz of gold. Arrives tomorrow. The basement storage is getting full. See you on the other side

ebworthen's picture

Oh boy, I'm glad everything is fine Phil, phew!

For a minute there I was worried the FED is blowing a bubble nearly identical to the one they blew prior to 2008 and twice as large.

Now I'm going to buy AAPL and the home builders because surely "this time is different".

kito's picture

Our bullish premise is that housing is picking up steam and it’s going to make or break this week so let’s stay on our toes....

really ilene? picking up steam? in what alternate universe???? you dont bother to do any real investigation, do you? i guess when the government and its crony banks hold back inventory to pump up prices for the institutional investors-- who are buying en masse--- that is considered bullish??????? i guess when the fha, once again, starts insuring mortgages with 3.5% down--mortgages that would never be written by any bank without uncle sam backing them---that signals a bullish market??????? 


SheepDog-One's picture

I think Ilene meant 'picking up steamers' in his new yard pooper scooper business venture.

the not so mighty maximiza's picture

Ilenes right, we are comming back stronger then ever!



q99x2's picture

I'm skeptical of articles written by a man named Ilene.

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

But she didn't write it. It's a guest post.

ilene's picture

This article is by Phil Davis. I post articles by different people, including some from the website - do writing/editing for that newsletter. 

LongSoupLine's picture


Why the hell is this shit on your site?  Is this to create some sort of dimensional balance?  Or perhaps you've been hacked by the sell-side?

PMakoi's picture

How much of this was put on credit cards?  Next month, how much of it will be paid off?  If shoppers are mirroring deficit spending, then not much is changed.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

housing will pick up..well if pick up means more for sale signs things are great on my street.. ps wish the banks would mow the damn lawn.

John Law Lives's picture

"Hopefully, the Nasdaq will get a little help from AAPL this week,..."  - Phil of Phil’s Stock World

Cheerleading, are we?

Tator's picture

"Our bullish premise is that housing is picking up steam"


Yea, all those first time buyers, college grads 25-30, will be out buying...Oh wait they already have 25K plus debt. Poof goes that demographic as buyers and poof goes any housing recovery.

ebworthen's picture

FHA loans too.

Only 3% down.

My real estate Agent said that almost all the loans for his sales are FHA.  He said to make sure there was no chipping paint (lead) as it was the only thing he'd seen hold up an FHA approval.

Stroke's picture

Who gives a shit?...The American consumer for the most part is a clueless idiot. The financial system works or it doesn't for most, and it works 'till it doesn't, so shop on on

are we there yet's picture

Wait till Christmas shopping is over. I predict Santa's sleigh is less heavy than hoped for.

payment expert's picture

While Black friday and Cyber Monday are retail sales which in some cases define the well being of a business, we still have very little data on the aftermath of those Sales. Return goods for Back Friday ut even more interesting is the so called chargeback ration that sky rockets on the cyberMonday after match.

for those who are not acquiented with the term chargeback is a claim from a card holder for various reasons for the return of the money, with 60% of consumer fraud online, measurements of the aftermath of a cyber monday are an imperative to analize the real trends of the cybermonday.


MachoMan's picture

That and we don't know the profit margin either...  with margin compression rampant, lots of sales don't necessarily mean lots of profit.

clawsthatscratch's picture

Mostly it was the sale of loss


NotApplicable's picture

So, instead of Black Friday, it's become Double-Red Friday.

Will retail ever be profitable again? Or will it all be nationalized and simply become the next inefficient arm of government?

Imminent Crucible's picture

We don't actually know anything yet. All this fluff from outfits like ComScore is just projections "forecasts" and guesses based on early and incomplete data. There is no Retail Operations Command Central that runs a real-time tabulation of every discounted XBox bundle and Miley Cyrus doll sold over the weekend.

It's only anecdotal, but I went to my local mall this past weekend to see if Belk's had leather coats my wife could try on. They didn't (and no one else did!) but I did notice one thing; I looked down the long central walkway of the mall (about 3 p.m.) and saw at most 5 or 6 people walking there. That's on a stretch half a city block long.

Then it hit me: Holy Checkout, Batman---this is Black Friday Weekend! Belk's had almost as many employees on the floor as customers.  I told my wife, Let's go down and check out the half-dozen or so boutique shops between Belk's and the KMart end. So we trudged out. All but one of the women's boutiques were out of business and gone.

Trying to salvage the trip, I said, "I need a couple of long sleeve thermals to work in. I'll look in K-Mart". K-Mart was not empty, but was the quietest I can remember being in there. Disclaimer: I don't go to the mall very often, I hate shopping, and I dislike K-Mart/Wal-mart, etc. I usually just run in, grab what I need and get the heck out.  So my observations might not mean much.

All the same, it was eerily quiet for a Black Friday weekend. Maybe the mortgage money is already spent on groceries. Who knows?

dpr10's picture

dude shopper tracker numbers paint a totallly different picture..but you can believe the lies by national federation of realtors and retailers;;))

Zer0head's picture

If CNBC were a contributor on ZH it would named Ilene. 

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

It says at the top that this guest post article is by "Phil of Phil's Stock World" which can be found here:

LoneStarHog's picture

I guess Phil is Ilene when he pens crap articles, and on Friday nights in certain nightclubs...

NotApplicable's picture

Good Lord, I didn't know anyone could be this fucking stupid, yet manage to operate a computer.

Funny, this entire article was debunked here yesterday (no Black Thursday last year, for example), yet Ilene posts this crap anyway.

Why the Tylers allow this shit on the top of every page is beyond me. You really couldn't discredit the site any more if you tried.