Tough Times Are Just Around The Corner?

January 17, 2014 in News by The Manimal

Source: Investment Watch Blog

JC Penney, Macy’s, Albertsons to Close Stores And Cut thousands of Jobs, Best Buy Plummets 30% After Abysmal Holiday Sales Update!

JC Penney to Close 33 Stores, Cut 2,000 Jobs

J.C. Penney Co. said on Wednesday it would close 33 stores and cut 2,000 jobs as part of its efforts to return to profitability.

Chief Executive Myron Ullman said in a statement the action “addresses a strategic priority to improve the profitability of our stores.”

Penney is the second major U.S. retailer in as many weeks to announce layoffs. Last week, Macy’s Inc. said it was eliminating 2,500 jobs. Those cuts will be offset over time as the retailer plans to add positions to its online business, leaving overall staffing levels unchanged at around 175,000.

The Blistering Recovery Continues: Week After Macy’s, JCPenney Fires 2000, Closes 33 Stores

JC Penney has yet to announce holiday sales:

Perhaps they made so much money its taking them longer to count it….

Best Buy Plummets 30%, Is Better Sell Following Abysmal Holiday Sales Update

Despite several apparently well respected sell-side shops proclaiming that all would be well, the electronics warehouse missed comps (Sales at stores open at least 14 months were down 0.9 percent in the US (compared to expectations of +2.0%)and is being punished. Revenues fell 2.6% for the comparable period also. Shares are down 30% in the pre-market to 7-month lows as the company claims an “intensely promotional holiday season.” It seems, perhaps, that following several other retailers’ earnings updates the holiday season was even worse than many had expected (especially in the bricks-and-mortar stores that actually employ real people).

From the conference call:


A quiet collapse which requires attention

Best Buy made the news this morning with a drop in sales it referred to as a “speed bump,” but the truth is that it may simply be indicative of a much larger, more ominous move in the retail sector as a whole. But first, let’s take a look at the environment in which the space currently resides.

The US Consumer Is So Strong, Macy’s Just Fired 2500 And Announced The Closure Of Five Stores

Just out from Macy’s, which first said the following: “The 2013 holiday season was successful for Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s as we offered fresh and distinctive merchandise, delivered great value to the customer and provided a robust omnichannel shopping experience… Even in a questionable macroeconomic environment with challenging weather in multiple states, the positive response from our customers during the holiday season is yet another vote of confidence that our well-established strategies continue to work for us.” What well-established strategies one may ask? Why the following of course, which was also just disclosed in a separate news release “outlining cost reduction initiatives to support continued profitable sales growth”: “Approximately 2,500 employees are expected to be laid off and are eligible for severance as a result of these organizational changes. Other associates are being reassigned with new duties or transferred; some open positions will not be filled.”

700-1,000 Losing Jobs: Albertsons to close 11 stores, 1 in Long Beach.

700-1,000 Losing Jobs: Albertsons to close 11 stores, 1 in Long Beach.…

Do fundamentals matter anymore?

As the stock market continues to shake off poor employment and earnings reports, one can only wonder if fundamentals matter anymore.

Last Friday’s release of the December nonfarm payrolls report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics failed to have a significant impact on the stock market, despite the disappointing news contained in the report. Although economists had been expecting to see that 200,000 non-farm payroll jobs were added during December, the report indicated that only 74,000 jobs were added. The unemployment rate declined from 7.0% to 6.7%. On the other hand, the labor-force participation rate fell to its lowest level since 1978, declining to 62.8% from November’s 63%.

The stock market demonstrated almost no reaction to the non-farm payrolls report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost only 7 points to finish Friday’s trading session at 16,437 for a 0.05% dip. The S&P 500 rose0.23% to finish at 1,842.