Beyond Black Friday

Beyond black Friday

By Robert Brusca

The Scuttlebutt on Black Friday is mostly positive. See below:


American shoppers spent a record $5 billion in 24 hours. That marks a 16.9% increase in dollars spent online compared with Black Friday 2016, according to data from Adobe Digital Insights, which tracks 80% of online spending at America’s 100 largest retail websites. Here


  • Kohl’s said it delivered a “record-breaking” Thanksgiving, both in stores and online.
  • On Thanksgiving Day, J.C. Penney said its website received the most visits of any day so far this year.
  • Macy’s said it’s on track to sell more than 1 million coats, sweaters and fleece jackets by the end of the weekend. Source


And then there is this… Deep discounts, free gifts, in-store entertainment and mild weather drew bargain hunters to U.S. stores on Black Friday, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, but many shoppers were just eyeing goods, reserving their cash for online purchases. Early sales results that also included online demand looked rosy, sending shares in many retailers higher. Stores had also carefully managed their inventory, hoping to ward off any post-holiday liquidation that would weigh on profits. Here


So moving beyond Black Friday

The question is how these sales will be sustained and if the rebound in the MFG PMIs are for real. PMIs are simply diffusion indicators telling us about breadth not strength, So what is strength really?

The Markit PMIs have been on a recovery path but they still are not strong… and some of their upward momentum has been bled off.

Much of the US MFG revival is in the energy sector. That makes me wonder how much punch this industrial revival will have.


Hurricanes have disrupted the flow of the economy. They have boosted vehicle sales which are now poised to backtrack from unsustainable highs.

Inflation remains muted and we will see that continued this week.

Tax policy still hangs the balance but I do not think it is important except politically for Republicans to have a victory.