500 Year Chart of Silver

I’m not sure exactly what to make of this huge chart — but it looks interesting!


click for larger chart

Silver_500_years

via Goldinfo (hardly an unbiased source!)

Category: Commodities

Slowing Data or Economic Rebound?

Category: Economy

A Bear Explains Himself (kvetches is more like it)

Category: Financial Press

Trading Resolutions for 2006

Category: Trading

Category: Federal Reserve, Financial Press, Fixed Income/Interest Rates

Cinascape

Category: Technology, Television

What happens when bloggers get it wrong, but the MSM gets it right?

Category: Intellectual Property, Media, Music

Labor Market Continues to Underperform

Category: Economy

More on Holiday 2005

Category: Retail

Good — Not Great — Holiday Shopping Season

Back on December 1, I mentioned that "Holiday sales increases can be in the 3 to 4% range." This modestly Bullish call was at the very low end of Wall Street projections.

The prime motivation for that range was the decreasing gasoline prices post Katrina, and the love affair with Plasma Screen TVs (that was the good news). Keeping the Bullishness modest was the negative real income for the middle class; on the other end, the increasing take home pay for the ultra wealthy supported the relative strength of the luxury retailer.

The WSJ reports that "overall, Retail Sales rose 3.2%." And, the big winners were the luxury stores. Its a pleasant surprise anytime projections like this end up that accurate.

I also wish to remind you (again) how the silly NRF projection of 22% was; Their absurdity was a statistical abomination (and they were chastised in this space for it)

Here’s the Journal’s summary:

Holiday shoppers spent big on a few products last month, but held out for last-minute deals, resulting in mixed performances from U.S. retailers. Cash registers rang at luxury retailers and teen specialty shops, but sales at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. disappointed.

Overall, sales at stores open at least a year, a measure known as same-store sales, rose 3.2% in December from a year earlier, according to an index of 66 chains compiled by the International Council of Shopping Centers. The trade group, based in New York, had expected same-stores sales growth between 3% and 3.5%. According to the tally, same-store sales at luxury stores grew 6.4%, while discounters ticked up just 2.6%.

"All combined it was good, not great," said Jeff Klinefelter, senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray. "When we finally got the last-minute rush, it was the higher-end consumer that followed through with spending."



Source:

Luxury Stores Were Holidays’ Stars
Overall Retail Sales Rose 3.2%, Slowed by Discounters; Holdout Shoppers Also Hurt
STEPHANIE KANG
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL,January 6, 2006; Page A2
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113646296655138522.html

Mixed Stockings for Retailers
http://online.wsj.com/documents/retro-060105sales.html

See the WSJ’s retailer chart here:

Read More

Category: Retail