It's Cyber Monday: First the stat you will want to share on Twitter: Cyber Monday is expected to be the largest online shopping day in history, generating $6.6 billion in sales, 16.5% growth from last year. Here are three predictions from yours truly (hey, you didn't sign up for this newsletter to simply get reporting). First, there will be at least one major retailer that experiences some form of website outage. The mobile numbers we saw on Black Friday were so mind-blowing, it underscores the reality that retail infrastructures aren't set up to handle order surges from mobile and desktop devices at the same time. Second, Amazon (AMZN) will have such a blowout Cyber Monday that it will force retail execs to rethink the size of their store bases in 2018. Expect headline-grabbing store closures to be revealed early next year. And finally, Cyber Monday data will be so strong that it will help to fuel one last push higher in global equities. When the consumer is humming, so to are many publicly traded companies.
Bitcoin is madness: Bitcoin has its sights set on $10,000, an almost insane happening for a currency most people in the world don't even use or know about. Of course, that's one issue among many with Bitcoin. The latest pop in price comes just eight days after bitcoin topped the $8,000 barrier and only one day after breaking the $9,000 mark, pointed out TheStreet's Martin Baccardax. Bitcoin is now up 870% this year. It trades at 7.5 times the price of gold (an asset you can lick, touch and feel if you wanted), after having traded $200 below the bullion on Jan. 1. Time to take a second look at bitcoin stocks to see if there is any value to be squeezed out. A couple names to do dig into: Nvidia (NVDA) (chips help mine bitcoin), Overstock (OSTK) (has accepted Bitcoin since 2014) and Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) (super risky).
You couldn't care less about Chinese stocks, but you should care: I know, you pay no mind to stocks in China. But you should care as they are often a helpful indicator on the health of the global economy and possible next direction for U.S. equities. After all, Starbucks (SBUX) sells coffee in China and Caterpillar (CAT) hopes to sell more heavy equipment to further the country's building boom. In this regard, it's time to grow concerned about what the Chinese stock market is trying to tell us ahead of a 2018 filled with interest rate hikes. The CSI 300, an index of stocks listed in Shenzhen and Shanghai, is hovering around a three-week low after falling 1.3% on Monday. The weak session, fueled by concerns of the Chinese government cracking down on leverage, comes after the index felt its biggest one-day fall in 17 months last Thursday.
Walmart's Secret Weapon
While many on Wall Street have become obsessed with what Walmart (WMT) has been doing digitally to wrestle share from Amazon, the fact is that 4,600 Walmart stores in the U.S. are running as well as they have in quite some time. In effect, it's one of the biggest stories surrounding Walmart in 2017 that people aren't discussing.
And that store level turnaround has in large part been fueled by Walmart U.S. chief Greg Foran, a mild-mannered 56-year-old New Zealander that eats, sleeps, and breathes merchandising. Or, so it has seemed in several interactions I have had with Foran since he assumed the top U.S. job in 2014.
"Greatest retailer on the planet," Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said of Foran in an interview with TheStreet.
Here is what Foran has been doing.
Nvidia and Starbucks are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells NVDA and SBUX? Learn more now.
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