Stocks rallied today as the Dow closed up 354 points at 24,640. Trading volume was high and toward the end of the week the markets will be watching the G20 Summit in Argentina and a meeting between Chinese President Xi and President Trump.
Amid shifting consumer tastes, General Motors today announced it is transitioning to a company that will reduce sedan production and focus on electric cars and autonomous driving while realigning its legacy product line around SUV$ and truck$. As GM gets on board the electric vehicle craze, the company will cut 15% of its salaried workforce and “unallocate” car plants in Ohio, Michigan, Canada and South Korea that focus on sedans. The most affected models are the Impala, Cadillac Sedan and Cruze. GM shares were up on the news as the gurus seem to like the fact that GM is willing to acknowledge and embrace change and to drive in a new direction hopefully avoiding the dreaded “Kodak Moment”. The idled plants might be fitted to produce other models.
The Christmas shopping season is off with a bang and while brick and mortar store sales fell 4% - 7% over the Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday time periods, online sales took off like a rocket as Adobe Analytics estimated a 26% increase in sales to record levels. Shares of Amazon jumped on the release of the shopping metrics. The gurus this year are expecting a record shopping season and so far, the online portion of the pie is living up to that hype.
The Troop 100 Christmas tree sale is off and running. On Friday about 40 boys and related adults set up the tree lot and sales began Saturday with a rush. Wholesale prices are about 20% higher this year and one of our growers changed our order and sent trees to Dubai of all places. Apparently, there was someone from the Middle East who was willing to pay big bucks to get some noble firs from the Pacific Northwest! Higher prices are a function of the continued tree shortage compounded by international buyers and millennials wanting to get into the holiday spirit with a real tree instead of one of those fancy plastic ones with the lights and fake mice clinging to the trunk. Check out our Facebook page for a couple of pictures.