Click here for the PDF: The Weekly Beacon – December 1 2023

We will be giving some macro economic market updates on a weekly basis. No equity recommendations will be given in this commentary, and we encourage you to contact us if you have questions regarding any observations.

Feel free to send in your pictures of lighthouses to be featured in our weekly commentary.

This weeks issue: Recession, Holiday shopping, Black Friday sales data, E-commerce stocks, Wayfair, Affirm stock, U.S. equity markets, Global equity markets, Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway, Crypto, Volatility, VIX, Gold sentiment, Gold prices, Mining stocks, GDX performance, Advisor exposure to gold, U.S. economic data, GDP numbers, Goldman Sachs, Chinese equities, David Solomon, GM stock buybacks, GM dividends, GM outlook, USMCA, Mexico trade, Mexican equities, EWW ETF.

Recession not here yet

As Central Banks have raised interest rates, many investors and economists have warned of a looming recession when interest rates peak. Even though interest rates in the U.S. have remained the same since July 26th, we still do not seem to have that recession many have warned us about.

We say that because consumers spent a record amount on Cyber Monday. U.S. shoppers spent an estimated $12.4 billion online on Monday, a 9.6% increase from last year. In the peak hour between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Eastern consumers spent $15.7 million a minute.

The buy now, pay later trend is certainly going to eventually bite consumers in the ass. Consumers spent $940 million on the buy now, pay later options available to consumers on many online platforms. This was a 43% increase from last year. Adobe expects November to be the biggest month on record for the payment method.

Platforms such as Apple, Amazon, and Lululemon offer consumers these methods. Payment plans vary by retailer.

However, despite the splurge in spending, many consumers received huge discounts over the holiday weekend. Discounts hit record levels in some categories including electronics which peaked at 31% off listed prices, greater than the 25% peak last year.

E-commerce stocks had a good day on this news following the strong weekend online. Wayfair’s stock price jumped 7.4%, Shopify rose 4.9%, and Etsy jumped 3%. The share price of Affirm stock jumped 12% on Monday. Affirm is a platform that supports retailers in the buy now, pay later option. Affirm shares jumped another 6% on Tuesday morning. Affirm shares are up 240% year to date and are at a 52-week high. However, shares are down 74% since the company’s public market debut in January 2021.

Click here for the PDF: The Weekly Beacon – December 1 2023