Free states faring far better than lockdown states in one huge way, new data show.

(Foundation for Economic Education) — When COVID-19 first came to our shores, it presented policymakers and elected officials with a crisis like nothing in living memory. In the year since, states have taken markedly different approaches to pandemic policy. Some, like New York, embraced sweeping government lockdowns and top-down mandates while others like Florida and South Dakota took a more humble, hands-off government approach, trusting individuals to make the best decisions for themselves.

The results are in — and they overwhelmingly vindicate the free states over the authoritarian experiments. First, we saw that states with the harshest restrictions didn’t necessarily achieve the best COVID-19 death outcomes. Florida has fared far better than New York and New Jersey, for example, and multiple studies have found no correlation between lockdown stringency and death rates.

Yet lockdowns have come at an enormous economic and human cost. We’ve seen mental health problems and child suicide spikes, an increase in domestic violence, an uptick in drug overdoses, and much, much more. And, of course, the economic toll of shutting down businesses and criminalizing “non-essential” livelihoods has been devastating.

The national unemployment rate was a poor if not disastrous 6.2 percent in February. Yet the just-released state-level unemployment rates for last month show that the devastation hasn’t been equal across the board. New Labor Department data reveal that many free states have returned to nearly their pre-pandemic unemployment rates — while lockdown states dominate the wrong end of the list.

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He’s not wrong, but what I think the author misses is that a significant amount of the ‘stimulus’ was payoffs to states and cities, near bankrupt with budget deficits, bond and pension fund obligations.


Biden sleepwalks into a stagflation nightmare
US economy simply doesn’t have the productive capacity to meet the demand created by Biden’s stimulus package

NEW YORK – The Biden administration’s US$1.9 stimulus package, adding to last year’s $2 trillion in Covid-19 related handouts, has the effect of feeding sugar to a diabetic. The patient is on a sugar high, but at risk of collapse.

The US doesn’t have the productive capacity to meet the demand created by the federal government and the Federal Reserve. The result is stagflation—a combination of inflation and economic weakness that we last saw during the Jimmy Carter administration in the 1970s.

There are two big differences between now and the 1970s, though. The first is the explosion of US government debt. The second is China.

Instead of throwing money out of helicopters, the US should invest trillions of dollars in infrastructure, R&D, selective production subsidies (for example semiconductors) and science education. As it is, the Biden administration is putting the credit and future borrowing capacity of the US at risk in return for a temporary boost to output.

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The fall of Chile is a warning to America

Back in the 1970s, the nation of Chile embarked on one of the boldest sets of free market economic reforms in history. The government called in the Chicago Boys, as they were called, led by Milton Friedman and other University of Chicago free market economists.

They were given a free hand to redesign the Chilean economic system with property rights, a low flat tax, privatization of the Social Security system, and industry deregulation. In 1991, Friedman wrote that Chile now has “the three freedoms: economic freedom, political freedom, and human freedom. It will be interesting to see if they can keep it.”

For four decades, the experiment worked better than anyone could have imagined. According to a study by economist Axel Kaiser for the Cato Institute: “Between 1975 and 2015 per capita income in Chile quadrupled to $23,000, the highest rate in Latin America (CNP 2016). As a result, from the early 1980s to 2014, poverty fell from 45 percent to 8 percent (CNP 2016).” Chile became one of the wealthiest nations in South America. And it happened in three decades, an eye blink of history.

The Marxists and intellectual class of Latin America always hated the free market reforms. They disparaged the Chicago boys as “fascists.” They spent decades attacking the policies (with the stooges in the American media echoing their protests) even as Chile became the jewel of South America.

The Marxists invented a narrative of “inequality,” “the rich were getting richer, and the poor were getting poorer,” and capitalism is evil.

They infiltrated all of Chile’s cultural institutions: the media, the schools, the universities, the Catholic Church, the arts, the unions, and even the corporate boardrooms. They spread their poisonous creed of collectivism to the populace.

Is any of this sounding familiar to our situation today?

Eventually, the leftists pulled off a political coup. In 2013, the Left won the Chilean presidency. The free market reforms were systematically replaced with “spread the wealth” platitudes. In October 2020, voters approved a rewrite of the constitution, and now property rights and the rule of law are in danger.

Chile is now in economic free fall. The poor are getting crushed. The rich are pulling their money out of the country. They have arrived at “equality.” Nearly everyone is suffering.

Meanwhile, back in America, we have an economic transformation of our own going on. The Biden administration promises to help the middle class by handing out trillions of dollars of free money to citizens and paying people more money for not working than working. We will borrow trillions of dollars and pray that the Chinese continue to buy up our bonds and that our currency holds up.

Many of our constitutional protections and congressional rules of behavior, such as the filibuster, which protects the rights of the minority, may be headed to the shredder. The election laws are getting rewritten to benefit, significantly, the party now in power — the Democrats. The House has passed a bill requiring millions of working-class people to join unions and pay dues. The Left is saying, don’t worry, this compulsion is going to help the working class. Sure.

A sock-it-to-the-rich tax increase is coming that will make the productive class and the job creators pay their “fair share” with tax rates of 50%, 60%, and 70%.

Will this story have a happy ending?

The answer to that question might be contained in the frightening example of what happened in Chile. It is what our children and college students should be learning in the classrooms — fat chance. The Left runs our schools now, too.

TL/DR: if traders were worried that inflation expectations are already soaring (and taking rate hike odds with them), just wait until it becomes common knowledge that Biden is hoping to more than double the funding needs for more government stimmies in just a few months…

What’s Next: Here Comes Biden’s $2 Trillion Infrastructure Package

Earlier today we published a recap of Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan from Rabobank’s Philip Marey in which he observed that “the Democratic approach may have spoilt the mood for bipartisanship in the near term. Republicans claim that the Democrats were not serious about finding a bipartisan consensus.” In short, since not a single Republican voted for the American Rescue Plan and centrist Democratic senators have shown that they are willing to use their leverage in the 50-50 Senate. “this will increasingly anger progressives as their left wing agenda continues to be watered down by senators of their own political party. Therefore, if Biden does not proceed with caution, this could already have been the high point of his administration.

That would be the rational view. Alternatively, in a world where a flood of new debt is the only option left to perpetuating a failed status quo, one can also argue that record polarization notwithstanding, it will be in the best interest of both republicans and democrats to push the current spending spree to its absurd limits.

That’s where Biden’s upcoming boondoggle – his infrastructure plan – comes in, and as Marey concedes, “if you think that $1.9 trillion is a lot of money, this does not mean that Democrats are going to stop their spending spree here.”

Below is the Rabobank’s strategist preview of what could be the next big thing from the Biden admin: the $2 trillion infrastructure deal.

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TRUMP WAS RIGHT:
Gas Is at $2.75 a Gallon and Projected to Go Nowhere But Up
.

The secret sauce to the economy’s success and a sea change in foreign policy during the Trump administration was becoming an energy-independent nation. President Trump said during the campaign that Joe Biden’s Green New Deal policies would reduce domestic energy production and raise prices. Early indications are that he was correct.

“Looks like Pork is back on the menu, boys!”


Senate Narrowly Passes $1.9 Trillion COVID Stimulus Bill

The Senate voted 50-49 to pass Democrats’ $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Saturday, after a marathon session of voting on various amendments.

The bill was passed via budget reconciliation rules, which allow a simple majority to approve legislation in place of a filibuster-proof 60-vote threshold. The Biden administration had been pushing to pass the legislation before the week of March 14, when pandemic-related federal unemployment assistance is scheduled to expire.

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75% of All Jobs Added in February Were Waiters and Bartenders

Call it payback for the December restaurant shutdowns.

It took a few minutes after the BLS reported the impressive February jobs report, which showed a whopping 379K total jobs added in February (and 465K private payrolls, or more than double the 195K expected), for traders to read between the lines and realize that there was much less than meets the eye in the latest jobs report.

To wit: of the 379K jobs, a whopping 355K, or 93%, were in leisure and hospitality, and within this category the one and only sector that truly boomed the most under the Obama admin was on top: employees food service and drinking places, i.e. waiter and bartenders, accounted for a massive 286K jobs, or 75% of the total job gains in February. Call it payback for the December collapse in restaurant workers when nearly 400K jobs were lost amid the latest round of restaurant shutdowns.

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The Federal Reserve Is Taking Us into Uncharted and Deadly Waters

At the Federal Reserve semi-annual testimony before Congress this week, Chair Jerome Powell should have been asked whether the Fed has become the national Reddit.

The Reddit stock frenzy created a pool of motivated buyers, irrespective of the value of the underlying company.

For more complicated reasons, the federal government is the biggest Redditer of all, Reddit on crack cocaine.  Instead of billions, the government plays in the trillions. Instead of a handful of small cap stocks, it has hijacked the entire stock market.  But the mechanism is the same.  Flood the market with funds, and for good measure force interest rates to zero, eliminating alternative investments.  The recent congressional Reddit hearings are parody in comparison to the government’s role in driving market prices, in particular the Fed.

Let’s make it specific.  When Joe Biden promises to spend $1.9 trillion, where exactly does that money come from?  Beyond that, even excluding the $1.9 trillion, how does the government finance four years of deficits, which the Congressional Budget Office recently estimated at $5.9 trillion?  That’s an expected one-term cumulative deficit of $7.8 trillion.  Where indeed does this money come from?

The wrong answer is tax receipts.  In FY2020, federal budget revenues — i.e., tax receipts — totaled $3.4 trillion — $1.6 trillion from income taxes; $1.3 trillion from payroll taxes; $0.2 trillion from corporate taxes; and the balance of $0.3 trillion from excise, custom duties, estate taxes, and miscellaneous.  Spending, on the other hand, totaled $6.6 trillion, versus the pre-COVID budget of $4.8 trillion.  The result is a record $3.1-trillion deficit.

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It’s an interesting idea. One problem is that the Gresham’s law principle  that “bad money drives out good” means people who even would accept specie, would very likely simply keep it and spend out paper, as long as federal paper money – short of Weimar/Zimbabwe levels of hyper inflation –  remained in circulation and still had to be accepted as legal tender.
Also, there’s not as much gold and silver bullion floating around as one might think. Their scarcity is why they’re called ‘precious metals’.


Kansas Bill Would Make Gold And Silver Legal Tender In The State

A bill introduced in the Kansas House would recognize gold and silver specie as legal tender and repeal all taxes levied on it. The legislation would pave the way for Kansans to use gold and silver in everyday transactions, a foundational step for the people to undermine the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money.

The Federal Reserve is the engine that drives the most powerful government in the history of the world. Ron Paul popularized the slogan “End the Fed,” but Congress is nowhere near abolishing the central bank.  It can’t even come up with the will to audit the Fed.

Even though state action can’t end the Fed, there are steps states can take that will undermine the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money. By passing laws that encourage and incentivize the use of gold and silver in daily transactions by the general public, policy changes at the state level such as the Kansas Legal Tender Act has the potential to create a wide-reaching impact and set the foundation to nullify the Fed’s monopoly power over the monetary system.

A coalition of four Republicans introduced House Bill 2123 (HB2123) on Jan. 25. The legislation would make gold and silver legal tender in the state, recognizing it as a medium of exchange for the payment of debts and taxes. In effect, gold and silver specie would be treated as money, putting it on par with Federal Reserve notes in Kansas.

Under the proposed law, “Legal tender” means a recognized medium of exchange for the payment of debts and taxes. Specie legal tender would be defined as:

(a) Specie coin issued by the United States government at any time; or
(b) any other specie that a court of competent jurisdiction, by final and unappealable order, rules to be within state authority to make or designate as legal tender

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Biden and Yellen brush aside inflation warnings in pursuing $1.9 trillion plan for full employment.

The Biden administration is fighting hard for a historically ambitious fiscal package in the name of lowering unemployment, disregarding warnings from Democratic-aligned economists that their plans would risk runaway inflation.

President Biden is seeking a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package to add to the $900 billion measure enacted in December.

If Biden’s full proposal were passed, the aid would double the shortfall in economic output due to the pandemic, as estimated by the Congressional Budget Office, for the next three years.

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BLUF:
The bailout and the pandemic just exposed how there are different sets of rules, not just for different types of investors, but different types of businesses. Your favorite sandwich shop? Closed. If you’ve got 200 of those sandwich shops? Open. If you had sufficient capital to lobby whatever your government is, you could get an exemption, but if you were a small-time business owner, you were out of luck, and that just made no sense to me.

“This is for you, Dad”: Interview with an Anonymous GameStop Investor.

Raised in a family devastated by bubble economics, one Reddit investor saw GameStop as a way to send a message to “cancerous rent-seekers”

Thursday, January 21st was a critical day in the story of the video game chain GameStop (ticker name: GME). Retail investors, including many subscribers to a Reddit forum called wallstreetbets, pushed the company’s stock from $6 to $43.03, but experts said playtime was over. It was time for the big shots to clean up.

According to Citron Research, one of many funds that had bet on the brick-and-mortar store to fail, those investing in GME were “the suckers at this poker game,” and would soon be sorry when the stock went “back to $20 fast.”

They were wrong. Instead of amateurs being shoved aside by hedge funds, it was the pros who had their backs broken, as GME soared to $65.05, beginning a steep ascent that would become an international news phenomenon.

It was the “We’re gonna need a bigger boat” moment for Wall Street. The pros had been sloppy. By late 2020, shares in GameStop were well over 100% short. A sudden rise in value would force shorts to pay exorbitant prices just to get out of the trade. By the afternoon of the 21st, all the “suckers” on Reddit had to do to beat them was nothing, and they did just that, behind the rallying cry “diamond hands,” signifying a determination to hold at all costs.

Why hold? One of the millions of subscribers to wallstreetbets posted a note, explaining what the trade meant to him:

This is for you, Dad

I remember when the housing collapse sent a torpedo through my family. My father’s concrete company collapsed almost overnight. My father lost his home. My uncle lost his home. I remember my brother helping my father count pocket change on our kitchen table. That was all the money he had left in the world. While this was happening in my home, I saw hedge funders literally drinking champagne as they looked down on the Occupy Wall Street protesters. I will never forget that.

My father never recovered from that blow. He fell deeper and deeper into alcoholism and exists now as a shell of his former self, waiting for death.

This is all the money I have and I’d rather lose it all than give them what they need to destroy me. Taking money from me won’t hurt me, because I don’t value it at all. I’ll burn it down just to spite them.

This is for you, Dad.

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BLUF:

The 11 U.S. states that did not impose lockdowns over the fall and winter in response to the coronavirus have faired better than states that did, an analysis of public data shows.

But don’t pay any attention to this information, or to the vast array of political forces trying to silence people who want to share this info. It’s much more important to walk in lock-step with the leftist media establishment and their political pals who adore authority and scorn rights and individual analysis of risk.

…The people who scorn those who want to run their businesses or go to their churches, be with loved ones for Christmas, go to weddings… and who might have the temerity to research and think for themselves.

New Study: Lockdowns Were Biggest Factor In Destroying US Economy.

It should be obvious to anyone who cares to study the economy, the authoritarian COVID19 policies, and the pop media rhetoric, that the mantra “COVID19 is responsible for a terrible recession” is missing something extremely important.

Whether that sort of myopic reportage is intentional must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but one thing is certain, those who honestly report on the economic disaster caused by the lockdowns stand out and deserve praise.

Jon Miltimore, Managing Editor at The Foundation for Economic Education, and a handful of other reporters, are those honest dealers, and Miltimore has just offered us excellent information substantiating the claim that, indeed, the primary driver of this 2020 economic collapse has not been social reaction to the virus, but political power.

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Robinhood App Exposes Hedge Funds And Commits Suicide.

The Robinhood App is all in the news. The app has been used by young traders to build portfolios through brokerage fee free trades. The app’s motto is “We’re on a mission to democratize finance for all.” Then the GameStop short squeeze happened and the hedge fund elites were exposed and Robinhood committed suicide.

Most of us who have savings and retirement accounts are in indexed funds. Our funds follow closely along with the returns of the Russell 2000, Nasdaq or S&P. We want our money as safe as possible. But, young folks, who are not risk adverse and can afford to start again, may choose to invest in hedge funds to get higher returns on their investments.

Hedge funds need managers. If Wall Street bankers are considered Masters of the Universe, hedge fund managers are Alpha Masters. Yes, there is a hierarchy.

The Robinhood App was founded in 2014 by former Stanford University roommates and 78% of the app users are under the age of 35. They like to invest in brands they know. Which brings us to GameStop.

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Gov. Noem never shut down South Dakota. Their unemployment rate just dropped to 3.0%. That’s lower than it was before the pandemic.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s response to the pandemic was an eminently American response. So of course the liberal media tried to crucify her for it.

But, as they say, you can’t argue with results.

That’s how it’s done, ladies and gents, in my humble opinion.

We are seeing in living color the myriad terrible consequences of draconian lockdown orders. They may not be as easily quantifiable on a chart or graph, but we see them in our neighborhoods and schools and churches every day. People’s lives have been turned upside down and, in many cases, destroyed — not by a virus, but by state governments with authoritarian strategies.

Noem’s strategy, on the other hand, can, I think, can be summed up nicely in this one paragraph from an op-ed she wrote for the Wall Street Journal in December:

Rather than following the pack and mandating harsh rules, South Dakota provides our residents with information about what is happening on the ground in our state—the science, facts and data. Then, we ask all South Dakotans to take personal responsibility for their health, the health of their loved ones, and—in turn—the health of our communities. The state hasn’t issued lockdowns or mask mandates. We haven’t shut down businesses or closed churches. In fact, our state has never even defined what an “essential business” is. That isn’t the government’s role.

Provide free people accurate information and then trust free people to make their own decisions based on their own unique circumstances?

How concerned investors should be about Biden’s tax proposals.

Stocks and taxes: What’s going to happen?

The Democrats’ control of Congress is shining a new spotlight on Biden’s tax proposals, particularly those that would affect stocks and bonds.
While Biden has repeatedly said he would not raise taxes on Americans earning less than $400,000 a year, he has proposed:

1) raising the marginal income tax rate from 37% to 39.6% for those making more than $400,000;

2) raising corporate taxes from 21% to 28%, and a 15% minimum book tax;

3) taxing long-term capital gains and qualified dividends at the ordinary income tax rate of 39.6 percent on income above $1 million.

Biden’s other proposals also have the potential to affect holders of stocks and bonds.

For example, he has proposed that those making over $400,000 should be subject to an additional 12.4% Social Security payroll tax, split evenly between employers and employees.

He has also proposed a change in 401(k) plans, from the current system that allows all savers to take up to $19,500 in income-tax deductions each year to a flat refundable tax credit that would give low-income earners a bigger tax break up front, and higher income earners a smaller tax break.

What effect will these proposals have on stocks? Will some sectors be more affected than others?

Savita Subramanian at Bank of America Securities estimates that the Biden tax plan would reduce S&P 500 earnings by 7% under the current plan, mostly stemming from higher corporate taxes. Growth-oriented sectors would be hit the hardest:

S&P 500: tax hit (estimated S&P 500 earnings impact based on Biden’s proposals )

  •  Technology                     down 9.2%
  • Health care                     down 8.4%
  • Communication services  down 8.2%
  • Consumer discretionary   down 7.5%
  • Financials                         down 6.5%

Source: BofA Securities

What effect would these taxes have on stock market behavior? It’s complicated, but Dan Wiener, who runs the Independent Adviser for Vanguard Investors and is chairman of Adviser Investment Management, says the impact on investors from a capital gains hike may be more limited than many think. “The people who will be most concerned are high-end active traders and some hedge funds,” he said. “Much of the stock is with pension funds who have no tax liability; 401(k) and IRA accounts are not taxed until the money is taken out.”

Raising taxes on the wealthy will also revive the old debate that hiking taxes would not necessarily provide a dramatic increase in revenues.

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The U.S. Has Lost More Than 110,000 Restaurants, Setting the Stage for a Commercial Real Estate Collapse of Epic Proportions

The restaurant industry is in the midst of a complete and total meltdown that is unlike anything that we have ever seen before.  If you ask Google how many restaurants there are in the United States, it will tell you that there are 660,755, although that number is a few years old.  But for the purposes of this article, that is a good enough estimate.  Americans love to eat out, and restaurant workers are some of the hardest working people in the entire country.  So it is incredibly sad to see more restaurants constantly going under.  In some cases, restaurants that have served their communities for decades are deciding to permanently close their doors.  For example, over the weekend Sammy’s Roumanian Steakhouse in New York City announced that it had finally reached the end of the road

Landmark New York City restaurant Sammy’s Roumanian Steakhouse has closed its iconic basement-level doors as the coronavirus pandemic continues to cripple the restaurant industry.

The Lower East Side fixture was famous for its latkes spreads, chopped liver, and vodka bottles frozen in blocks of ice and was known as a boisterous party spot frequented by celebrities.

Unfortunately, Sammy’s is far from alone.

In fact, in a recent article that he penned for Fox Business, Adam Piper lamented the fact that more than 100,000 U.S. restaurants have gone out of business during this pandemic…

State and local governments have wielded the coronavirus pandemic as license to steal freedom and opportunity in pursuit of unprecedented omnipotence. Unreasonable, unnecessary and hypocritical actions have forced over 100,000 restaurants to close and endanger countless others.

And according to Bloomberg, the true number of dead restaurants is now over 110,000…

More than 110,000 restaurants have closed permanently or long-term across the country as the industry grapples with the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Just think about that.

More than one out of every six restaurants in the U.S. is already gone, and the National Restaurant Association is warning that there will be more carnage in the months ahead because the industry is in “an economic free fall”

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OCTOBER SURPRISE: U.S. Economy Booms in Third Quarter With 33.1% GDP Growth.

Coming off the worst quarter in history, the U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace ever in the third quarter as a nation battered by an unprecedented pandemic started to put itself back together, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

Third-quarter gross domestic product, a measure of the total goods and services produced in the July-to-September period, expanded at a 33.1% annualized pace, according to the department’s initial estimate for the period.

The gain came after a 31.4% plunge in the second quarter and was better than the 32% estimate from economists surveyed by Dow Jones. The previous post-World War II record was the 16.7% burst in the first quarter of 1950.

 

 

The. states with short, or no lockdowns (i.e. South Dakota and Nebraska) experienced the smallest amount of economic damage.


The Devastating Economic Impact of Covid-19 Shutdowns

To this point, the destruction caused by state and Federal Covid-19 lockdowns has largely been expressed in aggregates. Yet along the same line as a popular critique of Keynesianism, economic aggregates present a greatly truncated story by smoothing over minute but revealing evidence at lower levels. Looking at the policy impact on a smaller scale – regionally, and in terms of industries/sectors – exposes the impact of mandated shutdowns in greater detail.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, widespread lockdown restrictions were imposed, ostensibly to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed and medical resources from being consumed to exhaustion. Whether policymakers purposely or out of ignorance disregarded them, the tradeoffs of stay-at-home orders were immediate and severe: a massive spike in unemployment, rivaling the Great Depression; similarly historic drops in GDP, and others. By looking at disaggregated data, though, the devastation of lockdowns becomes all the more apparent.

Organization

We examined the US economy in the period leading up to the Covid-19 policy implementations in two ways: regionally and in terms of industries.

For our analysis, U.S. geographic regions are broken into the following areas: New England, Mideast (Midatlantic), Great Lakes, Plains, Southeast, Southwest, Rocky Mountain, and the Far West. These were compared using data on GDP, imports, exports, business formations, and unemployment. Continue reading “”

5 Gun Stocks to Watch for Investors With a Steady Hand
As we draw closer to the U.S. Presidential elections, keep these five gun stocks in your crosshairs

After years in the dog house, gun stocks have come back with a vengeance so far in 2020. And, unlike in the last boom (driven by gun control fears), there have been several tailwinds moving the needle this time.

Firstly, the novel coronavirus pandemic. With uncertainty in the air, and millions of Americans stuck at home, gun demand far outstripped supply. Then, this summer’s civil unrest further fueled firearms sales growth. Not just with gun aficionados, but first-time owners as well.

And now, with the U.S. Presidential election in November, a make-or-break moment for gun stocks could be around the corner. If President Trump wins re-election, this hot sector may take a breather. In 2016, Trump’s surprise win caught gun-makers off guard, leaving them with a glut of firearms and ammunition, as demand cratered.

But, a victory by Democratic candidate Joe Biden could further fuel the rally. Why? Obama-era fears of a “gun grab” may be back on the table. Especially if the Democrats take back the U.S. Senate as well.

With speculation over a “Biden blowout,” things still look good for the firearms sector. Even if another Trump upset isn’t off the table, either.

On the other hand, being bullish (or bearish) on gun stocks may not be as binary as it was back in 2016. Given a Trump upset could fuel even more civil unrest, gun sales may remain strong even if he wins a second term.

So, what’s the play here? While an electoral upset could take the wind out this sector yet again, continued fear and unrest may mean gun stocks remain red hot. Keep these five in your crosshairs:

  • Olin Corporation (NYSE:OLN)
  • Sturm, Ruger (NYSE:RGR)
  • Sportsman’s Warehouse (NASDAQ:SPWH)
  • Smith and Wesson (NASDAQ:SWBI)
  • Vista Outdoor (NYSE:VSTO)

US employers hire 1.4M in August as unemployment rate falls sharply
Economists surveyed by Refinitiv expected the report to show that unemployment dropped to 9.8%

The U.S. economy added 1.4 million jobs in August, indicating the pace of rehiring has eased amid growing fears the nation faces a slow recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Labor Department’s payroll report released Friday showed the unemployment rate unexpectedly tumbled to 8.4%, down from 10.2% in June. It marks the first time since March the nation’s jobless rate is below 10%. Continue reading “”