Making Fashion Great Again

Making Fashion Great Again

When Ivanka Trump launched her eponymous fashion company in 2007, she leaned on her family name as a signal of wealth and extravagance. Since her dad became president, though, the appeal has faded for some consumers. Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus dropped the line in February . According to Lyst, a fashion search platform, sales for November were down 34% from the same month last year. Shoppers are now most likely to find it at Macy’s and Walmart, heavily discounted.

The company is trying to retake some control. On Thursday it opened the doors to its first standalone boutique, located in Trump Tower. No doubt rent was the right price. Will New Yorkers patronize it? “It’s not going to happen,” chuckles Anthony Chukumba, a retail analyst at Loop Capital. “There is no scenario in my mind where her store is successful—unless she opens it in a strip mall in Alabama.”


50 Most (and Least) Popular Star Wars Characters

50 Most (and Least) Popular Star Wars Characters

Upon its release in May 1977, “Star Wars” opened in just 42 theaters. The film quickly broke box office records, was ordered to a greater number of theaters, and began to make history as the biggest franchise in cinema history.

Film critics point to a number of reasons behind the film’s success. The film that would eventually be called “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” portrayed a hero’s journey on an epic, intergalactic scale, employed cutting-edge special and visual effects that still hold up today, and had one of the most recognizable film scores of all time. But perhaps the most important element in the film’s enduring quality was its characters.

The Star Wars franchise contains some of the most beloved characters in cinema history. And in a film series as rich in detail as Star Wars, even many of the lesser-known, minor characters make a strong impression on the audience.

To determine the most and least popular Star Wars characters, 24/7 Wall St. created an index based on each character’s screen time, dialogue, internet popularity, and other factors.

Click here to see the most popular Star Wars characters.
Click here to see the least popular Star Wars characters.

Click here to see our detailed findings and methodology.

BLS: Job Openings "Little changed" in October

BLS: Job Openings "Little changed" in October

by Bill McBride on 12/11/2017 10:06:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings was little changed at 6.0 million on the last business day of October, the
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires increased to 5.6 million and
separations were little changed at 5.2 million. Within separations, the quits rate and the layoffs and
discharges rate were little changed at 2.2 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively. …

The number of quits was unchanged at 3.2 million in October. The quits rate was 2.2 percent. The
number of quits was little changed for total private, for government, and in all industries. In the regions,
the number of quits increased in the South and decreased in the Midwest.
emphasis added

The following graph shows job openings (yellow line), hires (dark blue), Layoff, Discharges and other (red column), and Quits (light blue column) from the JOLTS.

This series started in December 2000.

Note: The difference between JOLTS hires and separations is similar to the CES (payroll survey) net jobs headline numbers. This report is for October, the most recent employment report was for November.

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey Click on graph for larger image.

Note that hires (dark blue) and total separations (red and light blue columns stacked) are pretty close each month. This is a measure of labor market turnover.  When the blue line is above the two stacked columns, the economy is adding net jobs – when it is below the columns, the economy is losing jobs.

Jobs openings decreased in October to 5.996 million from 6.177 in September.

The number of job openings (yellow) are up 7.3% year-over-year.

Quits are up 3.3% year-over-year. These are voluntary separations. (see light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for “quits”).

Job openings are mostly moving sideways at a high level, and quits are increasing year-over-year.  This is a solid report.

A Stock Picker’s Guide to Playing Bitcoin

A Stock Picker’s Guide to Playing Bitcoin

By now you’ve heard of bitcoin. You understand that skeptics say bitcoin’s mind-melting price gains might be the biggest speculative frenzy ever. You also know that backers believe digital currencies will disintermediate the global banking system and that blockchain has internet-like potential to revolutionize business. But suppose, like many of investors, you’re most comfortable viewing […]

Biggest Box Office Winners of the Year

Biggest Box Office Winners of the Year

When you’re looking to escape reality, a trip to the cinema allows you to do just that. How well a storyline, visuals, and sound are executed are a few of the many factors that contribute to a film’s success.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 2017 domestic gross for 156 wide-release films — shown in at least 600 theaters in the United States and Canada. The percentage of the audience that enjoyed the movie is based on online review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes’ audience score.

This year, many kinds of movies achieved box office success. The top 50 grossing films fall within a variety of genres including anything from fantasy and science fiction, to comedies, to thrillers. Superhero movies including “Wonder Woman,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” and “Thor: Ragnarok” — just to name a few — dominate the top 10 movies with the highest domestic gross sales in 2017.

Remakes and sequels of well-liked films also appear on this list, namely “Beauty and the Beast” and “Despicable Me 3.” Also making the list is femme-centric comedy “Girls Trip,” which had the strongest opening night for a comedy this year.

Click here to see the biggest box office winners of the year.
Click here to read our detailed findings and methodology.

Schedule for Week of Dec 3, 2017

Schedule for Week of Dec 3, 2017

by Bill McBride on 12/02/2017 08:11:00 AM

The key report this week is the November employment report on Friday.

Other key indicators include the October Trade deficit,  and the November ISM non-manufacturing index.

—– Monday, Dec 4th —–

No major economic releases scheduled.

—– Tuesday, Dec 5th —–

U.S. Trade Deficit8:30 AM: Trade Balance report for October from the Census Bureau.

This graph shows the U.S. trade deficit, with and without petroleum, through September. The blue line is the total deficit, and the black line is the petroleum deficit, and the red line is the trade deficit ex-petroleum products.

The consensus is for the U.S. trade deficit to be at $47.1 billion in October from $43.5 billion in September.

10:00 AM: the ISM non-Manufacturing Index for November. The consensus is for index to decrease to 59.0 from 60.1 in October.

10:00 AM: Corelogic House Price index for October.

—– Wednesday, Dec 6th —–

7:00 AM ET: The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index.

8:15 AM: The ADP Employment Report for November. This report is for private payrolls only (no government). The consensus is for 192,000 payroll jobs added in November, down from 235,000 added in October.

—– Thursday, Dec 7th —–

8:30 AM: The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for 240 thousand initial claims, up from 238 thousand the previous week.

10:00 AM: The Q3 Quarterly Services Report from the Census Bureau.

12:00 PM: Q3 Flow of Funds Accounts of the United States from the Federal Reserve.

3:00 PM: Consumer Credit from the Federal Reserve. The consensus is for consumer credit to increase $17.0 billion in October.

—– Friday, Dec 8th —–

8:30 AM: Employment Report for November. The consensus is for an increase of 185,000 non-farm payroll jobs added in November, down from the 261,000 non-farm payroll jobs added in October.

Year-over-year change employmentThe consensus is for the unemployment rate to be unchanged at 4.1%.

This graph shows the year-over-year change in total non-farm employment since 1968.

In October the year-over-year change was 2.04 million jobs.

A key will be the change in wages.

10:00 AM: University of Michigan’s Consumer sentiment index (preliminary for December). The consensus is for a reading of 98.8, up from 98.5 in October.