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Coronavirus Crisis – “Clients Should Own Stocks of Companies that Can Prosper During a Pandemic”

Stocks Struggle As The Bull Market In Virus Cases Rises 07-17-20



This article was originally published by Real Investment Advice.

In this issue of, “Stocks Struggle As The Bull Market In Virus Cases Rises”
  • Technically Trapped
  • Economic Expectations Slow
  • Who Ya Gonna Believe
  • The Risk Of Confirmation Bias
  • MacroView: Value Is Dead. Long Live Value.
  • Sector & Market Analysis
  • 401k Plan Manager
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Catch Up On What You Missed Last Week

Technically Trapped

Last week, we discussed why we were taking profits in positions that had gotten egregiously overbought for the second time this year. To wit:
“For the second time in a single year, we have begun the profit-taking process within our most profitable names. Apple, Microsoft, Netflix, Amazon, Costco, PG, and in Communications and Technology ETFs.”
That turned out to be timely as technology shares struggled to maintain their altitude. The tight “wedge” pattern that has developed suggests a downside break could quickly lead to a test of the 50-dma. Such would equate to about a 7% decline. Furthermore, the S&P 500 continues to remain “technically trapped” between the June highs and the recent consolidation lows. With the market overbought on a short-term basis, the upside has remained limited. However, there is substantial support between the current uptrend line and the 50- and 200-dma’s, limiting downside risk at this juncture. We will update our risk/reward ranges below. However, as noted previously, July held to its historical performance tendencies. However, the risk comes in August and September, where outcomes tend to be more volatile.
“In the short-term, the bulls remain in charge currently, and as such, we must be mindful of those trends. Also, the month of July tends to be one of the better performing months of the year.”
Earnings, The Bullish Test Comes As Earnings Season Begins 07-03-20

The Bull Market In Virus Cases

August and September’s seasonal tendencies will also be impacted by the ongoing “bull market” in “virus” cases. Our colleague Jeffrey Marcus noted a critical point for our RIAPro subscribers (30-day Risk-Free Trial)
“The question for clients is this: ‘Is the pattern of the past 5-days a broadening of the rally since March 23rd lows, or are investors moving too far out on the risk curve?’ Experian’s 4 possible Covid-19 economic scenarios may provide an answer. The worst scenario was a W-shaped.”
“There were 72,045 new cases of Covid-19 in the U.S. The second worst daily number to date (chart below). Although the market seems to have ignored the worsening numbers so far, the V-shaped scenario seems a long-shot at this juncture. Can the U.S economy somehow rebound with ever-increasing cases of Covid-19? The market action over the past 5-days seems to depend on the belief of recovery, and the hope cheap valuations will buffer against tough financial conditions. Clients should own stocks of companies that can prosper during a pandemic ridden economy. Such is as opposed to just ‘hoping’ stocks with rocky roads ahead will continue to rally.”
It is unlikely that a “bull market” in the number of new virus cases can co-exist with a bull market in stocks for long.  

Economic Expectations Slow

The most significant risk to the current bull market in stocks comes in two specific headwinds – Congress and the Fed. At the end of the month, the additional $600/week in jobless benefits will expire. Such is no small matter, as noted by CNBC:
  • 25.6 million individuals will lose the additional benefit on July 25th.
  • $15.4 billion in additional weekly economic benefit nationwide up from states spending less than $1 billion pre-pandemic.
These payments have been a big part of the boost to retail sales over the last couple of months. Retail sales comprise roughly 40% of Personal Consumption Expenditures, which equates to about 70% of the GDP calculation. In other words, it is not a trivial matter. While it seems like a “no-brainer,” that Congress should extend the benefits, there are some issues which could get in the way:
  1. Political football (R) – Republicans intend to end the enhancement to jobless benefits as they view it as a disincentive for people to return to work. 
  2. Political football (D) – Democrats realize an election is soon. If the economy is doing well due to the benefits, the odds increase for a re-election of the incumbent.
  3. Debt Ceiling Debate – With the debt-ceiling, the debate on the next “continuing resolution” will become problematic. For conservative Republicans up for re-election, unbridled spending is going to become problematic.
Even with the current support in place, the initial rebound of economic activity off the lows has begun to slow and stabilize at a level lower than pre-pandemic. Such should NOT be a surprise with 36.4 million workers either on, or waiting for, unemployment benefits.

Federal Contraction

The other headwind for the market comes from the very thing that boosted asset prices to start with – the Fed’s balance sheet expansion. Over the last couple of months, the slowing rate of advance for the market has coincided with a reduction in the Fed’s “emergency measures.” As noted previously, the limit to the Fed’s QE program is the Government’s Treasury issuance. An improving economy increased tax revenues, and improved outlooks began limiting the Fed’s ability to engage in more extensive monetary interventions. Jerome Powell noted the Fed has to be careful not to “run through the corporate bond market.” The Fed is aware if they absorb too much of the Treasury or Corporate credit markets, they will distort pricing and create a negative incentive to lend. Such impairment would run counter to the very outcome they are trying to achieve. As noted last week, there is already a “diminishing rate of return” on QE programs.
“Instead, as each year passed, more monetary policy was required just to sustain economic growth. Whenever the Fed tightened policy, economic growth weakened, and financial markets declined. The table shows it takes increasingly larger amounts of QE to create an equivalent increase in asset prices.”
Bullish, #MacroView: The Threats To The Bullish Thesis Have Grown
“As with everything, there is a “diminishing rate of return” on QE over time. Since QE requires more debt to be issued, the consequence is slower economic growth over time.

Who Ya Gonna Believe

My friend Doug Kass also made a salient comment regarding the economic risk in front of us.
“Some fundamental investors (like myself) are looking closely at the flattening high-frequency economic data, and the rising chorus of company executives flagging economic and market uncertainties over the last few days. Specifically, the management of Citigroup, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan, and Goldman Sachs all echoed the same mantra. They are surprised by how optimistic the economic and business forecasts have grown, and the enthusiastic embrace of the capital markets. These wise managers of businesses have their feet on the ground and virtually dismiss a “V” type recovery that many have endorsed. To paraphrase, they all see many possible outcomes (many of which are adverse and not market-friendly). Look to the ground, not to the sky – believe them (bank CEOs) and not the markets’ seductive lying eyes.”
As noted above, the data does confirm those views. More importantly, there is another issue that derives from a weaker economic outlook.

Stocks Are About To Get A Lot More Expensive

As Eric Parnell recently wrote:
“The current forward price-to-earnings ratio on the S&P 500 based on 2020 earnings is 35.6 times earnings. The historical average forward price-to-earnings ratio on the S&P 500 dating back a century and a half is 15.6 times. Thus, today’s valuation is more than +125% greater than the historical average. The forward P/E ratio on the S&P 500 has been higher than 35.6 only two other times in history. Both are recent episodes. The first was from 2001-Q1 to 2002-Q2 during the bursting of the technology bubble. The second was from 2008-Q2 to 2009-Q1 during the Great Financial Crisis. During both of these past episodes, the P/E ratio moved in excess of 35 times forward earnings, because while the S&P 500 price was falling (the “P” in the P/E ratio), the earnings were falling much faster (the “E” in the P/E ratio). In contrast, the P/E ratio has moved in excess of 35 times forward earnings today because the S&P 500 price is rising even though earnings are falling considerably.”

More To Go

That is correct, and the issue currently is that expectations for earnings are still far too high through the end of 2020, and into 2021. As I discussed previously:
“Currently, estimates have only been reduced by 34% of their previous peak. Such comes at a time where economic growth is weaker, job loss is higher, and consumption will drop lower than any previous point except during the ‘Great Depression.'”
fully invested bears, Technically Speaking: Unicorns, Rainbows, & Fully Invested Bears
“We are watching the chart closely as we expect that earnings will eventually drop closer to $60/share to align with historical norms. As such, stock prices will have to correct to align with those earnings.”
(Note: Since that writing, trough estimates have declined to $91.79. The current bear market P/E is currently 35.13x.) However, even those estimates are likely optimistic, given the data that is coming in. We would not be surprised to see a negative sign in front Q2-GAAP earnings before it is over. At the moment, such “fundamental relics” like earnings may not seem to matter. Such has always seemed to be the case, just before they begin to matter, and matter a lot.  

Updating Risk/Reward Ranges

As noted last week:
“The [advice to reduce risk] played out well this past week, given daily swings in the market. While the market was up for the week, it has not reclaimed the June highs. As such, the consolidation continues with risk/reward remaining primarily ‘neutral’ with a ‘negative’ bias.”
That advice remains this week. After several failed tests of the June highs this week, we derisked our portfolios and added to our hedges. Even with those adjustments, our portfolios continued to perform as the rotation to “risk-off” sectors kept markets stable. The reason for the derisking is the negative tilt to the risk/reward ranges currently. 
  • -4.3% to initial March reflex rally top vs. +2.1% all-time highs.* (Negative)
  • -5.4% to 50-dma support vs. +2.1% to all-time highs.* (Negative)
  • -7.2% to 200-dma support vs. +2.1% to all-time highs.* (Negative)
  • -9.6% to -15.8% to previous consolidation vs. +2.1% to all-time highs.* (Negative)
(* If the market breaks out to all-time this analysis is no longer valid and risk/reward ranges will recalibrate for the breakout.)

The Risk Of Confirmation Bias

I have written many times previously about the dangers of getting trapped into a “bullish” or “bearish” mindset. As an investor or portfolio manager, your job is to view the markets for opportunities to increase capital and protect it from loss. As Doug noted this week:
“There are many who see the markets as “Them versus Us.” The bulls vs. the bears, the fundamentalists vs. the technicians, and so on. I view the investment marketplace as me vs. the markets, and not me vs. opposing views.
The most significant risk to any investor long-term is getting trapped in “confirmation bias.” Such is the psychological impediment of seeking out information that confirms your existing predisposition. However, such inherently leads to adverse outcomes as investors become blind to the risk that inherently upends their future outcome.  In the end, it does not matter IF you are “bullish” or “bearish.” The reality is that the “broken clock” syndrome owns both “bulls” and “bears” during the full-market cycle. However, grossly important in achieving long-term investment success is not necessarily being “right” during the first half of the cycle, but by not being “wrong” during the second half.

The MacroView

If you need help or have questions, we are always glad to help. Just email me. See You Next Week By Lance Roberts, CIO

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The post Stocks Struggle As The Bull Market In Virus Cases Rises 07-17-20 appeared first on RIA.

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Just 3 Nobel Prizes cover all of science – how research is done today poses a challenge for these prestigious awards

The Nobel Prize categories were set up more than a century ago. Since then, science has grown and evolved in unpredictable ways.




Has the Nobel Prize category 'chemistry' morphed into 'biochemistry'? picture alliance via Getty Images

I’ve been primarily an experimental chemist – the kind of person who goes into the laboratory and mixes and stirs chemicals – since the beginning of my career in 1965. Today, and for the past 15 years, I’m a full-time historian of chemistry.

Every October, when the announcements are made of that year’s Nobel laureates, I examine the results as a chemist. And all too often, I share the same response as many of my fellow chemists: “Who are they? And what did they do?”

One reason for that bewilderment – and disappointment – is that in many recent years, none of my “favorites” or those of my fellow chemists will travel to Stockholm. I am not suggesting that these Nobel laureates are undeserving – quite the opposite. Rather, I am questioning whether some of these awards belong within the discipline of chemistry.

Consider some recent Nobel Prizes. In 2020, Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna received the Nobel Prize “for the development of a method for genome editing.” In 2018, Frances H. Arnold received the Nobel Prize “for the directed evolution of enzymes,” which she shared with George P. Smith and Sir Gregory P. Winter “for the phage display of peptides and antibodies.” In 2015, Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar received the Nobel Prize “for mechanistic studies of DNA repair.”

All of them received Nobel Prizes in chemistry – not the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, even though these achievements seem very clearly situated within the disciplines of medicine and the life sciences. There are many other similar examples.

woman and man in formal dress at awards ceremony
2018 co-laureate Frances Arnold receives her Nobel Prize in chemistry from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. Henrik Montgomery/AFP via Getty Images

These recent mismatches are even clearer when you look further back in time. Consider the 1962 Nobel Prize awarded to Francis Crick, James Watson and Maurice Wilkins “for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material.” DNA, of course, is the most famous nucleic acid, and these three scientists were honored for deciphering how its atoms are bonded together and arranged in their three-dimensional double-helix shape.

While the “structure of DNA” most certainly is an achievement in chemistry, the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine to Watson, Crick and Wilkins. Clearly, their Nobel achievements have had great consequences in the life sciences, genetics and medicine. Thus awarding them the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine is quite appropriate.

metal model of structure of DNA molecule double helix
A model of a DNA molecule using some of Watson and Crick’s original metal plates. Science & Society Picture Library via Getty Images

But note the disconnect. The Nobel Prizes in chemistry in 2020, 2018 and 2015 are more life-science- and medicine-oriented than Watson, Crick and Wilkins’ for the structure of DNA. Yet the former were awarded in chemistry, while the latter was in physiology and medicine.

What is going on? What does this trend reveal about the Nobel Foundation and its award strategies in response to the growth of science?

A gradual evolution in the Nobel Prizes

Several years ago, chemist-historian-applied mathematician Guillermo Restrepo and I collaborated to study the relationship of scientific discipline to the Nobel Prize.

Each year, the Nobel Committee for chemistry studies the nominations and proposes the recipients of the Nobel Prize in chemistry to its parent organization, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which ultimately selects the Nobel laureates in chemistry (and physics).

We found a strong correlation between the disciplines of the members of the committee and the disciplines of the awardees themselves. Over the lifetime of the Nobel Prizes, there has been a continuous increase – from about 10% in the 1910s to 50% into the 2000s – in the percentage of committee members whose research is best identified within the life sciences.

Restrepo and I concluded: As go the expertise, interests and the disciplines of the committee members, so go the disciplines honored by the Nobel Prizes in chemistry. We also concluded that the academy has intentionally included more and more life scientists on their selection committee for chemistry.

Now some perceptive readers might ask, “Is not the discipline of biochemistry just a subdiscipline of chemistry?” The underlying question is, “How does one define the disciplines in science?”

Restrepo and I reasoned that what we term “intellectual territory” defines the boundaries of a discipline. Intellectual territory can be assessed by bibliographic analysis of the scientific literature. We examined the references, often called citations, that are found in scientific publications. These references are where authors of journal articles cite the related research that’s previously been published – often the research they have relied and built on. We chose to study two journals: a chemistry journal named Angewandte Chemie and a life science journal named, rather aptly, Biochemistry.

We found that the articles in Angewandte Chemie mostly cite articles published in other chemistry journals, and the articles in Biochemistry mostly cite articles in biochemistry and life sciences journals. We also found that the reverse is true: Scientific publications that cite Angewandte Chemie articles are mostly in chemistry journals, and publications that cite Biochemistry articles are mostly in biochemistry and life science journals. In other words, chemistry and the life sciences/biochemistry reside in vastly different intellectual territories that don’t tend to overlap much.

Not letting labels be limiting

But now, perhaps a shocker. Many scientists don’t really care how they are classified by others. Scientists care about science.

As I’ve heard Dudley Herschbach, recipient of the 1986 Nobel Prize in chemistry, respond to the oft-asked question of whether he’s an experimental chemist or a theoretical chemist: “The molecules don’t know, nor do they care, do they?”

But scientists, like all human beings, do care about recognition and awards. And so, chemists do mind that the Nobel Prize in chemistry has morphed into the Nobel Prize in chemistry and the life sciences.

black and white head shot of man in early 20th C attire
Jacobus Henricus van ‘t Hoff received the first Nobel Prize in chemistry for 'discovery of the laws of chemical dynamics and osmotic pressure in solutions.’ Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Since the Nobel Prizes were first awarded in 1901, the community of scientists and the number of scientific disciplines have grown tremendously. Even today, new disciplines are being created. New journals are appearing. Science is becoming more multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary. Even chemistry as a discipline has grown dramatically, pushing outward its own scholarly boundaries, and chemistry’s achievements continue to be astounding.

The Nobel Prize hasn’t evolved sufficiently with the times. And there just are not enough Nobel Prizes to go around to all the deserving.

I can imagine an additional Nobel Prize for the life sciences. The number of awardees could expand from the current three-per-prize maximum to whatever fits the accomplishment. Nobel Prizes could be awarded posthumously to make up for past serious omissions, an option that was used by the Nobel Foundation for several years and then discontinued.

In truth, the Nobel Foundation has evolved the prizes, but very deliberately and without the major transformations that I think will certainly be required in the future. It will, I believe, eventually break free, figuratively and literally, from the mire of Alfred Nobel’s will and more than a century of distinguished tradition.

When Nobel designed the prizes named after him in the late 1800s and early 1900s, he couldn’t have known that his gift would become a perpetual endowment and have such lasting – indeed, even increasing – significance. Nobel also could not have anticipated the growth of science, nor the fact that over time, some disciplines would fade in importance and new disciplines would evolve.

So far, the extremely competent and highly dedicated scholars at the Nobel Foundation and their partner organizations – and I acknowledge with real appreciation their selfless devotion to the cause – haven’t responded adequately to the growth of the sciences or to the inequities and even incompleteness of past award years. But I have confidence: In time, they will do so.

Jeffrey I. Seeman does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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Tesla rival Polestar reveals lineup of its new electric vehicles

The Sweden-based electric vehicle maker completes key testing before launching production of its new SUV.



Tesla's Model Y crossover, the best-selling vehicle globally, is the standard that electric vehicle makers strive to compete with. The Austin, Texas, automaker sold about 267,200 Model Y vehicles in the first three months of the year and continued leading the pack well into the second quarter.

It's no wonder that the Model Y is leading all vehicles in sales as it retails for about $39,390 after tax credits and estimated gas savings. Ford  (F) - Get Free Report hopes to compete with the Model Y about a year from now when it rolls out the new Ford Explorer SUV that is expected to start at $49,150.

Related: Honda unveils surprising electric vehicles to compete with Tesla

Plenty of competition in electric SUV space

Mercedes-Benz (MBG) however, has a Tesla rival model with its EQB all-electric compact sports utility vehicle with an estimated 245 mile range on a charge with 70.5 kWh battery capacity, 0-60 mph acceleration in 8 seconds and the lowest price of its EVs at a $52,750 manufacturers suggested retail price.

Tesla's Model X SUV has a starting price of about $88,490, while the Model X full-size SUV starts at $98,490 with a range of 348 miles. BMW's  (BMWYY) - Get Free Report xDrive50 SUV has a starting price of about $87,000, a range up to 311 miles and accelerates 0-60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds.

Polestar  (PSNY) - Get Free Report plans to have a lineup of five EVs by 2026. The latest model that will begin production in the first quarter of 2024 is the Polestar 3 electric SUV, which is completing its development. The vehicle just finished two weeks of testing in extreme hot weather of up to 122 degrees in the desert of the United Arab Emirates to fine tune its climate system. The testing was completed in urban cities and the deserts around Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

“The Polestar 3 development and testing program is progressing well, and I expect production to start in Q1 2024. Polestar 3 is at the start of its journey and customers can now visit our retail locations around the world to see its great proportions and sit in its exclusive and innovative interior,” Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath said in a statement.

Polestar 3 prototype is set for production in the first quarter of 2024.


Polestar plans 4 new electric vehicles

Polestar 3, which will compete with Tesla's Model X, Model Y, BMW's iX xDrive50 and Mercedes-Benz, has a starting manufacturer's suggested retail price of $83,000, a range up to 300 miles and a charging time of 30 minutes. The company has further plans for the Polestar 4, an SUV coupé that will launch in phases in late 2023 and 2024, as well as a Polestar 5 electric four-door GT and a Polestar 6 electric roadster that the company says "are coming soon." 

The Swedish automaker's lone all-electric model on the market today is the Polestar 2 fastback, which has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $49,900, a range up to 320 miles and a charging time of 28 minutes. The vehicle accelerates from 0-60 miles per hour in 4.1 seconds. Polestar 2 was unveiled in 2019 and delivered in Europe in July 2020 and the U.S. in December 2020.

Polestar 1, the company's first vehicle, was a plug-in hybrid that went into production in 2019 and was discontinued in late 2021, according to the Polestar website.

The Gothenburg, Sweden, company was established in 1996 and was sold to Geely affiliate Volvo in 2015.

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Our Society Is Melting Down Even Faster Than Most People Thought That It Would

Our Society Is Melting Down Even Faster Than Most People Thought That It Would

Authored by Michael Snyder via The End of The American Dream…



Our Society Is Melting Down Even Faster Than Most People Thought That It Would

Authored by Michael Snyder via The End of The American Dream blog,

It can be difficult to believe that the wild scenes that we are witnessing on the streets of America are actually real.  Earlier this week, I wrote an article entitled “What Life Is Really Like In America’s Hellish Inner Cities”.  I wrote that article before the widespread looting that just erupted in Philadelphia.  Just when I think that conditions in our core urban areas have reached a low point, they seem to find a way to get even worse.  Unfortunately, this is just the beginning of this crisis.  As economic conditions continue to deteriorate, countless numbers of people will become very desperate.  And when countless numbers of people become very desperate, our society will descend into a permanent state of chaos.

On Tuesday night, dozens of young people went on a rampage in the city of Philadelphia.

It is being reported that “stores in several areas of Philadelphia” were hit…

Dozens of people faced criminal charges Wednesday after a night of social media-fueled mayhem in which groups of thieves, apparently working together, smashed their way into stores in several areas of Philadelphia, stuffing plastic bags with merchandise and fleeing, authorities said.

A total of 52 arrests have been made so far, police said Wednesday.

Burglary, theft and other counts have been filed so far against at least 30 people, all but three of them adults, according to Jane Roh, spokesperson for the Philadelphia district attorney’s office.

The largest group consisted of approximately 100 young people, and there was violence when the police finally confronted that group outside of a Lululemon store

Police in the city said that a large group of around 100 juveniles kept moving from store to store and looting them.

Videos shared on social media show officers attempting to grab thieves, some of whom are wearing Halloween masks, as they run riot through a Lululemon store.

One officer manages to hit one of the looters with a punch after tackling them to the ground.

Many on social media seem to be quite entertained by videos of the looting, but the truth is that this footage should break all of our hearts.

Our society is literally coming apart at the seams all around us.

I had warned my readers that total retail theft would exceed 100 billion dollars this year, but now it is being reported that total retail theft already broke that threshold in 2022

Last year, total losses tied to theft amounted to $112.1 billion, according to data from the 2023 National Retail Security Survey. That is up from $93.9 billion in losses in 2021 and $90.8 billion in 2020.

Retailers within metros including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Oakland as well as Houston, New York and Seattle were hit the hardest last year.

So if last year’s number was 112 billion, what will the final number be for 2023?

130 billion?

140 billion?

150 billion?

Major retail chains all over America are shutting down stores due to rampant theft.

As I discussed yesterday, Target has decided to permanently shutter nine stores in high crime areas…

Target Corp. will shutter nine stores across four states on Oct. 21 because of theft and threats to safety, the company announced Tuesday, the latest — and loudest —example of a retailer exiting urban locations because of crime.

Target said it made the “difficult decision” to close the stores — which include locations in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, Seattle, Portland and the San Francisco Bay area — after the Minneapolis-based company determined that theft-preventive measures had proved ineffective. The company said it had tried adding more security, including third-party guards, and using deterrents such as locking up merchandise.

“We cannot continue operating these stores because theft and organized retail crime are threatening the safety of our team and guests and contributing to unsustainable business performance,” the company said.

But nine stores is just a drop in the bucket compared to what other retailers are doing.

For example, it is being reported that Rite Aid will close approximately 500 stores

One of the largest U.S. drugstores chains Rite Aid is set to close around 500 stores nationwide as it negotiates a plan to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the firm, which is the third largest in the country, is looking to close branches and either sell or let creditors take over their remaining operations.

And CVS is in the process of closing a total of 900 stores by 2024

Drugstore chain CVS is set to close hundreds of stores across the US as it undergoes a major reform to adjust to the needs of modern online shoppers.

The retail giant is coming to the end of a policy launched in 2021 which will see 300 stores closed each year – meaning 900 will have shuttered by 2024.

In the announcement, which has hit headlines again recently amid rampant shoplifting at the store, bosses they said that they were undergoing a new ‘retail footprint strategy.’

Drugstores used to be all over the place in our core urban areas.

But now our inner cities are littered with scores of boarded up establishments with “space available” signs on them.

This is what the future of America looks like, and it isn’t good.

Once upon a time, we could be proud of the shiny new cities that we had built from coast to coast.

Those cities were safe and they were clean.

But now our major cities have degenerated into crime-ridden hellholes that are absolutely filthy.  In New York City, the millions of rats that live there are constantly making headlines

This is the moment a group of horrified New Yorkers is forced to hop over scores of vermin scurrying across their path from bins outside a pizzeria.

Footage shows a few rats brazenly scurry across the pavement before scores of them emerge from an overflowing bin.

Taryn Brady, 29, who was with a group of friends when she filmed the rat encounter, said she was left in ‘fear and disgust’ after she and her friends had to hop over the rodents running towards them.

This is our country now.

I know that I keep saying that, but it is such an important point.

We don’t have the same nation that previous generations passed down to us.

Over the past 50 to 60 years, we have literally ruined America.

From the White House all the way down to the kids that are looting retailers in our major cities, we have become a laughingstock to the rest of the world.

And if we don’t find a way to turn things around, our story is going to have an absolutely tragic ending.

*  *  *

Michael’s new book entitled “End Times” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on, and you can check out his new Substack newsletter right here.

Tyler Durden Thu, 09/28/2023 - 18:20

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