Of all the trends to watch for investors coming out of the pandemic, the apparel industry could be one of the most interesting given that the transition back to normal life involves more in-person public appearances and social activity after a long period of its absence.
That has huge implications for fashion and apparel companies because people need to rebuild their wardrobes, which positions the industry for outsized growth relative to other areas of the market.
People are also financially better off than they were before the pandemic so there’s consumer spending power to back up that need. Indeed, according to NPR.com, Americans stashed away $2.7 trillion in excess savings over the pandemic even as inflation rates hit a record high (1).
This is especially true for wealthier consumers (2).
With both the need and the means lined up, investors may want to pay special attention to stocks in the apparel space (3) such as PVH Corp. (NYSE:PVH), Under Armour Inc. Cl C (NYSE:UA), Tapestry Inc. (NYSE:TPR), American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (NYSE:AEO), TJX Cos. (NYSE:TJX), Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS), and Urban Outfitters Inc. (Nasdaq:URBN). (4)
However, one small cap name in the space could deserve a deeper look given that it appears to be emerging as a new prospect in the making without much interest yet from the crowd: FBC Holding Inc. (OTC US:FBCD).
FBCD is really centered around its primary brand, Formrunner Apparel Inc., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of FBC Holding, Inc. Formrunner Apparel Inc. carries a variety of Top-Notch Streetwear & Accessories located in Scottsdale, Arizona. (5)
Formrunner can be viewed and bought on the Company’s website at www.formrunnerapparel.com.
FBC Holding Inc. (OTC US:FBCD) is a small but up-and-coming brand in the apparel space dedicated to individual identity and expression.
The company most recently announced that it is looking to establish a Brand Ambassador as a potential outlet to expand the apparel line to get a better name around the world.
According to its release, the company has been working diligently to enter the Entertainment/Music Industry through multiple connections and relationships to big Hip-Hop & Rap Artists.
In other words, we may not have too long to wait for the real news, which could potentially be an important catalyst for FBCD shares.
As noted by the company, the apparel market encompasses every kind of clothing, from sportswear to business wear, from value clothing to statement luxury pieces. After difficulties in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic, when sales across the apparel industry took a hit, the global demand for clothing and shoes is set to rise again.
FBC Holding Inc. (OTC US:FBCD) CEO and President, Lisa Nelson, stated, “By having a Brand Ambassador to represent our clothing line, this will make Formrunner Apparel reach its true potential along with explosive revenue and exposure… In 2022, Brand Ambassadors are the most impactful way to boost a brand. Brand ambassadors supply the human aspect to marketing campaigns. The more people get to know a brand, the more likely they are to buy. They can also help to build up positive online reviews and comments which affects the way potential customers view products.” (6)
Shares of FBCD are beyond oversold. The stock is down severely on a year over year basis (7). RSI has printed as low as 23 during the decline and still sitting near 30 on the weekly chart, which technicians generally treat as an oversold upside signal (8). If important news attaching the Formrunner brand to a major entertainment influencer hits with the stock in this deeply oversold state, it could get awfully interesting awfully quickly.
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Leftist Media Call Trump-Supporters “Far-Right”… For What?
Leftist Media Call Trump-Supporters "Far-Right"… For What?
Authored by Jack Hellner via AmericanThinker.com,
As far as I can tell, anyone…
As far as I can tell, anyone who supports Trump - say, Jim Jordan - is labeled hard right.
So which policies made Trump far-right, according to the media and other Democrats?
Enforcing border laws that Congress passed and building a wall? The public seems to support that, so that would be a middle-of-the-road policy.
Opposes sanctuary cities and states. It appears that the leftists who claimed they were sanctuaries are rethinking their disastrous policies.
Being tough on crime instead of supporting soft-on-crime D.A.s. That is not unpopular.
Supporting limits on abortion. Two thirds of Americans support limiting abortion to the first thirteen or fifteen weeks, just like Europe.
Supporting lower tax rates and fewer regulations. Those are not unpopular positions. In fact, they lifted up the people at the bottom of the economic ladder. Real wages rose rapidly, and poverty hit a record low at the end of 2019. How can that be hard right?
Opposing the teaching that the U.S. is a racist country.
Trump repeatedly denounced white supremacists just like almost all Americans.
Trump didn’t want people to be fired for refusing to take a vaccine just like most Americans.
Trump moved rapidly to get schools and businesses back open after the initial shutdown. That is certainly not a far-right position.
Trump supports school choice for the poor, just like the majority of Americans, especially minorities.
Trump opposes allowing men to compete against women, just like most Americans. He opposes allowing men to expose themselves in women’s locker rooms.
Trump supported drilling and energy independence. That kept inflation low and helped the poor, the middle class, and small businesses.
Trump does not believe that climate change is the greatest existential threat.
Trump sought to make NATO pay what they were supposed to. Why would that be an unpopular policy or far-right?
Trump moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, just as Congress and previous presidents had promised.
Trump put a squeeze on Iran. Why would it be far-right to cut off funding from a country that pledges death to America and death to Israel?
Trump and his son-in-law made great progress in the Middle East with the Abraham accords. That certainly is not hard-right.
Trump challenged the 2020 election, just like how Democrats challenged the 2000, 2004, and 2016 election. There is nothing far-right about challenging elections.
Trump told people to march peacefully and patriotically to the capital to protest the election. What is far-right about peace and patriotism?
Trump told the Germans they were stupid to rely on Russia for their energy. He was right.
Putin has attacked Ukraine while Obama and Biden were president, not Trump.
Trump asked Ukraine to investigate the Bidens for corruption. It would be a dereliction of duty for a president to learn of corruption and not investigate. Sadly, the media and other Democrats impeached him for doing his job.
Basically, Republicans like Trump and Jordan are called far-right by the media and other Democrats to intentionally mislead the public, just as they did with the fictional Russian collusion story.
Democrats don’t want to debate their leftist policies because they are unpopular so they always go to the same playbook. Call Republicans sexists, bigots, racists, and far- or hard-right. They sure don’t care that the corrupt Clintons and Bidens have lined their pockets with illegal kickbacks for years.
Deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust spurs a crisis of confidence in the idea of Israel – and its possible renewal
Israel’s foundational social contract – that the government would keep Israelis safe – was severed with the deadly attacks by Hamas on Oct. 7, 2…
Living for 75 years within a hostile neighborhood has required the state of Israel to provide security against external threats to all its citizens.
That responsibility is a social contract between citizens and the state: The state is obligated to provide security for its people, especially those who live near its borders, that makes living there safe. In return, young Israelis must serve in the army.
That unwritten contract was abruptly shattered for Israelis in the morning hours of Oct. 7, 2023. And with it, the very premise and promise that led to the establishment of the state was suddenly put in doubt.
That Saturday, when a surprise assault by Hamas stunned Israel, has been recognized as a date that will live in infamy – recalling U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s memorable words about Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor – in the annals of the state of Israel, indeed even in the annals of much older Jewish history.
Over 1,300 Israelis lost their lives in acts of mass killing on that day, mostly civilians. They were all murdered – executed, slaughtered, tortured, burned – by Hamas terrorists who launched a pogrom-like onslaught on Israeli villages on a scale never seen before. About 150 people, mostly Israeli civilians, were brutally kidnapped on that day by the attackers.
I am an Israeli historian, specializing in Israel’s nuclear history. I believe that to recognize the full meaning of Oct. 7, 2023, for Israel and Israelis, it must be placed in historical perspective, both Israeli and Jewish. There are other perspectives, including historical ones, but this essay is an attempt to portray the events of Oct. 7, 2023 – and their profound significance – as Israelis experienced them.
‘Never again’ was the state’s promise
Almost every Israeli citizen now is only one degree of separation from the victims of Oct. 7, 2023. For Israel, this is truly a national calamity in Biblical terms.
During the Holocaust, the Nazi killing machine executed thousands of Jews every day for years. But since then, there has never been a day in the 75 years of Israeli history that such a large number of Jews were killed, including the most horrific days of the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
Zionism as a national-political movement to establish a Jewish homeland came into being due to the pogroms – violent, usually murderous attacks in Europe – and the antisemitism of the late 19th century. By 1939, nobody could tell whether Zionism would succeed or fail. But it was the Shoah – Hebrew for “Holocaust” – that decisively unleashed the impetus among the Jewish people and internationally to create the state of Israel as a Jewish state, which stood as the triumph of Zionism.
The raison d'être – the purpose, justification, and international legitimacy – of the creation of Israel in 1948 was that it would be a safe homeland for the Jews as a fundamental response to the lesson of the Holocaust: Jews should no longer be victims.
So Israel came into being along with the national avowal “Never Again,” made by both the survivors and their rescuers, as its founding ethos. For Israelis and their supporters around the world, the triumph of Israel is the extraordinary transformation from Holocaust to national revival or, in Hebrew, from Shoah to Tekuma.
Over its life as a new state, Israel has built itself as a blend of the pen and the sword. On the sword side, Israel is the region’s military powerhouse. On the pen side, Israel has become a cultural force both within and beyond its borders, a hub of academic excellence and perhaps most known as a “startup nation,” a center of high-tech innovation.
Government fails its part of the contract
By now it is clear that the multi-faceted surprise Hamas onslaught – by sea, air and land – along the entire 40-mile long Gaza barrier demonstrated the colossal failure of all elements of the vaunted Israeli defense systems, including intelligence collection and warning, military deployment and readiness, command and control systems.
Israel’s supposedly formidable border wall – a ground barrier that cost over a billion dollars and was completed in 2021 – was rendered useless almost instantly. Within minutes, the attackers overwhelmed some 30 sites on the other side of it – civilian settlements, military bases and even an outdoor concert site.
There were almost no Israeli troops deployed in the area in the first place to defend the many points of attack, in part due to the holiday and lack of advanced warning, and in part due to the complacent confidence in the wall and its high-tech support system.
Furthermore, since almost all military communication was cut off by Hamas knocking out the communication towers, Israeli military and political leaders for hours had only a vague idea of the unfolding calamity.
That colossal military failure reminded many Israelis of the dismal shock the country experienced in the 1973 Yom Kippur war. The resemblance seems obvious – then and now, Israelis witnessed catastrophic intelligence and operational blunders that cost so many lives due to complacency and arrogance.
But in some key respects, the catastrophe in 2023 seems even more traumatic – it shakes the very foundations of Israel as the embodiment of Zionism, a safe Jewish homeland. In 1973, the casualties of the blunder were almost all soldiers; the civilians were kept far from the fighting and safe.
Yet on Oct. 7, this was not the case.
‘We are being slaughtered’
If the founding commitment of the state to its citizens was “Never again,” the brutal new reality that emerged on Oct. 7 was “Never before.”
For long hours on that day, countless Israeli civilians were crying for help that in too many cases didn’t arrive in time. Never before in Israeli history had so many civilians been left for so long without the help of the army.
“We are being slaughtered. There is no army. It has been six hours,” one kibbutz resident said in desperation. “People are begging for their lives.”
Never before had Israelis found themselves whispering desperately to TV studios and social media, not knowing who else to call, while terrorists were inside their houses.
Now, Israel has mobilized the largest reserve army it has ever amassed – a response that reflects its attempt to re-commit to the idea, and the reality, of never again being so vulnerable.
Yet this national trauma will be reckoned for in generations to come. How could such a calamity happen? Who is responsible for such a catastrophe? How is it possible that a powerful nation was so complacent?
The official Israeli response to those soul-searching questions is that for now the nation must wage war and those questions must and will be thoroughly studied. But, they say, not now. Investigate this later, after the war is won.
Yet those questions are simmering and boiling within the Israeli psyche; it is impossible to resist them. There is clarity and confidence that once the war is over, professional and judicial investigations will be thoroughly conducted, but some have already accepted moral responsibility. This movement toward both demanding and accepting responsibility demonstrates a renewed faith among Israelis about the future for their country.
Most prominently, the Israeli military’s Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, has acknowledged publicly the failure of the army and took responsibility for that failure to provide security to the citizens of Israel.
The sole Israeli national figure who has acknowledged nothing about responsibility is the one on whose watch it all happened, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Indeed, except for a few taped statements, in the week after the war began, Netanyahu had avoided meeting members of the public as well as taking questions from the press.
Avner Cohen 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.army europe
Second Largest US Lab-Grown Diamond Producer Goes Bust
Second Largest US Lab-Grown Diamond Producer Goes Bust
The second-largest US producer of lab-grown diamonds has filed for bankruptcy amid…
The second-largest US producer of lab-grown diamonds has filed for bankruptcy amid a massive glut of fabricated gemstones and plunging prices.
Financial Times reports that Washington-based WD Lab Grown Diamonds filed for Chapter 7 in a Delaware bankruptcy court and had total liabilities of around $44 million and assets of $3 million. The company listed it had between 100 and 199 creditors.
In 2020, WD Lab Grown Diamonds became the first diamond company to be certified under the "Standard for Sustainable Diamonds" by third-party verifier SCS Global Services. Operations began in 2008 and have played a pivotal role in innovating the lab-grown diamond industry, generating roughly $33 million in revenue last year.
Paul Zimnisky, an independent diamond analyst, said the collapse of WD Lab Grown Diamonds is a sign it struggled to compete with Chinese and Indian producers.
In the last seven years, a single-carat lab-grown diamond has plunged more than threefold due to a flood of supply, a massive relief for mining companies who have seen natural diamond prices crash.
Real diamond prices
The slide in real diamond prices comes as consumers pivot to cheaper lab-grown stones. Also, there's an ongoing global luxury spending slowdown as recession risks rise.
As for the lab-grown diamond industry, it's a race to the bottom as more supply only pushes prices lower, slashes margins, and ultimately results in business failures.
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