Gun sales across the United States were not just higher, they were record setting. As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, guns stores and online retailers reported the highest sales in terms of number of product in history. More than 2.5 million guns were sold in March, according to an analysis of FBI background check data released Wednesday by Small Arms Analytics and Forecasting (SAAF). The buying craze was clearly sparked by fears over what could happen in a horrendous economic slowdown caused by an attempt to control the spread of this virus. The record-setting sales numbers nearly doubled the 1.4 million guns sold in March 2019, which was the old record.
Jurgen Brauer, chief economist for SAAF, said that while the numbers were expected to show a large coronavirus sales boom, they also indicate that inventory is likely low across the firearms industry. He expects prices to spike in April as gun manufacturers and stores work to replenish the shelves.
“Much of the industry’s inventory will have been depleted, so that we anticipate that weapons and ammunition prices increased as well,” Brauer said in a statement. “The spurt in firearms sales in March 2020 was particularly notable for its handgun component: The ratio of handguns to long-guns sold now stands at a record 1.84, the highest ratio since the introduction of the NICS checks in late 1998.”
Some interesting stocks to look at might be American Outdoor Brands Corp (AOBC: NASDAQ), who owns and manufactures Smith and Wesson and the Sturm Ruger and Company (RGR: NYSE), who obviously makes and sells Ruger firearms.
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Coronavirus could hurt the value of solar
The effect of COVID-19 on things like oil prices is obvious, but damage to other industries may not be so clear. One of thoses is the solar energy space. The CARES act, which is the $2.2 trillion rescue package has components that adresses problems in specific industries, but nothing set aside for solar.
“As a result of this pandemic, the solar industry stands to lose half of our jobs — that’s 125,000 families who will no longer receive a paycheck, said President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association Abigail Ross Hopper. “Congress can help stem this tide. Economic stimulus legislation can help our companies sustain families and invest tens of billions of dollars into the economy over the next couple of years. We remain committed to helping our economy recover from this pandemic. We fully expect to work with Congress on any broad economic stimulus package. This will ensure that when this awful chapter in America’s history comes to an end, the clean energy economy is well-positioned to lead our nation’s economic recovery.”
Solar has the same opportunities within the CARES act available to them as any business, but there’s nothing targeting their industry, directly. As this unfolds, we should keep an eye on a specific exchange-traded fund (ETF). The Invesco Solar ETF (NYSEArca: TAN) which started back in 2008, tracks the investment results of the MAC Global Solar Energy Index, which attempts to provide exposure to companies listed on exchanges in developed markets that get most of their revenue from solar power, equipment producers and supplies to the solar industry. TAN is down 41.4% as of Thursday.
Democratic Convention Delayed
Markets can be affected by many factors, and as we saw in the days before the novel coronavirus, the market could ebb and flow depending on who was winning at that moment in the race for the Democratic nomination for president.
Well, at this point in time former vice president Joe Biden is still leading, and senator Bernie Sanders is still in the race. The way that it used to work, as Biden won primary states the stock market went up, especially health care stocks and pharmaceutical stocks. As Bernie Sanders gained in the polls the stock market went down, especially health care stocks and pharmaceutical stocks.
With Biden holding such a commanding lead, many people wonder why senator Bernie Sanders is still in the race. There was some speculation that he was waiting for the Democratic National Convention to try and convince his supporters to back former Vice President Biden against president Donald Trump, or potentially to try and hold the nomination hostage with a brokered convention. As the lockdowns continue, the chances of states delaying their primaries increases the chance of Joe Biden remaining short delegates for the majority he needs to avoid a contested convention.
Well, the Democratic party just took steps to prevent that by delaying their convention until the first week of August. Obviously, the main reason is to prevent further spread of COVID-19 but it serves another purpose. It’s another hurdle that senator Bernie Sanders is just too old and tired to jump over.
Uber Eats Getting to Grocery delivery
Uber Technologies Inc’s (NYSE: UBER) Uber Eats division is making significant move during this global pandemic and moving quickly into grocery delivery in 3 large international markets. France, Spain and Brazil will be the first to get this new service.
In France, Uber Eats has partnered with supermarket giant Carrefour in France to provide Parisians with 30-minute home delivery on a range of grocery products, including everyday foods, toiletries and cleaning products. They are starting with 15 stores and plan to scale rapidly, according to company spokespeople.
In Spain, it’s partnered with the Galp service stations, offering delivery of basic foods, over the counter medicines, beverages and cleaning products in 15 cities across the following 8 provinces
In Brazil, Uber is partnering with a range of pharmacies, convenience stores and pet shops in Sao Paulo to offer home delivery on basic supplies. Uber will also let independent convenient stores self-list on the app.
This helps 2 ways. First, people in self-quarantine or families in group-quarantine that run out of food have an option other than delivered restaurant food. It also helps Uber drivers who are seeing little to no ride requests depending on where they choose to work.
The world may change in a semi-permanent way from COVID-19 and Uber seems to be getting prepared. The chart looks terrible, so long-term buys only.
Fat Dad – Spoiled Brat TV Reporter
Shelter in place orders have many people adjusting to new work routines in familiar environments, specifically home – including news channel SSN in Florida. Segment reporter Jessica Lang has been forced to work from home (well, her parents’ home) during the coronavirus pandemic – and a broadcast from her kitchen (her parents’ kitchen) went a little wrong when her dad made a surprise cameo (in his own house).
These stories are becoming more common, like the Bloomberg reporter, Alix Steel, having the top of her young child’s head in the lower left corner of her shot. Or worse, one worker who was on a video call with her team when she was filmed walking through her house, dropping her trousers and sitting on the toilet. For some reason, she didn’t realize the camera was still pointed directly at her, giving her coworkers a short show. How does that even happen?
Back to Jessica, mid-sentence she cuts herself off. She had turned her mother into a camera operator, and she notice a look of surprise on Mom’s face. She stops the segment and asks, “what did you do mom?” before turning around the catch her dad walking into the room.
Her frustrations boiled over as she spotted her dad in the background
Poor Dad, (Kevin) hastily pulls down his T-shirt and turns back in the direction he came but it was too late as Jessica screamed “Dad, holy c***!” as the camera cuts out.
Jessica tweeted the video with the caption: “Work from home they said, it’ll be fine they said.” Maybe try getting your own place, Jess.