The US has opened up since my last column, and I took the opportunity to travel through Florida and to New York city for a few weeks. Lots of locals in Florida are happy with the way the governor handled the crisis – keeping the economy open and only shutting down for a few months. But in NYC there is a big problem with getting staff. I met a friend to chomp down on some chicken wings with blue cheese (highly recommended) only for the barman to tell us his chef hadn’t showed up. I’m told it is almost as good to take the handouts than work. Service staff ranks are running thin, meaning independent bars and restaurants are struggling because people don’t want that work.
We’re also seeing this happen in London – restaurants are having to close on certain days or early because they can’t get the staff. Supply chain issues are not getting any better. AO World (AO.) announced another profit warning on Tuesday only eight weeks after announcing a previous warning. McColl’s (MCLS) also announced that supply chain issues had “intensified” and so the outlook for many companies that aren’t able to bully suppliers is weakening. Many people have asked that if supply is so thin then surely companies shouldn’t be running Black Friday campaigns this year. That’s true – but people typically wait for the Black Friday deals to buy consumer goods and so any company not running a Black Friday promotion risks seeing bargain hunters use their money elsewhere. I’m also running a Black Friday promotion of my own – I’ve dropped the price of my UK stock trading course from £597 to £489 until midnight on 29 November. You can find out more information at the link provided below.
Companies that offer intangible products such as intellectual property and software will be less immune to these supply chain issues – however, they may still face issues such as staffing. As a trader, I mainly care about the technical analysis and how the chart looks. But it would be silly to ignore macroeconomic factors.