Topley’s Top Ten – April 17, 2020

1.FEDs Balance Sheet

2.Small Cap Stocks Hit Record Low Proportion of Total Market Cap.

3.S&P Lowest Level Versus 10 Year Treasury Since 1983

The Daily Shot

4.Credit Card Companies Lagging S&P

Josh Brown Blog

The Next Leg Down Will Involve Credit Cards

Posted April 16, 2020 by Joshua M Brown

This is my opinion, knowing as much as you do about the timetable for reopening the economy and reading the same articles you are about unemployment and such.

I think the next leg down for the economy and stock market will center around credit cards. It’s easier to let a credit card loan go delinquent than it is to skip car payments or mobile phone payments. If you have a car and a phone, you can get a new job and manage your life. If you’re late paying back a credit card, you can still get through the days and months ahead.

5.$2T Stimulus Breakdown-30% Individuals, 25% Large Corporations, 19% Small Business, 17% State/Local Government.

First Trust.

6.Airline Crisis Vs. 9/11

Airline Bailouts Address the Lockdown, Not the Recession

This is probably the best aid package that airline investors could hope for, but it shouldn’t be read as a recovery signal

The industry’s crisis after 9/11 provides a road map for how long passenger demand could take to come back: It wasn’t until 2004 that U.S. airlines’ domestic unit revenues were back at their previous peak. International flights, which suffered more from the SARS epidemic in 2002, lagged for almost another year. By 

Jon Sindreu

7.Walmart generated $900m in online grocery sales last month

Walmart tops US online grocery market, with 62% more customers than next nearest rival

Sarah Perez@sarahintampa / 10:58 am EDT • August 13, 2019

8.New York State Department of Health Numbers.

9.Products Americans are stockpiling, including a surge in demand for dumbbells

The Wealth AdvisorContributor

Toilet paper and paper towels are so two months ago.

Now that more Americans have adjusted to what will likely be their new normal for the foreseeable future, they’re looking for ways to entertain themselves, stay fit, cook more and grow their own produce at home. There’s been a surprising surge in some products.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there were signs of flattening the curve of new cases, helped by wearing masks and gloves. “Let’s learn from those lessons,” he said, citing the importance of social distancing. As mask inventory plummeted, he advised people to make their own.

“We think we are at the apex,” Cuomo said. There were another 1,600 hospitalizations in New York between Monday and Tuesday. As of Wednesday morning, nearly 200,000 of the 609,685 confirmed cases in the U.S. were in New York State. At least 49,966 people in the U.S. have recovered.

The U.S has the most cases at 609,685 and the most deaths at 26,059; more than one-third were in New York City. Worldwide, there were 1.99 million cases and 127,590 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering’s Centers for Systems Science and Engineering.

Traffic at Walmart, Costco US:COST and Target fell for the first time in weeks as coronavirus stockpiling behavior shifts. Shopper traffic could climb again, though social distancing and e-commerce may keep consumers away from stores.

These 5 items have had a surprising bump in sales:

1. Fruit and vegetable seeds 

Although supermarkets and one-stop-shops like Target US:TGT and Walmart US:WMT are open, many Americans, particularly those most at risk of contracting coronavirus, have turned to grocery delivery services like FreshDirect, Instacart and Amazon Fresh US:AMZN.

But the demand has made securing a food-delivery time slot almost impossible in some parts of the country. This may be the driving force leading more Americans to buy fruit and vegetable seeds from home-improvement stores like Lowe’s US:LOW and Home Depot US:HD as well as sites like Amazon, Walmart and Target. 

On Walmart’s site virtually all vegetable and fruit seeds are out of stock. A Walmart spokeswoman told MarketWatch that fruit and vegetable seeds in addition to the four items in this story are “all in high demand and we are working to replenish.”

On Target’s site, an herb-growing set as well as a “Salsa Garden Grow Kit” are out of stock. Target said in a statement “beginning in mid-March, the company experienced an even stronger surge in traffic and sales.” The company declined to comment on seed sales.

Lowe’s online seed inventory varies by location and customers can also purchase seeds in-stores. “We continue to see customers engage in spring projects,” a company spokesman told MarketWatch. “One of the emerging projects has been planting seeds for at-home fruit and vegetable gardens.”

Like Lowe’s, Home Depot’s online inventory is also based on location. Almost all their seeds listed online state that “delivery is unavailable.” A company spokeswoman declined to comment on demand for seeds.

‘There is a tremendous amount of pressure being placed on the supply chain, as restaurants for dine-in are not open.’

— Keith Jelinek, a managing director at Berkeley Research Group

One brand of seeds, Burpee Seed Company, based in Warminster, Penn. has seen a surge in sales of their vegetable seeds over the past month. The company has not experienced comparable demand for their products which are sold on Amazon. Many of their products are either close to being out of stock or are in stock but will not be able to be delivered until a month from now.

“We are seeing increased online shopping and as a result some products such as household staples and medical supplies are out of stock,” an Amazon spokeswoman said. “With this in mind, we continue to focus on receiving and shipping high priority products that customers need at this time.”

The stock market crash of 1987, the dotcom bubble burst of 2000 also saw an increased demand for Burpee seeds, NPR reported.

“There is a tremendous amount of pressure being placed on the supply chain, as restaurants for dine-in are not open, and consumers are forced to purchase fresh vegetables for consumption to make their own meals,” said Keith Jelinek, a managing director at Berkeley Research Group, an international financial consulting firm.

He also said some consumers are worried about buying food, and the risk of coronavirus surviving on the surfaces. “This has forced many consumers to re-think, and to grow their own vegetable gardens to supplement their food supply, and to know it is relatively safe.”

There is no evidence, however, that coronavirus is transmitted from food or food packaging, according to the Food and Drug Administration, even though it’s been shown to live on the surface of cardboard. Nor is there any indication that people have contracted coronavirus, from consuming food, according to food safety health experts. 

2. Dumbbells and other fitness equipment

Since fitness centers across the country have closed, more Americans are exploring ways to exercise at home. To help them stay fit, Peloton US:PTON, Daily Burn, Nike Training US:NKE and 11 other fitness platforms have made classes available free of charge.

Online orders for fitness equipment such as kettle bells, dumbbells and treadmills saw a 55% boost in the week spanning March 11–15 compared to the 10 days before, according to Adobe’s Enew Digital Economy Index, released late last month.

3. Yeast sales were 647% higher than last year

Like vegetables and fruits, more Americans are stocking up on yeast to make their own bread. For the first week of April, baking yeast sales were 303% higher than the same week of 2019, according to Nielsen data US:NLSN Two weeks prior, sales of yeast were 647% higher than they were for the same week last year.

Yeast has also had the most week-over-week growth of any category Nielsen tracks. One popular brand of dry and active yeast, Red Star, is flying off the shelves of food stores, according to a notice on its site. “We are aware that Red Star Yeast is difficult to find through online sources and in stores everywhere.” All three types of yeast the company sells (active dry yeast, instant yeast and fresh yeast) are “in vigorous demand,” said a company spokeswoman. 

“We are encouraging our retailers to temporarily limit the amount each customer can take to help ensure there is enough to go around until stocks are fully replenished.”

On Amazon, there are no limits on the amount of yeast a customer can purchase.

The price third-party sellers are charging for a two-pound pouch of active yeast hit an all-time high of $49.97 earlier this week. Four years ago the same pouch was selling for $2.25. 

Many of Amazon’s products are being sold by third parties. Third-party sellers were charging $49.97 for a two-pound pouch of active yeast earlier this week, marking an all-time high, according to, a site that tracks prices of products sold on Amazon. Four years ago the same pouch was selling for $2.23. 

“Sellers set their own product prices,” an Amazon spokeswoman told MarketWatch. “We have policies to help ensure sellers are pricing their products competitively. We actively monitor our store and remove offers that violate our policies.” Amazon did not respond to a request for comment on whether the Red Star’s two-pound pouch listed by third-party sellers violated these policies. 

Other Red Star products and yeast brands are either out of stock already or very close on Walmart’s site. A Walmart spokeswoman confirmed that yeast is “in high demand,” adding that the company is “working to replenish it.”

4. Booze is a staple in a pandemic pantry

In mid-March, alcohol sales skyrocketed as people loaded up their pantries before state stay-at-home orders went into effect. By the week ending on March 28, the demand for alcoholic beverages began leveling off compared to the prior two weeks. That said, total online alcohol sales were 291% higher that week compared to the same week last year.

‘We’re anticipating tough roads ahead for the industry.’

— Chris Swonger, CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council

It might be a long time until alcohol sales bounce back, said Chris Swonger, CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council, a trade association representing producers of distilled spirits. “We are concerned with industry and the impact [coronavirus] may have,” Swinger said. The Nielsen data published earlier in March is misleading, he added. “We’re anticipating tough roads ahead for the industry.”

Many distilleries in the U.S. and across the globe have begun to produce hand sanitizer. Swonger said nearly 700 distilleries in the U.S. have distributed hand sanitizer they’ve produced free of charge to hospitals and emergency response teams. 

5. Some gaming consoles have nearly doubled in price

As more Americans are hunkering down at home, especially in states where shelter-in-place orders are in effect, video games are gaining popularity. In fact, Nintendo Switches US:NTDOY, a popular game console, have been out of stock at several online retailers. The consoles, which are often bundled with a video game, are now back in stock on Amazon and Walmart. 

On Amazon, the consoles are being sold by third parties for nearly $574. In early February, they sold for roughly $330. (Nintendo Inc. did not immediately respond to a request for comment). Many of the games people are playing online “replace part of the lack of socializing in person,” said Jelinek. “Many games are played with others on platforms such as, where you can play interactively with video cameras, messaging and voice.”

This article originally appeared on MarketWatch.

10.Why Those Who Are Most Responsive To Change, Will Always Thrive

Go With The Natural Flow Of Events “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” — Charles Darwin What are you resisting right now in your life? Is it the sudden change of circumstances in relation to the Coronavirus? Is it something […]


·       Tony Fahkry, Self-empowerment author and keynote speaker

Go With The Natural Flow Of Events

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” — Charles Darwin

What are you resisting right now in your life? Is it the sudden change of circumstances in relation to the Coronavirus? Is it something you’re missing out on, such as being in contact with loved ones, a friend, work colleagues or others? What negative emotions are you experiencing as a result? Is it anger, frustration, anxiety, fear or something else? How are you responding to them?

I realise I’m asking a lot of questions but it’s important we understand what is the cause of our emotions. Now, granted, you might say I’m angry and frustrated being isolated from others against my will. And you wouldn’t be wrong to feel this way, however what is the fundamental reason behind it? You see, the emotions you’re experiencing may not only be attributed to separation. There could be something deeper beneath the surface that warrants your investigation. It is my experience, working with individuals over the years, that those who are most responsive to change always thrive.

These are people who are psychologically flexible and embrace what life throws at them. It doesn’t mean they like what is happening. And I’m not suggesting you like what is taking place either because that would be remiss of me. What I am inviting you to do, is accept your current conditions to the best of your ability and make the most of it. Is this something you’re willing to give your attention to? Could you entertain the idea that you needn’t like your current circumstances but stop resisting it?

Resistance is futile because ultimately reality trumps our struggles and emotions. And who says life ought to meet our expectations of how things should unfold? Life is a self-sustaining system, operating with its own natural laws. We must learn to abide by them because we are a drop in an ocean of a vast cosmic intelligence, working tirelessly to maintain order. But sometimes, what we initially experience is chaos expanding to create order. It makes it easier if we stop fighting what is happening and go with the natural flow of events. This is what is meant by being grateful. It’s the idea of looking for hidden gems contained within unexpected events.

Life Is Not Personal

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” — Lao Tzu

Assuredly, what we give our attention to becomes our focal point. So, if you direct your attention to unpleasant circumstances, you will find evidence of it (confirmation bias) and call it into your experience. But this comes at a cost to your well-being, which is paramount to your mental and physical health. Responding to change affirmatively means that even though circumstances are not as we like them to be, we can turn misfortune into triumph. It means looking for the silver lining in every experience, even if we have to look hard, there will always be a positive lesson.

Listen, life is unfair. When we were protected by our parents or guardians as youngsters, we may have assumed life was fair. But we mature and discover through heartbreak, setbacks and disappointments, life is anything but fair. This is because life is not personal. Read that again and mark it somewhere on your computer or smartphone. Life is not personal. You are part of life’s ecosystem and when you cooperate and collaborate with this energetic force, circumstances will benefit you.

So, back to my earlier questions about what you’re resisting right now. How can you take that experience and find a hidden treasure amongst it? Could you give yourself the gift of sitting with your negative emotions, to explore what is at the heart of your resistance? I assure you, this practice alone, can change your life more than you realise.

It will empower you to control your emotions and understand their underlying motive. You needn’t struggle with life because doing so means resisting the gifts it brings. Those gifts will seldom come in the form you hope for. They are often disguised as: hardship, pain, struggle and disappointment and requires we face them with optimism instead resistance. I often asked myself: Why do some people struggle with change while others take it in their stride? Why don’t these people let their experiences get them down? What do they know that others don’t?

I’m not convinced that successful people are any wiser or more intelligent than the rest of us. I’m certain however, they have experienced heartache, suffering and misfortunes to know that hardships don’t come to disturb our peace, but to anchor us in our resilience and sharpen the saw of our character. That is why those who are most responsive to change will thrive because they move with their circumstances and make the most of it. So, give that gift to yourself right now. Give yourself the gift of sitting with your emotions for 30 minutes, to explore what is really going on beneath the surface. Give yourself the gift of unlocking your true wisdom. It is only then you will realise that thriving isn’t a state of mind but a way of being in the world.

— Published on April 17, 2020