Santa Steals Away Joy from Retailers

santaclausFollowing a pretty good day today, where we really did come close to the mystical 20,000 level of the DJIA,. there was a big surprise after the closing bell.
The surprise that came can give you just a little idea of how well anyone really knows what’s truly going on.
If you were following the market today, you may have noticed that national retailers were really strong.
In fact, I took the opportunity to sell some calls on a couple of lots of Macy’s shares that have been sitting around uncovered for the past week or so.
I like to at least consider selling calls, even if the strike price isn’t something to really make me salivate, as long as the shares are moving strongly at the time.
That described Macy’s, as it was more than $1 higher earlier in the trading session.
While I didn’t think about selling calls on Coach, Kohls, nor Abercrombie and Fitch, they too were all strongly higher during the day.
You may also remember that I sold calls on The Gap, yesterday.
Then a funny, well maybe not too funny thing happened after the close.
The bottom fell out as Macy’s and others reported the not so good Christmas sales news.
Sales stunk.
Not only did sales stink, but guidance was moved lower.
How could that be? Especially as the economy is supposedly heating up?
So we await tomorrow’s Employment Situation Report and will be left to wonder, if the news continues to be good, just where people are spending their money.
The obvious answer is that they’re doing it on Amazon or they’re just not spending it on old fashioned things like sweaters and place settings.
Maybe they’re spending it on streaming data plans.
I don’t know, but Santa really wasn’t very nice to retailers this past month.
I suppose that the paper gains I had today will give some back when the market opens for trading tomorrow.
I would think that the news from Macy’s and Kohls would leave a  bad taste in people’s mouths, but so far, I’ve been pretty happy with 2017, just as I was very happy with 2016.
I wouldn’t mind continuing making these small trades on existing positions, as the premiums really do add up.
As someone who became pretty dependent on a reliable stream of cash, it’s nice being able to do the kind of trading that can generate the cash consistently. Even if that means really staying glued to the monitors, that’s a pretty small price to pay for some decent rewards.
I don’t indulge myself very much, but I don’t mind indulging in that sort of activity.