February 15, 2016

Early 2016 lacks promise to say the least. In many respects, stocks are tanking. And retail sales are slumping, highlighted (or lowlighted) by Wal-Mart closing 154 stores in the U.S.

Think about that. Wal-Mart is one of the largest employers in the country. That’s a huge hit.

But if we’re being honest, the dark clouds were forming before the market dives and Wal-Mart closings.

In only the first few weeks of 2016, nearly $2.3 trillion of shareholder wealth was wiped out! Contributing to that were lackluster retail sales, which fell to end last year and were up less than 3 percent year-to-year.

Another indicator of how wild things are right now is this – oil is cheaper than coffee, milk and water. Wow. 

But let’s revisit Wal-Mart. Not only did 154 stores close in our country, but more than 115 stores were shuttered outside the U.S. That brings the full total to 269 worldwide!

On a more localized note, my area has been hit from DuPont merging with Dow, which has resulted in people losing jobs. It goes to show that what’s happening in my neck of the woods, or yours, isn’t entirely different than several other places.

The point is this – we’ve lost a lot of momentum so far this year. Can we overcome the job losses and poor sales?

It’s certainly possible, but we’ll need to pull a swift 180 soon to get things moving in the right direction.