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Consumers Alive and Kicking

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Nike (NKE) shares have turned lower after rocketing at the open on last night’s earnings report. The stock might be a victim of sell-on-the-news but I also pointed out the company’s earnings ‘beat’ was courtesy of an effective tax rate of 19.1% from 25.4%. If taxes were the same, earnings per share would have been $0.83 instead of $0.90.


Be that as it may Nike’s results bode well as a proxy for the consumer. China was huge in reported numbers and also using constant currency (same exchange rate from year earlier) and America was impressive as well. On that note, future orders popped by 15% as reported and 20% using constant currency.


Global Sales

North America

Western Europe

Central Europe




















Constant $







Cheap Oil Kicking In

Incomes continue to improve at a pedestrian pace but spending was a little better considering it matched the change in income. Savings edged lower to 5.5% from 5.6%

  • November Income +0.3
  • November Spending +0.3
  • November Savings 5.5%

There is a report that American consumers will have an extra $1.6 billion in spending money this holiday season as a result of cheaper gas. Will it finally go beyond mattresses and empty coffee cans? I think some will. Meanwhile, crude oil continues to rebound as a second reading on inventory showed surprising drawdowns.

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