Featured Article

COVID-19 Could Spark A Global Food Crisis

The next time someone asks whether you want fries with that, say ‘yes’–it could help stave off a global food crisis.

Belgian potato farmers are facing a surplus of 750,000 tons of potatoes this year that risk being destroyed. That’s prompted authorities there to beg citizens to double up on fries in order to help the industry.

Back in the United States, potato farmers plan to plant fewer spuds this year amid plummeting demand, with some estimates showing potato acres down about 10% while prices have jumped by more than one-third.

But it is not only potato growers that are having problems with the supply and demand, leading to food price increases. In the past few months, with restaurants closed and schools shut down, supply chains are struggling to adapt due to coronavirus restrictions, bottlenecks and general chaos.

Due to the shift of grocery-buying habits that has seen consumers lean more heavily on purchases of non-perishable, packaged goods, fruits and vegetables are being left to rot… CLICK for complete article

How Expensive Will Meat Get?

Since the onslaught of the COVID-19, we have seen an unprecedented spike in beef prices. The retail price of beef has increased by 60 percent in the past two months to a high of $410.05. Beef has doubled in price, making a hamburger an item of luxury almost on par with a steak.

Why is the humble hamburger making such a dent in our food budget? Because many meat processing plants have closed since the emergence of the coronavirus. That simply leaves less beef to go around, which automatically makes it more expensive.

Many grocery stores are imposing a limit on how much meat their customers can purchase to prevent a total meat shortage. Some of the larger grocery stores, such as Kroger and Costco, are close to running out of meat since the coronavirus has severely interrupted the food supply chain…CLICK for complete article

In the early days of the COVID-19 panic—back in mid-March—articles began to appear pushing the idea of “flattening the curve” (the Washington Post ran an article called “Flatten the Curve” on March 14). This idea was premised on spreading out the total number of COVID-19 infections over time, so as to not overburden the healthcare infrastructure. A March 11 article for Statnews, summed it up:

“I think the whole notion of flattening the curve is to slow things down so that this doesn’t hit us like a brick wall,” said Michael Mina, associate medical director of clinical microbiology at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “It’s really all borne out of the risk of our health care infrastructure pulling apart at the seams if the virus spreads too quickly and too many people start showing up at the emergency room at any given time.”

In those days, it was still considered madness to suggest outlawing jobs for millions of Americans or “shutting down” entire national economies in an effort to “flatten the curve.” Thus, the article lists for more moderate mitigation strategies…CLICK for complete article

Greyhound Canada to shut down temporarily all bus routes as ridership plunges

TORONTO – Greyhound Canada is temporarily slamming the brakes on all of its bus routes and services as ridership plummets amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The transportation company says starting May 13 it will halt all routes until passenger demand recovers.

The bus operator reached the decision after it says ridership dropped by…Click for full article.

3 ETFs For Disney Earnings

Dow component Walt Disney Co reports fiscal second-quarter results after the close Wednesday in the company’s first report in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.

Down 28.66% year-to-date, Disney is proving its sensitivity to the pandemic. Disneyland and Disney World are closed, though the latter could be inching toward reopening. Disney cruises aren’t sailing and there are no sports for ESPN to broadcast. So no, Disney+ and other stay-at-home entertainment options aren’t enough to carry the day for the stock in this environment.

Analysts are expecting Disney will post earnings of 93 cents per share on revenue of $18 billion. Last year, those numbers were $1.61 on sales of $14.9 billion.

Nearly 200 ETFs feature exposure to Disney. Here are a few to consider for today’s report…CLICK for complete article

Pandemic Puts Final Nail In Brick-And-Mortar Coffin

American brick-and-mortar retail has been having a tough time for the past three years, and the pandemic might just finish it off altogether, turning physical stores into nothing more than “fulfillment” centers. In the early 2010s, in the aftermath of the Great Recession, several large retail chains announced plans to shutter dozens of stores. It was expected that the industry would bounce back in a few years; yet, the retail apocalypse showed no sign of recovering.

In 2017, retailers shuttered a record-breaking 8,000 stores of 102 million square of feet of store space. Then, 2018 proved far worse, with another 155 million square feet of space shut down. And still, that staggering rate of store closures that rocked the retail industry was nothing compared to 2019, when retailers set a new record for store closings at over 9,000…CLICK for complete article