Fundamental Analysis Wednesday 25 January 2023

Author: Sifu Steve


What is not reported and seen by the mainstream news is the fact that layoffs are gaining traction. As reported by Wall Street Journal, employment through staffing firms has fallen for five straight months. The latest mega tech company to announce layoff is Spotify, where by they are cutting 6% of its employees as reported by CNBC. Even gigantic companies such as Microsoft and Google (Alphabet) are laying off their manpower by 12,000 and 10,000 staffs respectively recently. Not forgetting also similar companies such as Meta, Intel, Cisco and other tech giants are also laying off employees by the thousands.

Not only wage earners from the tech giants are being terminated, big box retailers are also closing their stores down in lightning speed. The most recent one is Bed, Bath & Beyond where they announced store closure that will affect 30 states in the US and contemplating bankruptcy filing. However, they are not alone as many of its competitors in the retail space are also facing the brunt of high inflation, raising interest rates and supply chain disruption. Just to name a few such as Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Macy’s, Starbucks, Kohl’s, Bath & Body Works, and JCPenney are closing shop in double and/or triple digits.

Information like this are not being highlighted by the mainstream media and definitely is a critical measurement stick to domestic consumption of the nation. This will definitely affect the US economy as a whole.


The only good news that one can take note is the re-opening of China. This gives a glimpse of hope to building back the economy for countries around the world. Having said that, there is one key factor that needs to be considered in regards to China’s opening. It is reported by Al Jazeera that Covid outbreak has infected 80% of its population. Also reported by South China Morning Post, over 90% of the population of Beijing will have had Covid by end of month. Is China’s re-opening a precursor to the next mega wave of infections?

You see, even China knows it all about their domestic infection rates but chose to put on blindfolds on and put out inaccurate data. If you know your country is having a massive infection rate, why would you want to re-open at times like this to possibly risk another global pandemic 2.0? The Star Malaysia reported that China reported almost 13,000 new deaths due to Covid-19 for the last week.

There is a huge desperation for economy and business activity boost globally and China definitely has the key to unlocking that booster pack. However, knowing about that local Covid-19 infection and death rates, is it really worth it? What if another grand scale outbreak happens with viruses now immune to all kinds of vaccines thanks to evolution and mutation? Who will be adversely affected if such scenario resurfaces again? Definitely not the pharma companies I believe.