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There have been lots of big picture headlines crossing the wires lately related to the health of economies in the U.S., Europe, and China.But amid all of this noise, there are some microeconomic trends that have gone largely unnoticed.
Art Cashin, UBS Financial Services director of floor operations came across an interesting story about firearms demand in America.
From today’s Cashin’s Comments:
Where Is Wyatt Earp When You Need Him – We were a little taken aback by the following MarketWatch story yesterday:
Boom times roll on for U.S. gun business: Sturm Ruger stops taking new orders, citing enormous backlog – By William Spain, MarketWatch
CHICAGO (MarketWatch) — Sturm Ruger & Co.’s announcement that it would stop taking orders until it clears an enormous backlog serves as the latest sign of the boom times for the U.S. firearms business.
Late Wednesday, Sturm Ruger (NYSE:RGR) said that in the first quarter, it had received orders for more than 1 million units. And despite “efforts to increase production rates, the incoming order rate exceeds our capacity to rapidly fulfil these orders,” Sturm Ruger said.
The company, which makes a wide variety of rifles, pistols and revolvers, said that it expects to “resume the normal acceptance of orders by the end of May.”
There were several more eye-opening points in the article. This one struck me too:
In its crunching of National Instant Criminal Background Check System data, the National Shooting Sports Foundation said that 920,840 checks were made in January alone, a gain of 17.3% over the same month in 2011. That made it the 20th consecutive month of increases.
And, while the number of background checks is a good barometer of sales, it doesn’t tell the whole story, as some of them may have been performed for purchases of multiple firearms.
In addition, some private transfers and gun-show sales are exempt from the background-check requirements, so the actual number of guns sold is likely higher.
A frenzied rush across America to take up arms. We’ll have to re-consult our indicator list.