In the U.S. the big market mover was Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet
Yellen, who said in a speech on Friday that if employment and inflation are
continuing to evolve in line with expectations, the Fed would likely raise
rates again. The next announcement from the rate-setting Federal Open
Market Committee is slated for March 15.
The Bank of Canada left its benchmark overnight rate unchanged last week,
at 0.5%, despite a jump in January’s all-items inflation rate to an annual
2.1%, driven largely by rising energy prices as result of the imposition of
carbon taxes in two provinces. The Bank said in a release that it “is
looking through these effects, as their impact on inflation will be
temporary. The BoC continues to be optimistic about the prospects for GDP
growth, against a backdrop of stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter GDP,
which grew at a 1.9% year-over-year rate.
In company news, the big bank quarterly financials continued rolling out
last week, as
Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSX: TD)
reported first-quarter net income of $2.533 billion ($1.32 per share
diluted), compared with $2.223 billion ($1.17 per share diluted) for the
same period a year ago. Adjusted net income was $2.558 billion ($1.33 per
share diluted), compared with $2.247 billion ($1.18 per share diluted). The
results reflected growth across all business segments.
Bank of Montreal (TSX: BMO)
booked first-quarter net income of $1.488 billion ($2.22 per share), up 39%
from $1.068 billion ($1.58 per share) in the same period a year ago.
Adjusted net income came in at $1.530 billion ($2.28 per share) up 30% from
$1.178 billion ($1.75 per share) a year ago. The quarterly dividend
remained unchanged at $0.88 per share, and BMO announced a share buyback of
up to 15 million shares from May 1 to April 30.
And the world’s largest company by market capitalization, computer and
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), became just that much more valuable last week as conglomerate
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A)
has purchased 120 million shares (valued at about US$17 billion) of the
maker of such iconic brands as the iPhone smartphone, the iPad tablet, and
the MacBook laptop computer. The purchase makes Apple the company’s
second-largest holding. Berkshire’s legendary Chairman and CEO Warren
Buffett was quoted as saying that Apple has “quite a sticky product and an
enormously useful product to people that use it.” Apple shares surged to a
record intra-day high of US$140.28, closing the week at US$139.78, up 1.8%
on the week. The A shares of Berkshire Hathaway, meanwhile, touched a
record high close of US$266,600 on Thursday.
* National Bank terminates and/or merges 35 funds.
National Bank Investments Inc. announced a slew of fund terminations and
mergers, subject to both unitholder and regulatory approval.
On or about May 12, the following funds will be merged:
On or about May 19, these funds will be merged:
National Bank also announced that it will be shutting down a number of
other funds on or about May 11:
National Bank Long Term Bond Fund
and National Bank Asset Allocation Fund: Advisor and F
National Bank AltaFund Investment Corp.
: Advisor Series
Westwood Global Dividend Fund
: F5 and T5 Series
National Bank Money Market Fund
: Institutional and M Series
National Bank U.S. $ Global Tactical Bond Fund
: Investor and R Series
National Bank Short Term Yield Class
National Bank Treasury Management Fund
National Bank Corporate Cash Management Fund
National Bank U.S. Money Market Fund
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