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Market wrap March 3, 2017: Yellen speaks, markets advance
6/21/2018 10:31:12 AM
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By Fund Library News Wire  | Friday, March 03, 2017


By Mike Keerma

* Market wrap: Yellen speaks, markets advance.
* Fund news: National Bank terminates and/or merges 35 funds and series.

* Market wrap: Yellen speaks, markets advance. Stock markets advanced on the week in both Canada and the U.S., buoyed by the potential for another rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve Board this month following a speech by Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen on Friday. The U.S. blue-chip benchmark S&P 500 Composite Index backed off its record high set during the week, but still gained 0.7% on the week overall. Similarly the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.4% on the week, and is now ahead over 9% year to date. Toronto’s benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 0.5% on the week, following the U.S. markets’ lead with an additional boost from better-than-expected fourth-quarter GDP growth.

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 phone makeR 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 Series
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

Check Fund Library’s Market Activity page regularly for active updates on key market indexes and commodities.

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© 2017 by Fund Library. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part by any means without prior written permission is prohibited.

The foregoing is for general information purposes only and is the opinion of the writer. No guarantee of investment performance is made or implied. It is not intended to provide specific personalized advice including, without limitation, investment, financial, legal, accounting or tax advice.

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