The fate of the Republican-sponsored American Health Care Act, which was
proposed as a replacement for the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) was
regarded by some as a litmus test for passage of other parts of the
President Trump’s agenda, including corporate tax cuts and infrastructure
spending. However, as both President Trump and House Leader Paul Ryan have
indicated that with the death of the replacement bill owing to a lack of
Republican votes, Obamacare remains the law of the land in the U.S., and
the outlook for corporate tax cuts, another key plank of Trump’s platform
and until now a driver of higher earnings estimates, remains cloudy.
In Canada, the headline inflation rate for February was posted at 2.0%,
down very slightly from January’s 2.1% rate, and still right on the Bank of
Canada’s target rate. While food prices declined in the month, leading to
that slight slippage in the all-items index, energy prices increased at a
double-digit annual rate, keeping the pace of inflation from decelerating
signficantly, at least for now. The
slipped as a result, ending the week at US$0.7491, down from a Tuesday high
TransCanada Corp. (TSX: TRP), meanwhile, gyrated through a volatile week, closing at $61.82, just
slightly higher than the week-ago closing of $61.20. The issue was the
approval by the Trump Administration for TransCanada to go ahead with the
northern segment of its Keystone pipeline, dubbed Keystone XL, which will
pump oil from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska. While the
approval, after being blocked for eight years by President Obama, is a
major step for TransCanada, it still has to contend with obtaining permits
and approvals from state governments, including Nebraska, which was most
adamant in its opposition. In addition, approval by the Trump
Administration is contigent upon TransCanada’s using U.S.-made steel in the
construction of the pipeline.
* Manulife merges funds into new portfolios. Manulife Investments
announced it will launch a new asset allocation program and implement a
number of fund mergers effective June 2. The new Manulife Asset Allocation
Portfolios consist of four individual portfolios: Manulife Conservative
Portfolio; Manulife Moderate Portfolio; Manulife Balanced Portfolio; and
Manulife Growth Portfolio. Subject to approvals, the following funds will
be merged into the new portfolios:
* TD debuts ETF portfolios.
TD Asset Management Inc. launched its TD Managed ETF Portfolios of TD
index-tracking ETFs. In a release, TD said the portfolios are designed to
meet a range of investor risk profiles and are available for self-directed
investors as D-Series mutual funds, as follows:
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