According to unverified news reports, President Trump’s former national
security advisor Michael Flynn has pled guilty to lying to FBI agents and
has agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller on the probe
into possible Russian influence in the 2016 election. That resulted in a
Friday selloff, which was partially offset by news from U.S. Senate
Republicans saying they had enough votes to pass the Administration’s
massive tax-reform bill.
In Canada, the economy created 79,500 jobs in November, far exceeding
economists’ estimates, and pushing the unemployment rate down to 5.9% in
the month. In addition, those strong employment gains helped the real gross
domestic product grow at an annual 3.0% rate in the third quarter, though
the quarter-over-quarter growth came in at 1.7%, a marked, but expected,
slowdown from the blistering 4.3% quarterly rate logged in the second
* Bank profits soar.
Several of the big Canadian banks reported fourth-quarter and full year
earnings this week, and the news was generally pretty good, as profits
surged for the both the quarter and the year.
Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSX: TD) posted net income of $2.7 billion ($1.42 per share diluted) for the quarter
compared with $2.3 billion ($1.20 per share diluted) in the same quarter
last year. For the full year, TD reported net income of $10,517 billion
($5.50 per share), compared with $8.9 billion ($4.87 per share) in 2016.
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (TSX: CM) reported net income of $1.2 billion ($2.59 per share diluted) for the
quarter compared with $931 million ($2.32 per share diluted) in the same
quarter last year. For the full year, CIBC reported net income of $4.7
billion, compared with $4.3 billion in 2016.
Royal Bank of Canada (TSX: RY) reported net income of $2.8 billion ($1.88 per share diluted) for the
quarter, up 12% from the same quarter last year. For the full year, RBC
reported net income of $11.5 billion ($7.56 per share), up 10% from 2016.
* Manulife re-opens flagship fund.
Manulife Investments announced it will re-open its
Manulife Monthly High Income Fund and the related
Manulife Monthly High Income Class and
Manulife Canadian Balanced Private Pool to new investors on or about January 2, 2018. The funds had been capped in
August 2015 due to capacity. In a release, Manulife said, “The portfolio
managers consider the funds are no longer at a size that would impact their
ability to manage assets in line with their disciplined investment
* Manulife launches two multi-factor ETFs.
Two new Manulife multifactor ETFs began trading on the TSX last week.
Manulife Multifactor Canadian SMID Cap Index ETF (TSX: MCSM) and
Manulife Multifactor U.S. Small Cap Index ETF (TSX: MUSC.B) are sub-advised by Dimensional Fund Advisors Canada using their multifactor
approach and Dimensional’s proprietary technique
* Horizons debuts robotics ETF.
Horizons ETFs Management launched its
Horizons Robotics and Automation Index ETF (TSX: ROBO) last week. It’s the first Canadian ETF to offer global exposure to the
robotics and automation industry. The fund tracks the roughly 80-stock
globe-spanning ROBO Global Robotics and Automation Index, which provides
exposure to robotics- and/or automation-related companies. Horizons ROBO
will mainly hold stocks of issuers in the Index and will seek to hedge its
U.S. currency exposure to the Canadian dollar.
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