Fund Library News Wire
| Friday, January 19, 2018
By Mike Keerma
The big North American stock indices racked up gains on the week again,
despite an interest rate hike by the Bank of Canada and uncertainty over a
U.S. federal government funding bill stalled in the Senate going into the
weekend. Bullish sentiment remained strong in the U.S. markets, as 79% of
companies reporting quarterly earnings exceeded street estimates. Even a
14.5% weekly plunge in beleaguered Dow Jones Industrial bellwether
General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) wasn’t enough to derail the market momentum train. The buoyant financial
and industrial sectors led Toronto’s benchmark
S&P/TSX Composite Index to a 0.3% weekly gain, even as weekly losses in both
crude oil and
gold dampened performance. The big U.S. blue-chip
S&P 500 Composite Index closed the week with an advance of 0.9%, while the tech-weighted
Nasdaq Composite Index gained 1.0%, as both gauges ended the week at new record high closes.
Last Thursday the Bank of Canada raised its target overnight lending rate
by 25 basis points, to 1.25%. In a statement the BoC said, “Recent data
have been strong, inflation is close to target, and the economy is
operating roughly at capacity.” Even with the unemployment rate of 5.6%
considered optimal, with inflation now around the Bank’s target 2% rate,
and the economy expected to grow at a 2.2% rate in 2018, the Bank said some
monetary accommodation will still be needed, as uncertainty over NAFTA
negotiations clouds the economic outlook.
In business news, industrial bellwether
General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) was hit with a US$6.2 billion after-tax charge related to its insurance
subsidiary. GE shares have been sinking steadily for more than a year, and
CEO John Flannery said last week that the company is “looking aggressively
at the best structure or structures for our portfolio to maximize the
potential of our businesses,” which is biz-buzzword-speak for considering a
break-up of the iconic company.
* Auspice gets rid of some gas.
Auspice Capital Advisors Ltd. announced the termination of
Canadian Natural Gas Index ETF (TSX: GAS) effective at the close of business on March 23. The Calgary-based fund
manager gave no reason for the closure in its release. However, a loss of
34.6% since inception in October 2016 may have something to do with it.
Check Fund Library’s
Market Activity page regularly for active updates on key market indexes and commodities.
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