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Market week: Stocks mark time
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By Fund Library News Wire  | Friday, October 19, 2018


By Mike Keerma

With the exception of the Nasdaq Composite Index, which lost 0.6% on the week, the main North American stock gauges gained fractionally with no troubling datapoints or geopolitical inflammations to overly upset traders. U.S. quarterly earnings continue to come in mostly better than expected, which is usually a signal of underlying economic strength. However, as stock markets are forward-looking, last quarter’s earnings are already old news, as investors fret about weak housing data, rising Treasury bond yields, more rate hikes from the Federal Reserve, and bubbling trade tensions, that could be the ingredients for an economic slowdown next year. The S&P 500 Composite Index remained flat on the week, while Toronto’ s S&P/TSX Composite Index gained a marginal 0.4%. Crude oil prices fell on the week as U.S. inventories increased. In the meantime, the 31st anniversary of the October 1987 market crash came and went without incident, except among the usual coterie of October doomsayers who assert markets are way overdue for another stomach-churning drop.


Oct. 19, 2018, close



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In Canada, headline inflation continued easing back, dropping to an annual rate of 2.2% in September, down from 3.0% in July. Observers point to falling gas prices and softening airline fares as the main culprits, as core inflation measures used by the Bank of Canada remain hovering around its target 2.0% rate. It’s unlikely, therefore, that the Bank will change course on rate hikes for this year.


* Manulife launches thematic funds. Manulife Investments debuted its new Manulife Global Thematic Opportunities Fund and Manulife Global Thematic Opportunities Class. The funds invest in companies that the managers believe will benefit from large, social, economic, political, environmental or technological changes. The Funds will be sub-advised by veteran managers Hans Peter Portner and Gertjan Van Der Geer of Switzerland-based Pictet Asset Management

* Middlefield to convert closed-end funds to ETFs. Middlefield Group announced a platform of ETFs that will include thematic investment strategies. Middlefield says the platform will be established initially by converting two closed-end funds into ETFs: Middlefield Healthcare & Life Sciences Dividend Fund (TSX: LS.UN) and REIT INDEXPLUS Income Fund (TSX: IDR.UN), which together represent approximately $150 million in assets. Pending approvals, the conversions are expected to be finalized in early 2019.

* Mackenzie launches new environmental fund. Mackenzie Investments launched its new Mackenzie Global Environmental Equity Fund to be sub-advised by Greenchip Financial. The fund will exclusively invest in companies around the world that seek to improve on environmental challenges.

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

@FundLibrary – Follow Fund Library on Twitter for daily information and updates.


© 2018 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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