Last updated: Jul-20-2018

    
 
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7/21/2018 5:52:35 AM
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Current news, updates, and market information.


By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, July 20, 2018

By Mike Keerma

Canada’s June headline inflation rate jumped to an annual 2.5%, up from 2.2% in May, while retail sales jumped 2% in May over April (a 3.6% annual rate). The two datapoints suggest underlying economic growth, despite continuing anxieties over trade and tariff tension with the U.S., and set the stage for another interest rate hike by the Bank of Canada in September. Toronto’s benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index dropped 0.8% on the week, as crude oil edged down, falling 0.2%, while the retreating energy sector dragged on overall index performance. In the U.S., the major stock indices ended the week just about flat, as U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade and tariff salvos against China and other trading partners, such as Canada and Mexico, continue to unsettle investor sentiment. As the U.S. dollar weakened in reaction to Trump’s accusations of currency manipulation by the E.U. and China, both the S&P 500 Composite Index and the Nasdaq Composite remained flat on the week, despite some strong earnings reports from the likes of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT).


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By Fund Library News Wire | Tuesday, July 17, 2018



By Kurt Reiman, Director, Chief Investment Strategist for Canada

One of my favorite definitions of risk and uncertainty comes from a book by Nate Silver entitled The Signal and the Noise. He defines risk as the grease that facilitates economic activity, whereas uncertainty grinds things to a halt. According to a popular index developed by Professors Baker, Bloom, and Davis, Canada’s economic policy uncertainty has moved to new highs in 2018 after rising for the past several years (see the Chart 1 below). No wonder the Bank of Canada (BoC) has been sounding so cautious even though Canadian economic data remain firm.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, July 13, 2018

By Mike Keerma

The major North American stock indices posted respectable gains on the week, as underlying economic fundamentals remained strong, and hopes remained high for a strong second-quarter earnings season. Despite continuing trade tensions fueled by U.S. President Donald Trump’s outbursts this week in the U.K., soaring technology issues propelled the Nasdaq Composite Index to a record high, with a 1.8% advance on the week overall. Those same technology gains helped push the Dow Jones Industrial Average back above the 25,000 mark for the first time in more than a month and lifted the S&P 500 Composite Index over the 2,800 mark for the first time since February, giving the blue-chip index a 1.5% gain on the week. Toronto’s benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended just about flat on the day at Friday’s close, weighed down by sliding bank stocks, but the index still managed a 1.2% advance for the week overall. Crude oil lost 4.4% on the week (and is now down 16.8% year to date), while gold was down 1.1% on the week.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Monday, July 09, 2018



By Felix Narhi, CIO & Portfolio Manager, Penderfund Capital Management

Like many investors, we are always looking for insights into how we might improve our outcomes over time. By taking a multi-disciplinary approach and “thinking outside the box,” we sometimes get our inspiration from endeavors completely unrelated to the world of investing. As we prepare to watch the World Cup, it reminds us of a study from a few years ago about the actions of goalkeepers on penalty kicks, and surprisingly, it provides some helpful lessons for investors as well.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, July 06, 2018

By Mike Keerma

The U.S. economy added 213,000 new jobs in June, beating consensus expectations and underpinning positive market performance for the week. Together with an unemployment rate of just 4%, the pace of job creation indicates strong underlying economic growth, as wage pressures remain contained. Economic fundamentals overshadowed fresh anxieties over President Donald Trump’s imposition of billions of dollars in new tariffs on Chinese goods, with countervailing tariffs imposed by China. The S&P 500 Composite advanced 1.5% on the week, while the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 2.4%. The Canadian economy added 31,800 new jobs in June, with the unemployment rate holding steady at 5.8%. The strong jobs data suggest that the Bank of Canada will hike its key lending rate, following in lock-step with the U.S. Federal Reserve’s rate hike last month. Toronto’s S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 0.6% on the week, with financials, energy, and telecommunications issues providing support to the market. Crude oil backed off 0.7% on the week, while gold held steady, just above breakeven.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, June 29, 2018

By Mike Keerma

The major North American stock indices lost ground on the week, as markets continued to flirt with bearish sentiment. In Canada, the economy grew by 0.1% in April (2.5% annual rate), providing more support for a Bank of Canada rate hike in July, following in lock-step with the U.S. Fed’s 25 basis point hike on June 13. However, Canadian inflation remains cooler than expected, with May’s reading coming in at an annual 2.2% rate, pretty much at the BoC’s 2% target. And trade tensions with the U.S. over tariffs and NAFTA negotiations continue to dog market sentiment, making the path to positive performance less clear. The S&P/TSX Composite Index lost 1% on the week, while gaining 1.4% in June for a respectable 6% advance in the second quarter, supported in part by at 16.5% surge in the price of crude oil . U.S. stock indices similarly lost ground on the week, while turning in only a tepid performance for the month, as investors gravitated to the risk-off trade. As the ultimate haven asset, however, gold was distinctly contrary, instead posting a 1.3% loss on the week, a 3.9% loss on the month, for 5.7% retreat in the second quarter overall.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Tuesday, June 26, 2018

  

By Mark Brisley, Managing Director and Head of Dynamic Funds

Low fees may be the first thing that attracts investors to exchange-traded funds (ETFs) of any kind – passive, smart beta, and active – but it may be worth a deeper dive to find out what you’re getting for your money. That’s because each of the three ETF categories takes a slightly different approach when it comes to investing. Yes, all three can be bought and sold throughout the day like stocks, and yes, they’re generally highly liquid, meaning there’s a ready market of buyers if you want to sell. Beyond that there are pros and cons to investing in each, and it’s important to review them with your advisor to determine what’s right for you and what you get for your fee.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Monday, June 25, 2018



Kenndal Mcardle, Investment Analyst, Penderfund Capital Management

It is phenomenal to think about the evolution of the Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A) annual meeting over the years. Fifty-three years ago the first Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting was held for friends and family in a lunchroom. Today, more than 40,000 people descend on Omaha and fill an arena to capacity, not to mention an online live stream that is viewed by many thousands more. I recently had the privilege to attend the annual “Woodstock of Capitalism” and learn first-hand from the living legends of investing.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, June 22, 2018

A SPECIAL REPORT FROM



By Nash Swamy, Junior Analyst, Analytics & Data, Fundata Canada Inc.

Toward the end of 2016, the active vs. passive portfolio management style debate raged. Those arguing in favour of active management predicted that actively-managed funds would outperform the broader market universe in 2017, including index funds. How did that turn out? The results might be an eye-opener to some.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Tuesday, June 12, 2018



By Kurt Reiman, Director, Chief Investment Strategist for Canada

Diversifying globally provides a range of benefits for Canadian investors (read more here). However, venturing abroad introduces currency risk. Intuition leads us to believe that because currencies are volatile, exposure to foreign exchange swings in a portfolio can only be detrimental. This isn’t always the case, as we find that the impact of foreign currency exposure on risk hinges on the investor’s home currency. In our view, Canadian investors should embrace currency exposure in equities, as global equity returns have tended to be less volatile when measured in Canadian dollars.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, June 08, 2018

By Mike Keerma

Markets shrugged off trade tensions swirling around this week’s G7 meeting in Quebec, as the main North American market indices advanced on the week. Except for a net 7,500 job loss for the Canadian economy in May, the week was light on significant economic data. Despite the decline, Toronto’s benchmark equity index, the S&P/TSX Composite, managed a gain of 1% on the week overall. Similarly, U.S. investors gave little weight to trade hostilities between the U.S. and its main allies Canada and Mexico, arising from President Trump’s imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum, as well as fractious NAFTA negotiations. Instead, investors marked time ahead of next week’s rate announcement as the U.S. Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise its federal funds rate a notch. The blue-chip S&P 500 Composite Index advanced 1.6% on the week, while the tech-weighted Nasdaq Composite Index gained 1.2%. Crude oil edged back 0.2% on the week, while gold ticked up 0.4%.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, June 01, 2018

By Mike Keerma

A better-than-expected May U.S. jobs report helped spur the big U.S. indices to weekly gains. The 223,000 jobs created in May combined with a monthly 3.8% unemployment rate and accelerating wage growth (up 0.3% on the month) to raise expectations of a rate hike by the Federal Reserve Board when its rate-setting Open Market Committee meets on June 11-12. Fears of a eurozone crisis also receded on news that a coalition government had been formed in Italy, while traders shrugged off the threat of a growing global trade war as President Trump imposed stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico, which had been temporarily exempt. The S&P 500 Composite Index gained 0.5% on the week, while closing the month with a 2.2% overall advance. The Nasdaq Composite Index grew 1.6% on the week, with a 5.3% monthly gain. And with crude oil dropping 2.8% on the week (down 2.2% in May), Toronto’s S&P/TSX Composite Index posted a weekly 0.2% loss, but managed to gain 2.9% in the month.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Thursday, May 31, 2018



By James Norton, Senior Investment Planner, Vanguard U.K.

If you’re a regular visitor to our site, you’ll have come across the name of my colleague Joe Davis, who serves as Vanguard’s global chief economist. He’s got a mind for figures and economic theory like few others I’ve encountered. Joe is fond of saying we should “treat the future with the deference it deserves.” I happen to think that’s excellent advice. Let me explain.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Monday, May 28, 2018



By Aubrey Basdeo, Managing Director, Head of Canadian Fixed Income, BlackRock

The April Monetary Policy Report (MPR) from the Bank of Canada is a stark reminder of just how much the environment has changed in 2018. While on the one hand the MPR presents an economy evolving pretty much as expected, it also underscores the key risks to the macro outlook and the uncertainty about their evolution.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, May 25, 2018

By Mike Keerma

A 5.3% slide in the price of crude oil this past week hit energy stocks, and contributed to lackluster performance by the major North American stock indices. With no major economic data points making an appearance last week and the geopolitical situation at somewhere near a status quo, markets marked time trading in a narrow range through the week. Toronto’s main benchmark, the S&P/TSX Composite Index, lost 0.5% on a shortened week of trading, mostly a result of crude oil’s price slide reverberating through the market’s heavily weighted energy sector. The big U.S. blue-chip S&P 500 Composite Index scarcely did any better, gaining only 0.3% on the week, as the price of crude oil reacted to reports that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and Russia were planning to increase crude production after a period of cutbacks. In addition, trading volumes declined ahead of the U.S. Memorial Day long weekend. The outlier was the Nasdaq Composite Index, which gained 1.1% on the week, propelled by strength in the Internet and technology sector.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, May 18, 2018

By Mike Keerma

Toronto’s benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 1.1% on the week, as crude oil advanced 1.2%, buoying the energy sector, while April’s inflation rate grew at an annual 2.2%, down slightly from March, easing concerns that the Bank of Canada might raise rates later this month. The main U.S. stock gauges edged back slightly on the week, as trade negotiations between U.S. and China remain murky, and bond yields rose, with the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note crossing the 3% barrier to end the week at 3.067% on continuing concerns that accelerating economic growth and rising inflation will lead to more rate hikes from the Federal Reserve Board. The S&P 500 Composite Index posted a 0.5% weekly loss, while the Nasdaq Composite Index was off 0.7%.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, May 11, 2018

By Mike Keerma

Canadian and U.S. stock markets closed Friday with gains on the week after U.S. consumer prices remained docile in April, with the headline consumer price index edging up only 0.2% in the month, for an annual rate of 2.5%. The core rate, which excludes food and energy prices, expanded a minuscule 0.1% in April, for an annual rate of 2.1%, well within the Federal Reserve Board’s target range. In addition, the benchmark U.S. government 10-year Treasury note closed the week below the psychologically important 3% yield threshold at 2.97%, easing immediate concerns of another Fed rate hike. The blue-chip S&P 500 Composite Index gained 2.4% on the week, while the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 2.7%. Canada’s April job creation numbers showed a loss of 1,000 jobs (as part-time job losses offset stronger full-time gains), helping the S&P/TSX Composite Index rally 1.6% on the week as pressure for another rate increase by the Bank of Canada eased. Crude oil gained another 1.0% on the week, giving additional impetus to Canada’s energy sector.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, May 04, 2018

By Mike Keerma

A rally in technology stocks on Friday, led by a surge in shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), boosted the tech-weighted Nasdaq Composite Index to a 1.3% gain on the week. And while the blue-chip S&P 500 Composite Index advanced 1.3% on Friday, the index failed to gain on the week, closing just a hair below breakeven, as traders reacted to disappointing job creation numbers in April, with 164,000 new non-farm jobs created, while the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 3.9% from 4.1%, the lowest in about 18 years. The yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury note, meanwhile, retreated 1.3 basis points, ending the week at 2.946%. Toronto’s benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index closed slightly above breakeven on the week, against a backdrop of economic growth as February’s GDP posted a 0.4% monthly increase (3.0% annual rate), while the price of crude oil gained 2.6% on the week, lending support to Canada’s energy sector.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Monday, April 30, 2018



By Felix Narhi, CIO & Portfolio Manager, Penderfund Capital Management

Recently asked questions from the field: Does the recent drop of Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) offer us an opportunity to add a megacap name (generally, stocks with a market capitalization of more than $300 billion) to our portfolios? If Washington decides to increase regulations on technology companies, would that impact megatech stocks enough to provide entry points? Here are some thoughts on Pender’s investment strategy as it relates to our analysis of megacaps.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, April 27, 2018

By Mike Keerma

Citing unspecified technical problems, exchanges operated by the Toronto-based TMX Group Ltd. (TSX: X) closed at 3:00 pm on Friday. Still, Toronto’s benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index registered a 1.2% advance for the week, in the absence of any generally negative news to pressure Canadian stocks to the downside. In the U.S., solid quarterly earnings from tech bellwethers Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), as well as above-consensus 2.3% annualized first-quarter U.S. GDP growth, helped keep the S&P 500 Composite Index afloat, breaking even on the week, while the Nasdaq Composite Index edged down 0.4%. Helping support stocks was a retreat in the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes from the 3.0% level, to close the week at 2.96%. Gold, meanwhile, lost 1.0% on the week, while West Texas Intermediate crude oil retreated 0.3%.


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