Last updated: Sep-21-2018

    
 
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9/21/2018 9:26:05 PM
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By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, September 21, 2018

By Mike Keerma

The major North American stock indices shrugged off escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China, and, well, just about everyone else, as the S&P 500 Composite Index posted a gain of 0.9% on the week, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a record high 26,743.50, for a gain of 2.2% on the week. Toronto’s S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 1.3%, buoyed by a 2.7% weekly advance in the price of crude oil and a decline in the rate of inflation in July, to 2.8% from 3% in June. Weakness among the U.S. tech giants, however, contributed to flat performance in Friday’s session and kept the broader indices in check, while the Nasdaq Composite Index ran a marginal loss of 0.3% on the week.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, September 14, 2018

By Mike Keerma

The big U.S. stock indices advanced on the week, despite some volatility on Friday on news that President Donald Trump intends to follow through on an additional US$200 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods. While trade tensions caused some intraday volatility on Friday, investor sentiment remained buoyed by underlying U.S. economic strength reflected in strong corporate profits, the rising price of crude oil, which boosted energy issues, and an increase in Treasury yields, which boosted financials and firmed up the U.S. dollar. The S&P 500 Composite Index gained 1.2% on the week, while the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 1.4% as most of mega-cap tech giants made gains on the week. Toronto’s S&P/TSX Composite Index edged back on the week, however, with a marginal 0.5% loss. Crude oil gained 1.6%, but gold continued its slide, down 0.2% week over week.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Tuesday, September 11, 2018

A SPECIAL REPORT FROM



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

Hedge funds have long been the envy of the investment industry, with complex and precisely executed trading strategies. While access to this group of funds remains with a select few, often institutional mandates or high net worth individuals, their presence is always felt and known by the average investor. But how have hedge funds been performing? The average investor often hears about the success of these rarefied funds, in the hope of being able to achieve similar returns. This year’s Canadian Hedge Funds Awards night, produced by Alternative IQ and sponsored in part by Fundata, is coming up on Oct. 16. So in this article I’ll lift the veil of mystery just a bit, and take a look at what made some of last year’s award-winners tick.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, September 07, 2018

By Mike Keerma

As trade tensions cast a pall over a robust U.S. jobs report for August, with 201,000 jobs created and a continuing low 3.8% unemployment rate, the big North American stock indices posted losses on the week. U.S. President Donald Trump announced an additional US$267 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods in addition to the US$200 billion previously announced. And the fractious negotiations between Canada and the U.S. on the North American Free Trade Agreement continued without resolution through the week. Declines in the technology sector weighed on the big U.S. gauges, with the S&P 500 Composite Index retreating 1% on the week, and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropping 2.6%. Canada’s August jobs report showed a decline of 51,600 jobs, while the unemployment rate edged up to 6%. The gloomy jobs picture combined with an equally gloomy trade outlook and a 2.8% decline in the price of crude oil to push Canada’s S&P/TSX Composite Index to a 1.1% week-over-week loss. Investors remained disinterested in gold, however, as a safe haven or for any other reason, as the yellow metal edged down 0.4% on the week, for an 8.2% year-to-date loss.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, August 24, 2018

By Mike Keerma

Stock markets edged up slightly on the week, as traders discounted the political shenanigans in Washington and focused on economic fundamentals, particularly in U.S. markets, where sentiment was buoyed on Friday by what were viewed as dovish comments from Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell. His stated view that monetary policy should be normalized gradually helped boost the Dow Jones Industrial Average to an intraday record high. The Nasdaq Composite Index ended Friday with a record high close of 7,945.98, for a weekly gain of 1.7%. The S&P 500 Composite Index advanced 0.9% on the week, its second straight weekly gain, also posting a record high close of 2,874.69 on Friday. Gains in the gold and energy sectors lifted Toronto’s S&P/TSX Composite Index to a 0.2% weekly gain, as gold rose 1.8% on the week and crude oil surged 4.2%.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Tuesday, August 21, 2018



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

The Bank of Canada (the Bank) continues to emphasize its data-dependency approach to guide future policy decisions. But we think there are two developing stories that might make this data dependency more fragile through the rest of the year, and therefore more likely to give the Bank cause for pause, even if the data come in as strongly as expected.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, August 17, 2018

By Mike Keerma

North American stock markets ended the week nearly flat or down slightly, reacting to news that China and the U.S. are ready to get back to the trade table sometime next week, after a few weeks of bluster and wind from the White House and a couple of rounds of tit for tat tariffs. In addition, rumors bubbled in the business media about possible preparations for a November summit between Trump and China’s Premier Xi Jinping. That helped lift markets in Friday’s session, but concerns over potential regional contagion from the Turkish currency crisis overcame continuing strength in the tail-end of earnings season to keep weekly index performance muted. The S&P 500 Composite Index edged up 0.6% on the week, while the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.3%, dragged down by less-than-thrilling quarterly earnings results from tech giants Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA), Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), and Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT). Toronto’s S&P/TSX 500 Composite Index ended the week flat, held back by a decline in West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices to US$65.85 per barrel, for a loss of 2.8% on the week.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Thursday, August 16, 2018



By Kristina Hooper, Global Market Strategist, Invesco Ltd.

Activity in currency markets has more than tripled in the last two decades.Between 2001 and 2016, global turnover in currency markets rose from $1.2 trillion to $5.1 trillion,1 and the geopolitical disruption of the last two years has increased currency activity even further. Last week brought several significant examples of this trend in the U.K., China, Iran, and – most dramatically – Turkey. Is this a sign of more disruption to come?


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By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, August 10, 2018

By Mike Keerma

Global markets edged down on Friday after the European Central Bank voiced concerns about the independence of Turkey’s central bank following President Recep Erdogan’s contentious reelection in June. The Turkish lira fell 20% on the week against the U.S. dollar, and Turkish stocks plummeted in heavy trading. Stock markets in Europe, as well as in emerging markets, sold off as investors feared a contagion effect of Turkey’s economic and currency woes spreading into other vulnerable markets, against a backdrop of continuing trade and tariff disputes. Toronto’s benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index fell 0.6% on the week, as crude oil retreated 1.3%. The S&P 500 Composite Index ended Friday down 0.3% on the week, while the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.4% on the week fueled by momentum in the tech majors. In a classic risk-off trade as investors moved from equities to safe haven assets, gold gained 1.4% on Friday, but still closed down 1.3% on the week.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Monday, August 06, 2018

 

By Bobby Eng, Vice President, State Street Global Advisors

Come September, S&P® Dow Jones® Indices and MSCI Inc. are changing the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS®) structure and reclassifying selected companies. When these changes become effective, they will create a new landscape of growth-oriented exposures and the need for sector investors to alter their due diligence.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, August 03, 2018

By Mike Keerma

The U.S. economy added 157,000 new jobs in July, quite a bit less than the consensus expectation of 200,000-plus. Still, the U.S. unemployment rate ticked down to a near 20-year low of 3.9%, even as hourly wages stagnated. These data held out a faint hope that the Federal Reserve might just delay its expected September rate hike, which juiced market sentiment a bit at the end of the week. Even a 7% widening of the U.S. trade deficit in June and rumors of more tariffs by China wasn’t enough to cool investors’ ardor for equities. Symptomatic of that fresh interest in the risk-on trade was the upside on shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) following Tuesday’s bubbly earnings release, which pushed the storied maker of all things “i” to a market capitalization of over US$1 trillion, the first company in U.S. history to break the “t” barrier. The S&P 500 Composite Index gained 0.8% on the week as a consequence, while the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 1.0%. Toronto’s S&P/TSX Composite Index edged up only 0.2% on the week, as investors didn’t find anything much appealing in either the financial or energy sectors. Crude oil dropped 0.5% on the week, while gold continued its year-to-date slide, with a loss of 0.8% on the week.


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By Fund Library News Wire | Tuesday, July 31, 2018



By Joe Davis, Global Head, Investment Strategy Group, Vanguard Group, Inc.

Global markets were caught off guard at the end of January by a pickup in wages in the United States. Then came trade tariffs that will push up import prices on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border. Oil recently breached US $70 a barrel. And the effects of the Trump administration’s tax cuts and increased federal government spending are also coming down the pike. In Canada, the U.S., and several other countries, inflation has been inching upwards. In some parts of the world, inflation hawks are increasingly concerned.


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

By Mike Keerma

Rattled by disappointing quarterly reports from bellwether stocks like Exxon Mobil, Intel, Facebook, and Twitter, the major North American market indices lost ground towards the end of the week despite red-hot U.S. GDP growth of 4.1% annualized in the second quarter. The S&P 500 Composite Index managed to gain only 0.6% on the week, but the tech-weighted Nasdaq Composite Index lost 1.1%. Toronto’s benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ticked down 0.3% on the week overall weighed down by the slump in tech stocks and a 2.1% decline in the price of crude oil on the week.


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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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