This morning we will see lighter volume in North America as the entire Eastern seaboard is getting pummeled by this storm. NYC is to get pounded and based on that many traders will stay home today. The same will hold true for Toronto.
With that said, Europe is still operating and is up about a half a point at midday. The region, after a couple of weeks of selling, rebounded today after the head of the ECB suggested that interest rate cuts are possible to continue to stimulate the economy. Also, China continues to stabilize and grow which is positive for the world economies but the risk of inflation is apparent again as growth accelerates. Also, EU leaders agreed yesterday that they will seek a more accommodative trade deal with the US and have drafted a joint statement that has been sent to the Whitehouse for discussion.
In North America, futures are just slightly higher this morning. Canadian Employment numbers came out this morning and the news was not good. In January, 22000 jobs were lost vs. estimates of an additional 5000. Also, December’s big plus 40000 jobs was revised down to 31000. The actual unemployment rate fell to 7.00% but due to people coming out of the workforce altogether not from job creation. We also got January Housing Starts for January and once again we saw a fall off from the previous month to 160000 units. That is down from 197000 in December and 201000 in November. While the US is stabilizing and seeing growth in housing and employment, Canada is stalling with the housing market as the main driver in my opinion.
Commodities are mixed this morning with Gold off a couple of bucks and oil up about a quarter point.
Kenneth A. Dick, BA, CIM, CFP, FCSI