April 24th, 2013 Business and Market Updates

This morning we are seeing some mixed markets with Asia up large overnight (2%) on the rally in Europe and the US.

Europe is higher at midday by about a half a point regardless of Germany’s continued slowing economy.  The players are convinced that the ECB will come to the table with more stimulus (interest rate drop) holding markets there higher by about three quarters of a point.

In the US Durable Goods for March were off 5.7% vs. estimates of 3.0% indicating that big ticket items were in decline for the month.  After a 4.3% increase in February the numbers do show the continued volatility in the sector.  US futures are trending higher this morning up slightly over yesterday’s close.

Apple released their earnings yesterday and beat the street estimates on both the top and bottom line.  However the guidance for the rest of the year was quite cautious.  The company did report a $50bn share buyback and a dividend increase of 15% bringing the yield at the current price to just over 3%.

In other earnings news, mandate companies Metro and CP Rail both released with Metro meeting expectations and CP beating on both the top and bottom line. CP’s operating ratio also improved from the last quarter which is a great measurement of whether managements plan is having success.

Gold is trading higher this morning up 20.00 to 1428.00, oil is higher up 28 cents to 89.46 and the Loonie is flat at 97.44.

Kenneth A. Dick, BA, CIM, CFP, FCSI


April 16th, 2013 Market Update

Another sombre morning as we all send our thoughts and prayers out to those affected by the terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon yesterday.  While it has been suggested it was small in nature, three are dead, including an 8 year old and more than 100 injured many critically.  The cowardice that this act makes us all angry, but the focus should be on the health of those affected and support for the authorities in bringing those responsible to justice.

Moving to the markets it was a relatively quiet night in Asia as markets there were mixed.  Europe following the release of German investor morale declined in April to date which has the markets there off about a quarter point at midday.

In the US positive earnings from Goldman Sachs, Ameritrade, Johnson & Johnson and Coke are causing futures to increase after the big sell off yesterday.  Currently we are looking at about a 1% increase on the open.  US Bank, a mandate company met estimates for the first quarter.

CPI was released for March and was slightly below estimates as inflation continues to be absent.  With that said, US Housing starts were up 7% vs. 1.4% estimated which is a large beat.  Housing permits were lower however down 3.9% vs. 0.3% estimates.

Gold is rebounding this morning up about $35.00 to just under $1400.00.  Oil is down another 20 cents to 88.82 and the Loonie is up this morning to 97.75.

We should see some upside in Canada today in sympathy with the US increase and bargain hunters coming in and looking for deals after the sell off yesterday.  We also got February Manufacturing Data that was up 2.6% vs. 0.6% estimated.  This is a solid upside surprise for the Canadian economy.

Kenneth A. Dick, BA, CIM, CFP, FCSI


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April 10th, 2013 Market Update

Overnight Chinese imports were released for March and the surprise was a big upside move, which for all of the exporting countries around the world is seen as a big positive surprise.  If China is buying the world is selling, which is a good indicator that we are seeing some improvement our there.  Asian markets were higher overnight on the news.

In Europe, markets are up about 1.5% mainly on the Asian news which in that region was very welcome.

US futures are trending higher by about a half a point but are a little subdued on the release of the Obama Fiscal 2014 budget ($4 Trillion, yes trillion!) and the minutes from the March 19th and 20th FOMC meeting.  The budget while it is rumoured that it will reduce the deficit to less than $1 Trillion for the first time in his reign as President will not likely go anywhere when it comes to debate and passage by the congress.  The FOMC minutes will be an interesting read as it will more information on how the members of the committee see the coming months and the verbiage will provide some insight into when they may start to reduce the stimulus to the US economy.  Both of these issues today will likely keep the US markets trailing the rest of the world as both are seen as detractions to the recovering economy.

In Canada, the Agrium meeting was held yesterday and to many, the vote went 100% the way the company wanted it to.  Of course the Jana Partners group was incensed at the vote and have suggested they will continue to pursue other options.  The stock was weaker yesterday on the news as many hedge funds were squaring positions.  Long term the company is sound and remains a solid investment in the Canadian agriculture space.

Gold is off a half a point to 1578, oil is also down by the same percentage to 94.02 and the loonie is up slightly to 98.52.

Kenneth A. Dick, BA, CIM, CFP, FCSI

Portfolio Manager & Branch Manager

Independent Wealth Management