The Daily Chase: Markets inch higher as Powell speaks for second day

Jerome Powell, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, arrives for a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing in Washington, DC, U.S., on Tuesday, July 9, 2024. (Tierney L. Cross/Bloomberg)

Here are five things you need to know this morning:

Powell speaks — again: U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell continues his semi-annual commentary to Congress today, and the reaction to day one on markets was roundly positive for investors. The S&P 500 has risen for six days in a row and is up in premarket trading today. If the gains hold through the close, that will be the longest winning streak since November.

CPP buys 20% stake in European tech firm The Canada Pension Plan is paying more than $800 million for a 20 per cent stake in, a Europe-based tech company with more than 2,500 employees serving business customers in 22 nations. The deal values the acquired company at more than US$5 billion.

Aimia to undertake strategic review: We’ll be watching shares in TSX-listed Aimia todayas the company has announced a leadership shakeup and strategic review of their business. CFO Steven Leonard will add to his responsibilities with the new title of president, while James Scarlett has been tapped to chair a newly-formed strategic review committee. The moves follow a showdown last month with dissident investors at the company’s AGM. Aimia shares have lost 19 per cent of their value this year and are trending toward COVID lows.

Weak EV demand may prompt VW to close a factory: Volkswagen is considering closing an auto assembly plant in Brussels, according to Bloomberg. The company is reportedly considering the move because of weak demand for the electric vehicles that come out of the plant. If it happens, it would be VW’s first plant closure in 40 years, and its first in Europe ever.

Rent increases slowing but still up 7% in past year: New numbers from and Urbanation released Tuesday showed that the average asking price for rent hit $2,185 in June. That’s an increase of seven per cent compared to the same month a year earlier, but it’s actually down 0.8 per cent from May’s level. The annual increase is the slowest in 13 months, and though small, the monthly decline is the biggest since 2021.

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