Columnist image
Noah Zivitz

Managing Editor, BNN Bloomberg

|Archive

It's decision day for the Bank of Canada, with plenty of signs pointing to a taper amid a strengthening economy. Deputy Governor Toni Gravelle appeared to brace Bay Street for scaled-down quantitative easing in a speech last month. CIBC's global head of fixed income currency and commodities recently told clients this is shaping up to be "the most telegraphed policy announcement of the year,” while predicting the government bond purchase program will be shaved down to $3 billion per week from $4 billion. Beyond that, no doubt Governor Tiff Macklem will be pressed on hot housing markets when he addresses reporters. We'll be watching for adjustments to the central bank's growth forecasts as it takes stock of substantial fiscal spending programs at home and in the U.S.

NO LOVE LOST ON THE RAILS

We’re used to seeing boilerplate ho-hum language in press releases surrounding takeovers. So Canadian Pacific Railway’s framing of CN’s “illusory and inferior” proposal for Kansas City Southern as being “massively complex and likely to fail” certainly grabbed our attention late yesterday afternoon. It mostly comes down to a question of competition as far as CP is concerned. But it’s also making things somewhat personal, with a warning that CN’s management “has significant underperformed over a decade and has a track record of underdelivering against its own projections.” And, new this morning: CP released a letter sent by its attorney to the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, pleading its case to the U.S. regulator.

NETFLIX DISAPPOINTS

The pandemic boom that helped pad Netflix’s subscriber base came to a screeching halt in the most recent quarter as the streaming giant added less than 4 million new paying users. There’s no immediate relief in sight as it expects to sign up just 1 million more in the current quarter. It’s all about content, and on that front, Netflix is expecting subscriber growth will “re-accelerate” in the second half of this year amid what it’s calling “a very strong back-half slate” (one would hope so, considering the company said it’ll spend more than US$17 billion on material this year).

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES

  • Rogers Communications exceeded profit expectations in the first quarter as the company’s cable operations stood out as the lone division that managed to post EBITDA growth in the period. As for the flagship wireless business that landed in the spotlight this week for all the wrong reasons amid a network outage: service revenue fell due to familiar COVID factors (less roaming and overage); meanwhile, 44,000 net new postpaid subscribers signed up.
  • Metro reported second-quarter profit and sales that were roughly in line with estimates. One number that stood out to me in scanning the release: online food sales surged 240 per cent year-over-year.
  • British Columbia is forecasting a gradual narrowing of its budget deficit over the coming years, with the shortfall seen peaking at $9.7 billion in the current fiscal year on its way to being more than halved in 2023-24 at $4.3 billion. We’ve been paying close attention to lumber prices lately, so worth pointing out the province is forecasting $1.2 billion in forestry revenue this fiscal year before dipping to $948 million next year.
  • On the topic of lumber: A new CIBC poll today indicates 31 per cent of Canadian homeowners are planning renovations in the next 12 months.
  • The European Super League appears to be collapsing just as quickly as the big money project attempted to launch. Juventus’s chairman is now reportedly saying the breakaway league can no longer proceed as English teams bail. Just yesterday he was saying there’s a “blood pact” among the elite teams involved. Shares in the Juventus Football Club have been down as much as 12.9 per cent today in Italy.

NOTABLE RELEASES/EVENTS

  • Notable data: Canadian CPI
  • Notable earnings: Rogers Communications, CP Rail, Metro, Baker Hughes, Halliburton, Verizon, Las Vegas Sands
  • 10 a.m. ET: Bank of Canada releases interest rate decision and Monetary Policy Report (plus 11 a.m. news conference)
  • 11 a.m.: Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland participates in virtual discussion with Canadian Chamber of Commerce
  • 2:30 p.m.: Apple Chief Compliance Officer Kyle Andeer among speakers at U.S. Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights hearing on competition in app stores.