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Noah Zivitz

Managing Editor, BNN Bloomberg

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Canada's economy just delivered a blowout month of jobs growth: 303,100 positions were added last month. That's triple Bay Street's expectation. And the unemployment rate fell seven-tenths of a percentage point to 7.5 per cent  the lowest since February 2020. Timing these days is key, and Statistics Canada pointed out its field work was conducted from March 14-20, a time when restrictions had been loosened as compared to a month earlier. We'll dig into all the details today and gather insight on what April's numbers might look like after recent clampdowns in Canadian hotspots.

TSX ON A ROLL

The composite index made it a fifth straight record close yesterday, with Shopify accounting for more than half of the point change. Tech was clearly in favour in Thursday’s session, with peers like Constellation Software, Lightspeed and BlackBerry also landing on the leaderboard.

OSFI AFTERMATH

Now that lenders and prospective uninsured homebuyers know what looms as of June 1, there’s one big question: how feverish will demand be between now and then as stakeholders (including any owners who might contemplate listing) aim to beat the looming tougher stress test? We’re chasing that angle this morning. And what else could be in store? Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s statement to Bloomberg News yesterday sure gives the impression the feds won’t take any action at least until OSFI’s consultation wraps next month.

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES

  • Barrick Gold’s lengthy dispute with Papua New Guinea appears to have finally been resolved. The miner said today it’s set to restart work at the Porgera gold mine later this year after reaching a binding framework with the government that will see PNG walk away owning 51 per cent of the mine.
  • Corus Entertainment struck an optimistic note with the release of its quarterly numbers today. CEO Doug Murphy (who joins us at 3:20 p.m.) said his company “reached an inflection point in this dynamic industry environment” and pointed out that television advertising revenue eroded at half the rate of the previous quarter. Adjusted profit in the quarter beat expectations by six cents at $0.18 per share.
  • Pandemic containment measures are continuing to batter food-court giant MTY Food Group. It just reported a 24 per cent drop in quarterly sales. In Canada, the plunge in activity was even more severe (48 per cent).
  • Another 737 Max setback: Boeing said this morning it recommended 16 of its customers ground a specific number of the jets to resolve what’s being described as a “potential electrical issue.”
  • Some pillars of Quebec Inc. are banding together to support COVID vaccination efforts in the Greater Montreal Area. Alimentation Couche-Tard, Metro, National Bank, Bell (reminder: BNN Bloomberg is owned by Bell Media), and Groupe CH are spending $4 million to establish vaccination clinics that will be open eligible residents, including 50,000 employees of the companies involved and their families.
  • We’ll have eyes on TSX Venture-listed shares of Facedrive today. The self-described “people-and-planet first” collection of companies, whose astonishing roller-coaster ride in the market was put in the spotlight by The Globe and Mail last weekend, published an exhaustive update on its operations and board-level changes this morning (at 1:27 a.m., no less).

NOTABLE RELEASES/EVENTS

  • Notable data: Canadian labour force survey
  • Notable earnings: Corus Entertainment, MTY Food Group
  • 11:30 a.m. ET: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discusses COVID-19 situation alongside Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc, Health Minister Patty Hajdu, Procurement Minister Anita Anand, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo
  • 2:30 p.m.: Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan makes announcement on the Emissions Reduction Fund (plus avail)
  • 7 p.m.: Former Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney addresses Liberal national convention