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Noah Zivitz

Managing Editor, BNN Bloomberg

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Leaders of the Group of Seven nations wrapped their summit this weekend vowing to end the pandemic in 2022 (with a pledge to share at least 870 million vaccine doses over the next year), tackle climate change, and build back a more sustainable economy. All of that was quite predictable. Where things got interesting was seeing the G7 take direct aim at its biggest rivals on the global stage. On China, the group is launching a new infrastructure partnership to beat back what it described as "strategic competition" with Beijing. It also called out forced labour in that country and "non-market policies and practices.” As for Russia, the G7 urged the Kremlin "to stop its destabilizing behaviour and malign activities” and urged it to take action against ransomware attacks emanating from within its borders.

FED LOOMS

Futures are pointing to a muted open for North American stocks after the S&P 500 and S&P/TSX Composite Index closed at record highs on Friday. This week’s main event lands on Wednesday, with the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy statement, updated forecasts, and Chair Jerome Powell’s news conference – when he’ll again be tested to keep inflation fears at bay.

COVID WATCH

Some G7 leaders pledging to share vaccines with nations in need could soon have another option: Novavax shares spiked in pre-market trading after announcing its COVID-19 vaccine achieved 90.4 per cent overall efficacy in a Phase 3 trial in the United States and Mexico, and said it will seek regulatory approval in the third quarter. Canada, it should be noted, has signed up to purchase as many as 76 million doses of the product.

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES

  • Hexo shares are slipping in pre-market trading after the pot producer unexpectedly swung to an adjusted loss in its fiscal third quarter, while revenue fell sharply from the previous quarter. The company said its core sales sank 29 per cent sequentially in Quebec amid certain cultivation decisions.
  • Some stocks to watch after S&P Dow Jones Indices announced upcoming changes to the S&P/TSX Composite Index: Capstone Mining, Nuvei Corp., Stelco Holdings, and Trisura Group are being added. Endeavour Mining and AcuityAds Holdings are being deleted. Interesting to see the latter get turfed after Acuity’s 1,705 per cent surge since the market’s COVID-era bottom.
  • The price of Bitcoin rose as much as 9.3 per cent yesterday after Elon Musk said in a tweet that Tesla will allow it to be used as currency for vehicle purchases once miners adopt “reasonable” clean energy use. 
  • There’s no end in sight to the work stoppage at Vale’s operations in Sudbury, Ont. after the union representing 2,500 production and maintenance workers recommended members reject the miner’s latest offer. Vale expressed its disappointment in that decision last night, saying it believes the latest proposal addresses “issues of concern.”
  • Pot producer MJardin Group is launching a review of strategic alternatives and disclosed that Canaccord Genuity has resigned as a financial advisor to the special committee of directors that was formed after the company’s name became entangled with the allegations against Bridging Finance. MJardin also said its chairman won’t seek re-election.

NOTABLE RELEASES/EVENTS

  • Notable data: Canadian manufacturing sales
  • Notable earnings: Hexo
  • 7:30: Unifor holds rally in St. John’s to save Terra Nova offshore project
  • 10:00: Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland holds media avail alongside House Leader Pablo Rodriguez
  • 11:00: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada officials hold technical briefing on 3500MHz wireless spectrum auction
  • 11:00: Finning International holds virtual investor day
  • 12:50: U.S. President Joe Biden holds news conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels
  • 14:30: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney leads update on lottery to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations
  • 15:30: BMO CEO Darryl White addresses Morgan Stanley conference