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Noah Zivitz

Managing Editor, BNN Bloomberg

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We can expect the debate around inflation to dominate markets again today, with the April U.S. consumer price index coming in hotter than anticipated at 4.2 per cent. Economists tracked by Bloomberg were expecting 3.6 per cent after a gain of 2.6 per cent in March. We saw U.S. market futures come under renewed pressure in the moments after the data were released this morning. Nonetheless, prominent economist David Rosenberg said in an interview with Greg Bonnell yesterday afternoon that he thinks the Fed is “probably right” that price pressure will prove to be transitory. He also shot down any fear of a sharp jump in interest rates, chiefly because of “gargantuan” debt levels that could ultimately undo the economic recovery if borrowers face higher servicing costs. Read all about it here.

WHITMER EYES ENBRIDGE PROFITS

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer put Enbridge on notice that its profits from operating Line 5 past today’s shutdown deadline could be seized if the state ultimately prevails in the legal battle surrounding the pipeline. “In sum, please be advised that Enbridge’s continued operation of the Straits Pipelines after May 12, 2021 is at its own risk,” she wrote in a letter. The missive surfaced a few hours after the federal government formally chimed in, pleading with a U.S. federal district judge to ensure Line 5 isn't forced into "a unilateral compelled shutdown" and saying it's prepared to "facilitate a mediated solution." If you missed it, check out Greg’s interview with Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan, when he informed the minister of Whitmer’s letter.

BRIDGING FINANCE HEARING

Ontario Securities Commission staff will push today for an extension of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ appointment as Bridging Finance’s receiver as the regulator’s investigation into alleged infractions continues and expands. In the application filed last week, the OSC said staff is looking into whether BFI and its now-ousted CEO, David Sharpe, may have misled or lied to enforcement staff, among other new threads in the investigation.                                                                      

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES

  • TMX Group beat first-quarter profit and revenue estimates by a wide margin thanks to a boom in trading and financing activity. We’ve got CEO John McKenzie on The Open at 9:35 a.m.
  • The International Energy Agency is pointing to India as a reminder that the demand outlook is “mired in uncertainty,” according to the watchdog’s latest monthly report. The IEA slashed its second-quarter demand forecast for India by 630,000 barrels per day – contributing to a modest downward revision for total global demand this year. On the upside, the agency said “bloated” inventories have been wrestled down to “more normal levels.”
  • The Colonial Pipeline website was still out of service as of 6:30 a.m.; I see however that the company launched an alternate portal just for the sake of updating the pipeline’s status. No new information on the timeline for restarting the fuel conduit, however the company is praising the White House for pulling out all the stops to alleviate the supply crunch. See details on that here.
  • Vancouver-based Absolute Software is on our radar after it announced the purchase of network security specialist NetMotion for US$340 million in cash.
  • Uber is out with an elaborate study on how and why Canadians use Uber that suggests the platform was responsible for unlocking $6.5 billion in economic value for this country last year. We'll explore that with Uber Chief Economist Jonathan Hall at 2:30 p.m.
  • Aritzia says its first-quarter sales are on track to surge 110 per cent compared to a year earlier. Of course, COVID skews those comps. As for the fourth quarter, total revenue slipped while the haul from e-commerce surged 81.1 per cent

NOTABLE RELEASES/EVENTS

  • Notable data: U.S. CPI
  • Notable earnings: Emera, Dye & Durham, Boyd Group Services, WSP Global, MDA, Crescent Point Energy, Peyto Exploration & Development, Sienna Senior Living, Extendicare
  • 10 a.m.: Ontario Securities Commission hearing to consider extending temporary order suspending trading in Bridging Finance
  • 10:30 a.m.: Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk tables report “Management of Health-Related COVID-19 Expenditures”
  • 11 a.m.: Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan makes funding announcement in St. John’s (be aware for any Q&A re. Line 5)
  • Michigan governor's deadline for Enbridge to shut down Line 5
  • International Energy Agency releases monthly oil market report
  • Sotheby's accepting Bitcoin in auction of Banksy's "Love is in the Air"