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Noah Zivitz

Managing Editor, BNN Bloomberg

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TC Energy is preparing to ramp up work on its long-delayed Keystone XL project. The company, formerly known as TransCanada, yesterday mapped out a timeline in a Montana court filing, indicating pre-construction will begin in three American states next month before construction of the cross-border link starts in April (provided everything goes according to plan). We’ll gather reaction and assess the risk for potential setbacks, which would be nothing new for the 1,900-kilometre pipeline that’s designed to ship 830,000 barrels of crude per day from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

CHINA-U.S. SIGNING CEREMONY

U.S. President Donald Trump and China Vice Premier Liu He today will sign off on the phase-one trade agreement that was reached by the two nations last month. At the time, it was celebrated for dodging an escalation in tariff rates. But as our Bloomberg partners scooped yesterday, the Trump administration is likely to maintain import levies until after the presidential election in November. Further dampening enthusiasm, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin late yesterday told reporters “tariffs will stay in place until there’s a phase two.” The signing ceremony is scheduled for 1130 a.m. ET, right in the middle of Commodities – which feels appropriate considering China’s commitment to ramp up purchases of American agricultural goods was key to the agreement. The full text of the pact is expected to be released later today.

ANOTHER TSX RECORD

The gains have been minimal, but for a second consecutive day, the S&P/TSX Composite Index closed at a record high yesterday as heavyweights like Suncor Energy and Canadian Natural Resources led the way.

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES

-Shares of Organigram are surging in pre-market trading after the pot producer unexpectedly posted an adjusted profit in the first quarter as revenue soared. The company also said it “believes it has enough capital to fund its operations and capital expenditure plans.” We’ll speak with CEO Greg Engel at 11:15 a.m. ET.

-Target fessed up this morning to being hit by the holiday blues that’s afflicted so many of its peers. Fourth-quarter same-store sales were much weaker than anticipated (1.4 per cent vs. the previous forecast of 3-4 per cent), with CEO Brian Cornell pointing to “softer-than expected performance” in key product categories like electronics and toys. The company’s shares are sagging in pre-market trading.

-We’ll keep an eye on shares of Cogeco Communications today after the company reported first-quarter profit and revenue late yesterday that trailed Bay Street’s expectations.

-Bank earnings season marches on in the U.S. today, with Bank of America posting a surge in surge in trading revenue and higher investment banking fees that helped lift the lender’s profit above the average analyst estimate. Goldman Sachs, meanwhile, fell short of profit expectations amid a downturn in its investment banking unit.  

NOTABLE RELEASES/EVENTS

-Notable data: Canadian existing home sales

-Notable earnings: Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Alcoa

-10:00 a.m. ET: CMHC releases rental market survey

-11:15 a.m. ET: U.S. President Donald Trump greets China Vice Premier Liu He at Oval Office

-11:30 a.m. ET: China-U.S. Phase One agreement signing ceremony in East Room of the White House

-2:00 p.m. ET: U.S. Federal Reserve releases Beige Book

-5:45 p.m. ET: Finance Minister Bill Morneau holds Budget 2020 consultations in Vancouver (plus avail)

-U.S. House of Representatives to vote on sending articles of impeachment to Senate 

Every morning BNN Bloomberg's Managing Editor Noah Zivitz writes a ‘chase note’ to BNN Bloomberg's editorial staff listing the stories and events that will be in the spotlight that day. Have it delivered to your inbox before the trading day begins by heading to www.bnnbloomberg.ca/subscribe.