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Noah Zivitz

Managing Editor, BNN Bloomberg

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Futures are pointing to modest gains at the start of trading in New York after a remarkable sequence of events in D.C. this weekend.

-Started with a Bloomberg News report late Friday night that U.S. President Donald Trump has privately pondered firing Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, albeit amid uncertainty about whether he actually has the power to do so.

-That prompted Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to tweet out the verbate of a conversation he had with Trump in which he quotes the president as saying, "I never suggested firing Jay Powell, nor do I believe I have the right to do so."

-And, yesterday, Mnuchin released a statement indicating he spoke with the CEOs of America's six largest banks about market conditions, and today he'll lead a call with the President's Working Group on financial markets to talk about ensuring "normal market operations." (see statement here)

All that after a week that saw the Nasdaq fall 8.4 per cent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 1,655 points (not to be ignored, the TSX fell almost five per cent last week). Today the big question is how investors will respond. Oh, and there’s also a partial U.S. government shutdown with no end in sight.

SCHEER ON CHINA

Conservative Party of Canada Leader Andrew Scheer weighed in on the fallout from the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in an interview with Evan Solomon on CTV’s Question Period this weekend, saying it would be “appropriate” for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to call China President Xi Jinping to discuss the status of three detained Canadians. Also said he would “absolutely” block Huawei from Canada’s 5G wireless telecom infrastructure; also said he wouldn’t pursue a free trade deal with China.

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES

-The price of Western Canada Select oil closed on Friday at the lowest level since Nov. 30 (US$29.09/barrel).

-Ex-Boeing Executive Patrick Shanahan will take over from James Mattis as acting U.S. Defense Secretary on Jan. 1

NOTABLE RELEASES/EVENTS

-Reminder: The TSX and U.S. stock markets close at 1:00 p.m. ET today.  

The Daily Chase will not be published on Dec. 25 and Dec. 26. It will resume on Thursday, Dec. 27. Happy holidays!