Columnist image
Amber Kanwar

Anchor, Reporter


Here are five things to know this morning:

Groundhog day: Last week markets had a solid showing on the expectation that the U.S. Federal Reserve is done raising rates with around 30 per cent odds the first rate cut will be in March. Stop me if you’ve heard that before. In fact this is the seventh time the markets have priced in a dovish pivot since the rate hiking cycle began two years ago. But at the risk of committing the ultimate financial sin, perhaps this time is different? If we truly have seen the last rate hike, then historically speaking the first rate cut typically occurs four months later when you consider the last 13 U.S. hiking cycles according to Deutsche Bank’s Jim Reid. Some food for thought. Speaking of food…it is going to be a holiday shortened week of trading in the U.S. for Thanksgiving, but a very big week for Canadian investors. This week features inflation data (tomorrow), the Federal Fall Economic Statement (tomorrow), Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem speaking (Wednesday) and retail sales (Friday). The world will also be watching OPEC+ into the meeting next weekend about whether to cut supply further. And before our American friends indulge in turkey and comradely, they will have to contend with a deluge of earnings tomorrow including from Nvidia after the bell. Which is sure to spark some fireworks. Speaking of fireworks…

First 48: What a wild 48 hours in the AI world. The folks on X were all a twitter about Sam Altman being abruptly fired from Open AI by the four person board. Outrage erupted from the AI community with the whos-whos rushing to Sam’s defense (think Eric Schmidt of Google, Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures). Wedbush’s Dan Ives says this might go down in tech history as one of the biggest debacle decisions in the history of Silicon Valley. Before we knew it there were reports that Altman was going to return and the board was going to resign by a 5:00 p.m. deadline on Saturday. The deadline came and went and by the time it was all said and done Sam Altman (and his partner Greg Brockman) had a new job: Microsoft employee. Yes, the same Microsoft who also has a US$13 billion investment in OpenAI. So now Microsoft has OpenAI and Altman. Of course, there are still so many questions. Why did OpenAI fire him? The official reason given was that Altman was “not consistently candid”. Was this a battle between AI for good and AI for doom crowd? Reports suggest there was concern Altman and his team was moving too fast without considering the God-like risks being taken on. But Microsoft couldn’t risk losing Altman, says Wedbush’s Ives. “If Microsoft lost Altman he could have gone to Amazon, Google, Apple, or a host of other tech companies craving to get the face of AI globally in their doors. Instead he is safely in Microsoft's HQ…” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is being hailed as the business kingpin of the century and shares of Microsoft are drifting modestly higher.

Shutdown risk: First Quantum Minerals is warning that it will be forced to shut its panama copper mine later this week if a port blockade continues to prevent the delivery of key supplies. The Canadian company started slowing operations last week after what it called an illegal blockade of small boats at its port hit the delivery of supplies to the mine. It has since further reduced production, as local opposition to the mine grows.

AccREITive: We will watch shares of Primaris REIT after announcing a $370 million deal to buy a shopping centre in Halifax. Considering all the pain in REITs right now, especially in physical retail, it is interesting to see a public company spend money to grow in this category. The stock is near universally loved on the street with all but one analyst rating it a buy. It is led by a former REIT analyst, Alex Avery who touts the merits of the deal and says they are in “multiple discussions” for further acquisitions. He will join me on the desk at 10:15 a.m. EDT.

FDA worries: Shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb are poised to open at a three-year low after being dealt a setback by the FDA. BMY and its drug partner 2seventy have been trying to get approval for cancer drug by December 16 but the FDA says it will convene an advisory committee to review the data and the deadline will be missed. This comes as rival Bayer halted trials on a competitor drug on lack of efficacy.