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Noah Zivitz

Managing Editor, BNN Bloomberg

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Don’t look now, but the S&P/TSX Composite Index has closed higher in five straight sessions. That’s its longest winning streak since mid-March. The gains have all been sub-one per cent. But in this market, who’s quibbling? In the U.S., the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite Index have risen in the last two sessions, but are still deep in the red this year. We know that’s mostly pinned on uncertainty about the U.S. Federal Reserve’s ability to wrestle down inflation. So, we can’t wait to hear today from a former second-in-command at the central bank: Alan Blinder joins us at 10:30 a.m. Since inflation pressure is particularly painful at gas stations, we sought out viewers’ perspective on this hot topic. Watch for some of the feedback on BNN Bloomberg shortly before 10 a.m.

TROUBLE ON THE HORIZON

The latest Leger survey for BNN Bloomberg and RATESDOTCA is sobering. It suggests fewer than half (45 per cent) of Canadian homeowners could comfortably handle more than $200 in additional monthly costs. The concern about financial wherewithal is particularly acute among homeowners who bought their property within the last two years. We’ve got plenty of details at BNNBloomberg.ca, and RATESDOTCA Managing Editor John Shmuel will join Jacqueline around 4:15 p.m. with more insight.

THAT’S A WRAP FOR BIG SIX EARNINGS

National Bank closed it out this morning with a big profit beat (helped by a 17 per cent surge in net income from its capital markets unit) and a dividend hike. That makes it five-for-six in terms of dividend hikes from the banks this quarter. And we’ve also got Canadian Western Bank on the agenda today; it missed profit expectations and nudged up its dividend. We’ll put a bow on the earnings bonanza and gauge the outlook for Canada’s largest lenders in this murky economic environment.

TOUGH TIMES FOR POT INVESTORS

Canopy Growth’s Nasdaq-listed shares have been down about 10 per cent in pre-market trading after the pot producer reported a much larger than expected loss in its fiscal fourth quarter as net revenue sank 25 per cent from a year earlier. “Achieving profitability is critical,” CFO Judy Hong said in a release. Where have we heard that before? Dave will dig deep into the results and we have CEO David Klein scheduled for a chat at 9:45 a.m. Meanwhile, Aurora Cannabis shares are also getting thumped in pre-market trading on the back of a financing announcement late yesterday.

FEDS PUT CRTC ON NOTICE

The federal government unveiled a policy proposal after markets closed that boils down to another push for lower prices in the telecom industry. The policy proposal (operative word) would direct the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to "monitor and assess the effectiveness" of its policies for mobile virtual network operators (recall the MVNOs weren't thrilled by a CRTC ruling last year on rates and access). Under the proposed policy, the CRTC would also be told to "take action" on improving wholesale internet rates. Lots of consultation and other work to be done before the policy can take effect. In a report to clients last night, RBC Capital Markets Analyst Drew McReynolds said there’ll be limited short-term impact for the sector. However, “we expect the pendulum to swing more in favour of Internet resellers and facilities-based regional wireless operators,” he wrote, adding the outlook is “directionally negative over time” for incumbents Telus, Rogers, and BCE (which owns BNN Bloomberg through its Bell Media division).

‘ADMIRAL’ FACES THE MUSIC

Remember when Gary Ng was in the headlines (and on BNN Bloomberg) after announcing a surprise acquisition of PI Financial? That deal didn’t work out in the end, to put it mildly. More recently, Ng has been on our radar because of his alleged role in the turmoil at Bridging Finance (the private lender that was rushed into receivership early last year amid a sweeping investigation by the Ontario Securities Commission). Today, Ng will be in the news again as the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada holds a penalty hearing after earlier finding Ng breached fraud rules.

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES

  • We recently reported on Suncor Energy’s emergence from the penalty box as its shares touched $50 for the first time since 2018. So we’ll point out here that Credit Suisse’s analyst who covers the stock raised his price target to $58.00 from $50.00.
  • Gap shares are getting thrashed in pre-market trading after the retailer took a hatchet to its forecasts and posted steep sales declines in the latest quarter. One basic question: do Gap and Old Navy have what consumers want (both in terms of inventory and style)? Sales under those banners tumbled 11 and 19 per cent, respectively, in the first quarter.

NOTABLE RELEASES/EVENTS

  • Notable data: U.S. personal consumption expenditure core price index
  • Notable earnings: National Bank of Canada, Canadian Western Bank, Canopy Growth
  • 1230: Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson and Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault hold media call after G7 meeting
  • 1300: Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada holds penalty hearing for Gary Ng on fraudulent conduct
  • 1655: Closing news conference at meeting of Western premiers