Columnist image
Amber Kanwar

Anchor, Reporter


I’m late. I found myself breaking up a fight between my eldest and middle children about who gets to wear an Elsa hair braid to school today. I’ll let you guess who won that based on birth order.
Here are five things you need to know this morning:
New quarter, who this?: Today marks the first day of trading for the fourth quarter as we say good riddance to Q3. The TSX and the S&P 500 put in back-to-back monthly losses. The TSX is barely positive for the year. And here is an interesting, but probably completely useless fact: the S&P 500 has closed higher for the last 12 Mondays – the longest streak ever for the S&P 500. This morning, futures are mildly negative even as the U.S. averts a shutdown. The biggest near-term implication is that we will still get the all-important jobs data this week. Longer-term we will watch for commentary from credit agencies as the U.S. continues to play chicken with its finances.  Today we get a read of the U.S. manufacturing sector. A read of China’s factory activity in a private-sector survey showed activity slowed in September, but official government data showed modest expansion for the first time in six months. No matter how you slice it though, both numbers are barely in expansion territory.
Short story: Rania Llewlyn is out as CEO of Laurentian Bank and so is the chair of the board Michael Mueller. The bank announced Eric Provost as new CEO, who has been at the bank for over a decade and was most recently group head for personal and commercial banking. This comes at a tumultuous time for the bank. It just ended a strategic review with no buyers. Instead of announced a bold new strategic vision, the company said it was just going to accelerate its current vision and they would tell us more about it in three months. Then last week there was a computer mainframe outage which may have proved to be the tipping point for the board. Fixing it is billed as the “immediate priority” of the new CEO. As for Rania Llewlyn, today’s press release carries only one sentence thanking her for her hard work and contributions. And thus ends the three-year story of the first female CEO of a Canadian bank.
Bitcoin bounce: Bitcoin is rising to a six-week high and now trading above US$28,000. Bitcoin has rallied more than 70 per cent so far this year (although still down nearly 60 per cent from its 2021 peak). A bunch of crypto exposed stocks are rallying too: Coinbase, MicroStrategy and Riot Platforms to name a few. A bipartisan group of members from the U.S. House Financial Services Committee are urging the SEC to immediately approve spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds. This could be providing a lift to the sector.
Not bitcoin: Meanwhile, gold is in a major funk. Ever since this higher-for-longer mantra about interest rates started to set into the markets, gold can’t get out of bed. Bullion is on a six-session losing streak, has hit the lowest level since March and just put in its largest weekly decline since 2021.
Any excuse to talk about Beyoncé: AMC and Cinemark announced that the film about Beyoncé’s Renaissance concert tour will premiere at the beginning of December. It will be released in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. The pop in the pre-market isn’t as big as when Taylor Swift announced her tour film, but it is higher nonetheless. Swift’s film is expected to bring in about $100 to $125 million. These women are just one big stimulus package for the economy.
Notable guest: At 10:30 a.m. EDT today we’ll be joined by Paul Beaudry, former deputy governor of the Bank of Canada who has played a key role in the 10 interest rate hikes we’ve seen from the BoC since early 2022. We’ll discuss what’s keeping inflation sticky across the country and when these 2001-level interest rate highs may start to abate for Canadians.