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Noah Zivitz

Managing Editor, BNN Bloomberg

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The head of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries today said the cartel and its allies are “willing to do whatever it takes to do what the market really requires.” But Haitham Al Ghais refused to show his hand when asked by Bloomberg Television anchor Manus Cranny whether the cartel and its allies will boost capacity by another 100,000 barrels per day at its next meeting. He warned that the world is on “thin ice” when it comes to spare capacity, and said worries about eroding demand, particularly in China, that have pushed the price of West Texas Intermediate crude down about 30 per cent since the recent peak in March are “being blown out of proportion.” We’ll have highlights from that interview on the network today, and we’ll chase reaction from top commodity strategists. 

MARKET WATCH

Despite the nose-diving price of oil, the S&P/TSX Composite Index has closed higher in all but four sessions over the last month, and has rallied 10.6 per cent since its recent low on July 14. Through the close of trading yesterday, Toronto-Dominion Bank has provided the most fuel for the index’s rally, as the stock’s 13 per cent surge has single-handedly added 129 points to the TSX. Good opportunity here to point out that the banks will take the spotlight next week as their earnings season gets underway.

WAITING ON THE FED

As usual, all roads in the market lead to the U.S. Federal Reserve, and today we’ll get a better sense of what the central bank had on the table at its last policy meeting, when it announced a second consecutive ¾-point hike. Was a full point discussed? If so, maybe we’ll find out today why it was waved off. We’ve got ex-Fed vice-chairman Alan Blinder lined up for reaction at 3 p.m.

CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF ZELLERS

The fabled retail brand is rising from the ashes, sort of. HBC announced today that it’s launching a Zellers-branded e-commerce platform next year and will launch a store-within-a-store strategy. Zellers was essentially swept out when Target had its short-lived run in this country. We’re chasing insight into the strategy.

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES

  • Martello Technologies, the Ottawa-based software provider co-chaired by Terry Matthews and Bruce Linton, announced today it’s looking to slash its annual costs 20 per cent, including an unspecified number of job cuts.
  • Canadian National Railway and Keyera announced they’re going to evaluate jointly developing a new clean energy terminal in Alberta. No details in the release, other than a potential capacity to handle six inbound and outbound high-capacity trains per day. The executive director of the Alberta Industrial Heartland Association said the project would entail a “significant capital investment.”
  • The famed Manchester United football club took a ride on the rollercoaster of Elon Musk’s whims overnight after the billionaire tweeted that he was buying the franchise, only to clarify a few hours later that he was joking. Let’s please keep in mind that at a TED conference in Vancouver a few months ago, Musk admitted he has a habit of tweeting out whatever he thinks is funny while sitting on a toilet.
  • Target shares are slumping in pre-market trading after the department store operator reported an 89 per cent plunge in second-quarter profit (missing expectations by a wide margin) as same-store sales inched up just 1.3 per cent in the period. Profit margins sank in the quarter as Target deals with its inventory problems.

NOTABLE RELEASES/EVENTS

  • Notable data: U.S. retail sales
  • Notable earnings: TJX, Target, Lowe's, Cisco Systems
  • 1100: Caisse de Dépôt et placement du Québec releases mid-year results
  • 1400: U.S. Federal Reserve releases minutes from last meeting
  • 1400: Innovation, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne tours MDA facility in Brampton, Ont. (plus avail)