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Noah Zivitz

Managing Editor, BNN Bloomberg

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Equity markets have been all over the place since 2:00 p.m. EDT yesterday as investors, traders, and algorithms struggle to find conviction in their interpretation of Jerome Powell’s words and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s dots. And who can blame them? The Fed chair launched right into it in his news conference: “My colleagues and I are strongly committed to bringing inflation back down to our two per cent goal. We have both the tools we need and the resolve that it will take to restore price stability,” he said in his first words at the podium. When pressed on what comes next, he said “it’s very hard to say with precise certainty the way this is going to unfold.” Then he said “there’s a ways to go” in pushing deeper into restrictive territory. So…insert emoji shrug.

We’ll keep trying to clear through the fog of monetary policy, notably with RBC Capital Markets Chief U.S. Economist Tom Porcelli at 9:00 a.m. EDT and ex-Pimco Head of Portfolio Management Ed Devlin at 1:00 p.m. EDT.

Best comment I’ve heard since the Fed’s decision yesterday was from our pal at Bloomberg, Vince Cignarella: “(The market is saying) ‘You know — We love you, Jay; but we still remember [transitory] inflation. So we're not hanging our hat on everything the Fed says these days."

The extraordinary times for central banks know no borders. This morning we’ve seen a second consecutive half-point hike by the Bank of England (in a split vote, where three voting members wanted to move even more aggressively); and the Bank of Japan’s stand-pat approach prompted that country’s government to intervene in the currency market to prop up its currency.

REMEMBER THE BANK TAX?

Canada’s budget watchdog weighed in today on the federal government’s plan to implement a surtax and “Canada Recovery Dividend” payment on large banks and life insurance companies, saying they’ll generate a combined $5.3 billion. In the budget, the feds indicated they expect those two levies will generate $6.1 billion in revenue over the next five years. Reminder that draft legislation on the targeted measures was unveiled last month and is open to public comment until Sept. 30.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR LEGAL POT IN CANADA?

We’re about to find out, with an update on the review of Canada’s Cannabis Act on tap this morning. Naturally, Dave will be ready to recap the stakes for consumers and an industry that has failed to live up to the hype, at least in the eyes of investors. Seems like a good ICYMI opportunity to highlight that Andrew McCreath served notice in 2018, back when his caution seemed like a contrarian call: https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/it-s-a-crop-canadian-pot-producers-global-growth-story-overblown-mccreath-says-1.1077351

INTACT IN THE SPOTLIGHT

The property and casualty insurer has an investor presentation today; suffice to say, it already has plenty of support on the street. Thirteen buy recommendations and one sell, among analysts tracked by Bloomberg. And that’s after a long run of significant relative outperformance against Manulife, Sun Life, and Great-West. But we know that’s an apples-to-oranges comparison of business lines. Stacked up against its peer in property and casualty insurance, Intact trails Definity Financial since the parent of Sonnet and other brands went public last year.

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES

  • Sierra Metals withdrew its financial and output forecasts for this year due to an illegal blockade affecting its Yauricocha mine in Peru. That’s the same mine where three contractors were killed in a mudslide earlier this month.
  • Cascades said it’s temporarily shutting down one of its tissue-paper machines in Oregon so it can conduct “additional verification of the structural condition of the building” where it’s located.
  • Stelco Holdings is launching another substantial issuer bid. It’s under the same terms as another SIB that concluded on Sept. 12 (IE, up to 30 million of its common shares for $35.00 apiece.) Barely five million shares were tendered in that last buyback.

NOTABLE RELEASES/EVENTS

  • Notable data: U.S. initial jobless claims
  • Notable earnings: FedEx, Costco
  • 800: Air Canada CFO Amos Kazzaz addresses CIBC conference
  • 900: Parliamentary Budget Officer releases costing notes “Additional Tax on Banks and Life Insurers” and “Canada Recovery Dividend”
  • 900: Intact Financial investor day
  • 900: Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault holds media call-back re. United Nations General Assembly and Climate Week NYC
  • 930: U.S. Senate Banking Committee hearing "Annual Oversight of the Nation’s Largest Banks"
  • 1100: Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos and Associate Health Minister Carolyn Bennett announce next steps in review of cannabis legislation
  • 1615: Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson holds media call-back from Global Clean Energy Action Forum in Pittsburgh