Columnist image
Noah Zivitz

Managing Editor, BNN Bloomberg

|Archive

We’ve got two dividend hikes from the banks this morning (RBC and CIBC), a huge beat (RBC) thanks to hundreds of millions of dollars released from loan loss reserves, and some messy performances in capital markets (RBC and TD). For my dollar, this has been the toughest bank earnings season to cover in recent memory. We’ve got plenty of details at BNNBloomberg.ca, and we’ll have reaction on air throughout the day and insight into what’s ahead for the sector as big macro risks loom while two of them (TD and BMO) try to close major U.S. takeovers.   

RECORD JOB VACANCIES IN CANADA

Wow, that’s an eye-catcher. Statistics Canada said today in a payroll report there were 1,012,900 vacant positions across the country at the start of March. That’s an all-time high, and up 22.6 per cent from February, according to the data agency.

DISSECTING FED MINUTES

It seems the lack of major surprise in the minutes from the Fed’s last meeting helped markets rally in the last couple hours of trading yesterday (despite the cautious tone in analysis of challenges facing the central bank. Bank of America Global Head of Economics Ethan Harris told our Bloomberg Television Partners he thinks the Fed “let things run out of control” and won’t be able to declare victory until it wrestles inflation down to three per cent.”) Heading into today’s session, U.S. futures are pointing to more gains at the start of trading.   

MUSK DE-RISKS TWITTER OFFER

Elon Musk has dropped the margin loan that was going to help finance his takeover of Twitter. That loan was connected to his investment in Tesla, and no doubt explains some of the rout that pummeled the automaker’s stock in recent weeks. Yesterday’s regulatory filing shows Musk agreed to put up an additional US$6.25 billion to help fund the takeover, and it also revealed he’s having talks with Jack Dorsey (and others) about supporting the deal by hanging on to equity after it closes.

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES

  • Altagas announced this morning it’s selling its Alaskan Utilities business to TriSummit Utilities for US$800 million.
  • Nvidia warned it’s expecting COVID-related lockdowns in China and Russian turmoil to shave about US$500 million off revenue in the current quarter. As a result, its forecast for US$8.1 billion (+/- two per cent) falls short of the average estimate. And so its shares are coming under pressure despite a 46 per cent surge in first-quarter revenue amid big gains in the chipmaker’s data centre and gaming units.
  • U.S. Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard said in prepared remarks ahead of a Congressional hearing on digital assets that the latest bout of crypto turmoil “underscores the need for clear regulatory guardrails.” She added that while no decision has been made about launching a central bank digital currency in the U.S., “there are risks of not acting, just as there are risks of acting.”
  • B2Gold announced early this morning it’s paying about $83 million in cash a stock to buy Oklo Resources to expand its presence in Mali.

NOTABLE RELEASES/EVENTS

  • Notable data: Canadian retail sales and job vacancies; U.S. GDP and initial jobless claims
  • Notable earnings: Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (530, 730 call), Royal Bank of Canada (600, 830 call), TD Bank Group (630, 1330 call), Costco, Gap, Dollar Tree, Alibaba
  • 900: Parliamentary Budget Officer releases costing note “Luxury goods sales tax (update)”
  • 1000: McDonald’s annual meeting (keep in mind Carl Icahn will try to get two directors elected to the board at this meeting)
  • 1030: Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions media briefing on draft of climate risk management draft Guideline B-15
  • 1200: Competition Commissioner Matthew Boswell participates in CIGI panel "The Competition Act and Canada's Digital Future"
  • 1200: U.S. House Financial Services Committee hearing "Digital Assets and the Future of Finance: Examining the Benefits and Risks of a U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency"
  • 1600: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada announces new telecommunications policy (technical briefing at 3pm)
  • Two-day meeting of Western premiers begins in Regina