A higher-than-expected reading on U.S. economic growth in the first quarter
helped buoy U.S. stock indices to solid weekly gains, with both the
S&P 500 Composite Index
Nasdaq Composite Index
registering record-setting highs at Friday’s close. This despite softer
earnings reports from Dow components
Intel Inc. (NASDAQ: INTC)
Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM). The S&P 500 gained 1.2% on the week, while the Nasdaq gained 1.9% and
is ahead 23% year to date. Against a backdrop of softening
prices, which dropped 1.9% on the week, Toronto’s
S&P/TSX Composite Index
broke even week-over-week, as the Bank of Canada gave a downbeat forecast
on its economic outlook, kept its target overnight rate on hold at 1.75%,
and announced that it is abandoning its rate-hike bias.
U.S. gross domestic product grew at an annual 3.2% rate in the first
quarter of the year, exceeding street estimates of 2.3%. Economists pointed
to a surge in inventory stockpiling in the period, combined with a drop in
imports as the main drivers of growth in the quarter, even as other
components, such as business investment, residential real estate, and
In Canada, the Bank of Canada last week kept its key policy rate unchanged
at 1.75%, as Bank of Canada Governor Stehen Poloz said in a
that in its rate decision, the BoC “chose to remove the reference to the
need for interest rates to return into a neutral range,” which its has
revised to 2.25–3.25 per cent. The Bank’s policy stance has become
decidedly dovish as it scales back its growth outlook for the Canadian
* Mackenzie to merge three funds.
announced on April 26 plans to merge three funds:
Mackenzie Canadian Balanced Fund
will be merged into
Mackenzie Strategic Income Fund.
Mackenzie US Strategic Income Fund
will merge with
Mackenzie Global Strategic Income Fund.
Mackenzie US Dividend Registered Fund
will fold into
Mackenzie US Dividend Fund.
The mergers are expected to be effective Aug. 16, pending approvals.
* First Asset ETFs to be rebranded with CI moniker.
First Asset Investment Management
and affiliate CI Investments Inc. announced
on April 22 that First Asset ETFs will be rebranded as “CI First Asset
ETFs” effective April 29, 2019.
Rohit Mehta, President of First Asset and Executive Vice-President, CI Financial Corp. (parent
company of CI and First Asset) explained the move this way: “The new
branding reflects the growing synergies between our firms. We are bringing
together First Asset’s specialized experience in smart beta and actively
managed ETFs with CI’s strength in investment management and its extensive
national reach.” The ticker symbols for renamed ETFs will not change.
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