Market week: Stocks post another weekly advance

06-19-2020
Market week: Stocks post another weekly advance

Mackenzie, CI launch new ETFs

 

The major North American stock market indices closed higher on the week as rising optimism about the re-opening of the U.S. economy and Federal Reserve Board buying of corporate bonds charged up positive investor sentiment through the week. In addition, reports that China intends to increase purchases of U.S. agricultural products also helped buoy markets.

The generally ebullient markets overshadowed reports of a growing number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., and a warning from the World Health Organization that the pandemic, far from being over, still poses a threat and that “the world is in a new and dangerous phase.” In addition, markets were unsettled on Friday by reports that Apple Inc. (NDQ: AAPL) plans to close a number of stores temporarily in states where COVID-19 cases are spiking.

Friday also saw the quarterly simultaneous expirations of futures and options for both stock indices and individual stocks. In addition, the S&P indices and SPDR exchange-traded funds were rebalanced on Friday. The confluence of these events typically increase market volatility for a time, and contributed to Friday’s flat performance.

In Canada, Statistics Canada reported a 26% decline in retail sales for April, for a drop of about 34% since mid-March. However, in an advance estimate StatsCan is projecting a solid recovery in retail sales in May. U.S. data have already showed a 17.7% increase in retail sales for May.

The S&P 500 Composite Index gained 1.9% on the week, while the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 3.7%. Toronto’s stock benchmark the S&P/TSX Composite Index advanced 1.4% on the week, buoyed by industrial, healthcare, and information technology issues. West Texas Intermediate crude oil gained 7.9% on the week as members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) pledged to meet output reduction targets at a meeting last week.

Fund news and updates

* Mackenzie launches Wealthsimple SRI ETFs. Mackenzie Investments announced on June 16 the listing of two new ETFs under the Wealthsimple banner, with Mackenzie as the portfolio manager.

Wealthsimple North America Socially Responsible Index ETF (TSX: WSRI) tracks the Solactive Wealthsimple North America Socially Responsible Factor Index, and invests in Canadian and U.S. companies that do not violate commonly-held social and environmental values. Management fee is 0.20%.

Wealthsimple Developed Markets ex North America Socially Responsible Index ETF (TSX: WSRD) track the Solactive Wealthsimple DM ex NA Socially Responsible Factor Index and invests in companies in Europe, Australia and Asia that meet commonly-held social and environmental values. Management fee is 0.25%.

Michael Katchen, co-founder and CEO of Wealthsimple, said in a release, “Canadians are increasingly interested in investment options that reflect their values, and there haven’t always been a lot of great options for them. This prompted us to create our own socially responsible funds that use clear, transparent values screens and carry lower fees than much of the competition.”

* CI debuts Longevity Economy fund. CI Investments Inc. on June 16 launched CI Global Longevity Economy Fund (TSX: LONG), managed by Jeff Elliott of Signature Global Asset Management. The fund focuses on companies that benefit from changes in consumer behaviour, technology, and health care resulting from the trend towards longer, healthier lifespans. The fund is also available as a mutual fund: CI Global Longevity Economy Fund

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