December 5, 2018

On Wednesday, the U.S. markets were closed to respect the late President George H. W. Bush.

Toronto rose 0.8%

The Bank of Canada held interest rates constant but apparently sees risk in the economy and therefore it is now thought that interest rates may not rise as much as previously thought.

CN Rail was up 2.3%. It has announced it will, with an unnamed partner, make a bid for the Halterm container pier in Halifax. Recently it had also acquired a trucking company. Apparently, CN plans to expand in transportation outside of the rail business. CN has been very well managed dating all the way back to its IPO in 1995. I suspect it will continue to do well.

CRH Medical was up 8.3%. On Monday it announced it had made an acquisition in Tennessee. This was its fifth acquisition of 2018 and so it’s growth by acquisition streategy continues.

Linamar was down 1.6%.

Canadian Western Bank was down 1.35% and had been down 4% at one point during the day. This may have been partly in response to the Bank of Canada’s comments or may have been due to Laurentian Bank posting weaker-than-expected earnings. CWB will report its Q4 earnings tomorrow morning. My expectation is for a strong Q4 and a record year. The market will be looking (fearfully) for any indication of higher loan losses in Q4 or expected in 2019. The market will also likely focus on the bank’s outlook for 2019.

Trump has described himself as a Tariff Man. He is crafty and knows that “his base” are not big stock investors and tend to view tariffs as a good thing.

Rate reset preferred shares continue to fall. They are definitely worth considering at these prices especially for those who want to lock in a a given amount of cash yield from their portfolio. For example to fund withdrawals in a retirement account. In particular, I refer to the rate reset preferred shares of high quality companies.

The Canadian dollar is down to 74.71 U.S. cents or $1.34 to buy one U.S. dollar. Meanwhile I received a report on Monday that indicates that most of the big Canadian banks expect the Canadian dollar to strengthen to about $1.27 (79 cents). CIBC however expects $1.31 in Q2 or 76 cents. Obviously, currency rates are hard to predict.

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