“The Difference Between Stupidity and Genius is That Genius Has Its Limits” -Albert Einstein


TSX Up, Dow Sets New Record

The Toronto stock market closed higher Friday, with commodity prices and resource companies advancing amid signs that central banks are prepared to step up efforts to keep the fragile global economic recovery going.  The S&P/TSX composite index climbed 35.95 points, or 0.24%, to 15,111. The TSX ended the week up 268 points or almost 2%, leaving the market up 11% year to date. U.S. stocks also closed higher on Friday, with major indexes rising for a fifth straight week after China’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate and its euro zone peer announced asset purchases in efforts to boost each region’s economy. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 88.81 points, or 0.5%, to 17,807.81, the S&P 500 gained 10.59 points, or 0.52%, to 2,063.34 and the Nasdaq Composite added 11.10 points, or 0.24%, to 4,712.97. Both the Dow and the S&P ended at new closing records. For the week, the Dow rose 1%, the S&P added 1.2%  and the Nasdaq rose 0.5%.

China’s central bank cut its interest rates and promised to inject extra credit into the financial system if needed. And the head of the European Central Bank said the ECB is willing to “step up the pressure” and broaden its efforts to stimulate the struggling euro zone economy. The Canadian dollar also made a solid advance, up 0.53 of a cent to 88.98 cents (U.S.), as higher than expected inflation in October raised speculation about when the Bank of Canada might hike interest rates.


Top 1% See Share of Total Income Drop

The so-called 1% in Canada are capturing a smaller share of total income, according to new data on taxpayers from Statistics Canada. The national statistics agency says the top 1% of taxfilers saw their share of total income fall to a six-year low in 2012. The top 1% accounted for 10.3% of total income during the year, down slightly from 10.6% in 2011, and well below the historical peak of 12.1% reached in 2006. The cutoff for being considered among the 1% rose to $215,700 in 2012, up from $212,700 in 2011.  Statistics Canada notes that this decline in income share for the 1% in Canada is in contrast to the United States, where the share for the top 1% increased from 18.0% in 2006 to 19.3% in 2012.  The income share for the top 5% of taxfilers in Canada also declined, from 25.1% in 2006 to 23.6% in 2012; and, the share of the top 10% fell from 36.1% to 34.9% during the same period. The threshold to be included in the top 5% was $112,100 and for the top 10% it was $86,700.

Statistics Canada says that the stretch between 2006 and 2012 marks the first prolonged period, since 1982, when the total income shares of the bottom 90%, 95% and 99% of Canadian taxfilers rose or stabilized.  Along  with the apparent decline in income inequality, StatsCan also reports that the proportion of women in the top 1% reached a 31-year high in 2012. Of the 261,365 tax filers that comprise the top 1%, 21.3% were women, which is almost double the proportion in 1982.  Women’s share also doubled among the top 5% and the top 10% of taxfilers between 1982 and 2012, the agency reports. In 2012, women accounted for 25.2% of the top 5%, up from 12.0% in 1982. And, women’s share in the top 10% rose from 14.3% to 29.8% over that same period.


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Market Update as of November 21 2014

The TSX closed at 15108, up 265 points or 1.79% over the past week. YTD the TSX is up 10.91%.

The DOW closed at 17810, up 175 points or 0.99% over the past week. YTD the DOW is up 7.44%.

The S&P closed at 2064, up 24 points or 1.18% over the past week. YTD the S&P is up 11.69%.

The Nasdaq closed at 4713, up 24 points or 0.51% over the past week. YTD the Nasdaq is up 12.83%.

Gold closed at 1200, up 31.00 points or 2.65% over the past week. YTD gold is down -0.33%.

Oil closed at 76.53, up 0.71 points or 0.94% over the past week. YTD oil is down -22.39%.

The USD/CAD closed at 1.123842, down -0.0059 points or -0.53% over the past week. YTD the USD/CAD is up 5.70%


Sources: Bloomberg; advisor.ca; Statistics Canada; Investment Executive