“I Love The Rain! It’s My Favourite Weather ! ” -Kristen Wiig

 

Energy and Consumer Staples Send TSX Modestly Higher

The Toronto stock market closed slightly higher Friday as consumer stocks advanced in the wake of a strong retail report and energy stocks climbed amid questions about whether the death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah could mean a change in the amount of oil his country is producing.
The S&P/TSX composite index gained 15.37 points to 14,779.35, with the consumer staples section ahead 0.9 per cent as Statistics Canada reported retail sales rose 0.4 per cent to $43 billion in November. Economists had generally expected a decline. Statistics Canada also reported that the effects of the global oil slump weighed on Canadian inflation last month as falling pump prices helped slow the annual rate to 1.5 per cent, a deceleration from two per cent in November. On Friday, Statistics Canada’s latest consumer price index found gasoline prices in December fell 16.6 per cent compared with the previous year, which followed the year-over-year November decline of 5.9 per cent.

 

Canada Revenue Agency Gets ‘C’ Grade From Small Business

The CRA is getting better, but most small business owners wouldn’t know it, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’ (CFIB) CRA Report Card. The majority of small business owners and tax practitioners surveyed support recent changes at the agency, but still give the taxman a “C” grade. “Paying taxes is not something that anyone looks forward to, but dealing with the CRA can be especially painful for small business owners,” said Corinne Pohlmann, senior vice president, National Affairs, at CFIB. Most small business owners are unaware of the agency’s recent service improvements: liaison officer initiative (8% aware); commitment to honour advice given online through my business account (16% aware); call agents required to provide their i.d. numbers (38% aware).
Overall, 55% of small business owners still feel that CRA treats them like they’ve done something wrong, and 54% think the agency needs to improve the clarity and quality of information it provides. When told about the above service improvements from CRA, an overwhelming majority of small business owners and tax practitioners were supportive (over 80%), suggesting that improved awareness would make a difference in the way small business owners perceive the agency.

 

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Market Update As Of January 23 2015

 The TSX closed at 14791, up 482 points or 3.37% over the past week. YTD the TSX is up 0.25%.

The DOW closed at 17673, up 161 points or 0.92% over the past week. YTD the DOW is down -0.90%.

The S&P closed at 2052, up 33 points or 1.63% over the past week. YTD the S&P is down -0.29%.

The Nasdaq closed at 4758, up 124 points or 2.68% over the past week. YTD the Nasdaq is up 0.66%.

Gold closed at 1293, up 15.00 points or 1.17% over the past week. YTD gold is up 10.32%.

Oil closed at 45.44, down -3.69 points or -7.51% over the past week. YTD oil is down -13.76%.

The USD/CAD closed at 1.243073, up 0.0447 points or 3.73% over the past week. YTD the USD/CAD is up 5.92%.

 

Sources: Bloomberg; Investment Executive; advisor.ca; CFIB