“Truth Is Mighty – Mighty Scarce” -Bob Edwards, Publisher


Energy Sector Hurts The TSX

The S&P/TSX composite index fell 39.23 points on Friday to 14,731.49 as the TSX energy sector dropped 0.55% and oil prices declined for a fourth day with the April contract down $2.21 to $44.84 (U.S.). Oil prices dropped Friday after the International Energy Agency said U.S. oil production was up 115,000 barrels a day in February. The IEA warned that “behind the facade of stability, the rebalancing triggered by the price collapse has yet to run its course, and it might be overly optimistic to expect it to proceed smoothly.”  The drop in oil came as the Canadian dollar fell 0.53 of a U.S. cent to 78.19 cents after falling below the 78-cent level during the morning for the first time since March 2009.  The move followed a report by Statistics Canada that the economy shed 1,000 jobs during the month and the national unemployment rate rose 0.2 of a point to 6.8%. New York markets also tumbled as traders also looked to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s meeting on interest rates next week. The Dow Jones industrials dropped 145.91 points to 17,749.31, the Nasdaq was down 21.53 points to 4,871.76 and the S&P 500 index shed 12.55 points to 2,053.4.


Household Debt Hits New High

The ratio of household debt to disposable income hit a new high in the fourth quarter as incomes increased at a slower pace than consumer borrowing, according to Statistics Canada. The ratio reached 163.3% in the quarter. That means households owed about $1.63 in consumer credit, mortgage, and non-mortgage loans for every dollar of disposable income. BMO chief economist Doug Porter said the increased debt is not surprising given the Bank of Canada’s decision to cut its key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point in January. However, Porter noted that although debt has been rising, financial assets have too, as stock markets have rebounded and Canadians have been putting more away in their savings accounts. Household net worth rose 0.9% in the fourth quarter. On a per capita basis, household net worth was $233,000 in the fourth quarter.


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Market Update As Of March 13 2015

The TSX closed at 14732, down -221 points or -1.48% over the past week. YTD the TSX is down -0.15%.

The DOW closed at 17749, down -108 points or -0.60% over the past week. YTD the DOW is down -0.47%.

The S&P closed at 2053, down -18 points or -0.87% over the past week. YTD the S&P is down -0.24%.

The Nasdaq closed at 4872, down -55 points or -1.12% over the past week. YTD the Nasdaq is up 3.07%.

Gold closed at 1156, down -10.00 points or -0.86% over the past week. YTD gold is down -1.37%.

Oil closed at 45.14, down -4.53 points or -9.12% over the past week. YTD oil is down -14.33%.

The USD/CAD closed at 1.278289, up 0.0171 points or 1.36% over the past week. YTD the USD/CAD is up 8.93%.


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