“If You Want To Make Crime Pay Go To Law School” – “Whitey” Bulger

 

TSX Posts Modest Advance

The Toronto stock market closed with a modest gain Friday but remained in the red for the week as a whole after an early triple-digit advance evaporated. Canada’s main market was well off gains earlier in the day as oil prices turned negative. The Toronto Stock Exchange S&P/TSX composite index finished the day’s trading up 44.19 points at 12,797.79, giving it a slight loss for the week of 15.61 points. The commodity-sensitive loonie rose slightly as well, up 0.15 of a U.S. cent to an even 74 cents US. Michael Greenberg, a portfolio manager at Franklin Templeton Solutions, said higher oil prices early in the day helped drive up the S&P/TSX as energy stocks rose significantly. It’s unclear what caused the oil to fall later in the day, but energy markets have been very volatile recently, something Greenberg expects will level out as expected investment and production cuts by oil companies bring supply and demand more into balance.
U.S. indexes were mixed, with the Dow Jones industrial average losing 57.32 points to 16,639.97 and the S&P 500 falling 3.65 points to 1,948.05. The Nasdaq gained 8.27 points to 4,590.47. Still, all three indexes closed up about 1.5% for the week, their second straight weekly gain. The relatively flat showing in New York came despite encouraging economic news from the Commerce Department, which said U.S. gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 1% cent in the fourth quarter. That was an improvement over earlier estimates of 0.7% and better than the 0.4% growth economists had expected. However, it remained only half of the third quarter’s two-per-cent growth rate. In a separate report, Commerce said consumer spending increased 0.5% in January, the best showing since May and far higher than December’s 0.1% gain.

 

Ever Wonder How Much All Those Government Tax Breaks Really Cost ?

Finance Canada has released its annual report showing what hundreds of tax measures cost the government. Turns out, the TFSA is worth about the same as giving us a break on apples and bananas for one year. The TFSA is estimated to cost $3.7 billion per year in forgone revenue from 2010 to 2017, while not charging sales tax on basic groceries cost an average of $3.9 billion per year over the same period (a total of $31.6 billion).
Meanwhile, the RRSP, net of taxes on withdrawals, cost about $107.7 billion over seven years. But that’s not the largest tax measure from 2010 to 2017: it’s the basic personal amount ($11,327) given to all Canadian taxpayers, which cost $256.3 billion. Collectively, education-related tax breaks cost $28.9 billion, with the RESP accounting for $1.2 billion. Charity-related breaks cost $36.7 billion, with the First-Time Donor’s Super Credit taking $25 million out of government coffers. Ottawa spent $6.3 billion over the period on the Disability Tax Credit, but only $250 million on the RDSP – illustrating the complaint that the account is underutilized. Women will be pleased to know it only costs $35 million per year to remove the tax from feminine hygiene products (also known as the tampon tax). For comparison, allowing clergy members to deduct their residence expenses costs about $85 million per year.

 

RRSP DEADLINE is Monday February 29 

 

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Weekly Market Wrap Up as of February 26 2016

North America
The TSX closed at 12798, down -15 points or -0.12% over the past week. YTD the TSX is down -1.46%.
The DOW closed at 16640, up 248 points or 1.51% over the past week. YTD the DOW is down -4.51%.
The S&P closed at 1948, up 30 points or 1.56% over the past week. YTD the S&P is down -4.70%.
The Nasdaq closed at 4591, up 87 points or 1.93% over the past week. YTD the Nasdaq is down -8.31%.
Gold closed at 1224, down -11.00 points or -0.33% over the past week. YTD gold is up 15.58%.
Oil closed at 32.98, up 3.94 points or 13.57% over the past week. YTD oil is down -10.99%.
The USD/CAD closed at 1.35187, down -0.0249 points or -1.81% over the past week. YTD the USD/CAD is down -2.30%.

 

Europe/Asia
The MSCI closed at 1554, up 10 points or 0.65% over the past week. YTD the MSCI is down -6.55%.
The Euro Stoxx 50 closed at 2929, up 58 points or 2.02% over the past week. YTD the Euro Stoxx 50 is down -10.37%.
The FTSE closed at 6096, up 146 points or 2.45% over the past week. YTD the FTSE is down -2.34%.
The CAC closed at 4315, up 92 points or 2.18% over the past week. YTD the CAC is down -6.94%.
DAX closed at 9513, up 125.00 points or 1.33% over the past week. YTD DAX is down -11.45%.
Nikkei closed at 16188, up 221.00 points or 1.38% over the past week. YTD Nikkei is down -14.95%.
The Shanghai closed at 2767, down -93.0000 points or -3.25% over the past week. YTD the Shanghai is down -21.81%.

 

Sources: Bloomberg; Investment Executive;   advisor.ca,; yahoo finance