“Between Two Evils I Always Pick The One I Never Tried Before” – Mae West

TSX Flat While U.S. Markets Continue Rally

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index gained a meagre fraction of a point Friday, while major U.S. indexes hit record highs. The S&P/TSX composite index gained 0.24 of a point to 15,075.44. In New York, indices continued their rally and recorded all-time highs on a shortened trading day, closing at 1 p.m. ET, the day after the American Thanksgiving. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 68.96 points to 19,152.14, the S&P 500 was up 8.63 points to 2,213.35, and the Nasdaq composite rose 18.24 points to 5,398.92.

In commodities, the January crude contract fell $1.90 to US$46.06 per barrel and the December gold contract shed $10.90 to US$1,178.40 an ounce. January natural gas rose 5.5 cents to US$3.20 per mmBTU and December copper contracts were up 6.1 cents at US$2.67 a pound.  The Canadian dollar was at 73.93 cents US, down 0.19 of a U.S. cent.

 

 

Many Canadians On Shaky Financial Ground

An emergency fund is meant to be there in times of need, but a new survey suggests nearly half of Canadian homeowners would be ill prepared for a personal financial dilemma such as job loss. The poll released by Manulife Bank finds that 24% of those surveyed don’t know how much is in their emergency fund, 14% have not put away any funds and 9% have access to $1,000 or less. The remainder of those surveyed have up to $10,000 saved, with the average amount being $5,000. Manulife says among those polled, homeowners had an average of $174,000 in mortgage debt, with an average of 28% of their net income going toward paying off their home each month.

About half or 46% of those polled say they would have difficulty making their monthly mortgage payments in less than six months if their household’s primary income earner lost his or her job. Sixteen per cent say they would have financial difficulty if interest rates cause their mortgage payments to increase. The poll by Environics Research was conducted online with 2,372 Canadian homeowners from June 28 and July 8 of this year. Survey participants were between the ages of 20 to 69 with household income of $50,000 or more.

 

Sources: Bloomberg; Investment Executive;  advisor.ca