December 31, 2020 Newsletter
Tangents: Happy New Year’s Eve. At long last, the end of 2020.
December 31, 1857: Britain’s Queen Victoria decided to make Ottawa the capital of Canada. Go to article »
The month of January is named for the Roman god Janus. Janus presides over doors, beginnings, and endings, and he is depicted as having two faces: one looking toward the new year , and one looking back at the old.
The fascinating history behind the Times Square ball drop
Did you know? The design for the ball was based on a “time ball,” a nautical device that helped sailors synchronize their on-board instruments.
The ball will still drop tonight, but for the first time in decades, Times Square will be closed to the public on New Year’s Eve.
Watch Boston Dynamics robots dance to ‘Do You Love Me’
No no no, we can’t think of the robots as cute and charming! That’s part of their master plan!
Here is how other cities will say goodbye to 2020.
Here are 74 fun facts that appeared in The Times this year.
PHOTOS OF THE DAY
Asthore fishing boat is seen in Mount’s Bay, near Newlyn Harbour, which could see significant impact to the fishing industry as a result of the Brexit deal
CREDIT: REUTERS/TOM NICHOLSON
A woman walks past decorations installed for the New Year and Christmas holiday season in Zaryadye Park in Moscow, Russia
CREDIT: REUTERS/EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA
A stag pictured in Glencoe with the famous mountain Buachaille Etive Mor as a backdrop
CREDIT: COLIN FISHER/ALAMY LIVE NEWS
Swaledale, Yorkshire Dales National Park viewed by a bright full moon on a cold frosty night from the Buttertubs Pass, North Yorkshire
CREDIT: WAYNE HUTCHINSON/ALAMY LIVE NEWS
Market Closes for December 31st, 2020
|Bonds||% Yield||Previous % Yield|
10 Year Bond
10 Year Bond
30 Year Bond
|WTI Crude Future||48.52||48.40|
On this day in 1999, the New York Stock Exchange closed three hours early to allow technical experts to prepare for the possibility of “Y2K” computer malfunctions, which were almost universally predicted. Nothing happened.
By Michael Bellusci
(Bloomberg) — Canadian equities closed out 2020 with a slight gain, though lagged their peers south of the border.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index advanced 2.2% this year, while the S&P 500 Index rose 16%. Oil & gas stocks were among laggards as lockdowns continued, denting demand.
Here’s a look at some companies that benefited — and those that have suffered this year.
* Trillium Therapeutics Inc. (+1,308%): Cancer drug developer surged after data, and has been a hedge fund favorite
* Ballard Power Systems Inc. (+221%): Clean energy and electric-vehicle exposure has propelled Ballard
* Shopify Inc. (+178%) and Lightspeed POS Inc. (+149%): Tech platforms surged during Covid-19 lockdowns, and the two have emerged as Canadian tech darlings
* New Gold Inc. (+143%) and Teranga Gold Corp. (+95%): Gold acted as a haven during the pandemic, while fiscal uncertainty remains
* Cargojet Inc. (+108%): Cargo shipping has hit peak levels as many retail storefronts remain closed during lockdowns
* Canfor Corp. (+89%): Lockdowns boosted lumber futures on home renovations
* Suncor Energy Inc. (-50%), Inter Pipeline Ltd. (-47%), Cenovus Energy Inc. (-41%): Energy stocks lagged as oil briefly turned negative in the early stages of lockdowns along with a Saudi-Russia price war
* Air Canada (-53%): Travel bans crushed global flying
* Cominar Real Estate Investment Trust (-43%): Quebec REIT looking at strategic alternatives given office and retail exposure
By Bloomberg Automation:
(Bloomberg) — The S&P/TSX Composite fell 0.6 percent at 17,433.36 in Toronto. The move was the biggest since falling 0.7 percent on Dec. 18 and follows the previous session’s little change.
Shopify Inc. contributed the most to the index decline, decreasing 3.1 percent. Aurora Cannabis Inc. had the largest drop, falling 4.8 percent.
Today, 164 of 222 shares fell, while 55 rose; 10 of 11 sectors were lower, led by materials stocks.
* So far this week, the index fell 1.1 percent, heading for the biggest decline since the week ended Oct. 30
* This quarter, the index rose 8.1 percent
* This month, the index rose 1.4 percent
* This year, the index rose 2.2 percent, poised for the best year since 2019
* The index advanced 2.2 percent in the past 52 weeks. The MSCI AC Americas Index gained 18 percent in the same period
* The S&P/TSX Composite is 3 percent below its 52-week high on Feb. 20, 2020 and 56 percent above its low on March 23, 2020
* The S&P/TSX Composite is down 0.7 percent in the past 5 days and rose 1.4 percent in the past 30 days
* S&P/TSX Composite is trading at a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.2 on a trailing basis and 23.5 times estimated earnings of its members for the coming year
* The index’s dividend yield is 3 percent on a trailing 12-month basis
* S&P/TSX Composite’s members have a total market capitalization of C$2.71t
* 30-day price volatility rose to 8.35 percent compared with 8.14 percent in the previous session and the average of 11.31 percent over the past month
| Index Points | |
Sector Name | Move | % Change | Adv/Dec
Materials | -40.6551| -1.7| 2/50
Information Technology | -34.7168| -1.9| 5/5
Energy | -10.8356| -0.6| 3/20
Consumer Discretionary | -8.4242| -1.2| 1/12
Industrials | -6.4573| -0.3| 10/19
Consumer Staples | -6.1071| -0.9| 0/11
Communication Services | -3.4275| -0.4| 0/7
Utilities | -2.9387| -0.3| 3/12
Health Care | -0.4168| -0.2| 3/6
Real Estate | -0.3149| -0.1| 13/11
Financials | 1.8369| 0.0| 15/11
By Vildana Hajric and Sarah Ponczek
(Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks climbed to a record high on the year’s final trading day amid thin trading. The dollar eked out an advance.
The S&P 500 Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average turned positive in the afternoon and ended at all-time highs. Volume was about 15% below average on the S&P. Financial companies were among the best performers, while energy producers slumped. European stocks dipped. Markets in Japan, Germany and South Korea were shut for New Year’s Eve.
In Asia, China’s benchmark CSI 300 Index closed at a five-year high as officials gave the green light to its first coronavirus vaccine for general public use and data showed a steady economic recovery. The offshore yuan strengthened to the highest since June 2018.
The S&P 500 ended the year up more than 16%, leaving equities at rich valuations amid expectations that widespread vaccine distribution in 2021, central bank support and government aid will reignite economic growth and boost corporate profits. The gains were global, with the MSCI World Index of stocks at a record high after having risen 14% in 2020. “Investors are breathing a sigh of relief that some stimulus is getting out there,” said Chris Gaffney, president of world markets at TIAA Bank. This “has been an unprecedented year, and I think that some of the risks that we entered into 2020 with, we’re leaving without those risks.”
While volume on the S&P 500 was subdued Thursday relative to the norm for this year, it would’ve looked like an active day in 2019. Last year, an average 7 billion shares changed hands a day across U.S. exchanges. This year, a typical day has seen 10.8 billion shares trade.
Against a subdued backdrop in stocks this week, the frenzy in cryptocurrencies shows no signs of slowing down. Bitcoin vaulted above $29,000 on Thursday before pulling back. The digital asset has advanced about 50% in December for the biggest monthly jump since May 2019.
On the coronavirus front, global deaths from Covid-19 passed 1.8 million. New York state and Florida both shattered their previous daily records for cases. California became the third state to pass 25,000 fatalities, after New York and Texas. Governments across the globe urged people to celebrate the New Year at home. “You’ve seen kind of a few blissfully un-volatile days after what I think we can all agree was quite a year,” said Giorgio Caputo, senior fund manager at J O Hambro Capital Management. “It’s given market participants a holiday gift.”
These are the main moves in markets:
* The S&P 500 Index rose 0.6% as of 4 p.m. in New York.
* The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.3%.
* The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed.
* The MSCI Emerging Market Index rose 0.1%.
* The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.1%.
* The euro decreased 0.7% to $1.2213.
* The British pound rose 0.3% to $1.3663.
* The Japanese yen fell 0.1% to 103.27 per dollar.
* The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell one basis point to 0.91%.
* Germany’s 10-year yield was little changed at -0.575%.
* Britain’s 10-year yield decreased two basis points to 0.19%.
* West Texas Intermediate crude was little changed at $48.42 a barrel.
* Gold rose 0.2% to $1,898.50 an ounce.
–With assistance from Andreea Papuc, Anchalee Worrachate and Claire Ballentine.
Have a wonderful long weekend everyone.
The beginning is always today.
-Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, 1797-1851
Carolann Steinhoff, B.Sc., CFP®, CIM, CIWM
Senior Investment Advisor
Queensbury Securities Inc.,
St. Andrew’s Square,
Suite 340A, 730 View St.,
Victoria, B.C. V8W 3Y7
Toll Free: 1.877.430.5895