July 30, 2020 Newsletter

Dear Friends,


When Gary & I were travelling in Morocco a few years ago, we went to a village outside Marrakesh and went for  lunch at the home of a village family.  The tagine was dug out of the dirt floor in the kitchen and we and the extended family all sat around on intricate rugs placed on the floor and enjoyed the most wonderful tagine of lamb covered with a sauce of honey and raisins and served with couscous.  I didn’t think the dish had a name, simply lamb & couscous cooked in a tagine to me but when I read this in the NY Times  this morning, I was delighted to learn that it is called mrouzia and reading about it inspired me to drift back to that special moment in time – food  once again being the source of another indelible memory:

The Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, also known as Eid el-Kabir, begins tonight in the United States.
To celebrate — or just to enjoy a great meal — try Nargisse Benkabbou’s recipe for mrouzia, a Moroccan tagine of lamb shanks in a rich sauce infused with honey and raisins. The centuries-old dish, often served to commemorate special occasions, is delicious with couscous or bread.  Find more recipes for the holiday here. -The NY Times, July 30, 2020.

The author Helen Macdonald wrote a beautiful essay about swifts, graceful birds that may be “the closest things to aliens on Earth.” –The NY Times.

No More Shuffleboard. New VC Firm Targets Aging Boomers:  Alan Patricof, the 85-year old chairman emeritus of Greycroft, has co-founded Primetime Partners, a fund aimed at products and services for older people, and sees himself as a “poster boy” for September entrepreneurs.WSJ.

These birds never touch the ground.

On July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis, which had just delivered key components of the Hiroshima atomic bomb to the Pacific island of Tinian, was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. Only 316 out of 1,196 men survived the sinking and shark-infested waters. Go to article »

1935- Paperback books introduced.

A sea of sunflowers in the village of Bloxworth, Dorset. The UK is expecting some of the hottest days of the year in the next couple of days.

The Mayflower II sails through the waters of Fishers Island Sound off Groton, Connecticut on the seventh day of two weeks of sea trials. The vessel, a replica of the original Mayflower that carried the Pilgrims to America in 1620.

A woman refreshes herself in the outdoor pool in summer temperatures in Ehingen, Germany
Market Closes for July 30th , 2020 

Close Change
26313.65 -225.92
S&P 500 3246.22 -12.22
NASDAQ 10587.813 +44.870


TSX 16299.29 +4.63











International Markets

Close Change
NIKKEI 22339.23 -57.88
24710.59 -172.55
SENSEX 37736.07 -335.06
FTSE 100* 5989.99 -141.47



Bonds % Yield Previous % Yield
10 Year Bond
0.447 0.479
30 Year
0.920 0.957
10 Year Bond
0.5462 0.5708
30 Year Bond
1.2080 1.2324


BOC Close Today Previous  
Canadian $ 0.74524 0.74980
1.34185 1.33369
Euro Rate
1 Euro=
Canadian $ 1.58979 0.62901
1.18478 0.84404


Gold Close Previous
London Gold
1950.90 1940.90
WTI Crude Future 39.92 41.27

Market Commentary:
On this day in 1914, just weeks after the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo, stock exchanges in Berlin, Rome and Vienna shut down as Austria declared war on Serbia. Investors panicked in New York: General Motors plunged 34% and Bethlehem Steel dropped 14% (even though it made the metal that would go into munitions if world war broke out). The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 6.9% on immense volume.
By Aoyon Ashraf
(Bloomberg) — Canadian equity markets pared earlier losses, led by outperformance in tech stocks.
The S&P/TSX Composite index ended Thursday’s session flat, after falling as much as 1.7% earlier, in Toronto.
On the M&A front, George Weston, the Canadian grocery and baking giant, is exploring an acquisition of ailing Swiss baking company Aryzta, people familiar with the matter said.
Royal Bank of Canada is telling its office workers in and around Toronto to keep working from home into next year as part of the company’s efforts to stem the spread of Covid-19, following similar instructions from Bank of Nova Scotia and Toronto-Dominion Bank.
Meanwhile, Cineplex shares rose after it said it will open 25 theaters across Ontario on Friday, with the majority of its locations expected to reopen over the next several weeks.

* Western Canada Select crude oil traded at a $10 discount to West Texas Intermediate
* Spot gold fell 0.8% to ~$1,954.74 an ounce

* The Canadian dollar fell 0.8% to C$1.3450 per U.S. dollar
* The 10-year government bond yield fell 3 basis points to 0.449%

By Bloomberg Automation
(Bloomberg) — The S&P/TSX Composite advanced slightly to 16,298.98 in Toronto.
Shopify Inc. contributed the most to the index gain, increasing 0.8 percent. Brookfield Renewable Partners LP had the largest increase, rising 17.6 percent.
Today, 114 of 222 shares rose, while 105 fell; 8 of 11 sectors were higher, led by information technology stocks.

* So far this week, the index rose 1.9 percent
* This month, the index rose 5.1 percent
* The index declined 1 percent in the past 52 weeks. The MSCI AC Americas Index gained 7.4 percent in the same period
* The S&P/TSX Composite is 9.3 percent below its 52-week high on Feb. 20, 2020 and 45.9 percent above its low on March 23, 2020
* The S&P/TSX Composite is up 1.8 percent in the past 5 days and rose 5.1 percent in the past 30 days
* S&P/TSX Composite is trading at a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.6 on a trailing basis and 24.9 times estimated earnings of its members for the coming year
* The index’s dividend yield is 3.2 percent on a trailing 12-month basis
* S&P/TSX Composite’s members have a total market capitalization of C$2.48t
* 30-day price volatility little changed to 13.05 percent compared with 13.05 percent in the previous session and the average of 17.81 percent over the past month
| Index Points | |
Sector Name | Move | % Change | Adv/Dec
Information Technology | 22.7486| 1.3| 9/1
Financials | 12.3287| 0.3| 15/10
Communication Services | 8.0087| 0.9| 7/0
Consumer Staples | 7.4952| 1.1| 9/2
Consumer Discretionary | 3.8470| 0.7| 7/6
Real Estate | 3.4697| 0.7| 24/3
Utilities | 2.9256| 0.4| 15/2
Health Care | 0.7197| 0.4| 6/3
Industrials | -1.3384| -0.1| 13/15
Energy | -20.4877| -1.0| 2/22
Materials | -35.0835| -1.4| 7/41

By Rita Nazareth, Katherine Greifeld and Claire Ballentine
(Bloomberg) — A rally in big technology companies lifted stocks from Thursday’s lows, tempering concern over a slow economic rebound. After the close of regular trading, Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc. and Facebook Inc. jumped as results crushed Wall Street estimates.
The S&P 500 pared losses and the Nasdaq 100 climbed as Qualcomm Inc. soared on a strong sales forecast. A third day of falling bond yields sent financial shares slumping. Earlier Thursday, equities sank as data showed the U.S. economy had its sharpest contraction on record, while the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose. President Donald Trump raised the notion of delaying the Nov. 3 election until after the coronavirus pandemic eases.
Some corporate highlights:
* United Parcel Service Inc. jumped to a record on results that blew past estimates.
* Procter & Gamble Co. had a surge in sales amid high demand for detergent and continued stockpiling.
* Mastercard Inc. reported a rebound in consumer purchases on its cards in July.
* PayPal Holdings Inc. saw spending on its platform surge as more merchants switched to online sales.
* Johnson & Johnson’s experimental coronavirus vaccine protected a group of monkeys with a single shot, prompting it to start trials in humans this month.

Thanks to solid balance sheets and a suite of products that benefit from social distancing, giant tech companies have fared better during the pandemic-induced recession.   The Nasdaq 100 is still poised to beat the S&P 500 for a 10th consecutive month — the longest winning stretch in 20 years. But with much of the good news already priced into markets, traders are looking for catalysts that could sustain further momentum in equities.
“We’re in that uncertain time between the hopeful third quarter rebound and some concern about the reopening process and what the recovery looks like,” said Tom Garretson, senior portfolio strategist for RBC Wealth Management. “We’re kind of in that void right now, waiting for things to play out.”
In a very busy day for earnings, investors also digested economic figures that highlighted the massive devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic. While some numbers have improved after the reopenings, the recent spike in infections shows that the recovery will most likely take time. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday that there are signs the increase in cases is starting to weigh on activity, while noting that the path forward for the economy is “extraordinarily uncertain.”
“It’s shocking no matter how you look at it,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Schwab Center for Financial Research. “Are things going to get better from here? I don’t think we know just yet. The virus is getting worse in a lot of areas, and some places have started to shut back down again. If you look at earnings in terms of beat rates, the results have actually been pretty good, granted the expectations bar has been set very low.”
There’s a distinction to be made between the S&P 500’s five biggest companies and all the rest, according to BCA Research.
The firm compared the total market value of the five — Amazon.com, Apple, Facebook, Google owner Alphabet and Microsoft Corp. — with the value of the other 495 companies in a chart last week. The top five’s value increased 266% from the start of 2015 through Tuesday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
In the same period, the value of the rest rose just 25% — and the entire gain occurred after the S&P 500 set this year’s low in March.
Here are some key events coming up:
* Results from Chevron Corp. and Caterpillar Inc. are due Friday.
* China PMI data comes Friday.

These are some of the main moves in markets:
* The S&P 500 decreased 0.4% as of 4 p.m. New York time.
* The Stoxx Europe 600 Index decreased 2.2%.
* The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.1%.

* The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index decreased 0.2%.
* The euro increased 0.4% to $1.1841.
* The Japanese yen appreciated 0.1% to 104.80 per dollar.

* The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined four basis points to 0.54%.
* Germany’s 10-year yield sank four basis points to -0.54%.
* Britain’s 10-year yield fell three basis points to 0.088%.

* The Bloomberg Commodity Index dipped 1.1%.
* West Texas Intermediate crude declined 2.8% to $40.13 a barrel.
* Gold weakened 0.8% to $1,954.24 an ounce.

–With assistance from Adam Haigh, Jan-Patrick Barnert, Constantine Courcoulas, Cecile Gutscher, Lynn Thomasson, David
Wilson and Lu Wang.

Have a great night.

Be magnificent!
As ever,


Loneliness is the way by which destiny endeavors to lead man to himself.
                                                            -Hermann Hesse, 1877-1962     

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

Tel: 778.430.5808
(C): 250.881.0801
Toll Free: 1.877.430.5895
Fax: 778.430.5828