March 14, 2019 Newsletter
Tangents: Happy Pi Day!
Birthday: March 14, 1879, Albert Einstein, Physicist.
Albert Einstein, an only child and a slow learner, was born in Ulm Germany, to a featherbed salesman and his wife. He had little interest in formal schooling but eventually earned a doctorate in physics. Not interested in the demands of academia, he went to work as a clerk in the Bern, Switzerland, patent office where he could work on physics in the afternoons. During 1905, what is now called his “miracle year,” he wrote a series of five seminal papers. One dealt with special relativity, and one introduced the world’s most familiar equation: E= .
When Einstein moved to Berlin in 1914 to direct the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics, a campaign was begun to discredit him, but he survived it. Later, during Hitler’s reign, Einstein’s work was described as “Jewish physics” opposed to the preferred “Aryan physics”. Seeing the damage that Hitler was doing, Einstein renounced his German citizenship and revised his views on pacificism, believing Hitler could only be stopped by force. The FBI kept a record of Einstein’s activities and recommended denying him immigration to the U.S., but Einstein moved to New Jersey, and Princeton University, and became a permanent U.S. citizen in 1940. In 1952, the government of Israel asked hi to be its second president, an honor he declined.
As a personality, Einstein was noted for his kindness and amiability. Quirky and practical, he minimized his wardrobe – buying identical sets of clothing – so that he wouldn’t have to think about what to wear. Though he had been an early advocate of nuclear energy, on April 5, 1955, he signed a letter to protest nuclear tests and bombs. Days later, on April 18, 1955, he died in his sleep. –KM, Cosmo Doogood’s Urban Almanac.
“It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described
a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure.” –Albert Einstein.
PHOTOS OF THE DAY
An aerial view of the Cerro Dominador thermosolar power plant, the first in Latin America, in Antofagasta, Chile. Chile aims to having 100% of clean energy by 2040. Credit” Ho/Cerro Dominador/AFP
Skiers compete during the first stage of the 34th edition of the ski-mountaineering race Pierra-Menta in Areches-Beaufort, French Alps. Credit: Jeff Pachoud/AFP
Huge waves slap against the harbour wall as spectators watch from rocks out into the sea at Porthcawl, Wales, where heavy rain and strong winds have been causing travel disruption in several parts of the UK as Storm Gareth moves east. Credit” Ben Birchall/PA
Market Closes for March 14th, 2019
|Bonds||% Yield||Previous % Yield|
10 Year Bond
10 Year Bond
30 Year Bond
|WTI Crude Future||58.61||58.26|
Knowing what you don’t know is more useful than being brilliant. -The Tao of Charlie Munger, Scribner, 2017.
By Kristine Owram
(Bloomberg) — Canadian stocks fell the most in two weeks as declining gold prices weighed on the materials sector and weak earnings hit consumer staples.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index lost 0.4 percent to 16,087.55, its first decline of the week. Materials led the drop, losing 1.8 percent as gold prices retreated on a stronger U.S. dollar. Iamgold Corp. slid 5.1 percent and Alamos Gold Inc. lost 5 percent.
Energy stocks were one of the few bright spots for the benchmark, gaining 0.3 percent as crude prices hit a four-month high. Birchcliff Energy Ltd. rose 4.7 percent.
In other moves:
* North West Co. led the declines on the benchmark, falling 5.5 percent, the most since 2016. The retailer’s adjusted earnings per share missed the lowest analyst estimate
* Premium Brands Holdings Corp. lost 4.5 percent, the most since November, after fourth-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization missed the average analyst estimate
* Aurora Cannabis Inc. fell 1.8 percent. The retreat followed Wednesday’s 13 percent gain after the pot firm appointed billionaire investor Nelson Peltz as a strategic adviser
* Western Canada Select crude oil traded at a $10.15 discount to WTI
* Gold fell 1.1 percent to $1,295.10 an ounce
* The Canadian dollar weakened 0.2 percent to C$1.3327 per U.S. dollar
* The Canada 10-year government bond yield fell one basis point to 1.76 percent
By Jeremy Herron and Vildana Hajric
(Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks halted a three-day rally, while the dollar surged amid concern a trade deal with China remains elusive. The pound fell as the Brexit saga rumbled on.
The S&P 500 spent most of the session fluctuating between gains and losses in thin trading, before a slight fade at the close. News that a meeting to end the trade war with China won’t happen this month weighed on sentiment. The index had jumped 2.5 percent in the prior three days, pushing past the 2,800 level that had capped prior advances. Consumer and material shares were the worst performers Thursday. Bank and technology shares led gains.
“Most analysts believe a China trade deal is fully priced into the markets, which can mean only one thing — if there’s a wild card lurking, it would be the emergence of a negative surprise,” Greg Valliere, the chief U.S. policy strategist at AGF Investments, wrote in a note. “While we expect a signing ceremony by later in the spring, the idea that a final pact can be completed by the end of this month is optimistic, to say the least.”
The yuan weakened. Treasuries were steady and the dollar gained, holding those moves as data showed U.S. jobless claims rose to a four-week high. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed, with shares in the U.K. also rising after a night of voting that saw the British government once again defeated in Parliament over Brexit. Equities rose in Hong Kong, while they slid in China after industrial production numbers missed expectations.
Investors have a lot to grapple with just now. U.S. stocks had gained for three straight days this week as economic data came in neither too hot nor too cold, while traders in Europe on Thursday seemed to be shrugging off more warning signs from the region — perhaps because of hopes Brexit can be delayed or derailed. Figures suggesting China’s slowdown deepened in the first two months of the year added to reasons for caution following this quarter’s rebound in Asian shares.
The pullback in sterling follows a big rally on Wednesday. U.K. lawmakers have rejected the idea of tearing the country out of the EU with no agreement, and Prime Minister Theresa May is said to be planning to seek an extension to the March 29 Brexit deadline lasting about two months.
Elsewhere, gold fell and copper was dragged down by the Chinese data. Emerging-market shares edged lower.
Here are some of the key events coming up:
* China’s National People’s Congress is set to wrap up on Friday.
* Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will speak on Friday, after he and his board conclude their discussions on monetary policy.
And these are the main moves in markets:
* The S&P 500 was fell 0.1 percent to 2,809 as of 4 p.m. in New York.
* The small-cap Russell 2000 Index lost 0.2 percent.
* The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.8 percent.
* The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.3 percent.
* The MSCI Emerging Market Index declined 0.3 percent.
* The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index advanced 0.3 percent, the first gain in a week.
* The euro declined 0.2 percent to $1.1306, the first retreat in a week.
* The British pound lost 0.4 percent to $1.3279.
* The Japanese yen decreased 0.5 percent to 111.744 per dollar.
* The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose one basis point to 2.63 percent.
* The two-year rate was little changed at 2.46 percent.
* Germany’s 10-year yield gained two basis points to 0.086 percent.
* Britain’s 10-year yield rose three basis points to 1.22 percent.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index fell 0.2 percent.
* West Texas Intermediate crude gained 0.6 percent to $58.58 a barrel.
* Gold futures slumped 1 percent to $1,296.40 an ounce. –With assistance from Sophie Caronello, Cormac Mullen, Adam Haigh, Eddie van der Walt and Brendan Walsh.
Have a great night.
The years teach much which the days never know.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882
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