March 24th, 2020 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

On March 24, 1989, one of the nation’s worst oil spills occurred as the supertanker Exxon Valdez ran aground on a reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound and began leaking 11 million gallons of crude. Go to article »

William Morris, poet, b. 1834.
Founder of the Arts and Crafts movement, William Morris believed that simple objects crafted by hand  were preferable to ornate mass-produced objects cheaply turned out by machine.  He created elegant textile designs incorporating arabesques of plants, flowers, and birds, which found their inspiration in medieval tapestries and historical fabrics and relied on traditional methods, such as hand-block printing and vegetable dyeing.
     -From the exhibition “William Morris: The Reactionary Revolutionary” at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Beauty, which is what is meant by art, using the word in its widest sense, is, I contend, no mere accident to human life, which people can take or leave as they choose, but a positive necessity of life. -William Morris.

What it looks like from space when everything stops. -Bloomberg.

At the 19th annual U.S. Coffee Championships (which convened a month before any coronavirus restrictions), competitors in the barista division had just 15 minutes to prove their coffee-making skills. Each contestant was judged for creativity and taste — and did not disappoint.

Take a look at some of their wild designs
, which ranged from the whimsical to theatrical — one barista used a device to turn coffee clear, and another used an edible-bubble maker to encapsulate Earl Grey essential oil smoke on top of an espresso shot.-NY Times.


Clear skies and a light frost in Ely, Cambridgeshire, on Monday morning. The forecast for England this week is mostly cold nights and sunny days.

This incredible image of a bluetit and a a siskin fighting in mid-air were captured by photographer Andrew Fusek Peters as he captured the squabbling birds through his kitchen window during self-isolation. Wildlife photographer Andrew has been coing up with new ways to continue his hoppy whilst following best practice on social distancing due to Coronavirus.

A rare unnamed foal takes its first steps on to the fields at Orchid Stud near Yeovil, Somerset, UK. The Pure Spanish colt foal of Lago Hidalga and Peral of Peace was born on March 11th at 4am and is an extremely rare colour in the Spanish breed, one of a handful in the entire world.

The Milky Way over Bamburgh lighthouse at Stag Rock in Northumberland, UK.

Market Closes for March 24th ,2020 

Close Change
20704.91 +2112.98
S&P 500 2447.33 +209.93
NASDAQ 7417.855 +557.182


TSX 12571.08 +1342.59











International Markets

Close Change
NIKKEI 18092.35 +1204.57
22663.49 +967.36
SENSEX 26674.03 +692.79
FTSE 100* 5446.01 +452.12



Bonds % Yield Previous % Yield
10 Year Bond
0.874 0.791
30 Year
1.334 1.260
10 Year Bond
0.8482 0.7547
30 Year Bond
1.3990 1.3201


BOC Close Today Previous  
Canadian $ 0.69076 0.68938
1.44767 1.45058
Euro Rate
1 Euro=
Canadian $ 1.56174 0.64031
1.07890 0.92687


Gold Close Previous
London Gold
1525.40 1494.40
WTI Crude Future 20.01 20.36

Market Commentary:
On this day in 2008, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon raised his firm’s bid for Bear Stearns to $10 a share, or $1.2 billion, to quell objections to the deal. Bear had been worth about $20 billion at the start of 2007.

By Aoyon Ashraf
(Bloomberg) — Canadian stocks soared the most in at least 43 years, joining a global rally on hopes government stimulus will soon flow to economies hammered by the coronavirus. The S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 12% on Tuesday, the biggest one-day percentage jump since at least 1977 when the index’s predecessor began. South of the border, stocks boomed with the Dow Jones Industrial average posting its best day since 1933 as a U.S. stimulus bill of about $2 trillion inches forward. Investors had been searching for buying opportunities amid the brutal sell-off but volatility has made it difficult to call a bottom on the stocks. The Canadian market is still down about 30% from its February peak. “We had cash going into this period, and I have been investing it as the market has been going down,” said Whitney George, chief investment officer of Sprott Asset Management. “I have been reinvesting the proceeds incrementally as the market keeps dropping.” Gold’s spot price was up about 5% and silver more than 6% on Tuesday, giving a boost to mining stocks. The spending package by the U.S. government caused Goldman Sachs to predict an “inflection point” for gold and the bank is recommending its clients buy now.

     Canada’s economic heartland is shutting down to fight the virus outbreak. Ontario and Quebec, which together account for about 57% of the country’s economy, have ordered non-essential businesses to close by the end of today. Nearly one million Canadians applied for jobless claims last week, representing almost 5% of the labor force, according to a senior government official with knowledge of the data. Debate on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s C$82 billion ($57 billion) stimulus package is stalled as parties negotiate the terms in a minority parliament. Within the energy patch, record low prices for heavy Canadian crude have prompted one of the biggest operators in the oil sands to take the rare step of shutting production. Motivated by the “extremely low” prices, Suncor Energy Inc. announced on Tuesday that it will shut in one of its two so- called trains at its two-year-old, 194,000 barrel a day Fort Hills oil sands mine. Bombardier Inc. said it will suspend all non-essential work at most Canadian-based operations tonight until April 26 to comply with government mandates to help slow the spread of Covid-19. Sprott’s George is keeping a positive outlook for the market despite all the volatility. “Looking ahead, I am confident that markets and the economy will bounce back as they have had in the past,” he said.
* Western Canada Select crude oil traded at a $15.00 discount to West Texas Intermediate
* Spot gold rose about 4.7% to $1,626.15 an ounce

* The Canadian dollar was little changed at C$1.4487 per U.S. dollar
* The 10-year government bond yield rose about 8 basis points to 0.873%

By Bloomberg Automation:
     (Bloomberg) — The S&P/TSX Composite rose 12 percent at 12,571.08 in Toronto. The move was the biggest since rising 16 percent on Jan. 1, 1975 and follows the previous session’s decrease of 5.3 percent. Today, financials stocks led the market higher, as all sectors gained; 226 of 230 shares rose, while 2 fell. Royal Bank of Canada contributed the most to the index gain, increasing 13.2 percent. First Quantum Minerals Ltd. Had the largest increase, rising 41.9 percent.
* This quarter, the index fell 26 percent, heading for the biggest decline in at least 10 years
* This month, the index fell 23 percent, heading for the biggest decline in at least 10 years
* The index declined 22 percent in the past 52 weeks. The MSCI AC Americas Index lost 14 percent in the same period
* The S&P/TSX Composite is 30 percent below its 52-week high on Feb. 20, 2020 and 12.5 percent above its low on March 23, 2020
* The S&P/TSX Composite is down 0.9 percent in the past 5 days and fell 28 percent in the past 30 days
* S&P/TSX Composite is trading at a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.5 on a trailing basis and 12.4 times estimated earnings of its members for the coming year
* The index’s dividend yield is 4.1 percent on a trailing 12-month basis
* S&P/TSX Composite’s members have a total market capitalization of C$1.71t
* 30-day price volatility rose to 83.83 percent compared with 74.55 percent in the previous session and the average of 40.47 percent over the past month
| Index Points | | Sector Name | Move | % Change | Adv/Dec
Financials | 463.1995| 13.4| 26/0
Energy | 203.2162| 14.7| 28/0
Materials | 184.9451| 12.5| 47/0
Industrials | 135.1444| 9.7| 29/2
Information Technology | 94.0207| 11.2| 10/0
Utilities | 67.6293| 11.8| 16/0
Communication Services | 55.7043| 7.8| 8/0
Consumer Discretionary | 53.0214| 13.6| 16/0
Consumer Staples | 42.4571| 7.9| 11/0
Real Estate | 33.7777| 10.0| 25/0
Health Care | 9.4742| 7.9| 10/0

By Claire Ballentine and Vildana Hajric
(Bloomberg) — With Congress closing in on an unprecedented spending bill to prop up the slumping economy, U.S. stocks had
their best day in almost a dozen years as investors rediscovered their appetite for risk. The dollar halted a 10-day winning streak. The S&P 500 rebounded from the lowest level since 2016, notching a third straight Tuesday turnaround — and the biggest one-day gain since October 2008 — after starting the week with a rout. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose more than 11% to clock its biggest advance since 1933. Lawmakers are negotiating the final sticking points in a roughly $2 trillion stimulus bill to help the U.S. economy get through the coronavirus pandemic, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was hopeful a deal could be reached today. “U.S. equities are responding to the possibility of this gargantuan fiscal stimulus package and some certainty in the political situation,” Stephen Dover, head of equities at Franklin Templeton, said in a phone interview.

     The Stoxx Europe 600 Index also surged, led by health-care and industrial companies, even as data began to show the extent of economic damage to the region from the coronavirus pandemic. Benchmarks across Asia jumped, with Korea’s index soaring almost 9% after the government announced measures to stabilize markets. The dollar slumped against developed and emerging currencies alike, in a tentative sign of reduced stress after the greenback’s steepest appreciation since the global financial crisis and longest winning streak since 2012. European bonds tracked Treasuries lower. About $26 trillion has evaporated from equity markets since mid-February, and investors have been left sifting the wreckage and weigh the chances of a lasting rebound.
     On the one hand, Wall Street has begun to argue that liquidations are nearing an end with real-money investors like pension funds ready to step in, and there are signs of improvement in some of world’s regions that were hardest-hit by the virus. On the other, the number of infections globally continues to accelerate and many of the largest economies are grinding to a halt. Tuesday’s gain in risk assets follows an unprecedented move by the Federal Reserve to backstop large swaths of the financial system. Still, key gauges of U.S. manufacturing and services in March fell the most on record, suggesting the deep toll the pandemic has already taken. “Sentiment has improved, but to call it a turning point is too strong a word for now,” said James McCormick, global head of desk strategy at NatWest Markets. “It is more of a tug-of-war. Policy bazooka is in place, but will be fighting against very weak data and still worrying trends on Covid-19 data. We are more neutral on risk assets now.” Elsewhere, emerging-market stocks jumped alongside their currencies. Gold extended recent a recent surge and industrial metals rallied.

Here are the moves across major assets:
* The S&P 500 Index gained 9.4% as of 4 p.m. New York time.
* The Stoxx Europe 600 Index increased 8.4%.
* The MSCI Asia Pacific Index surged 4.9%

* The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index sank 0.7%.
* The euro increased 0.4% to $1.0772.
* The British pound climbed 1.7% to $1.1743.
* The Japanese yen slipped 0.3% to 111.51 per dollar.

* The yield on 10-year Treasuries increased six basis points to 0.85%.
* Germany’s 10-year yield advanced five basis points to -0.322%.
* Britain’s 10-year yield rose five basis points to 0.479%.

* Gold increased 4.6% to $1,625.32 an ounce.
* West Texas Intermediate crude gained 2.3% to $23.89 a barrel.

–With assistance from Sarah Ponczek.

Have a  great night.

Be magnificent!
As ever,


Experience is helpful, but it is judgement that matters.
                              -General Colin Powell, b. 1937

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
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