The Finish Line Commentaries: The First Green Week Since March

Author: Danny Popescu  |  May 30th, 2022

Good day,

Last week was the first heavy green week for the markets since the third week of March, and only the second since last year. Although the TSX is negative for 2022, it remains the best performing, broad-based index in North America. The TSX may have been outperformed by American and the All-Country World Index (ACWI) last week, but it is the clear leader for year-to-date and year-over-year results.

The economic news in the popular press was not much improved last week, so the positive equity results could seem unpredictable, but not if you examine the details more closely:

  • Most major Canadian banks beat quarterly earnings expectations and remain upbeat with their forward guidance, particularly with their retail banking operations. RBC, TD, Scotiabank, BMO and National Bank beat expectations, while CIBC had growing expenses undermine their performance. The Finance sector comprises about one-third of the TSX, so the banks’ good news dominated. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-canadian-banks-benefit-from-consumer-spending-rebound/
    • The second largest sector is Energy, which is also benefiting from higher oil prices.
  • Inflation is slowing slightly. The price of gasoline, which is a bellwether for many consumers, continues to rise this month, but the overall inflation rate is moderating. Prices continue to climb, but at a lower rate in the U.S. – CPI source
  • As inflation slows the need to trim economic growth with higher interest rates also slows. Inflation is at a 30-year high, and central banks, like the Federal Reserve, have indicated that their strongest action will be early 2022. As the year progresses the size of interest rate increases are expected to reduce. – FOMC Minutes

The continuing inflation/interest rate condition has been in-place for some time, and perhaps some overly enthusiastic pessimism has been beaten back by the better and no-worse than expected results.

What’s ahead:
In Canada, real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and current account balance for the first quarter will be released next week. The Bank of Canada will release its latest monetary policy response on Wednesday.
In the U.S., after Monday’s market closure for Memorial Day. April’s construction spending, manufacturing indexes, factory orders will be released along with the non-farm payroll report for May.

Globally, Japan’s machine tool orders, jobless rate, retail sales, industrial production and consumer confidence, Eurozone’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), economic and consumer confidence, Germany’s CPI, unemployment, France’s CPI and GDP will be released. OPEC+ will conduct a meeting.
Have a great week!


Danny Popescu


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