RSS Feed en-us Copyright (c) 2018 Inc. All rights reserved. 1/21/2018 3:21:36 PM <![CDATA[Lithium Americas "OUTPERFORM"]]>Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:59:00 EST<![CDATA[China's Gas Production Hits Three-Year High]]>Fri, 19 Jan 2018 09:42:00 EST, January 19, 2018

China's Gas Production Hits Three-Year High

China pumped natural gas at the highest rate since 2014 in December 2017 in an attempt to make up for shortages of the fuel in the northern parts of the country amid harsh winter weather, China’s national statistics authority said today.

The daily average reached 13.6 billion cubic meters, versus 12.6 billion cubic meters in November. The full-2017 total hence jumped by 8.5 percent on an annual basis to 147.4 billion cubic meters. Sinopec alone reported a 19-percent annual increase in its natural gas production last year.

As part of its fight against pollution, Beijing ordered a switch from central heating, supplied by coal-fired plants, to gas heating. The switch affected millions of households and businesses in northern China, but the government’s ambitious pollution-tackling plans failed to factor in challenges such as demand and lack of adequate transport infrastructure for gas.

As a result, state companies had to urgently raise domestic production, and imports soared to an all-time high of 7.89 million tons, including pipeline flows and LNG shipments. The December figure beat the previous record, booked in November, by 20 percent. This record-high import rate made for a fitting end to a year that saw natural gas imports into the country soar by 27 percent annually to 68.57 million tons.

Earlier this week, another state giant, CNPC, said it expected this year’s demand for natural gas to continue growing, with the annual increase over 2017 seen at 10 percent, and imports seen rising by 13.4 percent. Though substantial, these growth numbers are a decline on 2017, when demand expanded by 17 percent and imports swelled by 27 percent.

CNPC expects Beijing’s clean air drive to lose some of its steam this year as demand from industrial consumers falls due to slower economic growth. But even so, there will be more seasonal gas supply disruptions as infrastructure development lags behind demand growth.

By Irina Slav for

<![CDATA[Analyst Builds Strong 'Bull' Case for Netflix ]]>Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:37:00 EST, January 19, 2018

Analyst Builds Strong 'Bull' Case for Netflix

Strategist Mark Tepper is saying Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) looks attractive heading into its quarterly earnings report being issued Monday afternoon, even after a massive run.

Netflix shares have jumped 15% this year alone, and a whopping 65% in the last year. Shares rose over 1% on Thursday after Morgan Stanley released a bullish note on the stock.

Ahead of earnings, investors still have time to get in on the stock despite its run, said Tepper, president and CEO of Strategic Wealth Partners, because: While many investors may focus on revenue and earnings growth, the key metric to watch will be subscriber growth, which will likely beat analysts' expectations.

Also, this would be a strong indication of long-term growth and show the streaming video company is on pace for a strong year.

For now, Netflix could be viewed as a buy, though investors should consider the competition that could arise next year as Disney prepares to remove its content from Netflix and launch its own streaming service.

The stock currently trades at a hefty 92 times forward earnings.

Also in the news regarding the network; it announced Friday that Joel McHale is set to host a new unscripted series.

"The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale," will be a half-hour topical series that will skewer the latest events in pop culture and news from across the globe. The 13-episode first season launches globally Feb. 18 with new episodes dropping every week.

Shares in the network declined Friday by 44 cents to $219.89.

<![CDATA[Economic Calendar]]>Sun, 21 Jan 2018 03:21:36 EST 2018


Tuesday, January 02, 2018 Markit Canada Manufacturing PMI: 9:30am Dec At 54.7, up from 54.4 in November, the seasonally-adjusted IHS Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index pointed to the strongest improvement in business conditions since September. The headline index has posted above the 50.0 no-change threshold in each month since March 2016. The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index registered 54.4 in November, little changed from October’s nine-month low of 54.3.
Thursday, January 04, 2018 Raw Materials Price Index: 8:30am Nov The Raw Materials Price Index rose 5.5%, primarily due to higher prices for crude energy products. The Raw Materials Price Index increased 3.8% in October, primarily due to higher prices for crude energy products.
Thursday, January 04, 2018 Industrial Product Price Index: 8:30am Nov The Industrial Product Price Index increased 1.4% in November, mainly attributable to higher prices for energy and petroleum products The Industrial Product Price Index rose 1.0% in October, mainly due to higher prices for motorized and recreational vehicles.
Friday, January 05, 2018 Labour Force Survey: 8:30am Dec Statistics Canada reported Friday that the unemployment rate dropped to 5.7 per cent in December, down from 5.9 per cent the month before Employment increased for the second consecutive month, up 80,000 in November. The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage points to 5.9%, the lowest rate since February 2008.
Friday, January 05, 2018 IVEY Purchasing Managers Index: 10:00am Dec The seasonally adjusted index fell to 60.4 from 63.0 in November. A reading above 50 indicates an increase in the pace of activity. The unadjusted index fell to 49.3 from 62.4. The PMI faltered slightly to 63.0 in November compared to 63.8 the month before, and 56.8 in November 2016
Friday, January 05, 2018 Canadian International Merchandise Trade: 8:30am Nov Canada's merchandise trade deficit with the world totaled $2.5 billion in November, widening from a $1.6 billion deficit in October. Imports were up 5.8% and exports rose 3.7%, both due largely to increased activity in the automotive industry. Canada's merchandise trade deficit with the world totaled $1.5 billion in October, narrowing from a $3.4 billion deficit in September. Exports were up 2.7% while imports decreased 1.6%
Tuesday, January 09, 2018 Housing Starts: 8:15am Dec Canadian housing starts fell in December. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of starts declined to 216,980 in December from November's downwardly revised 251,675. Economists had expected a decline to a 212,500 annual rate. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reports the trend in housing starts was 226,270 units in November, compared to 216,642 units in October
Wednesday, January 10, 2018 Building Permits: 8:30am Nov The value of Canadian building permits tumbled more than expected in November. Canadian municipalities issued $7.7 billion in building permits in November, down 7.7% from the previous month and the first decrease in three months. Canadian municipalities issued $8.2 billion worth of building permits in October, up 3.5% from the previous month
Thursday, January 11, 2018 New Housing Price Index: 8:30am Nov Canadians saw little overall change in new home prices in November. In October, new house prices in Canada rose 3.5% year over year, down from this year's largest increase of 3.9%. Vancouver (+8.4%) and London (+8.1%) had the largest 12-month increases among the surveyed CMAs.
Monday, January 15, 2018 CREAstats - MLS Sales: 8:30am Dec The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), reported national home sales rose 4.5% in December 2017. Actual (not seasonally-adjusted) activity was up 4.1% year-over-year The Canadian Real Estate Association said National home sales rose 3.9% from October to November. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 2.6% from November 2016. The number of newly listed homes climbed 3.5% from October to November.
Wednesday, January 17, 2018 BoC Rate Announcement: 10:00am --- The Bank of Canada today increased its target for the overnight rate to 1.25%. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1.5% and the deposit rate is 1% The Bank of Canada today maintained its target for the overnight rate at 1%. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1.25% and the deposit rate is 0.75%
Thursday, January 18, 2018 Employment Insurance: 8:30am Nov Regular Employment Insurance (EI) beneficiaries totalled 506,700 in November, down slightly from the previous month. In October, 510,000 people received regular Employment Insurance benefits, virtually unchanged from September.
Friday, January 19, 2018 Monthly Survey of Manufacturing: 8:30am Nov Manufacturing sales rose 3.4% to a record high $55.5 billion in November, mainly due to higher sales in the transportation equipment, petroleum and coal product and chemical industries. Manufacturing sales declined 0.4% to $53.5 billion in October, following two consecutive monthly increases. Sales of motor vehicles and other transportation equipment accounted for most of the decline in October
Friday, January 19, 2018 Canada's International Transactions in Securities: 8:30am Nov Foreign investment in Canadian securities amounted to $19.6 billion in November, mainly purchases of Canadian bonds. Meanwhile, Canadian investors reduced their holdings of foreign securities by $4.6 billion, following strong acquisitions in October. Foreign investment in Canadian securities totaled $20.8 billion in October, led by record acquisitions of Canadian bonds. At the same time, Canadian investors increased their holdings of foreign securities by $16.5 billion, mainly purchases of U.S. shares.
Monday, January 22, 2018 Wholesale Trade: 8:30am Nov --- Wholesale sales increased 1.5% to $63.0 billion in October, more than offsetting the 1.1% decline in September.
Thursday, January 25, 2018 Retail Trade: 8:30am Nov --- Retail sales rose 1.5% to $49.9 billion in October. Higher sales at new car dealers were the main contributor to the gain.
Thursday, January 25, 2018 Average Weekly Earnings Nov --- Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $983 in October, virtually unchanged from the previous month.
Friday, January 26, 2018 Consumer Price Index: 8:30am Dec --- CPI rose 2.1% on a year-over-year basis in November, following a 1.4% increase in October. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, inflation was up 0.5% in November.
Wednesday, January 31, 2018 GDP: 8:30am Nov --- Real gross domestic product was essentially unchanged in October following 0.2% growth in September, as nine of 20 industrial sectors expanded
<![CDATA[Upcoming NAFTA Talks In Montreal Extended As Government Leaders Meet]]>Fri, 19 Jan 2018 02:02:00 EST NAFTA Talks In Montreal Extended As Government Leaders Meet

Next week’s scheduled negotiations in Montreal aimed at revitalizing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have been extended by one day as senior government leaders from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico join the talks.

Negotiators for the three trading partners had originally been due to meet from January 23 to 28 in Montreal, with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland joining the discussions on the final day of the penultimate round of talks. They will now do so on January 29 instead as the meetings have been extended by one day.

Prospects for next week’s talks are unclear. U.S. President Donald Trump told Reuters on Wednesday of this week that terminating NAFTA would result in the “best deal” to revamp the 24-year-old trade pact, which he blames for Mexico’s large trade surplus with the U.S. President Trump is also insistent that Mexico pay for a wall he wants to have erected along the southern U.S. border – a demand that Mexico’s government has rejected.

“Mexico will not pay for a wall and it’s not a negotiating stance from Mexico – it’s an issue of national sovereignty and dignity,” Mexican Finance Minister Finance Minister Jose Antonio Gonzalez Anaya told reporters after talks with Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau in Toronto on Thursday.

The NAFTA negotiations have bogged down as Canada and Mexico resist radical demands from the U.S. to revise the rules governing one of the world’s largest trading blocs. Reports out of the U.S. this week have said that officials in the White House are growing frustrated and impatient with the NAFTA negotiations.

<![CDATA[Asia Carves Out Moderate Gains]]>Fri, 19 Jan 2018 06:41:00 EST, January 19, 2018

Asia Carves Out Moderate Gains

Most major indexes in Asia closed with gains on Friday although the Australian benchmark tracked lower. Wall Street, for its part, closed its Thursday session with slight losses amid political concerns.

The Nikkei 225 average in Japan gained 44.69 points, or 0.2%, to 23,808.06. Financials closed higher on the day, with Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group advancing 1.4% by the end of the session.

Heavyweight Toyota tacked on 0.5% and Honda gained 0.7% by the end of the day. Among technology names, Nintendo finished the session 4.2% higher, extending gains following its Thursday release of new Nintendo Switch accessories.

Elsewhere, SoftBank Group on Thurday became Uber's largest shareholder after it officially closed a high-profile deal with the ride-hailing company. The deal had valued Uber at around $48 billion U.S., which was a discount to a previous valuation of nearly $70 billion. SoftBank shares closed lower by 0.3% underperforming most other Japanese tech stocks.

The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong hiked 132.75 points, or 0.4%, to 32,254.89. Property developers recorded gains, with Country Garden climbing 3.3% while financials were mostly in negative territory.

Shares of Tencent, a heavily weighted constituent on the index, were higher by 0.5% ahead of the market close.

Trade in the shares of Wanda Hotel Development was halted Friday morning. The Hong Kong-listed developer said in a filing that the halt came before "a possible very substantial disposal."

Meanwhile, Ping An Insurance Group has raised almost $1 billion U.S. in funding ahead of a planned listing of a medical data unit, citing sources. Ping An said in a Thursday statement that it was "proactively developing" technologies that supported its main business, but advised "caution when dealing in the securities" of the company. Hong Kong-listed Ping An traded higher by 0.2%, as most other financial names declined.

Korean auto makers were in positive territory, with Hyundai Motor jumping 4.5% by the end of the session. Technology plays, however, were mostly lower. Index heavyweight Samsung Electronics erased early gains to decline 1.2% while rival SK Hynix fell 2.5%.

In Australia, major mining and energy-related stocks were lower, with Rio Tinto losing 1%, BHP declining 0.3% and Santos falling 1.3% by the end of the day.

The Australian dollar rose to trade at $0.8009 U.S. in the wake of strong China economic data released in the previous session.

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 picked up 13.98 points, or 0.3%, to 4,285.4,

The Kospi in Korea improved 4.45 points, or 0.2%, to 2,520.26

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index marched ahead 79.28 points, or 0.7%, to 11,150.86

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index moved up 29.05 points, or 0.8%, to 3,550.36

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 added 17.29 points, or 0.2%, to 8,289.96

In Australia, the ASX 200 tailed off 8.76 points, or 0.2%, to 6,005.81

<![CDATA[Trump Approval Ratings Lowest After One Year ]]>Fri, 19 Jan 2018 07:06:00 EST President Donald Trump has nowhere to go but up, according to a new poll.

The current chief executive scored a 39% approval rating in the new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll — the lowest approval rating in the survey's history for any modern president, one year into his term.

The poll was conducted Jan. 13 to 17, after the uproar began over Trump's vulgar description of Haiti and African nations and while chances of a government shutdown grew as Congress scrambled to reach a funding deal. Saturday is the first anniversary of Trump's inauguration.

The poll said 51% of respondents to the poll said they strongly disapproved of Trump's performance in the Oval Office, a record high. Overall, 57% of people said they disapproved of the president's job.

In February, just after Trump took office, 44% of respondents in the poll said they approved of the president's performance, while 48% disapproved.

Trump's administration has been beset by turmoil since the beginning, marked by unusually high amounts of senior staff turnover and a criminal investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin during the 2016 election.

Trump, badly needing a major early legislative win, pushed for repeal of Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, but the effort fizzled on multiple occasions in 2017 before the president and the Republican-controlled Congress moved on to a sweeping tax-cut bill. Trump signed the measure into law in December. Polls have shown that voters are dubious about the tax bill's benefits, which slashed corporate tax rates and eliminated several popular individual deductions, but Trump has insisted people will see more money in their paycheques.

For the time being, however, voters are skeptical of the president, according to the NBC/WSJ poll. His approval ratings from some of his major constituent groups — whites, men and seniors — are below 50%, the latest findings show.

<![CDATA[IPO Center - TSX-V]]>Fri, 05 Jan 2018 08:59:00 EST Company Name Ticker Date Clarmin Explorations Inc. CX 05-01-2018 Imperial Mining Group IPG 16-01-2018 Neptune Dash Technologies Corp. DASH 19-01-2018 First Legacy Mining Corp. FLM 19-01-2018]]><![CDATA[Stocks End Week with Gains]]>Fri, 19 Jan 2018 04:21:00 EST, January 19, 2018

16:21 PM EST
Stocks End Week with Gains

Industrials, Materials Strongest

Stocks in Toronto finished on an upnote Friday, largely due to gathering strength of industrial and resource issues.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index advanced 68.99 points to conclude the day and the week at 16,353.46. For the week, the index was on track to gain 0.1%.

The Canadian dollar faded 0.59 cents at 79.99 cents U.S.

Among industrials, Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd was up $5.82, or 2.6% at $232.97 after the company reported on Thursday fourth-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates. Elsewhere, New Flyer Industries climbed 58 cents, or 1%, to $57.83.

In the materials sector, Frontier Lithium gained three cents, or 4.9%, to 64 cents, while Russel Metals picked up 19 cents to $30.75.

In the gold patch, Barrick Gold Corp climbed 28 cents, or nearly 1.6%, to $17.99, while Goldcorp gathered a penny to $17.89.

Among energy concerns, Suncor Energy demurred 87 cents, or 1.8%, to $46.17, while TransCanada barely cleared breakeven, gaining a cent to $59.85.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada reported manufacturing sales rose 3.4% to a record high $55.5 billion in November, mainly due to higher sales in the transportation equipment, petroleum and coal product and chemical industries.

Investment by foreigners in Canadian securities amounted to $19.6 billion in November, mainly purchases of Canadian bonds. Meanwhile, Canadian investors reduced their holdings of foreign securities by $4.6 billion, following strong acquisitions in October.


The TSX Venture Exchange gained 3.65 points to 880.44

All but one of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher, as industrials were stronger by 1.1%, while materials climbed 0.8%, and gold improved 0.7%.

Energy proved the lone laggard, failing 0.3%


Stocks closed higher on Friday as investors shrugged off worries about a possible government shutdown.

The Dow Jones Industrials regrouped and finished higher 53.91 points to 26,071.72, despite pullbacks in IBM and American Express.

The S&P 500 gained 12.27 points to 2,810.30, a record high, with consumer staples as the best-performing sector.

The NASDAQ composite index added 40.3 points to 7,336.38, also a record.

On Thursday, the House passed a bill to avoid a government shutdown. The bill is now in the Senate's hands, where 60 votes are needed to send it to President Donald Trump's desk. Republicans only hold 51 seats in the Senate.

Historically, a government shutdown has led to a short-term pullback in the stock market.

Mick Mulvaney, chief of the Office of Management and Budget, said Friday that odds of a shutdown occurring were 50-50.

Still, the major indexes were on track to post weekly gains. The Dow was up 1% for the week entering Friday's session, while the S&P 500 picked up 0.9% and the NASDAQ was up 1%.

Earnings season kicked into full gear this week, with most results surpassing expectations. Of the companies that have reported quarterly results as of Friday morning, 79% have exceeded earnings expectations while 89% have surpassed sales estimates.

Morgan Stanley and American Express were among the companies that reported better-than-expected results this week.

Investors have also poured cash into stock funds at the highest pace ever over the past four weeks as they try to get a piece of the surging stock market. Year to date, stocks are up about 5%.

IBM fell 4.1%, and American Express dropped 2.4%, putting a lid on the Dow. IBM warned Thursday it could take a hit from a higher tax rate for 2018, while American Express posted its first overall earnings loss in 25 years.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note sagged, raising yields to 2.66% from Thursday’s 2.61%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dropped 40 cents a barrel to $63.55 U.S.

Gold prices gained $3.90 to $1,331.10 U.S. an ounce.

<![CDATA[Stocks in Play: Legend Power Systems Inc.]]>Fri, 19 Jan 2018 03:33:01 EST, January 19, 2018

15:33 PM EST - Legend Power Systems Inc. : Announced the signing of its first distribution partner in New York City. ES Partners has signed on to promote and sell Legend’s proprietary Harmonizer voltage management technology. Legend Power Systems Inc. (V.LPS) shares were up $0.05 at 0.93.

<![CDATA[Aurora Cannabis Inc. and CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. Rise After Announcing Talks]]>Fri, 19 Jan 2018 02:34:31 EST, January 19, 2018

Aurora Cannabis Inc. and CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. Rise After Announcing Talks

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB) stock was up 3.55% in early afternoon trading on January 19. CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. (TSX:CMED) announced on Thursday that it would postpone a shareholders meeting to vote on the proposed acquisition of Newstrike Resources Ltd. CanniMed will hold discussions with Aurora over the next few days to determine a course forward. This comes just days after it was reported that CanniMed was launching a $725 million lawsuit against Aurora and others, alleging a shareholder conspiracy.

Aurora launched a takeover bid for CanniMed in November for an all-stock offer of $24 per share. As of early afternoon trading today, CanniMed stock was trading at $35 per share. It is certain that Aurora will be forced to go above and beyond its $24 offer in order to make any headway.

Originally Aurora had stipulated that it will drop its takeover bid if CanniMed shareholders vote in favour of the Newstrike acquisition. Three top shareholders at CanniMed that represent 36% of outstanding shares have thrown their weight behind Aurora’s bid. However, new reports indicate that Aurora has submitted an overture that will allow the acquisition of Newstrike.

Aurora stock has climbed 39.9% to start 2018 and if it manages to entice CanniMed leadership with its new offer it will acquire a company with the longest production record in the business. It will also bolster Aurora’s footprint in products like cannabis oils. Investors should be watching talks closely over the weekend as Aurora seeks to strengthen its position as a top producer in Canada ahead of legalization.

<![CDATA[USD/CAD - Loonie stuck in sideways range, unsure of NAFTA impact on BoC]]>Fri, 19 Jan 2018 03:29:18 EST
Analysts predict another hike in the first quarter of 2019. Economic growth is expected to average 2.2% this year, slightly higher than the 2.1% forecast in the previous poll in October. Expectations for 2019 were unchanged at 1.8%. The challenge after the BoC Statement and Press Conference is to decide whether the references to uncertainties over the North American Free Trade Agreement will be enough of take at least one of these hikes off the table. There doesn’t yet appear to be any consensus among the local banks on this so we may have to wait until the next round of weekly and monthly analysts’ notes to see if views have changed.

This morning brings data on manufacturing sales and international securities transactions but these are unlikely to move the FX dials much. The Canadian dollar opened in North America this morning at $1.2425 U.S. and GBP/CAD $1.7240.

USD/CAD: Expected Range $1.2385 -- $1.247

It’s a familiar story but Thursday was another poor day for the U.S. dollar. With the euro and Great British pound well bid, and the Australian and New Zealand dollar back within touching distance of their 2018 highs, the dollar’s index against a basket of major currencies fell from a high in Asia of 90.61 to a low in the New York afternoon of 90.05.

This morning in Europe it’s been lower still, with a fresh low for 2018 of 89.89. Equally as familiar as the dollar’s drop is that it came despite yet another good set of economic numbers. Last week, we saw higher core inflation and retail sales numbers. On Wednesday, industrial production surged 0.9% in December as very cold weather at the end of the month boosted demand for heating. Yesterday, we learned that weekly jobless claims jobless decreased by 41,000 to 220,000; their lowest level since February 1973 and the biggest weekly biggest drop since April 2009. The figures suggest the unemployment rate of 4.1%, already the lowest since 2000, could be set to fall further.

The latest week for claims includes the 12th of the month, which is the reference period for the Labour Department’s monthly employment surveys. Rather than look at the incoming data, the U.S. dollar is being spooked by headlines that U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is making contingency plans for the growing possibility of a government shutdown.

Congress is facing a January 19 deadline (today) to pass a spending bill, which helps determine the government’s budget and discretionary spending for the fiscal year. Without it, the government will shut down. This would be truly surreal. It would be the first time ever that a party which controls the White House, Senate and House of Representatives has overseen a government shutdown. During the last government shutdown in October 2013, 850,000 federal workers were furloughed, equal to nearly 40% of the government workforce.

The shutdown lasted for 16 days, triggered by a disagreement over Obamacare. According to Standard & Poor’s, it cost the economy $24 billion. The U.S. dollar index opened in North America this morning at 90.05 but keep an eye on U.S. 10-year bond yields which - at 2.63% - are close to a 40-month high.

CAD/EUR: Expected Range $0.6545 -- $0.66

The euro rallied throughout the day on Thursday, rising from a low of $1.2165 early in the Sydney morning to $1.2260 in the European afternoon. It has only very briefly been on a $1.23 ‘big’ figure this week and even after a further push higher in Europe this morning, the high of the year remains the $1.2303 seen in Sydney time early on Wednesday morning. In a survey published by Bloomberg this morning, economists brought forward their estimate of when the European Central Bank will set an end-date for its bond-buying program, after signs that more optimistic views on inflation might be gaining sway among policy makers.

Although no action is expected at next week’s Governing Council meeting on January 25, almost half of respondents predicted the ECB will announce a definite end-date for asset purchases by June. Just 38% held that view in the previous survey last month. The first change in forward guidance is expected in March. Asked when interest rates will rise, the economists said the deposit rate will be lifted to minus 0.25% in the second quarter of 2019 from a record-low minus 0.4%. The main refinancing rate will then be increased over the following three months. The euro opened in North America this morning at $1.2260 U.S. and EUR/CAD $1.5235.

CAD/GDP: Expected Range $0.575 -- $0.583

The British pound continues to trade in quite wide ranges against the U.S. dollar with another 100 pips separating the high and low on Thursday. Overnight in Asia, GBP/USD regained the $1.39 level, and in London this morning it briefly made a fresh 2018 high of $1.3941 before then slipping back after below 1.3900. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron held a low-key summit at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst yesterday. They struck a series of agreements relating to Anglo-French cooperation after the summit. They released 13 papers and agreements in total, covering areas such as security and defence, cyber and digital, foreign policy and even sports events.

On Brexit, the key point re-emphasized by Macron was that “I’m here neither to punish nor to reward. I want to make sure that the single market is preserved because that is very much at the heart of the European Union. So the choice is on the British side, not on my side. They can have no differentiated access to financial services. If you want access to the single market, including the financial services, be my guest. But it means that you need to contribute to the budget and acknowledge European jurisdiction. Such are the rules and we know this is the system already in place for Norway. If you want a trade access, it will cover everything, but then it is not full access to the single market and to financial services. Otherwise, it’s closer to the situation of Canada.” It’s hardly the ‘bold and imaginative’ arrangement the U.K. has been calling for but is a message that’s sure to be repeated many times over in the next few months.

This morning saw the release of December’s retail sales figures. As in the U.S. and Canada, there has been a significant shift in buying habits as a result of Black Friday promotions a month before Christmas. Sales volumes ex-fuel rose 1.2% in November but then fell 0.9% in December. The pound opened in North America this morning at $1.3875 U.S., $1.7240 Canadian and $1.7320 Australian

CAD/AUD: Expected Range $1.00 -- $1.01

After a locally lackluster response to the Australian employment report, by early afternoon London time on Thursday the Aussie was back on a U.S. 80 -cent big figure and has now remained there for all of the last 12 hours.

Early in the European morning, it broke briefly above the previous 2018 high at $0.8021 U.S. and reached a best level of $0.8037 before slipping back around a quarter of a cent. While many of the local banks shy away from publishing negative outlooks on the local property market – and price action over the last few decades has shown they were right to do so – there are a growing number of offshore institutions who are sounding a lot more cautious. The latest of these is Swiss mega-bank UBS. Its analysts note the addition of debt held by self-managed super funds in Australia has pushed the household debt to disposable income ratio to almost 200%, one of the highest in the world.

The Reserve Bank of Australia now calculates total Household Debt to Disposable Income at 199.7%, up 3% on previous estimates. The UBS team says, “With subdued growth in household income expected to continue, this implies household leverage is likely to rise further in the near term” and they are concerned about what this might mean for consumer spending and the economy if house prices fall. They say, “Pricing data from CoreLogic continues to show that the housing cycle has turned… Home values in Sydney are continuing to slide in January, down 3% from their September highs, while Melbourne has now peaked… We expect weakness to continue.” The Aussie opened in North America this morning at $0.8010 U.S. with AUD/CAD at $0.9950 and AUD/NZD $1.0990.

CAD/NZD: Expected Range $1.097-- $1.11

The New Zealand dollar was again very well bid on Thursday, vying for top spot with the British pound. So far this Friday, it has spent most – but not all – of the time on a US 73 cents big figure but unlike the GBP or AUD has not been able to make a fresh high for the year.

Wednesday’s $0.7330 peak is still the kiwi’s best level of 2018. In local economic data today, the seasonally adjusted Purchasing Managers’ Index for December was 51.2 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining). This was 6.5 points down from the previous month, and the lowest result since December 2012. Despite the drop from November, the sector has remained in expansion in all months since October 2012.

Christmas and the general holiday season were mentioned for those who provided both positive and negative comments, along with weather conditions. Separate figures from the REINZ, showed median house prices across New Zealand rose by 5.8% in 2017 to $550,000; up from $520,000 in December 2016. Median prices for New Zealand excluding Auckland increased by 6.6% to $450,000, while Auckland’s median house price increased to $870,000 from $855,000 in December 2016. 13 out of 16 regions saw prices increase in December, with three of those regions experiencing record prices; Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Wellington.

As REINZ also noted, “When looking at the Auckland picture, this is the first time that all seven districts have had a median price of in excess of $700,000 highlighting how expensive the city is becoming”. The New Zealand dollar opened in North America at $0.7290 U.S. with NZD/CAD at $0.9055 Canadian.
<![CDATA[Citigroup Vaults On Beating Quarterly Projections]]>Thu, 12 Oct 2017 10:07:02 EST per Share came in for the quarter at $1.42, as opposed to $1.32 expected by experts. Revenue was $18.173 billion versus $17.896 billion expected. Fixed income trading: $2.877 billion versus a projected $2.84 billion

Said CEO Michael Corbat, "We had revenue increases in many of the products we have been investing in, tightly managed our expenses, and again saw loan growth in both our consumer and institutional businesses.”

Citi reported a 3% year-over-year increase in global consumer banking revenue. In North America, retail banking revenue rose 12%, excluding mortgages. Citi cited "continued growth in loans and assets under management," as well as higher interest rates.

The bank's international consumer business saw an 8% revenue increase, driven by higher loans and deposit volumes growth.

Citi's end-of-period loans, meanwhile, rose 2% to $653 billion, while deposits increased by 3% to $964 billion.

Shares of Citigroup have risen 26% this year, easily outperforming the broader market. The S&P 500 has gained 14% in 2017.

Citigroup's stock has also outperformed those of other big banks. Shares of JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America are up 11.9% and 16.9%,, respectively.

Folks who follow macroeconomic developments are also aware that Citigroup could benefit from tighter monetary policy in the near future. The U.S. Federal Reserve signaled a December rate hike in the summary of its Sept. 20 meeting.
Shares in C opened Thursday took on 31 cents to $75.25. ]]>
<![CDATA[Enterprise Group’s Hart Oilfield Rentals: Custom, Cost-Effective Infrastructure]]>Thu, 12 Oct 2017 09:51:46 EST

Simply, if you are building a mining or oil business Hart rents customized equipment for project sites, drilling & completions and facilities that require mobile infrastructure.

It makes zero sense to expend valuable capital to purchase generators, offices, WC’s etc. As well, each project is different so flexibility, customization and ease of transport is key.

“Our large competitive advantage is the ability to what we refer to as ‘combo technology,” states Joel Bardwell, Senior Manager at Hart. “Whether on a skid or one of our proprietary portable trailers, we can deliver not only the equipment required, but customize it to be the most cost effective. Customers appreciate the approach and with our ongoing R&D and patent/patent pending profile, both served us well during the downturn and positions us well for the rapidly increasing business, both from previous and new clients.”

Hart currently has 6 locations that are strategically located throughout west central and northern Alberta and northeastern British Columbia. These 6 locations have allowed Hart to establish 6 complimentary “service circles” that slightly overlap and allow Hart to deliver oilfield site set-up services and equipment rentals efficiently to its customers as well as respond quickly to requests for service or repairs to its equipment when required.

Early on, Hart realized that the uniqueness of its approach warranted patent filings for equipment as well as industrial designs. With approximately 25 equally divided between Canada and the US, the practice both cements Hart’s reputation as an innovator as well as protect the Company and Enterprise shareholders from interlopers.

There are always interlopers.

It should also be noted that Hart does not sell the custom equipment. Hart is constantly developing equipment to add to its robust and state of the art rental pool: And all with
safety the primary consideration.

Just as with all the Enterprise Group’s subsidiaries, attention to detail is a given. Reactive and proactive to customer needs is what cuts it out of what is already a small herd. Whether resource, municipal needs, pipelines or any other infrastructure pursuit, that word - infrastructure - should be reflected to a greater or lesser degree in every portfolio. US peers are hitting new highs and others, such as Enterprise’s share price is being wrongly assaulted by a volatile oil price.

The bottom line is that over the years Enterprise has made savvy, money making purchases and sales. TC Backhoe sold in 2016 for approximately C$20 million. The Company was purchased in 2007 for C$12 million and under the Enterprise umbrella generated $150 million. The sale was done during the recent downturn, but had been planned previously and drastically lowered and improved the Company’s financials.

Having successfully steered through a blistering downturn, which seems to have unfairly punish a stock that has a breakup of C$0.85 but is trading at C$0.30, it seems a good addition to a junior portfolio.

Investors will also note that as the Company is traded on the TSX that adds to a list of bonafides to Enterprise that investors would be wise to take stock.

Legal Disclaimer/Disclosure: This document is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase or subscribe for any investment. No information in this Report should be construed as individualized investment advice. A licensed financial advisor should be consulted prior to making any investment decision. We make no guarantee, representation or warranty and accept no responsibility or liability as to its accuracy or completeness. assumes no warranty, liability or guarantee for the current relevance, correctness or completeness of any information provided within this Report and will not be held liable for the consequence of reliance upon any opinion or statement contained herein or any omission. has been compensated ten thousand dollars for its efforts in distributing the TSX:E profile on its web site and distributing it to its database of subscribers. Furthermore, we assume no liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage or, in particular, for lost profit, which you may incur as a result of the use and existence of the information, provided within this Report. ]]>
<![CDATA[WADA Lifts CBD Ban for Professional Athletes and their Doctors]]>Thu, 12 Oct 2017 08:02:09 EST
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) just removed hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) from its 2018 List of Prohibited Substances, freeing up athletes in the largest international athletic associations in the world like the IOC and FIFA as well as major sports leagues like UFC, NCAA, NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and many more to use CBD-infused products as to treat pain and inflammation based disorders.

As WADA is a global governing body, now athletes around the world can use CBD to treat pain, inflammation and injuries, without the risk of league suspension or a loss of sponsors. Professional athletes around the world can now use Phivida’s CBD infused functional foods and natural health brands, free from WADA restrictions, for the first time in the history of competitive sports.

Cannabinoids have just got mainstream, starting with the major leagues. But it’s investors, and CBD-infused infused functional foods and natural health products brands that stand to benefit the most.

According to Allied Research, the global anti-Inflammatory therapeutics market is projected to top $106 Billion USD by 2020, dominated by OTC drugs like Ibuprofen ($14.2 billion USD by 2022). The US opiate drug as an additional $17.7 billion USD by 2021 dominated by Oxycontin, Percocet and Vicodin. Both the NSAIDs and opiate markets are dominated by pain and inflammation pharmaceutical mogul Bayer (BAYN.DE), with a market capital of over $96 billion.

Cannabidiol is widely studied as a powerful anti-inflammatory and was even part of a US Department of Health patent application for anti-oxidant and neuroprotectant properties.


Timing the market is vital for maximizing investment returns. There is no better example of fortunate timing than WADA’s announcement coinciding with the launch of Phivida Holdings Inc.’s CBD-infused functional foods and natural health products, and the filing of prospectus for an initial public offering and an application to list its class A shares on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE).

As a premiere CBD brand, Phivida is perfectly positioned to capture a leadership market share in this emerging global natural health products market. The Phivida IPO offers investors with exposure to three major growth trends within a global health and wellness $1 Trillion USD in 2017.

Bloomberg predicts US cannabinoid products as a $50 billion USD market by 2020. Within the cannabinoids market, Phivida has created its own unique products category – functional CBD edibles.

High Times magazine produces a top ten edibles list and this year six of them were cannabinoid infused beverages. Phivida specializes in the CBD beverages avoiding a saturated confectionary soft drinks market with functional CBD iced teas, CBD protein shakes and CBD vitamin juices.

Health care practitioners, and now sports medicine professionals, and major nutraceutical distributors cite the paradigm shift from chemical based pharmaceuticals to phytonutraceuticals.

Supplements as a whole market is exploding, having gone from a $37 billion US estimate in 2015, to an expectation of $220 billion globally by 2022.

Nutrition Business Journal cites the two fastest growing categories as; meal replacements (14.8%) and sports nutrition (11.6%), two flagship CBD product lines at Phivida – both infused with a high dose of cannabidiol. Phivida’s nanoencapsulation technology loads CBD into a protective, hydrophilic, liposomal membrane that bonds better with cells. The result is a faster acting longer lasting absorption rates, with up to 400% more bioavailability and a timed release for enhanced duration in the bloodstream, and solubility.

Functional foods have surpassed traditional food topping a $100 billion USD back in 2015. The functional food industry is in the process of a massive consolidation as over $10 billion USD of new M&A deals were completed in 2016 alone.

Major food companies are acquiring new organic and functional food brands at a staggering rate, lead by multi-national conglomerates such as Hains Celestial (NASDAQ: HAIN), PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) and General Mills (NYSE:GIS).

It’s no wonder that major retailers in both the grocery sector, and the nutritional supplements space are champing at the bit to grow their selection of products for consumers.

WADA’s prohibition lift may be the catalyst needed for supplement giant GNC Holdings Inc. (NYSE:GNC) to get its year back on track. Having fallen from over $20 to just over $8 within the year, the ability to introduce new lines of nutritional supplements with pain relieving qualities could be a shot in the arm for GNC.

Whereas major grocery and pharmacy chains, such as Canadian retail giant Loblaw Companies Inc. (TSX:L)(OTC:LBLCF), which owns the well-established Shoppers Drug Mart chain. Unlike GNC, which to-date has been reluctant to carry CBD products in-store, Shoppers Drug Mart has been very open about its willingness to carry CBD and marijuana-related products on its shelves.

It’s still to be determined when and if that same level of acceptance will be seen on the US side of the border. GNC currently doesn’t carry any CBD-infused products, selling only hemp proteins as a remotely close cousin. Nor is CVS Health Corporation (NYSE:CVS), yet.

Online mega-retailer Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is already selling CBD products. On track to hit the very first $1 trillion valuation, Amazon is ahead of the curve on the blossoming CBD sector.

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey stated he would support cannabinoid products sold in Wholefoods “if only the plant was legal to use and the local community approved.”

Not only is CBD-Hemp Oil extract legal under the Farm Bill, but WADA’s new rules has the potential for a massive demand from professional athletes, sports medicine practitioners and alternative health care practitioners and the everyday active health conscious consumer. It looks like John might get his wish.

Plant-based supplements like CBD are no longer limited to the estimated 17,500 licensed alternative health care practitioners, as majority of supplements are now sold through big box FCMD (food, club, mass and drug) retail locations.

Walgreens, CVS and Walmart combined for a total of 27,087 on-site pharmacists at 15,208 stores across the United States. With Amazon’s acquisition of Wholefoods earlier this year, it’s clear that the majors are looking to capitalize on the health-conscious consumer.

Now it’s a matter of CBD’s true market infiltration to take hold, and for producers to begin stocking only the best CBD infused FFNHP formulations.

Primed and ready to supply these retailers with timely product, Phivida boasts an entire line of CBD functional foods and natural health products, doctor formulated for enhanced athletic performance and everyday preventative health for active families.


Totally legal, and boasting a laundry list of health benefits, cannabidiol (CBD) is making waves through the food and beverage industry in the form of several new products.

So it’s no wonder that any new producer of CBD products will want to seek out the expertise of those already familiar with the food and beverage industry.

Assembling an impressive array of talent, Phivida’s management team is built to master not only its formulation, but also its branding and retail distribution.

Among the names on the company’s deck are Directors Bill Ciprick and James Bailey, who each come with decades of branding and distribution experience for industry heavy-hitters, such as Proctor and Gamble Health Care, and Red Bull Canada.

But for the consumer, the most important aspect to consider beyond retail availability is that of the product’s organic, whole-plant blends and formulations.

Phivida infuses full-spectrum CBD Hemp Oil extracts into special blends of functional foods and natural health products (FFNHP). All nanoencapsulated CBD used in Phivida’s products is hemp-derived from licensed hemp farms and federally legal and eligible for sale in any retail channel.

The company’s CBD-infused functional beverages are nanoencapsulated for enhanced bioavailability, and doctor-formulated for targeted outcomes. Phivida boasts quality-, and safety-tested products that are cGMP manufactured to the highest quality assurance standards.

Phivida CBD Vitamin Drinks use certified organic and plant-based ingredients. Phivida’s CBD infusions are also vegan, gluten- and soy-free with no sugar added and contain at least 35% RDA of Vitamin B complex and Vitamin C.

Other key sports performance ingredients include premium electrolyte replacements, glutamine for muscle, bone and joint repair, resveratrol for added anti-oxidants, blended in an all-natural fruit and vegetable puree with no artificial colours or flavours added.

Former President of the BC College of Naturopaths, Dr. Brian Martin, states; “Phivida offers legal, clinical grade, CBD, third-party tested, and safe for practitioners to recommend to athletes and patients.” Marijuana is federally illegal in the United States, but hemp provides a legal option for clinicians. WADA’s new ruling now opens CBD to team physicians, physiotherapists, nutritionists and kinesiologists. “Phivida is a high-quality brand for athletes who need healthier, non-addictive treatments for pain and inflammation,” said Dr. Martin.

WADA’s now-positive stance on CBD represents a great opportunity for Phivida. Competitive athletes in high-impact sports like football, hockey and mixed martial arts are often plagued with a lifetime of debilitating physical injuries and mental health conditions.

Phivida’s CBD infusions give athletes, their trainers, and medical staff a whole-plant nutraceutical alternative to highly addictive opiate pharmaceuticals to treat chronic pain and inflammation from these injuries and afflictions.


Earlier this year, the New York Times published a neuropathology study that found that 99% of former NFL players tested positive for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). The NFL supports the NFL Players Association’s (NFLPA) study on the use of cannabinoids to treat chronic pain inflammation based disorders, like CTE, according to a Sports Illustrated article published on August 1st, 2017.

The NFLPA was coincided by the launch of the Your Mind Your Body Campaign designed to equip current and former players with the tools needed to achieve a healthy lifestyle, both physically and mentally and encourages an open dialogue on pressing health and safety issues, including CTE, and mental health.

Use of cannabinoid-based alternatives to opiates is not a new issue for the NFL. Many former players have become advocates for CBD as alternatives to narcotics, including former Baltimore Raven Eugene Monroe, Denver Bronco Jake Plummer, Chicago Bear Jim McMahon, and Ricky Williams who publicly stated a belief that “60-70% of all NFL athletes use medicinal marijuana”.

Despite the fact that both the NFLPA and NFL endorse a study of marijuana as a potential pain-management tool, the NFL currently suspends players who test positive for the drug and modified the threshold for a positive test for marijuana (i.e. THC). Finally, WADA’s new adoption of CBD as an approved substance, gives the NFL and its players hope for immediate relief, without controversy.

Phivida’s CBD-infused functional foods and natural health products are formulated with a special blend of nutraceuticals for enhanced athletic performance, and infused with a therapeutic dose of nanoencapsulated cannabidiol from hemp.

"This pain is never going away. My body is damaged," Eugene Monroe, 30, stated in a Washington Post article. "I have to manage it somehow. Managing it with pills was slowly killing me.”

With the lift on the CBD ban, WADA is finally taking sensible action on behalf of the athletes it is tasked to protect.

“Cannabidiol is no longer prohibited,” WADA said, maintaining that THC will remain as a banned substance. WADA cited the reason for the removal of cannabidiol from the banned list was because “it is not a cannabimimetic and does not mimic the effects of THC.”

WADA further clarified: “THC is still a prohibited substance.”

THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the psychotropic chemical compound in marijuana that contributes to euphoric effects. Many CBD products on the market are marijuana derived and contain THC.

Purity levels in CBD-infused products will give an industry advantage to those producers that can utilize the most CBD, without delivering any THC.

Phivida’s nanoencapsulated CBD-Hemp Oil extracts, edibles and infusions, are federally legal, derived from Farm-Bill-compliant farms, and are now 100% WADA-compliant sources for cannabidiol. As well, they’re coming to a store near you.

Legal Disclaimer/Disclosure: This document is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase or subscribe for any investment. No information in this Report should be construed as individualized investment advice. A licensed financial advisor should be consulted prior to making any investment decision. We make no guarantee, representation or warranty and accept no responsibility or liability as to its accuracy or completeness. assumes no warranty, liability or guarantee for the current relevance, correctness or completeness of any information provided within this Report and will not be held liable for the consequence of reliance upon any opinion or statement contained herein or any omission. has been compensated eight hundred dollars for its efforts in distributing the Phivida article. Furthermore, we assume no liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage or, in particular, for lost profit, which you may incur as a result of the use and existence of the information, provided within this Report.
<![CDATA[Valeant (VRX) Cleans Up its Debt]]>Thu, 12 Oct 2017 07:40:19 EST
Valeant, on October 3, issued a $1-billion debt offering that lower the total upcoming maturities.

Valeant priced its $1-billion principal amount of 5.5% senior notes due in 2025. It will use the proceeds to roll over existing debt. The issuance is not trivial: the lower interest will save the company money while simultaneously pushing out the maturity date.

The low interest rate offered suggests the market has a healthy appetite for Valeant’s debt, so the fear of any bankruptcy is now off the table. Valeant now has around $26 billion in debt and $24 billion net of cash. In June, the company’s net debt was $26.7 billion. The sale of Dendreon raised $811 million, while iNova brought in $923 million. The net effect is that Valeant will have $3.9 billion maturing in 2020.

Assuming Valeant generates $1 billion in free cash flow, the company’s interest on debt in 2020 are covered. It sets the stage for refinancing for the debt due in 2021 and beyond.
<![CDATA[Athersys Hikes on MultiStem Hookup with Japanese Firm ]]>Wed, 11 Oct 2017 12:24:52 EST on the agreement, Athersys and NCLi will engage in technology transfer activities at NCLi’s facility in Japan, and NCLi will begin contract manufacturing support for commercial development of the product in Japan. Athersys’ collaborator, HEALIOS K.K. (Healios), has an exclusive license to develop and market MultiStem in Japan for ischemic stroke, and is currently conducting its registrational clinical study, TREASURE, in Japan.

A news release issued Wednesday claimed therapeutic treatment with MultiStem may extend the stroke treatment window to 36 hours from the current three to four-and-a-half hours with existing standard of care, which would enable many more stroke patients to receive treatment than under the current standard of care and may also meaningfully enhance patient recovery.
Currently, there are nearly 17 million people that suffer a stroke globally and, on average, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds.
Athersys shares gained 11 cents, or 4.9%, midday Wednesday to $2.34, within a 52-week trading range of $1.02 to $2.63.
<![CDATA[Delta Gains Altitude on Q3 Earnings]]>Wed, 11 Oct 2017 11:12:22 EST number-two U.S. airline reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.57, beating analysts' expectations of $1.53 a share for a quarter that ended with hurricanes that crippled operations.

Earnings per share were about 8% lower over the year-earlier period.

The airline posted quarterly revenue of $11.06 billion, slightly higher than expectations for $11.03 billion in the three months ended in September.

Delta's passenger revenue per available seat mile — a key income metric — rose 1.9%, in line with the airline's updated forecast earlier last month. It said it expects a 2% to 4% increase in passenger unit revenue in the fourth quarter, but warned that higher fuel costs would likely crimp operating margins for the last three months of the year.

Delta posted higher revenue in domestic and Latin American and trans-Atlantic operations, despite powerful storms in the Southern U.S. in August and September.

Delta executives will likely address the impact from deadly storms that hit carriers' hubs late this summer, as well as a bitter trade dispute between two Delta suppliers, Boeing and Canada's Bombardier.

Hurricane Irma, which struck Florida and Delta's hub in Atlanta, forced the airline to cancel more than 2,000 flights.

Delta shares began Wednesday’s trading up 37 cents to $53.07
<![CDATA[BlackRock Rocks Markets on Q3 Figures ]]>Wed, 11 Oct 2017 10:42:55 EST assets under management rose 17% to nearly $6 trillion as net inflows easily beat Wall Street expectations.

Here's how the company's results compare to Wall Street's expectations: EPS came in at $5.92 per share, compared with $5.56 expected. Revenue was $3.233 billion versus $3.096 billion expected.

Total assets under management registered at $5.977 trillion versus experts’ projected $5.94 trillion.
Net inflows were $96 billion versus $71.62 billion expected.
BlackRock also said its iShares exchange-traded funds business saw $52.3 billion in long-term net inflows, led by $33.1 billion in equity inflows. Assets under management for iShares totaled $1.640 trillion, accounting for 27% of BlackRock's total assets.

The company said cash assets rose 6 percent from a year earlier to $425.4 billion.

"One of the greatest problems we still have in the world is how much money is sitting on the sideline," according to CEO Larry Fink. "Even in places like Japan, there's $5 trillion in cash earning negative return. In Germany 72% of savings are in bank accounts. We're seeing some of that unlocked (and), we're seeing people put some of that money to work."

The company's stock has been on fire this year, advancing 21.5%. By comparison, the overall S&P 500 is up about 14% in the period. BlackRock shares have also outperformed the financials sector, which is up 13% in 2017.
BlackRock shares opened Wednesday up $2.80 to $468.29 ]]>
<![CDATA[Emblem Positioned to be Disruptive in the Medical Cannabis Industry]]>Wed, 11 Oct 2017 08:44:45 EST
First, it has become apparent that for the foreseeable future, a few select Canadian marijuana companies will lead the sector growth, particularly over the US.

Second, the virtually unlimited growth in the space will and is being realized through the pharmaceutical developments, particularly in the pain, sleep and anxiety markets. Pain markets alone are $60 billion and will rise over 30% to $83 billion by 2024. Pain and sleep markets are two of the largest component markets.

Key to this growth at companies such as Emblem (TSXV:EMC) is when society embraces marijuana as what could well be the first line of defense and treatment for many afflictions, including the devastating opiate crisis.

“Emblem is focused on developing mainstream medical therapies to deliver consistent, 12-hour relief, with reduced side effects.,” states Gordon Fox, CEO Emblem Corp. “Canada is one of the few jurisdictions in the world –including the USA--with a path to regulatory approval of cannabinoid based medication. ACMPR has mechanisms for approval and these mechanisms are currently being expanded. The Canadian medical community can participate in research and clinical trials and share data and results across provincial boundaries.

With our recently announced exclusive arrangement with CanntabTherapeutics, Emblem is executing to plan.”

The Canntab Deal

Very simply, Canntab has the proprietary sustained release formulation: Emblem is licensed under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (the “ACMPR”) to cultivate and sell medical marijuana.

Canada is one of the few jurisdictions in the world with a path to regulatory approval of cannabinoid based medication.

- The current medical cannabis market in Canada is about $400 million. It is searching for better dosage formats. Simple oils have grown to about 35% of the market in less than a year. More appropriate dosage formats are expected to have comparable effects in the market.

- Currently, Cannabis tends to require re-dosing. A titratable, sustained release formulation would have substantial appeal in the chronic neuropathic pain market. Anecdotally, that segment represents a reasonable percentage of the current$400 million medical cannabis market.

- The Canadian non-cannabis chronic pain pharmaceutical market is over $500 million and dominated by opioids and is expected to reach $42.16 billion worldwide by 2021. A cannabinoid based sustained release product has potential to enter that market.

From Emblem’s October 3rd Press Release:

Canntab Therapeutics Limited is a Canadian cannabis oral dosage formulation company based in Markham Ontario, engaged in the research and development of advanced pharmaceutical grade formulations of cannabinoids. Canntab has developed in-house technology to deliver standardized medical cannabis extract from selective strains in a variety of extended/sustained release pharmaceutical dosages for therapeutic use.

The Agreement grants to Emblem the exclusive right in Canada to Canntab’s patents and know-how for the purpose of developing, commercializing, using, selling, and offering the Sustained Release Product for sale under the Emblem brand. The License does not include the right to import or export the Product. The Sustained Release Products will be manufactured by Emblem or by Canntab, after Canntab receives appropriate licensing allowing such manufacture.

As per other Royalty Agreements in the Pharmaceutical Sector terms weren’t disclosed other than ‘double digit” royalty. To be clear this relationship with Canntab is extremely favorable to Emblem.

It cannot be overstated how important a develop this is for patients. Instead of waiting 5-10 years for a therapy to get to patients, cannabis based products take mere months. There is substantial evidence that cannabinoids are effective for the treatment of a number of conditions including (i) chronic pain (ii) nausea, (iii) anxiety and sleep disorders, and (iv) spasticity in patients with Multiple Sclerosis.

The Global Opiate Crisis

While therapies will address particular conditions, anecdotally many patients know and have expressed the efficacy, ease of use and lack of side effects in pain management particularly.

Emblem plans to bring products to deal with neurological pain by fall 2018. Once the 12- hour delivery protocol is established, many afflictions can be addressed via the proper strain and titration.

Investors need to embrace the potential of this market and acquire some exposure. Choose carefully as there are many companies who have and will likely fail or price themselves out of the market.

Emblem’s business plan sets three divisions to be profit centres. From ongoing reasonable to maximum growth:

- Dried flower is the commodity space which provides superior, but generic product

- High quality strains (think aged single malt scotch versus JW Black) for the aficionado

- Top quality strains for ongoing therapeutics’ development.

Margins increase exponentially from dried flower to medical strains. Emblem (TSXV:EMC) is focused on the two markets above dried flower, although will be a major force in all three.

Marijuana Market Maturing Slightly. Invest Carefully, but Invest

The Marijuana space has matured somewhat from mining guys seeing a quick turn in fortunes by announcing some hair-brained participation to get their languishing stock prices up.

Then there the companies who conclude that more marijuana is better and are growing as much as they can.

Finally, there are a few companies, such as Emblem that have a solid growth plan and are not afraid to state their corporate intentions. Many comparisons are made to the UK’s GW Pharma as the direction a developing company should travel.

GW’s Sativex is approved for the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis in 30 countries outside the United States. The Company has a deep pipeline of additional cannabinoid product candidates which includes compounds in Phase 1 and 2 trials for glioma, schizophrenia and epilepsy. GW’s ADS on NASDAQ in 2013 came at $8.90. Last trade at this writing was $114.07.

Fun Facts

- Some plant biologists got their early weed (60’s, 70’s) experience by serving time for possession, etc.

- Lots of anecdotal evidence that Big Pharma continues to pay doctors to keep their products at the forefront

The five companies that disclosed what they paid doctors over a six-month period (July to December 2016) were:

- AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) : $4,104,000

- Novartis (NYSE:NVS) : $3,645,026

- Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) : $2,365,000

- Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) : $1,388,187

- Gilead (NASDAQ: GILD) : $539,761

That alone should give Marijuana companies such as Emblem a place in your speculative portfolio.

Oh, yes. 10 percent of patients suffer from Trypanophobia. That fear keeps 20 percent of that number to never seek medical attention. Look it up…

Perhaps with the inevitable insertion of Marijuana based therapies should reduce or eliminate that number.

And how would Big Pharma ‘payola’ doctors for such a readily available and efficacious therapy? Bueller?

Next couple of decades should be interesting; with less pain, more sleep, relief from chronic disease as well as lives saved.

Legal Disclaimer/Disclosure: This document is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase or subscribe for any investment. No information in this Report should be construed as individualized investment advice. A licensed financial advisor should be consulted prior to making any investment decision. We make no guarantee, representation or warranty and accept no responsibility or liability as to its accuracy or completeness. assumes no warranty, liability or guarantee for the current relevance, correctness or completeness of any information provided within this Report and will not be held liable for the consequence of reliance upon any opinion or statement contained herein or any omission. has been compensated four thousand dollars for its efforts in distributing the TSXV:EMC profile on its web site and distributing it to its database of subscribers. Furthermore, we assume no liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage or, in particular, for lost profit, which you may incur as a result of the use and existence of the information, provided within this Report. ]]>
<![CDATA[AnaptysBio Makes Waves on Trial Data ]]>Tue, 10 Oct 2017 03:25:01 EST CEO Hamza Suria, “we are very encouraged by the efficacy results to date in this Phase 2a study, which exemplify our strategic focus on developing first-in-class anti-inflammatory antibody therapeutics to help patients suffering from debilitating inflammatory diseases.

“We look forward to further advancing the development of ANB020 for the treatment of patients with atopic diseases.”

The Phase 2a study is currently ongoing and EASI scores will be assessed for each patient up to 140 days post-ANB020 treatment. The company plans to report full data from this trial at a medical conference following study completion.

AnaptysBio is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing what it calls “first-in-class antibody product candidates focused on unmet medical needs in inflammation”.

Its shares neared the close Tuesday up in the stratosphere, leaping in price $31.02, or 88.6%, to $66.02.
<![CDATA[Wal-Mart Hikes on Share Buyback Program]]>Tue, 10 Oct 2017 11:30:29 EST also unveiled a $20-billion share repurchase program to replace its existing plan. The company says the new authorization will be used over a two-year period.

The big-box retailer explained it will continue to focus on remodeling existing stores and incorporating "digital experiences" in place of building new locations.

Ahead of its annual investor day in Bentonville, Arkansas, Wal-Mart said it expects its U.S. e-commerce business to grow sales by roughly 40% in fiscal 2019. Online transactions surged 60% during the second quarter of this year, the retailer declared in August.

The company still expects adjusted earnings per share for the fiscal year 2018 to fall between $4.30 and $4.40.

For fiscal 2019, Wal-Mart said it expects earnings to increase about 5% year over year. Net sales for fiscal 2019 are expected to grow close to 3%, driven by same-store and e-commerce sales growth, the company added.

In fiscal 2019, across the U.S., Walmart will open fewer than 15 Supercenters and fewer than 10 of its Neighborhood Markets.

For fiscal years 2018 and 2019 combined, Wal-Mart is calling for capital expenditures to be about $11 billion, with e-commerce investments going toward enhancing the retailer's supply chain. Wal-Mart's international business will also invest more in fulfillment capabilities.

Shares in Wal-Mart galloped $3.53, or 4.4%, to $84.06