Nov 18, 2012 / 8:00 am
The looming U.S. fiscal cliff will weigh on markets again this week amid uncertainty that politicians can come together to defuse a potential crisis that threatens to send the U.S. into recession and derail a fragile global economic recovery.
"If there is no indication that a compromise is going to be reached, and that some type of resolution is going to be reached, equity markets as we are witnessing, will pass verdict," said Andrew Pyle, investment adviser at ScotiaMcLeod in Peterborough, Ont.
Investors will also be anxious to see if shoppers' confidence has been shaken as the American retail sector launches the start of the holiday shopping season with many stores opening their doors Thanksgiving night on Thursday.
The TSX has tumbled 3.9 per cent since the election Nov. 6 as worries about a sudden slowing of economic growth would be bad news for a resource heavy market like Toronto's, since a lessening of demand for oil and metals would put pressure on mining and energy stocks.
The Dow industrial average has fallen five per cent as investors worry about higher dividend and capital gains taxes.
The election left the Washington status quo largely in effect, the Democrats control the White House and Senate while Republicans continue to control the House of Representatives.
The outcome left traders lacking confidence that lawmakers can agree on a budget deficit cutting compromise and defuse the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts and the automatic imposition of huge spending cuts. Many economists believe the combination would send the U.S. back into recession.
There was some comfort at the end of the week as congressional leaders expressed confidence a deal could be reached following a Friday meeting with president Barack Obama.
And while many think that American politicians will get a compromise together out of sheer self-survival instincts, it's not surprising that investors aren't waiting around until Dec. 31 to protect themselves, particularly in the U.S. where much higher dividend and capital gains tax hikes are a real possibility.
On the economic front, traders will look to the September reading on Canadian retail sales. Economists looked for Statistics Canada to report sales rose 0.5 per cent during the month following a 0.3 per cent rise in August.
In the U.S., traders hope to see continued signs of an improving housing sector amid lower levels of foreclosures and modest price increases.
Housing starts for October are reckoned to come in at an annualized rate of 840,000, down from 872,000 in September.
Read more Business News
|QHR Technologies Inc||1.28||+0.09|
|Anavex Life Sciences||0.38||0.00|
|Copper Mountain Mining||1.54||-0.01|
This column is the last of three, for how to prove your personal injury claim. It is the piece de resistance of the trilogy, the Chuck Norris piece – the final say! As mentioned in the first two...
The bank manager just phoned and asked for full and immediate repayment of the line of credit because the latest, (and they were late!), financial statements showed continuing losses and falling sales...
Recently I recorded a video series for my keynote speaking business. It was called from Faith to Future. In one of the episodes, I talked about the concept of using hard work to get out of a difficul...
- Healthy hiring in November would mark fourth straight month of solid job growth
- Bruce Lee's iconic yellow jumpsuit fetches $100,000 at Hong Kong auction
- Spotify to allow users to create playlists on phones and tablets and listen to them for free
- US lurching from 'crisis to crisis,' politics influenced by money: Gary Doer
- Governments offers help to develop seal products in backing Atlantic industry
- Precision Drilling shares plummet as Alberta fund manager sells stake
- Most actively traded companies on the TSX, TSX Venture Exchange markets
- CIBC logs $836M profit in Q4, cautiously optimistic about next year
- Auto insurers urge holiday season refresher as young drivers return home
- Canadian Press NewsAlert: Canada creates 21,600 jobs, Nov. jobless rate 6.9%
- New CEO will help prepare Royal Bank for future, as divisions feel the pressure
- TD Bank Q4 profit rises to $1.62 billion, adjusted earnings up but miss estimate