A new tech regulator will work to limit the power of Google, Facebook and other tech platforms, the government has announced, in an effort to ensure a level playing field for smaller competitors and a fair market for consumers.

Under the plans, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will gain a dedicated Digital Markets Unit, empowered to write and enforce a new code of practice on technology companies which will set out the limits of acceptable behaviour.

The code will only affect those companies deemed to have “strategic market status”, though it has not yet been decided what that means, nor what restrictions will be imposed.

The business secretary, Alok Sharma, said: “Digital platforms like Google and Facebook make a significant contribution to our economy and play a massive role in our day-to-day lives – whether it’s helping us stay in touch with our loved ones, share creative content or … Read the rest

Equities in Canada’s largest centre managed gains late Friday, the second last day of a momentum November, as growth in health-care and tech stocks carried the day.

The TSX pulled out of the hole it was in early Friday and gained 45.22 points to end the session at 17,396.56. The gain for the week was 377 points, or 2.22%.

The Canadian dollar regained 0.18 cents to 76.98 cents U.S.

Health-care stocks led the field, with Aurora Cannabis showing gains of $2.18, or 18.7%, to $13.83, while Trillium Pharmaceuticals scaled $2.13, or 8.8%, to $26.31.

Among techs, Lightspeed POS surged $3.39, or 5%, to $71.89, while BlackBerry picked up 25 cents, or 3.2%, to $7.98.

In the consumer staples field, Saputo rallied 68 cents, or 1.9%, to $36.05, while Jamieson Wellness tallied 64 cents, or 1.8%, to $35.61.

Real-estate proved the biggest anchor, with Brookfield Property Partners units dropping 73 cents, … Read the rest

Sir Philip Green’s retail empire is facing collapse within days, putting 15,000 jobs at risk and bringing the curtain down on the high street career of one of Britain’s most controversial businessmen.

It is understood that Arcadia Group – which owns TopShop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins – is preparing to appoint administrators from Deloitte as soon as next week.

One retail industry figure said Arcadia’s collapse had become inevitable after talks with a number of lenders about an emergency £30m loan ended without success.

The appointment of administrators could happen as early as Monday, although one person close to the situation said the plan had yet to be finalised and that it could yet be delayed.

If the insolvency is confirmed, it is expected to trigger a scramble among creditors to get their hands on the company’s assets.

It would involve Arcadia’s online operations and the stores which are … Read the rest



Economic Lookahead

Chicago Purchasing Managers Index (Nov.)

Pending Home Sales Index (Oct.)

Featured Earnings

Adient (NYSE: ADNT) (Q4) EPS projected for 96 cents, compared to 63 cents in the prior-year quarter.

Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) (Q3) EPS projected for 57 cents, compared to one cent in the prior-year quarter.

New Jersey Resources (NYSE: NJR) (Q4) EPS projected for 57 cents, compared to 29 cents in the prior-year quarter.


Economic Lookahead

Industrial Product Price Index (Oct.) The index edged down 0.1% in September, led by lower prices for energy and petroleum products.

Raw Materials Price Index (Oct.) The index fell 2.2%, pulled downward mainly by lower prices for crude energy products.

Building Permits (Sept.) The total value of building permits rose 1.7% to $8.1 billion in August, driven by an increase in the residential sector in Ontario and Quebec.

Featured Earnings

1933 Industries Inc. (C.TGIF) (Q4) Read the rest

Spanish lender Banco Sabadell has said it will consider options for its UK bank TSB after it called off a planned merger with rival BBVA.

Sabadell and BBVA said they were in merger talks less than two weeks ago, but they failed to agree a price.

Sabadell said it would now seek “strategic alternatives for creating value with regard to the group’s international assets, including TSB”.

It did not specify if that would mean selling TSB, which it bought in 2015.

Separately, TSB said it had “good momentum” in its business growth as well as progress in “taking full control of our IT, delivering a right-sized modern branch network and reducing overall operating costs”.

In January, it signed a deal with US computing giant IBM to run its online banking, bank systems and cash machines, in an attempt to put a stop to the IT failures that have plagued the … Read the rest

Stocks in the U.S. rose on Friday as traders wrapped up a strong week amid decreasing political uncertainty and positive vaccine news.

The Dow Jones Industrials regained 52.47 points to proceed during a shortened session at 29,924.84.

The S&P 500 recovered 11.26 points to 3,640.91,

The NASDAQ raced 121.65 points, or 1%, to 12,216.06.

U.S. markets were closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. Friday’s session will close at 1 p.m. EST.

The Dow, S&P 500 and NASDAQ were all up at least 2% for the week entering Friday’s session. Earlier in the week, the Dow jumped to an all-time high, breaking above 30,000 for the first time. The S&P 500 also notched a record closing high this week, and the Russell 2000 rallied to an all-time high.

Retailers led the early gains as investors bet on a strong holiday shopping season. Amazon shares advanced 0.8%. Shopify advanced 0.8%, and … Read the rest

Everyone agrees we need economic growth, but we cannot agree on how it can be achieved. There are two fundamental approaches the government can take.

The first is through more public spending, which would put the country into even more debt. In the short term, while interest rates are low, the problems of this are not so severe, but the long term impacts are a different story.

The other option is to stimulate the private sector with lower taxes and eliminate red tape.  However, deregulation takes time to implement whereas the positive effects of reducing business taxes are immediate. The best and most immediate action the government could take to put a proverbial rocket up our economy is to scrap corporation tax in its entirety.

Lance Forman, Vice Chairman of the Independent Business Network (IBN) sets out 10 reasons why the Government should scrap corporation tax:


If a company … Read the rest

Equities in Toronto moved progressively higher approaching noon Thursday, hovering around nine-month highs as declines in energy stocks were offset by gains in major technology and mining players, while a U.S. market holiday kept trading volumes low.

The TSX surged 40.43 points to pause for noon at 17,353.50.

The Canadian dollar eased 0.07 cents to 76.89 cents U.S.

The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was BRP Inc., which jumped $3.26, or 4.6%, to $73.50 after a series of price-target hikes on strong third-quarter results.

Equitable Group fell 56 cents to $98.07, while the second biggest decliner was Inter Pipeline, down 25 cents, or 1.8%, to $13.31.

The most heavily traded shares by volume were Suncor Energy, which lost 13 cents to $22.70, Score Media and Gaming, which hurtled nine cents, or 11.4%, to 88 cents, and Nevada Copper, unchanged by noon EST to 11 cents.

In economic circles, Statistics … Read the rest

More than 95,000 newly incorporated business could join the quarter of a million firms that failed to meet recent Companies House accounts deadlines this year, following a record boom in new business registrations.

According to official government figures there were 397,135 new incorporations in Q2 and Q3 2020 combined, with HMRC reporting that one in four businesses required to file a month-to-date VAT return failed to do so on time, as well as more than a quarter of a million companies missing the September accounts deadline.

The proportion of business that fail to meet the important filing deadlines may also increase due to the added pressures of Covid, despite deadline extensions, as business owners and directors deal with the pressures of running a business during the pandemic.

Simon Wallwork, Partner & Head of Corporate and Commercial at Slater Heelis, said: “The pandemic and resulting rise in redundancies have accelerated … Read the rest

The Canadian dollar is on a tear, relatively speaking. USD/CAD extended losses yesterday, breeching support at $1.3000, and touching $1.2990, before rebounding to $1.3027 overnight. However, the Canadian dollar gains since November 2 pale in the face of the gains achieved by its commodity bloc cousins, AUD/USD which rose 4.37%, and NZD/USD, up 5.29%.

The Canadian dollar is getting some support from WTI oil prices which have risen over 34% since November 2. Oil prices have gained because of speculation that when the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia meet at the end of the month, they will agree to delay the schedule reduction of existing production cuts until the middle of 2021. Also, news of successful COVID-19 vaccine tests raised expectations for a surge in oil demand in the coming months.

Global equity indexes continue to climb. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 30,000 for the … Read the rest