Monday morning briefing: A look back at Q1 GDP

Increased tensions between the U.S. and China might impact global trade activity and financial markets. Economic reopening efforts continue across the U.S. and Canada. Investors are closely monitoring economic results to see if the worst is behind us.

The “Big Six” Canadian banks put aside a total of $10.9 billion for credit loss provisions, given the potential impact of COVID-19 on their customers and businesses. While this weighed on profits, Canadian banks remain well-capitalized and should emerge from this pandemic in a strong position.

Economic/industry news

Canada’s economy fell 8.2% (annualized) in Q1: Canadian output plunges with further damage expected

From blue chip to junk?: Inside the $2.5 trillion debt binge that has taken S&P 500 titans including Boeing and AT&T from blue chips to near junk

Fitch says the worst may be over: Economic collapse may be close to bottoming out: report

Goldman Sachs sees an uneven recovery: Goldman Sachs warns global economic recovery could be bumpy 

A look at some industries that may face challenges in the recovery: Some industries won’t have a reopening comeback

Reasons for hope

Merck looking to develop COVID-19 vaccine and treatment: Merck in collaboration to develop coronavirus vaccine, with clinical trials to start this year

Creating a hospital unit for people rehabbing after a COVID-19 infection: Coming back from COVID-19: A rehab story

Finding ways to adapt, and give back, amid the pandemic: Caledon businesses adapt in a COVID-19 world

Looking to help businesses impacted by COVID-19: Google expands tools to help businesses impacted by COVID-19

Adapting your business

Maximizing social media to enhance customer service: How social media closes the physical gap with banking customers

Getting the best out of your remote customer service team: 4 ways to set your remote customer service team up for success

Transitioning your marketing efforts as the crisis stabilizes: How to shift your marketing now: Tips from billion-dollar RIAs

The COVID-19 pandemic may force change upon the financial advice industry: How practices will change thanks to COVID-19

What’s ahead for working from home: Can we just work from home forever?

Chart of the week

The spread of COVID-19 significantly impacted the Canadian economy in the first quarter of 2020. Canada’s gross domestic product contracted 8.2%, annualized, which was its steepest decline since 2009. While all facets of the economy saw weakness, none was more pronounced than consumer spending. That sector fell at its fastest pace ever, declining 9.0%. Given widespread shutdowns and higher unemployment, the decline in spending was not surprising. Adding to economic weakness was a decline in the price of oil. A disagreement between OPEC+ members and lower global demand dragged down the price of oil. While the economy might be weak again in the second quarter, rising oil prices and reopening efforts could help the economy. Let us know what you think.
Used with permission of Bloomberg Finance L.P.

News and notes (U.S.)

Insurers have reduced their holdings in hedge funds: Insurers continue to reduce hedge fund exposures

A look at hedge funds’ holdings amid the COVID-19 pandemic: Q1 2020 filings insights

Hedge funds looking for, and hiring, talent: Hedge funds pay up in U.S. to poach from rivals stung by turmoil

Private equity closings and commitments dropped in the first quarter: Private equity activity slumps in Q1: report

Mutual fund sales and performance over the past two weeks: Mutual funds scorecard: May 27 edition

News and notes (Canada)

CI acquires a strategic position in U.S. RIA firm: CI acquires stake in another U.S. RIA, launches new private pools

Investing in real estate companies challenged by COVID-19: Slate launches COVID-19 real-estate strategy

BMO to eliminate DSC funds from its lineup: BMO to discontinue DSC funds later this year

Canadian Pension Plan’s assets increased by $17.6 billion in fiscal 2020: CPPIB’s assets under management increased in 2020. The fees it paid increased even more.

Over a quarter of burden reduction efforts have been completed: OSC provides update on burden reduction efforts

For financial marketing and investment commentary help, contact us at 1.844.243.1830 or