Monday morning briefing: Gold bugs are buzzing

The retail industry took another hit as DavidsTea Inc. announced it is filing for creditor protection. COVID-19 lockdowns put substantial pressure on the company’s finances. In its plans to restructure, DavidsTea will close 82 stores in Canada, all of its stores in the U.S., and will bolster its online presence.

As online sales continue to grow, particularly amid the pandemic, more retailers may consider streamlining operations across fewer stores and focusing more on online sales. How will employment be impacted? Will there be an impact on commercial real estate? The pandemic is sure to result in a new normal for the retail industry.

Economic/industry news

Canada’s unemployment rate declined in June: Canada adds 952,900 jobs in June, blowing past monthly estimates

U.S. services sector returns to expansion: June US ISM non-manufacturing index 57.1 vs 50.2 expected

The Canadian government expects low growth through 2021: High unemployment, $343B deficit projected in Liberals’ fiscal snapshot

Fundraising for private debt is picking up: Private debt gets all the action

Understanding indexes, and index-tracking ETFs: Understanding the role of indexes in today’s markets

Reasons for hope

A look at the top COVID-19 vaccine candidates and the challenges they face: How a coronavirus vaccine will get to market

Working together on a potential vaccine: Canadian company to collaborate on potential coronavirus vaccine with GSK

A few companies thriving amid the pandemic: 3 innovations meeting new demand in the COVID-19 era

Adapting your business

Collaborating while working apart: Collaboration in the new world of work

The pandemic has sped up the digital transformation of broker-dealers: Financial firms speeding tech adoption due to pandemic: survey

Gen Z’s money habits could change in response to COVID-19: How the coronavirus changed Gen Z’s views about money

Calling Google Assistant for account information: Schwab clients can now say ‘Hey Google’ for account info

Needing more holistic wealth planning: Think you’re meeting enough with clients? They don’t agree

Chart of the week: Gold bugs are buzzing

The spot price of gold passed the US$1,800 per ounce mark last week, reaching levels last seen in 2011. After remaining weak for many years, the price of gold started to rise in late 2018, as U.S.-China trade tensions gave rise to heightened uncertainty about the global economy.

Prices have again spiked in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought the global economy to a near halt and resulted in a sharp rise in fiscal and monetary stimulus. The question now is how high can gold go? With more cases of COVID-19 challenging the global economic recovery, and potentially more stimulus on the horizon, is US$2,000 within reach?

Used with permission of Bloomberg Finance L.P.

News and notes (U.S.)

Starting a career in tough market conditions: Is Wall Street’s youngest talent doomed?

Accepting new capital: Soros Family Office, Texas pensioners lead rush into hedge funds

Some VCs are increasing their investments this year: Not all VC investors are being slowed down by the pandemic

T. Rowe Price to launch four actively managed ETFs: T. Rowe Price gets final nod for active ETFs

Mutual fund sales and performance over the past two weeks: Mutual funds scorecard: July 8 edition

News and notes (Canada)

National Bank raises investment in Nest Wealth: Nest Wealth and National Bank expand partnership

Helping plan sponsors and members with sustainable investing: Sun Life launching ESG framework for pension plan sponsors

Year-to-date net flows into Canadian ETFs were $22.4 billion: ETF flows in Canada surge in first half of 2020 Hoarding fifties: There’s a shortage of $50 bills in Canada after pandemic hoarding

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