Monday morning briefing: U.S. job market is stressed

Canada’s two largest housing markets, Toronto and Vancouver, reported year-over-year sales and average price increases in December. In Toronto, home sales rose 65% in December 2020 (over December 2019), while the average price of homes advanced 11% (to $932,222, all prices in C$), according to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reported home sales increased 53% year-over-year in December, while the average price of a home rose to over $1 million.

Ultra-low mortgage rates and the work-from-home trend contributed to strong demand. Although real estate demand in these markets has been rising, high unemployment and subdued income data could limit this demand going forward.

Economic/industry news

Canada’s unemployment rate 8.6% in December: Canada’s labour market loses jobs for first time since April

U.S. economy loses 140,000 jobs in December: Economy sees job loss in December for the first time since April as surging virus takes toll

Investment banking posts record fees in 2020: Unprecedented year sets records for investment bankers

From hedge fund to ETF: A tiny hedge fund just made history by turning into an ETF

Alternatives in target-date funds?: The case for alternative investments in target date funds

Sectoral GDP will indicate the progress of the recovery: The ‘must-watch’ economic data point for 2021

Reasons for hope

The EU approves Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine: Moderna’s COVID vaccine wins backing of European Union panel

Protecting cats from COVID-19: Inside the two biotech companies working together on a COVID-19 vaccine for cats

Bringing the holiday magic to students: Preschool director with big heart drives for Uber to ensure kids get holiday gifts – so community rallies to buy her a car

Adapting your business

Finding comfort in candy: Why the century-old family business behind Dum-Dum Lollipops is thriving in 2020

How leaders can support their teams in 2021: What will business leadership look like this year?

It may be time for advisors to consider sustainable investing: Will 2021 be the year advisors embrace sustainable investing?

Chart of the week: U.S. job market is stressed

While the U.S. labour market improved over the second half of 2020, new challenges to the labour market arose in December. The U.S. lost 140,000 jobs during the month in response to rising COVID-19 cases and new lockdown restrictions. The monthly drop in jobs signals that the labour market recovery will be somewhat uneven, as many economists had expected. How much further deterioration will occur if COVID-19 cases continue to rise and lockdowns remain? Let us know what you think.
Used with permission of Bloomberg Finance L.P.

News and notes (U.S.)

Family offices want to increase their hedge fund allocations: World’s super-rich families want more hedge funds, survey finds

Potential trends for the hedge fund industry: Top hedge fund industry trends for 2021

The top deals from 2020: The top 10 VC and PE deals of 2020

Bankruptcies at their highest level since the financial crisis: Pandemic spurs most bankruptcy filings since 2009

Another try for a Bitcoin ETF: SkyBridge Capital launches Bitcoin Fund; VanEck tries again for a Bitcoin ETF

Why Ed Hyman is so successful, year after year: The unbeatable Ed Hyman

News and notes (Canada)

Why 2021 could be a strong year for the Canadian investment industry: Letter: Investment industry well-positioned for the post-COVID recovery

Could Magna help Apple build cars?: A US$21-billion wager on a Canadian company that could build the Apple car

Hootsuite acquires leading SaaS provider: Hootsuite acquires leading digital customer engagement platform, Sparkcentral BMO expects the Canadian economy to grow by 5% in 2021: Canadian economy poised for strong growth: BMO

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