Tuesday morning briefing: Retail sales way down in the U.S.

Some investing heavyweights recently sounded the alarm on equities. Stanley Druckenmiller believes the risk-reward tradeoff for equities is not attractive, while David Tepper thinks the market is overvalued. U.S.-China tensions appear to be growing as the U.S. Commerce Department looked to put restrictions on Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. Meanwhile, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board and the Bank of Canada expressed downbeat tones about the U.S. and Canadian economies, respectively.

International Nurses Day was on May 12. We are grateful to have these brave individuals standing on the frontlines and helping our families, friends and neighbours during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Economic/industry news

U.K. GDP falls in the first quarter: UK economy posts sharpest monthly decline on record as coronavirus lockdowns begin to take toll

Could Canada lose its AAA-rating?: Soaring Canadian deficit may jeopardize AAA rating: Macquarie

The Fed is uncertain on the U.S. economic recovery: Recession could be prolonged: Fed

Bank of America forecasts lower returns in the decade ahead: Investors should brace for higher inflation and lower returns in 2020s, Bank of America warns

Could private assets be susceptible to a downturn?: Trillions are flowing to private assets on recession front line

Sustainable funds performed relatively well during the recent market decline: Sustainable funds outperformed during sell-off, report finds

Reasons for hope

A look at the steps being taken to find a vaccine for COVID-19: What is the world doing to create a COVID-19 vaccine?

Drone delivery team shifting gears: Amazon is designing and building face shields to sell to frontline workers

Coffee4Frontline is saying thanks to our frontline heroes: Family delivers coffee, baked goods to ‘heroes’ in Ontario battling COVID-19

Adapting your business

How businesses could come back stronger post crisis: From surviving to thriving: Reimagining the post-COVID-19 return

Flexibility is key to getting through a recession: How to reinvent your business to survive a recession

Get clients to take a long-term view: Try this when consoling clients about investment losses

Pandemic highlights importance of digital marketing for advisors: The value of digital marketing clearer now more than ever

Solidifying a long-term relationship with trust: How to build client trust during the pandemic and beyond

Chart of the week

One of the main drivers of economic growth over the past decade has significantly weakened recent months. Retail sales in the U.S. posted a record decline in April, falling 16.4%, after dropping 8.3% in March. The spread of COVID-19 largely halted economic activity in the U.S., resulting in a substantial rise in unemployment. This all significantly dragged down spending. As the U.S. economy begins to reopen, consumer spending should rise. But will it be enough to lift the U.S. economy to a quick recovery? Let us know what you think.
Used with permission of Bloomberg Finance L.P.

News and notes (U.S.)

Hedge funds had a particularly strong month in April: Hedge fund industry gains 5.46 per cent in April, says Backstop BarclayHedge

A look at how much salaries could fall in the asset management industry: How far will asset management pay fall?

PE firms still standing strong: Private equity firms have a ‘fair amount of dry powder,’ Carlyle Group co-founder says

PNC exiting investment in BlackRock: BlackRock says PNC selling stake, plans $1B buyback

News and notes (Canada)

CI taps DoubleLine Capital for new fixed income funds: CI launches three new fixed income mandates

ATB launches PE fund: ATB Financial launches small-business PE fund

Use of cash declining: Cash usage plummets during pandemic

Pre-signed forms were still a problem in 2019: Pre-signed forms the top MFDA enforcement issue – again

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