It's Bank of Canada day! It's Bank of Canada Day!
The Bank of Canada kept its benchmark lending rate unchanged this morning at 1 percent, as persistent economic risks from Europe and an inconsistent
recovery in the U.S. outweigh inflation gains and a robust housing market ("At these rates, you'd be crazy NOT to buy!") in Canada. Bank of
Canada Governor Mark Carney's challenge is to talk tough on real estate and rising household debt while leaving rates near record lows and admitting
that an uneven global economy remains a threat to Canadian growth. It's a tough balance to strike and the market will use today's statement to gauge
just how long the Bank of Canada can maintain it. Will an indication that rates could rise sooner than anticipated prompt a surge in demand for home
loans? Would a signal that economic risks from abroad remain high convince some companies to hold back on hiring?
As luck would have it, the IMF releases its world economic outlook at 9 a.m. ET as well. We'll see just how the IMF's forecasts compare with the Bank of
Also this morning, U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to announce some new oil market oversight measures and a "crackdown on manipulation" at
11:10 a.m. ET. Calculating for his typical tardiness and verbal drift (I'd like to thank the good folks of (insert town name here) for havin' us today.
Good folks, good hard-workin' folks, like (insert blue-collar resident's name here) sittin' right over there…), we can expect the announcement
closer to 11:45 a.m. Speculation that the Strategic Petroleum Reserve could be tapped soon to alleviate upward pressure on gas prices and downward
pressure on the White House has caused plenty of volatility in WTI prices in recent days.
Argentina's seizing of Repsol YPF's Argentine unit, YPF, makes for an interesting story on many levels. It comes hard on the heels of the Summit of
the Americas and amid a growing debt crisis in Spain. Repsol is Spain's biggest energy company and its shareholders are Spain's biggest banks. The
timing could not be worse for Spain. Also, there may be implications for Canadian oil companies and banks operating in Latin America.
Among the earnings we're watching today is Goldman Sachs. The fifth-biggest U.S. bank and world's biggest financial whipping boy said first-quarter
profit dropped a less-than-expected 23 percent to $2.11 billion or $3.92 a share, beating the $3.55 expectation. Goldman boosted its dividend by 31
percent and said nothing about its plans for inter galactic expansion/exploitation. But then they wouldn't, would they.
We're also watching earnings from Coca-Cola, U.S. Bancorp, Johnson & Johnson as well as IBM, Yahoo and Intel after the bell.
Every morning Managing Editor Marty Cej writes a "chase note" to BNN's
editorial staff listing the stories and events that will be in the spotlight
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