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Noah Zivitz

Managing Editor, BNN

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There’s no holding back Bitcoin these days. The cryptocurrency broke through US$15,000 in early trading, building on the winning streak that has propelled it to a better-than 50 per cent gain this month alone. What can justify that type of move? And what happens when futures start trading (on the CBOE first, and then the CME on the 18th)? BNN's Jameson Berkow will address some of the risks investors should be mindful of.

Worth pointing out the U.S. Futures Industry Association is warning about the apparent hastiness of bringing futures to market: “We believe that this expedited self-certification process for these novel products does not align with the potential risks that underlie their trading and should be reviewed,” it wrote in an open letter to the head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

And we look forward to getting insight on cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology when GMP Securities CEO Harris Fricker and Galaxy Investment Partners CEO Mike Novogratz join us at 10:30 a.m. ET.

'OUT OF CONTROL' HOLIDAY SPENDING IN CANADA

A new CIBC poll shows almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of Canadians say their holiday spending this year is “out of control,” with 52 per cent saying they’ll bust their budget. The average holiday spending bill in Canada will be $643 this year, compared to $597 in 2016. That might be music to the ears of retailers; maybe not so much for the Bank of Canada, considering perennial fears about household finances. The most generous spenders, on average, are in Atlantic Canada ($827), and Quebecers appear most budget-conscious ($479).

LULULEMON BEATS, RAISES

The athleisure apparel company’s stock is zipping higher in the pre-market after its third-quarter profit beat estimates on double-digit sales growth. There’s also a $200-million stock buyback and a stronger outlook for full-year sales and earnings. We’ll dive into the outlook with CEO Laurent Potdevin at 10:20 a.m. ET, including his ambitious growth strategy in China.

TRUDEAU STILL WORKING ON A 'VERY BIG THING'

As far as the Prime Minister’s Office is concerned, Justin Trudeau just “successfully conclude[d]” his five-day official visit to China. He walks away, however, without having officially launched the start of free-trade talks with the world’s second-largest economy. Speaking with reporters today, Trudeau said it was a “very constructive, positive” trip. He faced a barrage of questions about the outlook for a trade deal, which he framed as being “a very big thing” for both countries, and that “there was never any illusions that this would be quick or easy.”

MONTREAL HOME SALES 

Home sales across the Montreal Metropolitan Area rose 12 per cent year-over-year in November (led by a surge in condo transactions), while listings dropped 13 per cent and the median single-family home price inched up to $322,000.

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES:

-TSX record high watch: 16,131.79 is the all-time high set on Nov. 7.

-Canadian Western Bank's adjusted fourth quarter profit jumped 25 per cent, beating estimates by six cents. Notably, the company says it has "tightened lending criteria".

-Watch for an exit interview today with outgoing Toronto Transit Commission CEO Andy Byford, who will take the helm of New York City’s transit agency next month. Byford will share his parting thoughts on Bombardier after the streetcar fiasco he faced in Toronto, and his views on keeping New York commuters happy.

-Earlier this week it was Aphria and Shoppers; now, CanniMed Therapeutics has confirmed an exclusive supply agreement with PharmaChoice. The deal was well-telegraphed: CanniMed disclosed in March the two sides were intending to reach an agreement

NOTABLE RELEASES/EVENTS

-Notable earnings: Canadian Western Bank, DavidsTea 

-Notable data: Canadian building permits

-2:40 p.m. ET: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley delivers speech to Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

-End of public consultation period for federal government's proposed excise tax on recreational cannabis 

Every morning BNN's Managing Editor Noah Zivitz writes a ‘chase note’ to BNN's editorial staff listing the stories and events that will be in the spotlight that day. Have it delivered to your inbox before the trading day begins by heading to www.bnn.ca/subscribe