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Noah Zivitz

Managing Editor, BNN

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TD Bank cranked out double-digit growth in its core Canadian and U.S. retail banking divisions, but still came just shy of profit estimates in the latest quarter ($1.36 versus $1.39 expected). The soft spot in the numbers was capital markets, where earnings dipped six per cent. CIBC, meanwhile, steamrolled estimates in its fourth quarter thanks in part to a profit surge south of the border on the back of the PrivateBancorp takeover.

ENBRIDGE RAISES CASH, BOOSTS DIVIDEND, EYES ASSET SALES

That’s the news in a nutshell after Enbridge formalized its plan for life after integrating Spectra Energy. The quarterly dividend is rising 10 per cent to 67 cents per share, $1.5 billion is being raised in a private placement of common shares at a slight discount to yesterday’s closing price, and at least $3 billion worth of assets are earmarked to be sold or otherwise “monetized”. The company also expects to continue boosting its dividend 10 per cent/year through 2020. We’ll gather reaction from shareholders today.

OPEC MEETS

Oil is little changed this morning amid a general expectation OPEC and non-cartel countries will agree to extend their coordinated production cuts. The meeting is underway in Vienna, with Saudi Arabia’s energy minister declaring compliance so far has been “fantastic” and his preference is a nine-month extension through the end of 2018. The closing news conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. ET. Throughout the day we’ll assess how U.S. shale producers will respond and the spillover effect for Canada’s oil patch.

BITCOIN ROLLERCOASTER

Talk about volatility. After surging almost 15 per cent to US$11,434 in early trading yesterday, the cryptocurrency plunged as much as nine per cent in afternoon trading. Worth circling back to what former Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge told us this week: “If you think of it as an instrument for facilitating exchange that has highly variable value, it is not very useful.” 

TRANSAT TARMAC REPORT

The Canadian Transportation Agency is scheduled to release a report this afternoon on Transat’s marathon tarmac delays in July. We have chases out for principals. Big question is whether this report will do anything to ensure travellers aren’t trapped on a tarmac for six hours under, shall we say, difficult conditions. BNN's Paige Ellis will jog our memories before the report is released.

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES:

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

-Lundin Mining shares plunged at the open after the company cut some of its production forecasts late Wednesday. 

-Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer will share his vision for Canada’s economy at a lunch-hour speech in Toronto. An interesting/awkward twist: When the Canadian Club first announced the event, Morneau Shepell was listed as a sponsor. It has since been replaced by Borden Ladner Gervais.

-The Fraser Institute is aiming to undercut a common narrative around tax fairness, with a new report showing Canada’s top 20 per cent of income earners pay almost 56% of all taxes in Canada.

NOTABLE RELEASES/EVENTS

-Notable earnings: TD, CIBC

-Notable data: Canadian current account balance, U.S. personal income and spending

-8:00 a.m. ET: Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Big City Mayors’ Caucus holds meeting in Toronto

-9:00 a.m. ET: Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne delivers speech in Toronto

-11:00 a.m. ET: Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr delivers remarks at Vancouver Board of Trade Energy Forum

-1200: Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer delivers speech in Toronto

-12:00 p.m. ET: GM investor webcast on automaker's plan for autonomous vehicles

-12:20 p.m. ET: Kinder Morgan Canada President Ian Anderson delivers remarks at Vancouver Board of Trade Energy Forum

-1:30 p.m. ET: Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci holds media avail in Edmonton after meeting with economists

-2:00 p.m. ET: CTA releases report on Transat tarmac delays

-2:20 p.m. ET: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley delivers remarks at Vancouver Board of Trade Energy Forum

-3:00 p.m. ET: Justin Trudeau meets with GE CEO John Flannery in Ottawa

-OPEC meeting in Vienna

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