Justin Trudeau – The Daily Chase: Canada sheds 212,800 jobs in January; Robinhood lifts curbs
Canada’s economy has a brutal start to the year, as we learned this morning that 212,800 jobs were wiped out last month. It’s the worst showing for the labour market since March and April when a combined 3 million positions were eliminated. No surprise, that the services industry was hardest hit in January, with almost 168,000 lost jobs in the wholesale and retail industry sectors alone. This is what COVID-19’s impact looks like right now. We’ll have in-depth analysis throughout the day. Meanwhile, over the U.S., non-farm payrolls rose by just 49,000.
It’s impossible to talk about the employment landscape without connecting the dots to COVID. And, boy, have our Bloomberg partners pulled together a doozy. “Based on Canada’s latest rate of inoculations it would take more than 10 years to reach 75 per cent coverage. That might serve as a wake-up call to Canadian politicians and health officials, but it doesn’t mean the country is doomed to a decade of social distancing,” warns Tom Randall in a piece that was pumped out on Bloomberg terminals across the globe, and based on our partners’ impressive global vaccine tracker.
ROBINHOOD SCRAPS CURBS
Robinhood has lifted trading curbs that had been imposed on some of the most volatile stocks. Even so, GameStop and AMC Entertainment are only posting single-digit gains in pre-market trading. And GameStop is down almost 84 per cent since the end of last week.
OIL EXTENDS GAINS
West Texas Intermediate climbed above US$57 per barrel in early trading, continuing the push that has propelled the TSX’s energy subgroup more than 8 per cent higher this year and factored into the composite index’s climb to a new intraday record yesterday.
OTHER NOTABLE STORIES
A big (though media-shy) name in Canada’s retail industry is getting in on the SPAC action. Glenn Murphy – the current chair of Lululemon who’s previously run Shoppers Drug Mart and Gap – has teamed up with KKR on a blank-cheque company that’ll seek out its targets in the consumer and retail industries.
All of a sudden, demand is picking up for the feds’ lender-of-last-resort program. GoodLife Fitness is tapping the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility for $310 million. The arrangement comes just a few days after Sunwing resorted to a LEEFF loan.
Unifor announced via Twitter late yesterday that Chrysler’s assembly plant in Windsor, Ont. will be idled for three weeks as a result of the global semiconductor shortage that’s rippling across the automotive industry.
Open Text shares have been up more than 5 per cent in pre-market trading on the Nasdaq after the Canadian business software and cloud player beat fiscal second-quarter profit and revenue estimates. We’ve got CEO Mark Barrenechea on The Open at 10:40 a.m.
Snap shares are falling in pre-market trading after the company disappointed investors by forecasting a first-quarter loss, which overshadowed double-digit revenue and user growth in the latest quarter.
Peloton Interactive shares are also under pressure in early trading after the latest sign that it’s a victim of its own success. Revenue more than doubled in the fiscal second quarter and it bumped up its subscriber and revenue outlooks for the year. But it’s also been forced into “substantial additional investments” to keep up with demand for its high-tech workout gear. We’ve got Peloton President William Lynch on The Open at 8:45 a.m.
Indigo Books & Music CEO Heather Reisman blasted the “particularly uneven playing field in Ontario” as constraining the retailer’s performance in the holiday quarter as revenue slumped 5% amid government-mandated store closures.
Notable data: Canadian labour force survey, Canadian trade balance, U.S. non-farm payrolls, U.S. trade balance
11 a.m. ET: White House COVID-19 Response Team holds press briefing
11:30 a.m. ET: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses Canadians from Rideau Cottage
11:45 a.m. ET: U.S. President delivers remarks at the White House on the state of the economy and the American Rescue Plan
1 p.m. ET: White House press briefing (incl. Council of Economic Advisers member Jared Bernstein)