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Tech Sell-Off Continues

Overview:  The markets are unsettled.  Bond yields have jumped, tech stocks are leading an equity slump, and yesterday’s crude oil bounce reversed.  Gold, which peaked last week near $1877, has been dumped to around $1793.  The tech sell-off in the…

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Overview:  The markets are unsettled.  Bond yields have jumped, tech stocks are leading an equity slump, and yesterday's crude oil bounce reversed.  Gold, which peaked last week near $1877, has been dumped to around $1793.  The tech sell-off in the US carried into the Asia Pacific session, and Hong Kong led most markets lower.  The local holiday let Japanese markets off unscathed, though the Nikkei futures are off about 0.4%.  Australia and India managed to post minor gains as the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell for the fourth time in five sessions.  Europe's Stoxx 600 has slid around 1.5% today, its fourth consecutive decline, but has clawed back nearly half the gains.  It is the longest retreat in two months.  US futures are lower, with the NASDAQ leading the move.   Near 1.64%, the US 10-year yield is at the upper end of this month's range.  Last month it reached 1.70%.  European bond yields are mostly 4-6 bp higher, and peripheral spreads have widened a little.  The dollar is sitting in the middle of the major currencies.  The dollar bloc, sterling, and the Norwegian krone, which are the risk-on, levered to growth currencies, are weaker.  The euro, yen, and Swiss franc are little changed but firmer.  The dollar briefly traded above JPY115.00 in Asia, without Tokyo,  before being pushed back. The steady euro has taken some pressure off most of the regional currencies.  The Turkish lira has been in a virtual freefall following President Erdogan's spirited defense of his efforts to drive down rates.    There was around 10 lira to the dollar in the middle of November.  Today, at its peak, there is about 12.48 lira to the dollar.  

Asia Pacific

Over the weekend, Japan expressed willingness to cap its strategic reserves.  Press reports indicated yesterday that India is amenable to coordinating a release of some of its oil stocks.  South Korea may also participate.  It has been under consideration for a couple of weeks, at least, in the US, and China appears willing to repeat September's release of crude from its reserves.  However,  it seems naive to have expected OPEC+ to simply standby.  January WTI posted a bearish outside down day ahead of the weekend by trading on both sides of the previous day's range and settling below the previous session's low.  Follow-through selling yesterday took it down about $1.20 from the close, but when OPEC+ announced that a coordinated release of the oil could prompt it to reconsider its own plans.  It is to meet next week to review its strategy. Through yesterday's low, January WTI had retreated by nearly 11% from the October 25 higher near $83.85.   A band of resistance is seen between $78 and $80.  

OPEC+ had previously agreed to boost output by 400k barrels a day per month to restore pre-pandemic output levels.  That said, not all the members can produce their quota, leading to a shortfall.  OPEC+, the IEA, and EIA all seem to agree that supply-demand considerations shift in next year, and the market will once again be in oversupply.  Moreover, OPEC+ argues that the real dislocation is not with oil as its with gas.   The US imports about 2.9 mln barrels a day, India, about 4.2 mln, and Japan, about 3.1 mln barrels a day.  South Korea imports around 2.5 mln barrels a day.  Together it is around 12.7 mln barrels a day of imports.   If together, 100 mln barrels are released, about eight days of imports would be covered.  This is a high estimate.  India, for example, has indicated it may release 5 mln barrels.  

Australia's flash November PMI was better than expected.  Manufacturing edged up to 58.5 from 58.2, while services rose to 55.0 from 51.8.  This produced a 55.0 composite reading, a gain from 52.1 in October.  Recall, the pandemic and lockdown led weakness in the economy in the May-August period.  The composite PMI bottomed in August at 43.3.  It has risen for three months but remains well off the peak in April of 58.9.  Separately, New Zealand real retail sales were hit in Q3 by the social restrictions, but the drop was not quite as bad as feared.  Reall retail sales fell 8.1% after a 3.3% increase in Q2.  Economists (Bloomberg median) had anticipated a 10.5% pullback.  The RBNZ meets the first thing tomorrow and is widely expected to hike 25 bp, to lift the cash rate to 0.75%. There is still a slight bias toward a larger move in the swaps market.  

The dollar briefly traded above JPY115.00 for the first time since March 2017.  We note that Japanese dealers were on holiday and did not participate in the move.  As risk-off sentiment took over, the dollar was sold back to JPY114.50.  Resistance in Europe has been found near JPY114.80.  Note that there is an option for about $980 mln at JPY115.50 that expires tomorrow.  The Australian dollar initially edged lower to almost $0.7210, its lowest levels since October 1 before steadying. A break of $0.7200 signals a retest of the late September low near $0.7170.  Initial resistance is seen in the $0.7230-$0.7250 area.  The PBOC is sending plenty of verbal signals that it does not want to see strong yuan gains, and today's fixing underscores that point.  The dollar's reference rate was set at CNY6.3929, wider than usual above the market expectation (Bloomberg) for CNY6.3904.  The greenback is firm inside yesterday's range.  Caution is advised here as the PBOC could escalate its disapproval.  

Europe

The flash EMU November PMI was better than expected.  The aggregate manufacturing PMI rose to 58.6 from 58.3.  The market anticipated a decline.  The service PMI rose to 56.6 from 54.6, also defying expectations for a sequentially weaker report.  The composite snapped a three-month slide and rose to 55.8 from 54.2.   The cyclical peak was in July at 60.2.   

A flash release is made for Germany and France.    Germany manufacturing slowed slightly (57.6 from 57.8) and held up better than expected (Bloomberg median 56.9).  Services actually improved (53.4 from 52.4).  The composite rose to 52.8 from 52.0 to end a three-month downdraft after peaking in July at 62.4.  French numbers were even better.  The manufacturing PMI rose to 54.6 from 53.6.  The service PMI rose to 58.2 from 56.6.   The composite improved to 56.3 from 54.7 to snap a four-month fall.  Recall that yesterday the Bundesbank warned that the German economy may practically stagnate this quarter and that inflation may approach 6% this month.  

The UK's flash PMI was more mixed.  The manufacturing PMI had been expected to have slowed but instead improved for the second consecutive month (58.2 from 57.8).  Services were nearly as weak as anticipated slipping to 58.6 from 59.1.  The composite eased slightly to 57.7 from 57.8, ending a two-month recovery from the June-August soft patch.  Meanwhile, Prime Minister Johnson's rambling speech yesterday hurt people's ears, and in terms of substance,  the changes to social care funding that may result in lower-income people having to sell homes to pay for support did not go over well.  It is spurring talk of a possible cabinet reshuffle. 

The euro has edged to a new low for the third session today, slipping to almost $1.1225 before catching a bid that lifted it back to $1.1275.  There is an option for around 765 mln euros at $1.1220 that expires today.  The nearby cap is seen in the $1.1290-$1.1310 area.   The euro may struggle to sustain upticks ahead of tomorrow's US PCE deflator report (inflation to accelerate).    Sterling met new sellers when it poked above $1.3400. It has ground lower in the European session, and sterling fell to almost $1.3355.  Note that the low for the year and month was set on November 12, slightly above $1.3350.  We see little chart support below there until closer to $1.3165.  

America

We suspect many pundits exaggerated the link between the renomination of Powell for a second term and the sell-off in US debt and technology shares.  First, it was not a surprise.  Second, it assumes a substantive difference in the conduct of monetary policy between Powell and Brainard.  There isn't.  The difference was on regulatory issues and on the role of climate change.  Third, the idea that the Fed may accelerate its bond purchases next month was sparked by the high CPI reading on November 10.  Yesterday, Bostic joined fellow Fed President Bullard.  Two governors (Clarida and Waller) also seem to be moving in that direction (Waller may be faster than Clarida). The fact or the matter, nearly all of the high-frequency data for October, including employment, auto sales,  retail sales, industrial production, and inflation, came in higher than expected.  The US sees the preliminary November PMI today.  It is expected to have risen for the second consecutive month after fall June-September.  

The reception to yesterday's US two- and five-year note auctions was relatively poor.  The higher yields (compared with the previous auctions) did not produce better bid-cover ratios.  Today's the Treasury comes back with $55 bln seven-year notes and re-opens the two-year floater.  Many observers see the debt ceiling constraint being likely an early 2022 problem rather than this year.  Still, tomorrow's sale of the four-week bill may be the test.  Recall that at last week's auction, the 4-week bill yield doubled to 11 bp.  

Europe's virus surge and social restrictions became a market factor last week.  Many think that the US is a few weeks behind Europe.  The seven-day infliction rate in the US rose 18% week-over-week.  Several states, including Colorado, Minnesota, and Michigan, are being particularly hard hit.  Nationwide 59% of Americans are reportedly fully vaccinated. However, it leaves about 47 mln adults and 12 mln teens unvaccinated. 

The risk-off mood and the drop in oil prices are helping the US dollar extend its gains against the Canadian dollar.  The greenback, which started the month below CAD1.24, is now pushing close to CAD1.2750 to take out last month's high.  A move above here would target CAD1.28 and then the September high near CAD1.2900.  Still, the market is getting stretched, and the upper Bollinger Band is slightly below CAD1.2730.  The risk-off mood does not sit right with the Mexican peso either.  The dollar settled above MXN21.00 yesterday, its highest close in eight months.  The same forces have lifted it to MXN21.1250 today. However, the anticipated gain in September retail sales (0.8% Bloomberg median after a flat report in August) may not give the peso much support if the risk-off continues. The high for the year was set on March 8 near MXN21.6360.  


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TV Show Mysteriously Deletes Poll After Vast Majority Oppose Mandatory Vaccination

TV Show Mysteriously Deletes Poll After Vast Majority Oppose Mandatory Vaccination

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

A major morning television show in the UK deleted a Twitter poll asking if vaccines should be made mandatory..

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TV Show Mysteriously Deletes Poll After Vast Majority Oppose Mandatory Vaccination

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

A major morning television show in the UK deleted a Twitter poll asking if vaccines should be made mandatory after the results showed that 89% of respondents oppose compulsory shots.

Yes, really.

Good Morning Britain, which often tries to set the news agenda, posted the poll which asked the public, “With Omicron cases doubling every two days, is it time to make vaccines mandatory?”

The last screenshots Twitter users were able to obtain before the poll was wiped showed 89% oppose mandatory vaccinations, with just 11% in favor after a total of over 42,000 votes.

People demanded to know why the poll had been pulled, although it wasn’t exactly hard to guess.

Why did you delete this poll, is it because you were asked? Or because it shows the people don’t support this s**t, this tyrannical future your colleagues seem to want. We see you,” commented one respondent.

“Guess that wasn’t the answer they were looking for,” remarked another.

Good Morning Britain has failed to explain why it removed the poll.

However, it’s unsurprising given that the broadcast has been a vehicle for pushing pro-lockdown messaging since the start of the pandemic.

For most of that time, it was hosted by Piers Morgan, an aggressive proponent of lockdowns, mandatory vaccines and face masks.

The show also regularly features Dr. Hillary Jones, someone who at the start of the pandemic warned that face masks could make the spread of the virus worse, before getting the memo and doing a complete 180.

*  *  *

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Tyler Durden Thu, 12/09/2021 - 03:30

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UK PM announces tougher measures amid more Covid cases

In total, the UK recorded 51,342 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours…
The post UK PM announces tougher measures amid more Covid cases first appeared on Trading and Investment News.

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In total, the UK recorded 51,342 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours on Wednesday and a further 161 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for the novel coronavirus

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday announced tougher measures such as work from home where possible, expanded face mask rules and use of COVID-19 vaccination certificates for entry to venues, as another 131 cases of the new Omicron variant were recorded, taking the total to 568.

The UK government’s Plan B winter strategy comes in force in stages starting this Friday, in an effort to slow the spread of the highly transmissible variant, which Johnson said shows a doubling time of two or three days.

Addressing a Downing Street media briefing, he said all signs indicate that Omicron transmits more rapidly than the previously dominant Delta variant of COVID-19.

From this Friday, we will further extend the legal requirement to wear face masks in public indoor venues, including theatres and cinemas. We will reintroduce guidance to work from home from Monday work from home if you can, go to work if you must but work from home if you can, said Johnson.

We’ll also make the NHS COVID pass mandatory for entry into nightclubs and venues where large crowds gather, including unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people, and seated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people and any venue with more than 10,000 people, he said, adding that this will come into effect from next week.

Johnson once again called on everyone to come forward for their COVID vaccinations, including all adults now eligible for a third top-up booster dose.

We must be humbled in the face of this virus. As soon as it becomes clear that the boosters are capable of holding this Omicron variant and we have boosted enough people to do that job of keeping Omicron in equilibrium, we will be able to move forward as before. Please everybody play your part and get boosted, he said.

The government had so far stopped short of enforcing Plan B and issued guidelines for compulsory face masks on transport and some indoor settings, such as shops.

We now have, in the Omicron variant, a variant that is spreading much faster than any that we have seen before. That is why I ask everybody to go to get their booster jab as soon as they are called to come forward, said Johnson, when asked about Plan B in Parliament on Wednesday.

In total, the UK recorded 51,342 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours on Wednesday and a further 161 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for the novel coronavirus.

Since the first jab was delivered one year ago today, our phenomenal vaccine rollout has saved hundreds of thousands of lives and given us the best possible protection against COVID-19, said Johnson.

Our fight against the virus is not over yet, but vaccines remain our first and best line of defence against the virus so the best way to continue to protect yourself and your loved ones is to get behind the vaccine programme and get boosted as soon as you’re eligible, he said.

The post UK PM announces tougher measures amid more Covid cases first appeared on Trading and Investment News.

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Canada’s Top Renewable & Clean Energy Stocks for December 2021

There’s no questioning the fact that as a population we’re moving towards cleaner, greener forms of energy. Fossil fuels will be a thing of the past, and the world will benefit immensely from it.How long will it take before Canadian renewable companies…

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There's no questioning the fact that as a population we're moving towards cleaner, greener forms of energy. Fossil fuels will be a thing of the past, and the world will benefit immensely from it.

How long will it take before Canadian renewable companies dominate the energy scene? It's difficult to say. But if I were to guess, not long at all. That's why you need to have a look at these Canadian stocks before it's too late.

The renewable energy vs fossil fuel debate is a heated one

The effects of fossil fuels on the climate and climate change in general is an extremely touchy subject, and arguments from both sides tend to pack a sizable punch in terms of support. Plus, much like Canadian gold stocks, fossil fuel companies rely heavily on a commodity and can be quite cyclical.

But all while this is happening, green energy companies here in Canada are quietly amassing large asset bases and production capacities. It's an investment gold mine.

Your best bet as an investor is to funnel out the noise and instead take a position in a strong TSX listed renewable energy stock.

Because it's a matter of when, not if these companies take over as the primary method of energy generation

And while people sit on the sidelines, squabbling over if swapping to renewables is worth it, you can be making boatloads of money off of it.

Don't believe me? These clean energy companies have crushed the returns of the TSX Index.

So if you're new to buying stocks here in Canada, you may want to know what exactly these Canadian renewable energy companies do. Lets go over it.

What exactly do Canadian renewable energy companies do?

Renewable energy is defined as such:

"energy from natural resources that can be naturally replenished within a human lifespan." - Natural Resources Canada

Renewable energy companies provide sources of power that are often considered cleaner and more sustainable including but not limited to:

  • Hydroelectric
  • Wind
  • Solar
  • Biomass
  • Hydrogen

Renewable energy provides nearly 20% of Canada's energy supply, with hydroelectricity accounting for over half of that.

A common misconception with Canadian green energy companies? 

Renewable companies aren't the new kids on the block, despite many thinking so.

In fact, they have been around for quite some time now, and as a result clean energy stocks provide stable and reliable cash flows, much like regulated utility giants Fortis, Canadian Utilities and Emera.

The end result?

Clean energy companies are able to provide strong dividends to go along with upside potential in an ever growing industry.

Let’s take a closer look at four renewable energy companies we think are the cream of the crop here in Canada for 2021.

As requested by many readers, we've also added a solar energy company to the list in this most recent update. Solar stocks in Canada have been around for a while, but have remained relatively unknown due to high costs, and investors are starting to gain interest

What are the best Canadian renewable energy stocks?

4. Canadian Solar Inc (NASDAQ:CSIQ)

One of the primary reasons we've never included a Canadian solar company on this list of renewable energy stocks is the fact that the best of the best trades down south on the NASDAQ.

However, due to increasing demand we figure we'd start talking about Canadian Solar Inc (NASDAQ:CSIQ).

Solar stocks in general have surged as of late, but since its lows in March 2020 Canadian Solar has shot up over 81%.

The stock has dipped significantly from all time highs however as renewable energy companies have gone through a significant correction. But, there is still a bullish attitude.

We think investors, and analysts for that matter, are finally starting to see the potential in the once small cap Canadian (but U.S. traded) company.

Canadian Solar benefits from a fairly low cost of production and has a decent amount of projects planned for the future.

Initially, solar power faced a lot of criticism. Production costs were extremely high, and it wasn't looked at as a permanent solution to dirtier forms of power.

But the fact is, we wouldn't even need to capture one-hundredth of a percent of the energy hitting the earth in a year to be able to scrap every other form of energy generation. And as costs of production come down, it's becoming a more feasible clean energy generation method.

Canadian Solar has been a very frustrating stock for those buying it as a value investment.

But interestingly enough, even with a 81% run up, Canadian Solar is still fairly valued considering the future of solar energy.

Trading at only 0.38 times 2021 expected sales and 14.23 times 2021 expected earnings, valuations are not outrageous. The company has been fairly inconsistent with its growth, which is why the market isn't really willing to pay a high earnings multiple. But again, most of its inconsistencies have been as a result of what we've stated above.

Growth is expected to pick back up in 2022 and 2023, and 2023 expected revenue of $7B USD would mark a 100% increase from 2020 revenue of $3.47B. There is promise in the industry, and at current valuations the company is certainly worth a look.

Keep in mind however, this is the only renewable energy stock on this list that doesn't currently pay a dividend, and we would classify this stock as the highest risk of the bunch as well.

CSIQ 5 year performance vs the NASDAQ:

CSIQ Vs NASDAQ 5 Year

3. Northland Power (TSX:NPI)

Northland Power Logo

Northland Power (TSX:NPI) is a pure-play renewable energy company, and one that has been in business for a long period of time. The company was established in 1987, and operates nearly 2.8 GW of electricity, with potential future capacity in excess of 5 GW.

Northland has witnessed some incredible growth in terms of earnings over the last 3 years with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in excess of 30%. The company has also managed to more than double revenue since 2015.

The bulk of the company's renewable operations are located in Eastern Canada.

In fact, the farthest the company reaches out west are two facilities in Saskatchewan - its Spy Hill facility with 86 MW of production and its North Battleford facility, with 260 MW of production. Both of these facilities generate power by burning natural gas and full contracts are established until 2036 and 2033 respectively.

The company has a total of 27 assets, 2 of which we've already talked about. With 19 facilities in the province, Northland has a high percentage of its assets in Ontario. Quebec has 2 wind farms, while the Netherlands and Germany have one wind farm each, Netherlands being offshore.

The renewable company closed on its acquisition of EBSA back in September of 2019, a Colombian regulated utility company for around $1.05 billion. EBSA serves nearly half a million customers, and its revenue is highly regulated, thus highly reliable. It also provides Northland Power with strong revenue outside of North America.

In terms of performance, Northland Power, at least over the last year and a half, has not disappointed. Much like other Canadian renewable energy stocks, it was hit hard in the correction at the start of 2021. However, it held on better than most and didn't witness the volatility that many small/micro cap renewable companies did.

The company currently has a yield in the high 2% range and a payout ratio in terms of earnings of 104%. This payout ratio looks high, however the dividend is well covered by cash flow at 16.09%.

Northland Power's lack of dividend growth is one of the primary reasons it falls short on this list. Especially considering the company has ample room to grow it.

But, don't let that fool you, this is still a very strong renewable energy stock, one that has actually faced some recent weakness due to seasonal and temporary issues with its windfarms.

NPI.TO 5 year performance vs the TSX:

TSE:NPI vs TSX Index

2. Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners (TSX:BEP.UN)

Brookfield Renewable Partners

Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners (TSX:BEP.UN) is another pure-play renewable company and is one of the fastest growing by a landslide. The company is expected to grow earnings at a rate of nearly 40% over the next 5 years.

To add to this, the company is already the fastest growing pure-play renewable energy company in the country with a compound annual growth rate of 10.71%.

The company has over 20,000 MW of capacity and just shy of 6000 facilities in North America, Europe, Asia and South America.

The company's goal is to deliver shareholders annual returns in the 12-15% range. Thus far, it has more than accomplished its objective.

The company's portfolio consists of wind, solar, storage facilities and distributed generation and most importantly, hydroelectric, which makes up over 62% of its portfolio. An interesting note, this is down from the 75% that was noted last time we updated this article, a sign the company is diversifying its asset base.

Back in March of 2020, the company entered an agreement to buy Terraform Energy in an all stock deal. Why are we still mentioning this year later? Well, this purchase made Brookfield Renewable Partners the biggest pure-play renewable energy company in the world.

The company pays a generous dividend, north of 3%, and the dividend accounts for only 80%~ of funds from operations.

Management has stated they want its dividend to grow by 5-9% annually over the next 5 years. This would be an increase over its past results, so it will be interesting to see how the company performs.

Renewable companies faced a significant correction in 2021, which will be evident in the performance chart below. In our eyes, all this did was make Brookfield Renewables more attractive.

In our last update of this piece, we had stated that valuation was one of the main reasons it was number 3 on this list. Well, we've bumped it up to number 2 now due to its recent correction.

The company also set up a Canadian corporation, BEPC, to be the "equivalent" to the partnership BEP.UN. This is primarily a tax consideration, one that you'll need to figure out on your own which one is best for you.

Brookfield Renewables 5 year performance vs the TSX:

TSE:BEP.UN Vs TSX Index

1. Algonquin Power (TSX:AQN)

Algonquin

Algonquin Power & Utilities (TSX:AQN) is a diversified generation, transmission and distribution utility company. The company provides rate regulated natural gas, water, and electricity generation, transmission, and distribution utility services to over 1 million customers in the United States and Canada.

The company is engaged in the generation of clean energy through its portfolio of long term contracted wind, solar and hydroelectric generating facilities representing more than 1,600 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity.

There are a few things we really like about the company, but there's one thing that stands out with Algonquin, and that is its growth rates.

Algonquin is one of the fastest growing utility companies on the TSX Index. In fact, the company grew earnings by 33% in 2020, and prior to a very unfortunate one-off event in Texas that ended up costing the company $55 million, analysts expected strong growth in 2021 as well.

They've changed their tune now, and overall it will be a flat or even shrinking year for Algonquin. But, it's important to understand that this is very temporary, and we'd expect the company to get back to growth in 2022. In fact, the company expects to inject $9.4B USD into capital projects through 2025, adding more than 1.6 GW of capacity.

2021 aside, you're not going to find many utility companies on the index that provide this kind of growth, especially one that offers a rock solid dividend to go along with it.

Algonquin, at the time of writing, yields north of 4%. In terms of earnings this works out to be a payout ratio of around 40%.

With a dividend growth streak of 10 years, the company has proven to be capable of consistently raising its dividend. In fact, Algonquin is one of the few Canadian Dividend Aristocrats that raised the dividend during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Algonquin is a top 5 holding in one of Canada's biggest utility ETFs, and pays its dividend in US dollars, providing an even more attractive proposition to Canadian investors.

AQN.TO 5 year performance vs the TSX

TSE:AQN vs TSX Index


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