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A roundup of what The Globe and Mail’s market strategist Scott Barlow is reading today on the Web

Merrill Lynch global economist Aditya Bhave believes there’s ‘no quick fix’ for market volatility in 2019,

“We find no single major cause for financial tightening. Rather, it has been due to the confluence of five factors: trade, the Fed, weaker US data, the oil selloff and negative news from abroad. Together, these factors have taken 14 per cent off the S&P 500 … Even if the trade war gets resolved and the Fed put materializes, the markets would have to contend with various other risks. Brexit remains unresolved, the U.S. government shutdown continues and the Iran oil sanction waivers are due to expire in the spring. The upshot is that there are so many concerns at present that a benign resolution on all fronts seems unlikely. Investors should be prepared for more turbulence ahead.”

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These on conclusions are based on analysis of global news flow and its effects on markets, and I don’t doubt them within these parameters. On the other hand, a reasonably solid U.S. earnings season would go a long way to tamping down investor fears in my opinion.

“@SBarlow_ROB ML: No quick fix for market volatility” – (research excerpt) Twitter

“World Bank cuts forecast for the global economy as slowing trade growth and rising interest rates sap momentum” – Bloomberg

“@lisaabramowicz1 This is not surprising, but very significant. Trump reportedly wants a deal with China so stock markets rally. If Trump & the Fed are both inclined to cater to the whims of equity investors, that's bullish for stocks in the short run.” – Bloomberg

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The difference in price between Canadian and U.S. crude has narrowed rapidly, as BMO notes,

“Less than three months ago, the grotesquely large spread between benchmark U.S. oil prices and Western Canada Select was at record levels of almost $50/bbl and was widely seen as the single biggest threat to the Canadian economic outlook. Presto, change-o, and suddenly the spread is probing its tightest level in years (the gap was just $9 on Tuesday). The swift turn is due to a few factors, but the announced mandated production cuts in Alberta is right at the top of the heap.”

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“@SBarlow_ROB BMO: "Canadian Oil Discount Disappears in Double-time" – (research excerpt) Twitter

“Oil rises 2 percent on U.S.-China trade talk optimism” – Reuters

“Oil is back above $50 a barrel “ – Bloomberg

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Tweet of the Day:

Diversion: “25 Movies We Can’t Wait to See in 2019” – The Ringer

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Newsletter: “Investing lessons from Blade Runner, Canaccord’s Top Picks” – Globe Investor

See also: “@jsblokland The number of electric vehicle sales is expected to rise to 64 million annualy in 2040, from basically zero in 2016. For reference global total vehicle sales totaled 83 million in 2016 (latest available number) – (chart) Twitter

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