• White House seeks to address semiconductor chips crisis harming automakers
The White House will discuss ways to overcome a semiconductor chip supply crisis that is cutting auto production around the world in a new round of meetings with major companies.
• China tells Evergrande to avoid dollar bond defaults, Bloomberg reports
Chinese regulators have asked China Evergrande Group to avoid a near-term default on its dollar bonds, Bloomberg Law reported, the day the troubled property developer is due to make a much-awaited interest payment on its offshore debt.
• BlackBerry beats quarterly revenue expectations on cybersecurity boost
Canada's BlackBerry beat Wall Street estimates for second-quarter revenue on Wednesday amid strong demand for its cybersecurity and Internet of Things software products.
• Honeywell, Wood to launch solution to make sustainable aviation fuel cleaner
Honeywell International and consulting and engineering company Wood are set to launch a technology solution to help companies reduce carbon intensity when making sustainable aviation fuel, the partners said.
• EU regulator to decide on Pfizer booster at the start of October
The European Medicines Agency expects to decide in early October on the possible use of a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
BEFORE THE BELL
Futures for Canada's main stock index edged higher as global market jitters around cash-strapped China Evergrande eased, although weaker oil prices limited gains. U.S. stock index futures rose, ahead of the jobless claims data, as investors largely shrugged off concerns over the Federal Reserve's plans for future tapering. Norway's crown led currencies against the U.S. dollar after the Norges Bank became the first central bank in the developed world to raise interest rates in the post-COVID era, while spot gold prices gained. Canada's retail sales data for July is on the economic calendar.
STOCKS TO WATCH
• BlackBerry Ltd: The company beat Wall Street estimates for second-quarter revenue on Wednesday amid strong demand for its cybersecurity and Internet of Things software products. Firms such as BlackBerry are benefiting from an uptick in demand for cybersecurity and IoT products as more businesses and government organizations shift their operations to the cloud in order to support hybrid working. As a result, the company was able to offset weakness from sluggish demand for its QNX software from automakers like Volkswagen, BMW and Ford, as the auto industry struggled to maintain production amid a persistent chip shortage crisis. The company's revenue fell to $175 million for the quarter ended Aug. 31, from $259 million a year earlier, but beat analysts' expectation of $163.5 million. Excluding items, the company posted a loss of 6 cents per share, nudging past analysts' expectations of loss of 7 cents.
Inter Pipeline Ltd: Chief Executive Officer Christian Bayle and Chief Financial Officer Brian Heagy will step down from their posts on October 28, the Canadian energy infrastructure firm said on Wednesday. Brian Baker and Paul Hawksworth, executives at Brookfield Infrastructure that bought a controlling stake in the pipeline operator last month, will assume the roles of interim CEO and CFO, respectively, Inter Pipeline added.
Investors look ahead to rate hikes with Fed tapering plan all but certain
Investors are grappling with how an unwind of the Federal Reserve’s easy money policies could affect asset prices, after the central bank signaled that a taper of its bond-buying program was closer than ever and suggested it may raise rates at a faster-than-expected pace.
• Cameco Corp: Canaccord Genuity raises price target to C$34 from C$27 to reflect improving uranium market sentiment and positive company-specific catalysts.
• Freehold Royalties Ltd: National Bank of Canada resumes with outperform rating, saying through strategic acquisitions, the company has positioned itself to provide optionality for shareholder returns.
• Tourmaline Oil Corp: National Bank of Canada raises price target to C$45 from C$40 after the company announced the expansion of its 2021 capital program, to provide for expansion of its liquids-infrastructure and accelerated drilling.
ECONOMIC EVENTS (All timings in U.S. Eastern Time)
0830 (approx.) Retail sales mm for July: Expected -1.2%; Prior 4.2%
0830 (approx.) Retail sales ex-auto mm for July: Expected -1.5%; Prior 4.7%
COMPANIES REPORTING RESULTS
Vecima Networks Inc: Expected Q4 loss of 3 Canadian cents per share
No major companies are scheduled to report for the day.
CORPORATE EVENTS (All timings in U.S. Eastern Time)
1000 Medicenna Therapeutics Corp: Annual Shareholders Meeting
1300 Vecima Networks Inc: Q4 earnings conference call
Aecon Group Inc: Amount C$0.17
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd: Amount C$0.19
goeasy Ltd: Amount C$0.66
Logistec Corp: Amount C$0.10
Pembina Pipeline Corp: Amount C$0.21
Tecsys Inc: Amount C$0.06
(All analysts' estimates are according to I/B/E/S Refinitiv data)