BMO - Bank of Montreal

NYSE - Nasdaq Real-time price. Currency in USD
76.40
-0.44 (-0.57%)
As of 11:57AM EST. Market open.
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Previous close76.84
Open76.57
Bid76.51 x 800
Ask76.52 x 900
Day's range76.40 - 76.66
52-week range66.42 - 79.93
Volume123,368
Avg. volume500,460
Market cap48.767B
Beta (5Y monthly)1.08
PE ratio (TTM)12.44
EPS (TTM)6.14
Earnings dateN/A
Forward dividend & yield3.19 (4.15%)
Ex-dividend date30 Jan 2020
1y target est85.95
  • Bank of Montreal (TSE:BMO) Has Got What It Takes To Be An Attractive Dividend Stock
    Simply Wall St.

    Bank of Montreal (TSE:BMO) Has Got What It Takes To Be An Attractive Dividend Stock

    Could Bank of Montreal (TSE:BMO) be an attractive dividend share to own for the long haul? Investors are often drawn...

  • Why Bank of Montreal (BMO) is a Great Dividend Stock Right Now
    Zacks

    Why Bank of Montreal (BMO) is a Great Dividend Stock Right Now

    Dividends are one of the best benefits to being a shareholder, but finding a great dividend stock is no easy task. Does Bank of Montreal (BMO) have what it takes? Let's find out.

  • Improve Your Retirement Income with These 3 Top-Ranked Dividend Stocks - February 06, 2020
    Zacks

    Improve Your Retirement Income with These 3 Top-Ranked Dividend Stocks - February 06, 2020

    The traditional ways to plan for your retirement may mean income can no longer cover expenses post-employment. But what if there was another option that could provide a steady, reliable source of income in your nest egg years?

  • Copper Hits Five-Month Low With Virus Threatening China Growth
    Bloomberg

    Copper Hits Five-Month Low With Virus Threatening China Growth

    (Bloomberg) -- Copper fell to the lowest since September and extended a record slump amid concerns the coronavirus could undo the positive economic impact of easing U.S.-China trade tensions.On Monday, Chinese officials were said to be seeking flexibility on their pledges under the deal signed with the U.S. last month, as the Asian nation struggles to contain the virus that’s already spreading around the world.“This is destroying the narrative of economic green shoots that we saw build up throughout November, December -- the deal with the U.S. and China is basically dead,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S. “There’s no way China can live up to the agreement of the phase-one deal. So growth is going to be delayed.”Copper futures for March delivery fell 0.4% to settle at $2.507 a pound at 1:06 p.m. on the Comex in New York, after touching $2.4875, the lowest for a most-active contract in five months. The metal has dropped for 13 consecutive sessions, the longest slump in data going back to 1988.Before traders in China returned from the Lunar New Year holiday on Monday, the sell-off in copper had been deepening amid fears that the virus outbreak will hurt global economic growth, denting demand for the metal used in everything from electronics to automobiles.READ: Copper’s Virus Pain Is Unrelenting as China Delays PurchasesChina’s importance to the copper market has grown considerably, with its share of global consumption expanding by about 30% since 2003, when the SARS epidemic broke out, according to Capital Economics analyst Kieran Clancy.Capital Economics estimates the virus will shave about 500,000 tons from global demand, bigger than the 125,000-ton hit during during SARS epidemic.Hopes for further recovery in global trade, stemming from strong Chinese December trade data and the signing of the deal between the U.S. and China, “have now been stopped in their tracks, and we anticipate global new orders and business expectations indices will drop sharply when next published,” said Colin Hamilton, analyst at BMO Capital Markets. Some Chinese buyers are expected not to honor contracts for commodities currently en route, according to Hamilton.To contact the reporters on this story: Justina Vasquez in New York at jvasquez57@bloomberg.net;Yvonne Yue Li in New York at yli1490@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Luzi Ann Javier at ljavier@bloomberg.net, Joe RichterFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Amazon Value Tops $1 Trillion After Results Beat Expectations
    Bloomberg

    Amazon Value Tops $1 Trillion After Results Beat Expectations

    (Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc.’s valuation briefly topped $1 trillion on Friday after its results beat expectations, with analysts applauding the popularity of the e-commerce giant’s one-day shipping initiative and the performance of its cloud-computing business.Shares surged as much as 9.9% in their biggest intraday gain since 2017 before paring back gains to trade below the $1 trillion threshold. The stock hit a record high after reporting what Robert W. Baird & Co. analysts called an “impressive quarter from top to bottom.” Goldman Sachs analysts pointed out that it was the first time the company beat the upper end of its revenue guidance since the first quarter of 2018.https://t.co/XGpDQFJVS7 pic.twitter.com/TDv2rKy8iK— Bloomberg (@business) January 31, 2020 The results sparked a rush on Wall Street to raise price targets for the stock, with RBC Capital Markets analysts giving it a new Street-high target of $2,700, implying 44% upside from Thursday’s close. The average target currently sits at $2,417, compared with under $2,200 a week ago.Had it closed above $1 trillion -- something it also did briefly back in 2018 -- Amazon would have joined Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Google-parent Alphabet Inc. on an exclusive list of U.S. tech companies to have reached that valuation.Here’s a roundup of what analysts had to say.Credit Suisse, Stephen Ju(Outperform, price target raised to $2,400 from $2,100)“All of the investor questions around [return on invested capital] were answered.” As recent underperformance was related to these questions, “we expect the stock to outperform once again as capital rotates back in.”BofA, Justin Post(Buy, price target raised to $2,480 from $2,330)The results featured “beats across the board,” and there are “several profit drivers emerging.”Amazon Web Services “is seemingly back in strong position as a top cloud play”; revenue growth and margin improvement in this business is “key” for investors.UBS, Eric Sheridan(Buy, price target raised to $2,440 from $2,305)This report “checked all the boxes.”Even given the strong reaction to the results, expects the stock “to sustain outperformance in 2020.”Morgan Stanley, Brian Nowak(Overweight, price target raised to $2,400 from $2,200)Results and guidance showcase how one-day delivery is driving faster-than-expected share gains, while an even more bullish point is that one-day is also driving faster Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) adoption.FBA is another incremental revenue stream to fuel profits and ability to invest to attack new markets such as grocery, logistics and healthcare.Meanwhile, investments in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) salesforce are driving better enterprise customer adoption, “particularly bullish as AWS continues to attack the $500 billion-plus addressable market for public cloud.”BMO, Daniel Salmon(Outperform, price target raised to $2,450 from $2,150)One-day shipping costs were lower than expected while volume acceleration remained robust and downside margin risk is now considerably lower.AWS revenue beat BMO’s estimate, and BMO said that unit can continue to grow meaningfully despite competition as the overall market expands. Investors should also feel confident that the investment phase has peaked.Baird, Colin Sebastian(Outperform, price target raised to $2,275 from $2,080)Amid investor concern around infrastructure investments, AWS competition and a shorter holiday shopping window, the results showcased the benefits of Amazon’s increasingly diversified business model and one-day roll-out.Broader adoption of fulfillment service, stable AWS trends, and ad revenue growth were key highlights, although a softer margin outlook likely reflects ongoing logistics investments.Goldman Sachs, Heath Terry(Buy, price target raised to $2,600 from $2,200)Notes AWS operating margins saw first quarter-on-quarter expansion since the third quarter of 2018.With concern about deceleration in AWS business allayed, at least for the moment, revenue growth driven by investments in fulfillment and infrastructure is likely to spur significant share-price outperformance.RBC Capital Markets, Mark MahaneyOutperform, price target raised to $2,700 from $2,500One-day delivery is proving out, Prime memberships are growing rapidly and international retail is poised to accelerate thanks to multi-year investments.Raises 2020 operating income estimate 4% amid fundamentals that were “reasonably solid,” though notes that organic revenue growth decelerated amid tough year-over-year comparisons.(Updates to reflect market close)\--With assistance from Lisa Pham, William Canny and Jennifer Bissell-Linsk.To contact the reporters on this story: Joe Easton in London at jeaston7@bloomberg.net;Kit Rees in London at krees1@bloomberg.net;Ryan Vlastelica in New York at rvlastelica1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Beth Mellor at bmellor@bloomberg.net, Scott SchnipperFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • The Fed’s Key Yield Curve Inverted Again. Watch Out.
    Bloomberg

    The Fed’s Key Yield Curve Inverted Again. Watch Out.

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- I’m not an alarmist when it comes to the yield curve.However, it can’t go unremarked that the spread between three-month and 10-year U.S. Treasuries inverted on Thursday for the first time since October. The curve has flattened toward zero all month: Short-term rates have stayed steady with Federal Reserve policy, while longer-term yields have tumbled amid mounting evidence that the deadly coronavirus is harming the outlook for global economic growth. Just in case you missed the yield-curve mania over the past few years, the significance of this spread dropping below zero is that the same thing has happened in the lead-up to each of the past seven recessions. It’s such a reliable indicator, in fact, that both the New York Fed and the Cleveland Fed calculate the probability of a downturn in the coming 12 months based on the slope of the yield curve. The odds dipped toward the end of last year, but BMO Capital Markets estimates that the models now imply a 30% to 35% chance of a formal contraction by this time in 2021.As always, if you look hard enough, you can find reasons to convince yourself that this is the beginning of the end of the economic cycle. Just on Thursday, Commerce Department data showed consumer spending slowed to a 1.8% pace, below estimates and the weakest since the first quarter; the Fed’s key inflation gauge rose less than expected; and nonresidential business investment fell for the longest stretch since the last recession. Or you can fall in the camp of those like Brian Rose at UBS AG, who wrote recently that “some of the risks that we have been worried about have diminished recently” and that “it is possible that the U.S. can avoid a recession for several more years.” Citigroup Inc.’s U.S. economic surprise index is still positive, after all, in contrast to its persistently negative reading from February through August last year.Regardless, this crucial yield curve first inverted in March, and now 10 months later the U.S. is nowhere near meeting the formal definition of a recession (gross domestic product expanded at a 2.1% annualized rate in the fourth quarter). Instead, for bond traders, the most important thing to consider is how the Fed reacted to the inversion throughout last year. March: The curve continued flattening. Policy makers quickly shifted their “dot plot” to forecast no interest-rate increases in 2019, down from two in their previous forecast. As I wrote at the time, the move managed to clear traders’ already high dovish hurdle. May: The curve inverted in earnest. By June, Fed Chair Jerome Powell was indicating that the central bank was prepared to cut interest rates at its July meeting. August: The curve lurched deeper into inversion as recession fears reached a peak. Powell and the Fed showed no hesitation in dropping the fed funds rate in September and didn’t push back on an October rate cut either, even though he characterized the July move as a “mid-cycle adjustment.” October: After three quarter-point interest-rate cuts, the yield curve was no longer inverted.Simply put, the Fed has obviously felt compelled to act when the yield curve inverts. Policy makers came into 2019 expecting to raise interest rates twice and ended up dropping them three times instead. This year, officials have reiterated that the U.S. economy and monetary policy are both in a “good place” and that the central bank will probably keep interest rates steady throughout the year. That certainly seemed reasonable at the end of the year, when the slope of the curve was 35 basis points. But now?My hunch is that it’s probably still too soon to extrapolate the coronavirus-driven rally in Treasuries into another Fed rate cut, even if the futures market indicates it’s likely sometime in 2020 and the 10-year yield is approaching 1.5%. As BMO pointed out, a big drop in the “term premium” is the main reason longer-term yields have plunged this year, not necessarily a shift in monetary policy expectations. Then again, the term premium plunged in August, too.Bond traders ought to stay vigilant. There are times when market moves start to nudge the Fed toward action, even if their public comments suggest otherwise. This might just be one of them. To contact the author of this story: Brian Chappatta at bchappatta1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brian Chappatta is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering debt markets. He previously covered bonds for Bloomberg News. He is also a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • The ‘Not QE’ Debate Looms Large Over Fed Decision
    Bloomberg

    The ‘Not QE’ Debate Looms Large Over Fed Decision

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Federal Reserve officials have made clear that if all goes according to plan in 2020, it’ll be a rather quiet year. They expect to hold the fed funds rate, the central bank’s key lending benchmark, steady throughout the next 12 months.It’s true that on that front, they won’t have much to discuss when they gather this week for the two-day Federal Open Market Committee in Washington. The Fed will stick to its current range of 1.5% to 1.75%. Chair Jerome Powell will reiterate that the economy is in a “good place” and that it would take a material change to the outlook to even consider moving in either direction anytime soon.There’s still a chance for some fireworks, however, especially after Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari caused a stir this month by publicly calling out “QE conspiracists,” or those who argue that the central bank’s purchase of Treasury bills is no different from typical quantitative easing and responsible for the rally in U.S. stocks.The problem with that framing, of course, is Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said just two days earlier that balance-sheet expansion was partly why asset prices are higher, calling the current program “a derivative of QE.” He added: “Growth in the balance sheet is not free. There is a cost to it.” Bloomberg TV’s Jonathan Ferro asked the “QE-or-not-QE” question to a range of high-profile executives in Davos, Switzerland, last week. Many, including Morgan Stanley Chief Executive Officer James Gorman, sided with Kaplan.Powell won’t be able to dodge this question. In December, there was still no clarity about the outcome of the U.S.-China trade war, while at the same time a potential year-end crunch in the repo market was top of mind for bond traders. Both of those risks are now gone. Instead, the most-pressing question for investors is whether a 15% surge in the S&P 500 Index and massive tightening of high-yield spreads since early October are sustainable or just a setup for a reversal once the Fed winds down its balance-sheet expansion. The Fed’s predicament is that its current bill-buying program truly isn’t QE, at least not in a traditional sense. But as Bloomberg News’s Elena Popina succinctly put it, which was the trigger for Kashkari’s tweet: “The Debate Over Whether to Call It QE Is Over, and the Fed Lost.”NatWest Markets strategist Blake Gwinn summed it up like this in a Jan. 24 report:We generally find the bill purchases to be lacking in most of the typical ways we think about balance sheet expansion providing “easing.” That being said, this could be one of those scenarios where if enough people believe a relationship exists (or at least avoid positioning against it) that relationship becomes real. This is why we think a slowing of the Fed’s bill purchases could eventually still lead to a modest equity selloff – not because there is any direct link between those purchases and equity valuations or flows, but simply because enough investors believe it should be bad for stocks.It’s hard to overstate what a tricky position this is for the Fed. It’s not that officials are necessarily opposed to higher risk-asset prices, but they don’t want markets to be entirely dependent on whether or not they’re increasing the level of bank reserves. Kaplan said he hopes they can find a way to temper balance-sheet growth. History has shown that it could go rather smoothly, as when former Fed Chair Janet Yellen equated a runoff of maturing debt to “watching paint dry,” or it can cause an uproar, like the 2013 “taper tantrum.”As if there weren’t already enough scrutiny over the Fed’s balance sheet, the central bank also has a decision to make on the other rate it controls — the interest on excess reserves, or IOER. Strategists at Barclays Plc, BMO Capital Markets, Citigroup Inc. and TD Securities all expect policy makers to raise it by 5 basis points this week, while Morgan Stanley thinks it’s too soon. Overall, about a third of economists surveyed by Bloomberg predict a boost. To many casual observers, this question might seem like inside baseball. Indeed, until 2008, IOER wasn’t a part of the Fed’s monetary policy toolkit. And even in the years after the financial crisis, no one seemed to pay it much mind anyway, given that short-term rates were pinned near zero. It has only been in the past few years, when the Fed gradually raised interest rates and then swiftly dropped them, that it has drawn more attention.However, the main function of IOER is to keep the fed funds rate within the set target range. It failed to do that during the repo market meltdown in mid-September, raising uncomfortable questions for the Fed about losing control of monetary policy. Since then, the rate has been stable, though close to the bottom of the range. Thus, the potential need for a 5-basis-point increase.Again, this is mostly technical. As RBC Capital Markets strategists put it in a Jan. 23 note:It is certainly possible they adjust [IOER] at the coming meeting, though the timing and adjustment itself is largely irrelevant insofar as economic implication are concerned. More logically, the Fed could make this technical adjustment once the bulk of the current asset purchase program ($60b/month in T-bills) ends and reserves are deemed to be “very ample” again. The market could view this as some modest de-facto tightening after the Fed added significant liquidity to the system.I’d argue that Fed officials are desperate for bond traders to not overthink any tweak to IOER, which is why they might opt to get it out of the way now. It already feels daunting enough for the central bank to end its bill-buying effort. Adding any sort of rate increase after that would make it that much harder. As it stands, most economists surveyed by Bloomberg see the Fed halting its bill purchases by June after first tapering them.All of these decisions will matter, even if the headline fed funds rate doesn’t change. This quiet year could very well start off with a bang. To contact the author of this story: Brian Chappatta at bchappatta1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brian Chappatta is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering debt markets. He previously covered bonds for Bloomberg News. He is also a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Netflix’s Decline Emphasizes Limited Value of Users Overseas
    Bloomberg

    Netflix’s Decline Emphasizes Limited Value of Users Overseas

    (Bloomberg) -- Netflix Inc.’s latest earnings report spurred mixed feelings across Wall Street as growth overseas was offset by a slowdown in the U.S. amid rising competition from Walt Disney Co., Apple Inc. and more forthcoming launches.Needham Co. believes the spike in streaming rivals will increase Netflix’s churn and customer acquisition costs, most likely lowering the lifetime value per subscriber as growth overseas isn’t equivalent to that domestically. Netflix would need to “add four $3-per-month subscriptions in India to offset each U.S. subscriber lost,” Laura Martin, TMT analyst at Needham, wrote in a note.Shares in Netflix fell as much as 3.7% on Wednesday morning, the most in 10 weeks, before trimming some of that decline. The stock has fluctuated since the streaming service reported Tuesday post-market.Analysts remained generally positive about the results and, despite first-quarter guidance missing estimates, believe the forecast appeared to be cautious. Netflix added 8.3 million subscribers internationally in the fourth quarter to surpass 100 million paid memberships outside of the U.S. for the first time.“Netflix is taking a conservative tone to start the year, with the assumption of slight headwinds,” wrote Raymond James’s Justin Patterson. “This reflects content timing, a competitive launch in Europe, and working through 2019’s U.S. churn,” he added.Stifel analyst Scott W. Devitt also said Disney+ appeared to have a less meaningful impact in available international markets than in the U.S. Still, the analyst cautioned about potential effects of the broader rollout of Disney+ in the EMEA region toward the end of the first quarter.Here’s what Wall Street is saying:Morgan Stanley, Ben SwinburneOverweight, price target $400Update reinforces bullish long-term view and, going forward, analyst expects 90% of global paid net additions to come from outside the U.S., amid continued elevated domestic churn.Notes that local originals were the most popular titles in 2019 in countries including India, Japan, Turkey, Sweden and the U.K.Guidance for nearly $1 billion in free cash flow improvement begins the path toward positive free cash flow and reinforces confidence in the earnings outlook.Piper Sandler, Michael OlsonOverweight, price target $400Netflix reported a “strong” fourth quarter thanks to international subscriber additions, though its first-quarter outlook was below consensus and “likely conservative.”Domestic streaming net subscriber additions were below the Street, likely due to the combination of elevated churn from pricing changes applied earlier in the year and new competition from Disney and Apple.Loup Ventures, Gene Munster“A mixed bag,” with domestic competition demonstrated by U.S. churn but with outperformance at the international business, leaving Netflix’s underlying growth opportunity intact.Also notes that from next year, consumers will have to make more thoughtful streaming decisions as promotional pricing from Apple TV+ and Disney+ comes to an end.“Including video offerings with other paid products and services creates a temporary perception of value in the minds of consumers and an opportunity for video providers to hook viewers, but, eventually, that perception changes.”BMO Capital Markets, Daniel SalmonOutperform, price target $440While U.S. churn remained slightly elevated after a price increase and competitive launches, “solid” growth in U.S. subscribers pushes back materially on the most bearish views.Combined with better-than-expected results in non-U.S. subscribers, BMO says that story remains “firmly intact” for growth investors, whereas free cash flow guidance for 2020 coming in better-than-expected should support interest from GARP (growth at a reasonable price) investors as Netflix makes the free cash flow turn.Bernstein, Todd JuengerOutperform, raises price target to $423 from $415International net paid adds accelerated in every region to a new fourth-quarter all-time high, beat the guide, and beat Bernstein’s estimate and consensus. Since international is where all the total addressable market and future growth lies, says Juenger, “perhaps we should just end this report right here.”“Imagine how differently this EPS report might have been received if Netflix had found an additional 200,000 U.S. net adds.” Netflix still grew in the U.S., Juenger wrote.Netflix’s U.S. subscribers “responded to the Disney+ launch by watching more Netflix.”“With very little new original Disney+ content over the next several quarters, we think consumers will be reinforced in their appreciation of Netflix’s unique value proposition: ‘always something new to watch.’”Citigroup, Jason BazinetNeutral, price target $325Citigroup expects the stock to trade flattish as the better EPS outlook is offset by the lower-than-expected net add guidance.“All told, while the firm delivered a solid set of 4Q19 results and issued 1Q20 EPS guidance above expectations, we suspect that management’s 1Q20 net add guidance is less robust than the market expected.”Needham, Laura MartinUnderperform rating“U.S. subscribers historically have been 3x more profitable than international subs. This gap is widening, and India highlights this problem.”Going forward, Netflix will aggregate low return on investment (ROI) international subs with U.S. subscribers, which masks Netflix’s true ROI trends. Management must add four $3-per-month subscriptions in India to offset each U.S. subscriber lost.Needham expects rising U.S. competition to increase Netflix’s churn and customer acquisition costs, which should lower the company’s lifetime value per subscriber versus historical levels, and put downward pressure on valuation multiples.RBC Capital Markets, Mark MahaneyOutperform, price target $420“We are incrementally positive. In a year when Netflix had two hands tied behind its back (material price increases and pullback in marketing spend), it managed to add almost as many global paid subs in FY19 as in FY18.”“That said, the ‘churn coast’ is not yet clear in the U.S., with domestic adds slowing, as Netflix felt roughly equal impacts from last year’s price increase and new competitive launches.”Evercore ISI, Vijay JayantIn-line, price target $300“With the service likely having reached ‘peak net adds’ we remain cautious on longer-term ARPU and margin trends and view the risk/reward tradeoff as fair at best at current valuations.”“While bulls will point to a better content slate in the 2Q as a means of making up any 1Q shortfall, we are less convinced given a flurry of competitive launches as a headwinds to consider and believe it likely that 2018 will ultimately represent peak net additions for the company.”Raymond James, Justin PattersonStrong buy, price target $415“Netflix is taking a conservative tone to start the year, with the assumption of slight headwinds on UCAN and international markets.”“This reflects content timing, a competitive launch in Europe, and working through 2019’s U.S. churn.”(Adds share move in third paragraph, Needham and Raymond James comments to second and fifth, and more commentary in analyst section after BMO.)\--With assistance from Lisa Pham and William Canny.To contact the reporters on this story: Joe Easton in London at jeaston7@bloomberg.net;Kit Rees in London at krees1@bloomberg.net;Kamaron Leach in New York at kleach6@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Beth Mellor at bmellor@bloomberg.net, Celeste Perri, Jeremy R. CookeFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bank of Montreal (BMO) is a Top Dividend Stock Right Now: Should You Buy?
    Zacks

    Bank of Montreal (BMO) is a Top Dividend Stock Right Now: Should You Buy?

    Dividends are one of the best benefits to being a shareholder, but finding a great dividend stock is no easy task. Does Bank of Montreal (BMO) have what it takes? Let's find out.

  • 3 Top Dividend Stocks to Maximize Your Retirement Income - January 13, 2020
    Zacks

    3 Top Dividend Stocks to Maximize Your Retirement Income - January 13, 2020

    The traditional ways to plan for your retirement may mean income can no longer cover expenses post-employment. But what if there was another option that could provide a steady, reliable source of income in your nest egg years?

  • Canadian Banks May Restructure Operations to Aid 2020 Earnings
    Zacks

    Canadian Banks May Restructure Operations to Aid 2020 Earnings

    Toronto-Dominion (TD) and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM) will likely incur restructuring charges in fiscal 2020 to drive earnings growth, while other Canadian banks might not.

  • Is Now The Time To Put Bank of Montreal (TSE:BMO) On Your Watchlist?
    Simply Wall St.

    Is Now The Time To Put Bank of Montreal (TSE:BMO) On Your Watchlist?

    Like a puppy chasing its tail, some new investors often chase 'the next big thing', even if that means buying 'story...

  • Bloomberg

    Fed Is Sick of Being Held Hostage by Trade Wars

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and his colleagues sent a message with their final interest-rate decision of 2019: Don’t expect us to be subject to the whims of America’s ever-shifting trade policy in the year ahead.The Federal Open Market Committee, in its first unanimous decision since May, kept its benchmark lending rate unchanged in a range of 1.5% to 1.75%. The median projection in the central bank’s “dot plot” calls for no movement in the fed funds rate during the next 12 months, with 13 of 17 central bankers expecting to hold steady. All of this conforms with market expectations — after last week’s blockbuster jobs report, fed funds futures began to price out additional interest-rate cuts in 2020.How the Fed opted to reword its statement heading into the New Year was perhaps the most striking takeaway from a decision that otherwise went as expected. Notably, it says “the committee judges that the current stance of monetary policy is appropriate to support” its goals and no longer contains the phrase “uncertainties about this outlook remain.” The central bank will continue to monitor “global developments” — its way of saying “trade wars” — but no longer views them as detrimental to the U.S. economy.“This was a telling change given there is still no clarity on the trade front,” Ian Lyngen, head of U.S. rates strategy at BMO Capital Markets, wrote after the decision. “Perhaps Powell is also suffering from ‘trade drama fatigue?’”It has been quite a year for Powell. At the beginning of 2019 he effectively told markets the Fed would be on hold just weeks after policy makers predicted two additional interest-rate increases in the coming 12 months. By June, bond traders were convinced the central bank would begin dropping interest rates in the following month. Now the fed funds rate is 75 basis points lower than in January. “That wasn’t in the plan in any kind of specific way in the beginning,” Powell noted in his press conference.Powell may never say it, but the Fed was pushed around in a large way by the Trump administration’s trade policy. He said that “we try to look through the volatility in trade news” and that “monetary policy is not the right tool to react in the very short term to volatility and things that can change back and forth.” Either way, the central bank seems to believe it offset any threat that posed to the U.S. economy through its interest-rate cuts.But heading into a U.S. presidential election year, the Fed truly wants to be on hold. And with this decision, it sought to make clear that it’s going to take more than just escalating trade rhetoric to get policy makers to change that view — in Powell’s words, only “if developments emerge that cause a material reassessment of our outlook, we would respond accordingly.”Now, whether markets take this stance seriously is anyone’s guess. But it’s worth looking back at previous election years to see how resistant the Fed has been to abruptly changing course.Many market observers seem to think the Fed doesn’t move interest rates one way or the other during an election year. That’s not entirely correct. Sure, the central bank did nothing in 2012, but in 2008 it dropped the fed funds rates by 225 basis points in the first half of the year and raised interest rates in both early 2000 and starting in mid-2004. As Carl Riccadonna of Bloomberg Economics put it: “A fundamental law of physics proves to be a useful rule of thumb for Fed policy in election years: Objects at rest will stay at rest and objects in motion will remain in motion.”Here’s more from Riccadonna’s analysis:“While the Fed is averse to any appearance of influence over political outcomes, it is not unprecedented to adjust policy in election years. What is unusual is a change of course or velocity of adjustments. … Policy makers attempt to maintain the status quo on policy through elections. If they were on hold in the preceding period, they remain on hold; if they are hiking gradually and predictably, they continue to do so, and so forth.”Of course, the Fed has never faced the level of persistent attacks from a U.S. president as it has with Donald Trump. In some ways, it’s almost too late to avoid politicizing the central bank.    But there’s long been a theory in financial markets that Trump would keep escalating trade tensions with China, which would cause the Fed to further drop interest rates, and then the president would strike a deal at the last minute and cause a stock rally to buoy his re-election chances. Powell is acutely aware that markets are obsessed with these trade talks. “What’s been moving financial markets? It’s been news about the negotiations with China,” Powell said. With this decision, Powell is telling Trump and traders that they can’t have it all in 2020. The economy is in a good place, thanks to the Fed’s decisive action to lower rates three times. If the president wants to keep the good times going in 2020, the ball is in his court. The central bank will be watching from the sidelines.To contact the author of this story: Brian Chappatta at bchappatta1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brian Chappatta is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering debt markets. He previously covered bonds for Bloomberg News. He is also a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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