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The 10-Minute Take
RBC Thought Leadership
The 10-Minute Take podcast provides insights from RBC economists and market experts on events unfolding around the globe.
Oct 7, 2020
Why markets will remain volatile (to a degree) through the U.S. election
Global markets have been bouncing up and down since President Trump announced he tested positive for COVID-19 last week. Add to this the on-again, off-again stimulus talks ahead of the already-contested November 3rd U.S. election and you have a recipe for political uncertainty and increased market volatility. And yet, volatility has been relatively muted -- pullbacks have been shallow while upsides have been capped. Are we seeing a paradigm shift in risk tolerance? George Davis, RBC Capital Markets' Chief Technical Strategist in Foreign Exchange Trading, shares what’s surprised him about recent market movements. For more insights about social, economic and technological trends, visit rbc.com/thoughtleadership.
Sep 30, 2020
Why the airline industry is bracing for more turbulence
If you felt your travel plans were disappointing this summer, spare a thought for the airline industry. Border restrictions, travel advisories, mandatory self-quarantine… policies that are critical for public health have been devastating to carriers, which are hemorrhaging millions of dollars each day. When will travel get back to normal? How does the propensity to travel differ across classifications? And how are carriers convincing customers that it's safe to fly again? Walter Spracklin, Transportation and Industrials Analyst at RBC Capital Markets, shares what the airline industry needs to recover from the COVID crisis. For more insights about social, economic and technological trends, visit rbc.com/thoughtleadership.
Sep 23, 2020
How the Throne Speech can help Canada's recovery
In today's Speech from the Throne, the Governor General is expected to lay out the government's vision for the pandemic recovery. It won’t be easy, with COVID-19 cases on the rise and investor confidence wobbling. While the economy has improved since April lows, the recovery continues to be fragile – especially in the face of a possible second wave. Where should the government focus its investments? And if it survives the confidence vote, what could we expect in its next budget? Craig Wright, RBC's Chief Economist, shares his view on the economic outlook and what’s needed from the throne speech. Background Reading: Canadian throne speech to lay out policy plans in the thick of pandemic: https://bit.ly/2ZZ7xVO Economic conditions improve but bumpy road ahead: https://bit.ly/3clyJD2 For more insights about social, economic and technological trends, visit rbc.com/thoughtleadership.
Sep 16, 2020
How the crises of 2020 have focused investors on ESG
2020 brought us a pandemic and a boiling point in protests over racial inequities - and investors took notice. It's why the market has seen record flows into ESG - or, environmental, social, and governance - funds, which have benefited sectors that may be surprising to some. Could we see more funds going into traditional sectors? And what trends may gain momentum into 2021? Sara Mahaffy, RBC Capital Markets' U.S. Equity Strategist, shares her findings on ESG performance. Background Reading: As S&P Companies Rethink D&I Policies, ESG Funds Attract Record Flows: https://bit.ly/35GFU7y For more insights about social, economic and technological trends, visit rbc.com/thoughtleadership.
Sep 9, 2020
Why tech has staying power, despite market sell-off
To many observers, last week's dramatic sell-off of tech stocks was inevitable, especially given how fast they climbed since the March low. But the appeal of tech won't fade anytime soon. The pandemic fundamentally altered behaviour (did anyone say work from home?) and set into motion a rethink of how companies will operate in a digital-first world - and what technologies they'll need to succeed. So what does the performance of tech stocks actually reveal about investor sentiment? And how will tech-heavy markets fare with the uncertainty of future government stimulus? Alex Zukin, RBC Capital Markets' Software Equity Analyst, shares why there are still tailwinds ahead for tech. For more insights about social, economic and technological trends, visit rbc.com/thoughtleadership.
Sep 2, 2020
How the U.S. Fed’s landmark policy shift goes beyond inflation
Wyoming’s state motto, “Equal Rights,” might have hinted at the U.S. Fed’s new monetary policy strategy that was revealed at this year’s (virtual) Jackson Hole Economic Symposium. Chairman Jerome Powell announced changes emphasizing the importance of both inflation and labour within its mandate. But what are the risks of shifting from an inflation target of 2% to an average of 2% over time? And how will a renewed focus on employment affect interest rates and growth into 2021? Tom Porcelli, RBC Capital Markets’ Chief U.S. Economist, shares his take on how the Fed’s new approach could play out in markets and the economy. For more insights about social, economic and technological trends, visit rbc.com/thoughtleadership.
Aug 19, 2020
How Apple became the most valuable public company in the world
Apple is within striking distance of a historic USD$2 trillion valuation, buoyed by a loyal customer base and our collective dependence on smartphones. Even amid a global pandemic, the company has benefited from a boost in sales thanks to government stimulus. But can the company continue to stay hungry (and foolish, as Steve Jobs would say) in its dominant market position? And how will it fare in the face of lawsuits and antitrust probes? Robert Muller, RBC Capital Markets' Enterprise Hardware Analyst, shares what's behind Apple's growth. For more insights about social, economic and technological trends, visit rbc.com/thoughtleadership.
Aug 12, 2020
How COVID created a supercharged summer housing market
Across Canada, the housing market rebounded as pent-up demand pumped up sales volumes and prices in June and July. Montreal, for example, set a new record – 46% jump in year-over-year sales. The pandemic has also shifted preferences, as more homebuyers venture to the suburbs in favour of space and greenery (putting a damper on the previously-hot urban condo market). Will we see this activity extend into the fall? And has COVID created a fundamental change in buying behaviour? RBC Senior Economist Robert Hogue shares his outlook on the housing market. Background reading: https://bit.ly/3gRZi42 For more insights about social, economic and technological trends, visit rbc.com/thoughtleadership.
Aug 5, 2020
Why the post-pandemic office building will be greener and costlier
When we (eventually) return to the office, it will look and feel very different. Picture screening technologies, touchless credentials, roomy elevators. Imagine breathing cleaner air. Of course, all of these COVID-prompted upgrades won't come cheap. To get tenants comfortably back in buildings, landlords will have to make expensive, but necessary, retrofits. Will there still be enough demand for commercial buildings? And could this lead to more ESG investment into the industrial sector? Deane Dray, Multi-Industry and Electrical Equipment Senior Equity Analyst at RBC Capital Markets, walks us through the post-pandemic landscape for office buildings. For more insights about social, economic and technological trends, visit rbc.com/thoughtleadership.
Jul 22, 2020
Why markets are edging higher in spite of cautious corporates
As we head into a pivotal period of the current earnings season, tech stocks have buoyed key Wall Street indices – Nasdaq, for one, briefly hit another record high earlier this week. But what's on the ticker doesn't necessarily reflect what's on the horizon. The COVID crisis in the U.S. is worsening, while Congress and the White House square off over another aid package. Even c-suite executives are openly sharing their concerns on the economic recovery. How might the rest of earnings season play out? And what do the latest rallies reveal about consumer sentiment? Lori Calvasina, RBC Capital Markets' Head of U.S. Equity Strategy, shares what's beneath the latest market movements. For more insights about social, economic and technological trends, visit rbc.com/thoughtleadership.
Jul 15, 2020
U.S. oil demand sputters as lockdowns tighten
Four months into the COVID pandemic and some Americans have hit lockdown fatigue, if traffic data is any indication. Take Las Vegas, which has seen flight activity increase steadily over the last six weeks. Or Houston, where traffic was up and down leading into the 4th of July holiday. Contrast this with Europe and China, which have emerged from lockdowns and are back to near normal activity. How will mobility patterns shift as U.S. re-openings continue to stop and start? And how will this erratic demand affect oil prices? Michael Tran, RBC Capital Markets' Global Energy Strategist, shares his insights from real-time traffic data during the pandemic. For more insights about social, economic and technological trends, visit rbc.com/thoughtleadership.
Jul 8, 2020
Canada's fiscal snapshot – massive deficit, record federal debt
The COVID crisis delivered a bigger shock to our economy than most expected. Ottawa is forecasting an enormous $343 billion deficit in 2020, which pushes the federal debt load past the $1 trillion mark for the first time. With the worst behind us, the focus now is how to sustain the early economic recovery and especially, how to get Canadians back to work. Can Canada take on more debt without further risking our sovereign credit rating? And how will the federal government transition people from the CERB relief program to more productive wage subsidies or other schemes? Craig Wright, RBC's Chief Economist, shares his take on Canada's fiscal snapshot.
Jul 6, 2020
Can U.S. markets stay up while summer shutdowns expand?
The U.S. gained nearly 5 million jobs in June, but that was before the latest COVID-19 outbreaks. Now, state re-opening plans are being put on hold, if not dialed back – with almost certain economic consequences. And yet, markets are partying like it's 2019 – Dow Jones had its best quarter since 1987, Nasdaq hit a record high. But just how far will the Fed go to support the economy? And will markets get a reality check? Tom Porcelli, RBC Capital Markets' Chief U.S. Economist, shares his update on the U.S. economy.
Jun 29, 2020
How streaming platforms are winning through crisis
If content is king, then streaming platforms are its thrones. And those thrones are getting higher and higher as consumers cut the cord with traditional media providers. Audiences have been seeking refuge in front of their screens and services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO Max have offered their entertaining alms in-kind. But can these producers continue to satiate the people's growing hunger for quality content, especially with halted production around the world? And who among them can survive the ongoing streaming wars? Kutgun Maral, RBC Capital Markets' Media Analyst, shares his outlook on streaming services. For more insights about social, economic and technological trends, visit rbc.com/thoughtleadership.
Jun 26, 2020
How the crisis became prime time for Amazon
While most people have been under lockdowns, The Everything Store has been everywhere. The explosive demand for online shopping and surge in remote work have been boons for both Amazon's core retail offering and AWS, its cloud computing business. But can the company capture and sustain this once-in-a-generation opportunity? And how will ongoing antitrust probes in both the U.S. and E.U. affect its growth? Mark Mahaney, RBC Capital Markets' Internet Analyst, shares his take on Amazon. For more insights about social, economic and technological trends, visit rbc.com/thoughtleadership.
Jun 24, 2020
A cloudy outlook for young job seekers
The COVID-19 crisis dealt employees a serious blow, and young people have been hit particularly hard with a nearly 30% unemployment rate. The summer months – crucial for internships, seasonal, and starting careers – might not be much better, as employers may call back their furloughed full-timers before hiring students. How will these setbacks affect this cohort's long-term employment prospects? And how effective have government relief programs actually been? Dawn Desjardins, RBC's Deputy Chief Economist, shares the outlook on the youth labour market. For more insights about social, economic and technological trends, visit rbc.com/thoughtleadership.
Jun 22, 2020
Canada’s provinces are turning the corner on their road to recovery
Last week, Saskatchewan, PEI, and Quebec gave updates on their economic and fiscal situation. They weren't pretty, but there's been enough of a boost in activity that RBC Economics has adjusted its forecasts. Quebec was the most dramatic example, with the return of 30,000 jobs. Saskatchewan and PEI, meanwhile, also showed how much damage has been done, with declines in government revenues of 8-10%. Robert Hogue, RBC Senior Economist, shares his update on provincial economic recoveries. Read the Saskatchewan report: https://bit.ly/2Ynowk3 Read the PEI report: https://bit.ly/3dsl1wR Read the Quebec report: https://bit.ly/2BrLihG For more insights about social, economic and technological trends, visit rbc.com/thoughtleadership.