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Hi,
 
Trust this note finds you well.
 
Your portfolio gained in March. You remain with positive performance over the last twelve months.
 
The month of March (and into April) has been full of positive developments on our journey to recovery from the pandemic.
 
Vaccine distribution, economic growth, employment gains and consumer confidence are all moving in a positive direction.
 
While the degree varies between countries, this much is clear - the United States (U.S.) is leading and their lead is growing.
 
Investment markets are reflecting these trends.
 
Long-term interest rates have moved up from historic lows, stocks are making broad based gains and indices are setting new all-time highs. Consumer confidence is now above pre-pandemic levels in the U.S. (and it recently posted the biggest monthly improvement in 18 years!).
 
What do we know about confidence? Hard to put your finger on exactly when it will turn (unlike space flight, there is no formula). But once it does, it provides a powerful foundation to build from – turning plans into actions and savings into spending.
 
All together, we believe this brings us another meaningful step closer to a real and enduring new cycle of economic growth. The new cycle will be led by the U.S. and will align with many of the trends that were accelerated during the pandemic. Others share our view - On April 7 in his annual letter to shareholders, the CEO of JPMorgan (biggest bank in the U.S. / world) said the U.S. economic boom could easily run into 2023.
 
The view from Brian Belski, BMO’s Chief Investment Strategist:
 
“US stocks rallied in March with the S&P 500 posting a 4.2% gain during the month and once again reaching a new all-time high... Despite some attention on rising rates and elevated investor sentiment, the bullish narrative was largely intact in March with record fiscal stimulus, vaccine distributions, and reopening optimism lifting stock prices. Corporate earnings were also a notable tailwind, not just in March, but throughout Q1, as bottom-up S&P 500 Q1 and 2021 EPS estimates saw some of the biggest increases on record during the first three months of the year… That being said, as we have discussed previously, we believe investors should be prepared for a second half of the year that will likely be weaker in terms of price gains compared to 1H as the reopening and cyclicals trade matures and investors start to digest the implications of an EPS-driven environment… Canadian equities quietly outperformed their global peers in the first quarter... Indeed, surging Energy stocks and now swelling Financials helped propel the TSX to new all-time highs. Additionally, fundamentals have continued to broadly improve across most sectors… [That being said as the cyclicals trade matures] momentum will more than likely diminish throughout the balance of the year.”

 
-          Stocks in your portfolio that made a new 52 week high this past month: Accenture*, HomeDepot*, Kraft Heinz*, JPMorgan*,  MasterCard*, Royal Bank*, S&P 500 Index, TD Bank*, Waste Management*, United Health*

-          Stocks in your portfolio that made a new 52 week low this past month: None
 
-          The Loonie gained another cent versus the US dollar to $0.795 (a three year high)
 

Thank you.

We wish you all our best,
 
Ian, Gab & Kaitlyn



* This specific security is covered under the research of BMO Capital Markets. For a full list of company specific disclosures keys please visit https://research-ca.bmocapitalmarkets.com/Public/Company_Disclosure_Public.aspx or ask your BMO Nesbitt Burns Investment Advisor for a copy.