Stocks climb as Fed chair contender withdraws

October 8, 2019

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News that one of the top contenders to head the U.S. Federal Reserve has withdrawn his candidacy sent North American markets higher Monday, as investors bet that stimulus funding from the central bank will continue to flow a little longer.The S&P/TSX composite index climbed 91.60 points to 12,815. The Canadian dollar was stronger, up 0.32 of a cent to 96.97 cents US.Economist Larry Summers has long been perceived as an opponent to the Fed’s aggressive $85-billion a month bond-buying program, which has helped push down interest rates to spur lending and jump start economic growth. The program, dubbed quantitative easing, has also weakened the U.S. dollar and boosted stock markets.U.S. indexes jumped on the news. The Dow Jones industrials surged 158.67 points to 15,534.73, the Nasdaq was ahead 13.75 points to 3,735.93 and the S&P 500 added 14.41 points to 1,702.40.“Certainly, markets are interpreting Summers’ withdrawing from the race as Fed chairman implies that quantitative easing could persist for longer, that interest rates could be pushed further into the future,” said Paul Ferley, the assistant chief economist at the Royal Bank of Canada.Summers’ withdrawal to succeed current Fed chairman Ben Bernanke means Fed vice-chair Janet Yellen, believed to be a supporter of the stimulus program, may be next in line for the top job.The development comes as the Fed is set to make a key announcement Wednesday on what it plans to do about its asset purchases. It’s widely expected that the central bank will begin tapering anywhere between US$10 billion to US$15 billion a month on signs that the U.S. economic recovery is moving forward. What is still left up in the air is at what pace the money will be rolled back.Meanwhile, oil prices declined as the October crude contract dipped $1.08 to US$107.13 a barrel.Gold prices got some lift after closing last week at their lowest price in more than a month. Bullion saw an uptick of $10.10 to US$1,318.70 an ounce. December copper was up two cents at US$3.23 a pound.By mid-day, all sectors were seeing sizable gains on the Toronto Stock Exchange, as info tech led the charge with an uptick of 2.28 per cent. Shares in Wi-Lan Inc. (TSX:WIN) were up nearly nine per cent, or 29 cents to $3.68 after the company and Alcatel Lucent USA Inc. agreed to settle their dispute over several patents and withdraw litigation before U.S. district courts in Florida and Texas.The gold sector was the only decliner on the TSX, down by 0.16 per cent.On the corporate front, Aimia Inc. announced it has reached an agreement with TD Bank Group and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce for its popular Aeroplan loyalty credit card programs. Each bank will have rights to half the portfolio of accounts that offer their customers loyalty points, which can be exchanged for airline tickets and other goods through Aimia’s flagship Aeroplan program.Shares in Aimia (TSX:AIM) rose more than five per cent, or 92 cents, to $17.55. TD (TSX:TD) shares were up 1.17 per cent, or $1.05, to $90.97, while shares in CIBC (TSX:CM) jumped 0.85 per cent, or 69 cents, to $81.82.TD said it expects to acquire approximately 550,000 cardholder accounts from CIBC, representing approximately $3 billion in card balances and $20 billion in annual retail spending. CIBC, which has been the primary Aeroplan credit card issuer for more than 20 years, will retain the half of the portfolio. That will include Aerogold customers with broader relationships with the bank.Meanwhile, Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) flew the first test flight of its CSeries commercial aircraft Monday morning.The flight sets off a year of testing, leading to delivery of the first aircraft, which seats 110- to 125-seat CS100 and is slated to enter into service in about a year. The heavily anticipated first flight had been delayed three times over nearly nine months. Its shares climbed 0.6 per cent, or three cents, to $5.02.In economic news, Statistics Canada says foreign investors resumed purchases of Canadian securities in July, adding $6.1 billion to their holdings. It says this followed a $15.4 billion divestment in June. Meanwhile, Canadian investment in foreign securities slowed to $900 million and focused on bonds.South of the border, U.S factories boosted output 0.7 per cent in August, the best since December, and mainly led by auto production. read more


Columbus Police sting operation led to Adolphus Washington solicitation citation

October 2, 2019

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OSU senior defensive tackle Adolphus Washington speaks to the media during Big Ten Media Days in Chicago in July 2015. Credit: Kevin Stankiewicz | Assistant Sports EditorNewly released court documents show it was a Columbus Division of Police sting operation that led to the citation of senior defensive tackle Adolphus Washington.Washington was charged and released by the Columbus Police Vice Squad Unit on Wednesday night with a first-degree misdemeanor charge of solicitation for prostitution. The incident took place at the Extended Stay America hotel in Worthington, Ohio.An affidavit filed Friday by Columbus Police stated Washington first contacted an officer who was acting as a “decoy prostitute” in response to an ad posted by detectives on the classified advertising website Backpage.com.The advertisement was posted in the “escorts” section, stating “New to Columbus, Experience the Best.”Washington called the officer with a request to visit and asked for the address, before following up with a text message just after 10 p.m., according to the document. Washington texted again about 20 minutes later, stating he had arrived at the hotel.At 10:36 p.m., Washington entered the hotel room, where the decoy asked how long Washigton intended to visit, to which he responded, “a short stay.”The officer told Washington that a visit of that length would cost $60. However, after the officer stated she did not have change for Washington’s $100, Washington began to negotiate, asking, “Well, what will $100 get me?”The officer responded that $100 would pay for a one-hour visit. Washington agreed to the new price before placing his cash on the hotel dresser.The officer then offered Washington ”some head.” Upon agreeing to receive fellatio, Washington was detained by detectives, according to the document.OSU coach Urban Meyer announced that Washington has been suspended for the Jan. 1 Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame. The game was scheduled to be Washington’s last with the Buckeyes.In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, Washington expressed remorse for his actions.“I want to sincerely apologize to my family, to coach Meyer and the coaching staff, to my teammates and my friends for my lack of judgement (Wednesday) night and for my actions that I truly regret. I have wanted to be a high-character teammate, a contributor to the success of this program and, most importantly, someone my family can be proud of,” he said in the statement. “I am extremely disappointed in myself, and I can honestly say I will learn from my mistake and I will accept the consequences that deservedly will come my way. And I hope that people will know that I am truly sorry and that I sincerely do apologize.”Washington’s arraignment is scheduled for Dec. 17.Wednesday’s citation was the second in less than two months for the Buckeyes, as redshirt sophomore J.T. Barrett was cited for operating a vehicle while intoxicated early in the morning of Oct. 31. read more