Portfolio Manager’s September Comment for August Results

Equity markets had a strong positive monthly performance in August. In the U.S. the performance was particularly strong among technology large cap stocks while in Canada the performance was vigorous among financials large cap stocks. It’s widely believed that the FED market intervention is no stranger to the strong performance of equities as of late.

In August, the S&P/TSX rose by 2.3%, the S&P 500 increased by 7.2% while the MSCI ACWI ex USA gained 4.7%. At August end and over a 12-month period, the S&P/TSX returned 3.8% behind the S&P 500 gain of 21.9% and the MSCI ACWI ex. USA increased by 8.8%.

NQICAT advanced by 1.9% in August and posted a 12-month return of 0.6%.

The best S&P/TSX sectors for the month were Financials up 6.7% followed by industrials up 4.2% and Consumer Discretionary up 1.9%. The worst performing sectors were Health Care down 7.5%, Consumer Staples down 4.7% and Utilities down 2.1%.

NQICAT’s best performers in August were National Bank up 14.5% and Great-West up 12.4% on the back of excellent quarterly results.

At the opposite, the weakest contributors were Alimentation Couche-Tard down 8.5% and Winpak down 6.6% mainly on profit taking and concerns about their respective outlooks.