Business News Summary Headlines

Company releases, economic news, and business coverage.

Judge extends order suspending legal proceedings against three tobacco companies

TORONTO - An Ontario court has extended an order suspending legal proceedings against three major tobacco companies as they try to negotiate a settlement with their creditors.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Thomas McEwen told a Toronto court this morning there would be "no prejudice to any stakeholder" from extending the stay to Sept. 30.

Thursday, February 20, 2020 | 12:12 PM

CMHC says housing vulnerability moderate, downgrades risk in Prairie cities to low

OTTAWA - Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says it has downgraded the vulnerability of several cities in the Prairies while Canada's housing market remains moderately vulnerable.

The federal housing agency's quarterly assessment, based on data up to the end of last September and some indicators up to the end of December, leaves Victoria as the only market with an overall high degree of vulnerability.

Thursday, February 20, 2020 | 11:45 AM

Energy and financials help push TSX higher, loonie down against U.S. dollar

TORONTO - Canada's main stock index edged higher into record high territory in late-morning trading, boosted by gains in the energy and financial sectors.

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 10.15 points at 17,935.51.

Thursday, February 20, 2020 | 11:36 AM

Can AI flag disease outbreaks faster than humans? Not quite

BOSTON - Did an artificial-intelligence system beat human doctors in warning the world of a severe coronavirus outbreak in China?

In a narrow sense, yes. But what the humans lacked in sheer speed, they more than made up in finesse.

Thursday, February 20, 2020 | 10:51 AM

2 former cruise ship passengers with virus die in Japan

TOKYO - Two elderly passengers taken off the quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess because they were infected with the new virus have died, Japan's Health Ministry said Thursday, becoming the first fatalities from the virus-stricken vessel.

Japan now has three deaths linked to the COVID-19 illness.

Thursday, February 20, 2020 | 09:30 AM

Morgan Stanley to buy E-Trade for $13 billion

NEW YORK - Investment bank Morgan Stanley announced it would buy the online brokerage E-Trade for roughly $13 billion, one of the biggest deals on Wall Street since the financial crisis.

The deal also is the latest chapter in Morgan Stanley's transformation from the scrappy, deal-doing, stock-trading investment bank to a more well-rounded financial firm now more reliant on its asset and wealth management businesses.

Thursday, February 20, 2020 | 08:39 AM

Starlight and Kingsett to buy Northview Apartment REIT in $4.8B deal

TORONTO - Starlight Investments and KingSett Capital have signed a deal to buy Northview Apartment Real Estate Investment Trust in a transaction valued at about $4.8 billion, including debt.

Under the friendly deal, Northview unitholders will have the option to receive $36.25 per trust unit in cash or receive their payment in units in a Canadian high yield multi-residential fund that will be publicly listed on closing.

Thursday, February 20, 2020 | 08:33 AM

Passengers leave ship docked off Japan after quarantine ends

YOKOHAMA, Japan - About 500 passengers left the Diamond Princess cruise ship Wednesday at the end of a much-criticized two-week quarantine that failed to stop the spread of the new virus among passengers and crew.

The quarantine's flop was underlined as Japanese authorities announced 79 more cases, bringing the total on the ship to 621. Results were still pending for some other passengers and crew among the original 3,711 people on board.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 | 09:12 PM

Via Rail lays off 1,000 employees temporarily as blockades drag on

MONTREAL - Via Rail says it is temporarily laying off 1,000 employees due to blockades that continue to halt trains on CN tracks in Eastern Canada.

The Crown corporation has suspended passenger service on its Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto routes for nearly two weeks due to the protests that have disrupted rail operations across the country.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 | 07:18 PM

Fed seems inclined to keep rates low as virus poses risks

WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve officials were mostly optimistic about the U.S. and global economies last month, though they noted the risk posed by China’s viral outbreak and said they were ready to keep their benchmark interest rate at its current low level in the coming months.

Fed policymakers observed at their Jan. 28-29 meeting that risks to the U.S. economy had faded since their previous meeting in December, according to minutes released Wednesday. The Trump administration had reached a preliminary trade agreement with China, and Congress approved an updated trade pact with Canada and Mexico.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 | 06:44 PM