About IMS and i-Watch Process

Investment Management Services (IMS) is staffed by a team of investment professionals who are responsible for overseeing Manulife’s Common Investment Platform. Using a stringent selection and review process called i-Watch, the team seeks to identify funds and fund managers that have the potential over the long-run to:

  • Deliver strong results through a variety of market cycles.
  • Adhere to their investment mandate.

The i-Watch process is a valuable resource and is truly unique because the criterion used to evaluate funds is based on quantitative factors (performance and risk characteristics) and qualitative factors (organization, people, process and philosophy).

The result is access to a broad array of best-of-class investment options chosen from the world’s leading asset managers and spanning every major asset class and investment style.

Financial Market Reviews: Quarterly

For those of you who appreciate an overview of the last major economic period, Investment Management Services (IMS) has provided Quarterly Financial Markets Review from a selection of asset managers. The commentaries are of institutional quality, recapping the market events and economic releases of North American and International markets from the previous quarter.

U.S. Stock markets to open Wednesday

Closed due to Superstorm Sandy

U.S Markets Reopening  31-10-2012

After being shut down for two days to deal with the destructive impact of Superstorm Sandy the U.S. financial markets will finally reopen Wednesday as the major exchange operators Nasdaq OMX (NDAQ) and NYSE Euronext (NYX)  said they expect to resume normal operations with their usual ringing of the opening bell at 9:30 A.M. Bonds, derivatives and options will also all be reopening.The exchanges spent the bulk of their time on Tuesday 30th Oct ’12 conducting tests with member firms , Bond trading was closed Tuesday but the CME Group (CME) kept U.S. stock futures trading open both Monday and Tuesday.NYSE Arca trades more than 8,000 securities, including those listed on Nasdaq.

“Our building and systems were not damaged and our people have been working diligently to ensure that we have a smooth opening tomorrow,” as told by   CEO (NYSE Euronext) Duncan Niederauer in a statement.There had been some concern that floor trading might remain shuttered for a third day. The NYSE said early Tuesday that it had already been working to ensure that its electronic exchange, NYSE Arca, could take the lead if necessary.

In fact, in history of events , the last time the market was closed for two consecutive days was more than a century ago in 1888 when the NYSE kept its doors closed as the city coped with the Blizzard. Although NYSE does rarely shutdown for most of the weather or climate related emergencies , Hurricane Gloria (1985) and a rare type of snowstorm in 1969 were the last major weather events to bring the exchange to a stop.

Getting the markets open is a priority for the exchanges,the reason why the market operators and regulators try to avoid prolonged market closures to limit volatility. But it is even more crucial since Wednesday is the last day of the month, a time when traders, hedge funds and mutual funds often square up their positions.

Global Markets 9-10 th Feb 2012

The S&P 500 added 1.99 points, or 0.15 percent, to end at 1,351.95. The Nasdaq added 11.37 points, or 0.39 percent, to close at 2,927.23.“We seem to be overbought in the near-term, but we’re encouraged by the fact that the economic news in the U.S. continues to improve and we’re not as handicapped to what’s going on in Europe as we were in the past,” said Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategist at Schaeffer’s Investment Research.The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a gain of 6.51 points, or 0.05 percent, to finish at 12,890.46, closing at its best level since May 2008. Earlier in the session, the blue-chip index set a new multi-year intraday high of 12,924.71.European shares lowered in early trade on Friday, after euro zone finance ministers imposed further conditions before approving a rescue package for Greece, causing investors further anxiety about the region’s debt crisis.

U.S. Stocks 31 Jan -1Feb 2012

Stocks failed to fully recover from an early slide that left the major equity averages to finish the session in mixed fashion.U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a firmer open on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average front-month futures contract and the S&P 500 futures contract up 0.5% at 12,669.00 and 1315.80, respectively, showed consumer confidence trailed economists’ projections and business activity chilled.The Dow retreated 20.81 points, or 0.2 percent, to 12,632.91.A disappointing round of economic data weighed on U.S. stocks Tuesday, but major indexes still posted the largest January gains in 15 years.

“Absent from trading patterns were days when screens were either all red or all green,” said Teddy Weisberg, trader at Seaport Securities in New York. “January was one of the best months we’ve had in a long, long time.”

The Dow climbed as much as 66 points early Tuesday before a reading on U.S. consumer confidence in January sent stocks lower.U.S. Steel climbed 5.1% after the company reported a wider-than-expected fourth-quarter loss, but it said it expected a significant improvement in current-quarter results.

Powershares Canada (ULV:TSX) opens Toronto Stock Exchange, January 26, 2012 Video

Michael Cooke, Head of Distribution, Powershares Canada, Invesco Canada and Oricia Smith, Vice President, Product Development, Invesco Trimark joined Amelia Nedovich, Head, Business Development, Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) and Structured Products, TMX Group, to open the market to launch Powershares S&P 500 Low Volatility (CAD Hedged) Index ETF (ULV).[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_ew86lNn9E’]

Markets Jan 27-28 2012

U.S. stocks on Friday finished mostly lower, with the S&P 500 managing to extend its winning streak into a fourth week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA -0.58% fell 74.17 points, or 0.6%, to 12,660.46, leaving it down 0.5% for the week, its first weekly drop in four.

The S&P 50 SPX -0.16% shed 2.10 points, or 0.2%, to 1,316.33, but managed to remain 0.1% up from the week-ago close

The Nasdaq Composite COMP +0.40% added 11.27 points, or 0.4%, to 2,816.55, up 1.1% for the week.

The U.S. economy grew at the fastest rate in a year and a half in the fourth quarter, but a large chunk of the increase was fueled by an unexpected buildup in inventories, according to a preliminary government estimate. Gross domestic product from October through December expanded at a 2.8% pace, up from 1.8% in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch projected GDP would rise 3.0%.

Canada’s market recovery dragged low

“The Global growth is now expected to slow to 3.3 per cent this year, from about four per cent in its earlier forecast.However, the IMF warns that the dangers to the global economy have intensified since its last review of conditions, particularly in Europe.Canada’s recovery is being dragged low by a parallel crisis in Europe the IMF report sees other obstacles to recovery, beyond Europe’s crisis and bleak market conditions elsewhere, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suggested in its latest economic outlook.The Washington-based monitor of World financial affairs said on Tuesday that Canada’s economy will now grow by only 1.7 per cent, more than half a point below 2011′s 2.3 per cent advance.The new forecast is 3 notches lower than the Bank of Canada’s estimate during last week and nearly two-tenths of a point lower than its own individual previous call in September.And the International Monetary Fund (IMF) doesn’t see the economy in Canada strengthening much in 2013. Unlike the central bank, which predicts 2.8 per cent expansion next year, it says Canada’s recovery will be restrained to two per cent.That’s still tops among G7 countries for the two years combined, but only because the other six members of the club will be hit even harder by the European problems.German, Italy and Spain will record negative growth in 2012 and the eurozone as a whole will suffer a mild recession, the IMF said.The latest quarterly outlook from the leading economic institution is full of dark foreboding that stops just short of predicting a second global recession. If Europe unravels, the global outlook is subject to considerable downward revisions, it said.

U.S Trade opens with mixed Response

U.S. trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.03%, the S&P 500 added 0.49% and the Nasdaq Composite gave back 0.33%.

The most popular internet search engine, Google dropped 7.7% as revenue and profits missed analyst’s estimates causing earnings worries across the board.

While a gauge of home sales signaled purchases of existing U.S. homes climbed 5.2%, indicating growth in the housing market. Spain sold EUR6.6billion of bonds maturing in 2016, 2019 and 2022 beating the maximum target of EUR4.5billion. Yields on the 2019 and 2022 dropped, but borrowing costs increased on the 2016’s adding to the worldwide economic optimism.IBM added 2.6% after forecasted 2012 earnings beat analyst’s estimates.

Meanwhile, American Express gave back 2.3% after missing revenue estimates.