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Drive-thru Christmas lights festivals forced to go dark early as Ontario lockdown looms – CBC.ca

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Drive-thru Christmas light festivals will be going dark in Ontario weeks earlier than organizers planned under Premier Doug Ford’s stricter COVID-19 measures, which go into effect on Saturday.

But several creators say they hope last-minute efforts to lobby the government before the holidays will convince leaders to make drive-thru shows an exception to the lockdown.

Monica Gomez, whose Polar Drive near Toronto’s Pearson International Airport was scheduled to run until January, says she was surprised to learn she would have to shut down.

Her region had already been operating under stricter grey-zone lockdown measures that started on Nov. 23, but drive-thrus were still allowed up until the announcement earlier this week. 

“It’s Christmas, this was put on us last-minute, and now people aren’t in office,” Gomez said of attempts to contact local officials.

‘This was about doing something for families’

“It wasn’t all about the revenue. This was about doing something for families. In our mind, we’re like, why would you take that one thing away from people right now?” 

Gomez said it doesn’t make sense that her contactless event isn’t allowed to continue while drive-thru fast-food restaurants can still hand out items through a pick-up window.

Ontario is grappling with rising COVID-19 infection rates, including a record high of 2,447 new cases reported Thursday.

Residents are being told to stay home as much as possible and only go out for essential services, even before the province-wide lockdown begins on Dec. 26. It will last at least a month.

The latest changes affected other businesses that relied on in-car experiences.

Drive-in movies, exhibits forced to close as well

Drive-in movie theatres were told several days before the opening of Wonder Woman 1984 on Dec. 25 that they could no longer operate, while the drive-in Immersive Van Gogh exhibit at 1 Yonge Street will be forced to close as well.

Some drive-in Christmas light events have already thrown in the towel, including Canadian Tire’s Christmas Trail, which closed up on Dec. 23 and cancelled all future reservations.

Daryl Driegen, director of operations at Glow Gardens in Fort Erie, Ont., says the timing couldn’t be worse.

The week leading up to Christmas and the week after the holidays are “prime” periods of activity for his three-kilometre stretch of lights inside Safari Niagara. He was planning to stay open into mid-January.

Staff being fired on Christmas Eve, says one operator

“This order is forcing us to fire all of our staff on Christmas Eve,” he said.

Driegen says Glow’s locations faced a similar hurdle in British Columbia, where drive-thru Christmas light events ran against regulations until a case was made to keep them open. 

He says with ticketed events, at least families are required to stay in their car. If they’re out spotting decorated houses in their neighbourhoods, he believes more people are likely to walk around and cross paths with other sightseers.

Andrew Gidaro, who co-produces Holiday Nights of Lights in Vaughan, Ont., says he’s not opposed to the lockdown but feels the province “missed the mark a little” when it included contactless, in-vehicle events in the latest measures.

He believes a “meaningful dialogue” with local government officials in Vaughan could lead to an agreement that these events are “something necessary” for the community.

“We’re hopeful that we can get this thing turned [around] and continue to operate,” he said.

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Coronavirus: Doug Ford reiterates call for mandatory COVID-19 tests for air travellers – Global News

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  1. Coronavirus: Doug Ford reiterates call for mandatory COVID-19 tests for air travellers  Global News
  2. Made-in-Canada coronavirus vaccine starts human clinical trials  CBC.ca
  3. Explained: What the Pfizer shortage means for Canada’s vaccine rollout  CTV News
  4. Made-in-Canada COVID vaccine to be manufactured in Calgary; clinical trials have now begun  Calgary Herald
  5. General public will have to wait until August for COVID-19 vaccine  CBC.ca
  6. View Full coverage on Google News



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GameStop shares almost double again as retail investors poke Wall Street's bears – CBC.ca

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Individual investors again piled into several niche stock market plays on Tuesday, prompting hedge fund short sellers to scramble to cover losing bets and driving a rally in shares of companies including GameStop and Etsy.

The surge in recent days — GameStop has risen to about $150 from $19 since Jan. 12 while BlackBerry Ltd. has shot up 170 per cent this year — has spurred concerns over bubbles in stocks that hedge funds and other speculative players had bet would fall in value.

To some on Wall Street, the moves have also begun to look symbolic of a stock market that may be overvalued at the end of a year dominated by floods of fiscal and monetary stimulus to ease the coronavirus crisis.

“This is hardly an environment where informed investors are transacting to establish price discovery,” said Mike O’Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading.

Chasing tips from Reddit

The benchmark S&P 500 has gained more than 70 per cent since March, with analysts putting moves in share prices of several loss-making firms down to herds of amateur investors chasing tips from Reddit discussion threads or the private Facebook group Robin Hood’s Stock Market Watchlist.

Venture capital investor Chamath Palihapitiya said in a tweet that he had bought $115 call options on GameStop, a gaming and electronics retailer, on Tuesday morning after an exchange with Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian. Those give him the right to buy the shares at $115, should he choose to. 

GameStop closed at $147.98, up about 92 per cent on the day and extending its winning streak to a fourth straight session.

In after hours trading in New York on Tuesday evening, the shares were changing hands at more than $200 a share.

Much of the action has centred around shares that have been heavily “shorted” by other market players — traditionally an area dominated by hedge funds.

Shares in Evotec, a Germany-based drug company, rallied eight per cent on Tuesday with three traders reporting that hedge fund Melvin Capital Management was closing its short positions after suffering losses on some bets.

Melvin previously held a 6.2 per cent short bet against Evotec, according to filings with the German regulator. The fund did not respond to requests for comment.

WATCH | Here’s how short selling works:

An animated explanation of how people make money from stocks losing value 0:46

Short sellers typically bet against stocks of companies that they view as outdated in their business models or otherwise overvalued.

BlackBerry shares trade at a 12-month forward price to earnings ratio (P/E ratio) of 117.22, while online retailer Etsy has a multiple of 93.44. At that level, investors are paying $93 for every dollar of actual profit at the underlying company.

By contrast, Apple Inc., the world’s most valuable publicly listed firm, has a 12-month forward P/E ratio of just 34.46. Etsy jumped as much as nine per cent on Tuesday after Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk, also often a focal point for social media-savvy traders, endorsed the company in a tweet.

Investor Andrew Left is as convinced as ever that GameStop is a dying business and its stock price will fall sharply.

Will it end badly? Sure. We just don’t know when– Thomas Hayes, Great Hill Capital

Left shorted the company’s stock when it traded around $40 a share and forecast publicly that it would tumble to $20 a share. He said on Tuesday that he was still shorting the stock.

“Will it end badly? Sure. We just don’t know when,” said Thomas Hayes, managing member at Great Hill Capital in New York.

“The most optimistic estimate from the street [for GameStop] is $30 a share, which would be pricing in perfection on all of the most bullish initiatives of the company.”

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GameStop shares continue meteoric rise as retail investors poke Wall Street's bears – CBC.ca

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Individual investors again piled into several niche stock market plays on Tuesday, prompting hedge fund short sellers to scramble to cover losing bets and driving a rally in shares of companies including GameStop and Etsy.

The surge in recent days — GameStop has risen to about $90 from $19 since Jan. 12 while BlackBerry Ltd. has shot up 170 per cent this year — has spurred concerns over bubbles in stocks that hedge funds and other speculative players had bet will fall in value.

To some on Wall Street, the moves have also begun to look symbolic of a stock market that may be overvalued at the end of a year dominated by floods of fiscal and monetary stimulus to ease the coronavirus crisis.

“This is hardly an environment where informed investors are transacting to establish price discovery,” said Mike O’Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading.

The benchmark S&P 500 has gained more than 70 per cent since March, with analysts putting moves in share prices of several loss-making firms down to herds of amateur investors chasing tips from Reddit discussion threads or the private Facebook group Robin Hood’s Stock Market Watchlist.

Venture capital investor Chamath Palihapitiya said in a tweet that he had bought $115 call options on GameStop, a gaming and electronics retailer, on Tuesday morning after an exchange with Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian. Those give him the right to buy the shares at $115, should he choose to. 

GameStop gained 22 per cent to $93.70 in morning trade, well below Monday’s intraday high of $159.18, but extending its winning streak to a fourth straight session. The broader U.S. stock market was about flat on the day.

Will it end badly? Sure. We just don’t know when.– Thomas Hayes, Great Hill Capital

Much of the action has centred around shares that have been heavily “shorted” by other market players — traditionally an area dominated by hedge funds. Shares in Evotec, a Germany-based drug company, rallied eight per cent on Tuesday with three traders reporting that hedge fund Melvin Capital Management was closing its short positions after suffering losses on some bets.

WATCH: Here’s how short selling works:

An animated explanation of how people make money from stocks losing value 0:46

Melvin previously held a 6.2 per cent short bet against Evotec, according to filings with the German regulator. The fund did not respond to requests for comment. Short sellers typically bet against stocks of companies that they view as outdated in their business models or otherwise overvalued. BlackBerry shares trade at a 12-month forward P/E ratio of 117.22, while online retailer Etsy has a multiple of 93.44. At that level, investors are paying $93 for every dollar of actual profit at the underlying company.

By contrast, Apple Inc., the world’s most valuable publicly listed firm, has a 12-month forward P/E ratio of just 34.46. Etsy jumped as much as nine per cent on Tuesday after Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk, also often a focal point for social media-savvy traders, endorsed the company in a tweet.

Investor Andrew Left is as convinced as ever that GameStop is a dying business and its stock price will fall sharply. Left shorted the company’s stock when it traded around $40 a share and forecast publicly that it would tumble to $20 a share. He said on Tuesday that he was still shorting the stock.

“Will it end badly? Sure. We just don’t know when,” said Thomas Hayes, managing member at Great Hill Capital in New York. “The most optimistic estimate from the street [for GameStop] is $30 a share, which would be pricing in perfection on all of the most bullish initiatives of the company.”

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