July 31, 2015 Last Updated 8:29 am

Canada gears up for October election as economy softens; Relativity Media files Chap. 11

Morning Brief: Lower earnings for Exxon and falling GDP numbers in Canada likely the fault of lower oil prices, while US motorists are now enjoying a summer of cheaper gas

Some economic news may rattle markets this morning including word that Canada is close to slipping into recession. In Hollywood, the movie studio Relativity filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, while in Texas Exxon reported mush lower earnings as oil prices remain deflated.

CanadaFlagIn Canada, whose economy is also being effected by lower oil prices, a poll by CTV showed that two-thirds of those survey agree with the statement that it is “time for a change in government.” The current government of the Conservatives, led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The Canadian election is October 19, and unlike in the US where the election cycle starts at 18 months before voters go the polls, the candidates in Canada are only now beginning to officially campaign. But that would mean that the campaign would be 79 days long, a very long campaign by Canadian standards. Should the NDP and the Liberals form a coalition against the Conservatives they have a decent chance of winning the election, polls seem to say.

Today Statistics Canada reported that the gross domestic product fell 0.2 percent in May, the fifth consecutive monthly decrease, and not good news for the sitting government.

Relativity Media, the hedge fund backed movie producers behind such films as Hancock and Hell Boy II, has officially filed Chapter 11, one of the biggest bankruptcies in Hollywood history, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

In April the producers announced that it had entered into an agreement with Condé Nast Entertainment and Vogue to produce a documentary not the making of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s spring 2015 Costume Institute exhibition.

Exxon Mobile reported earnings today and said that revenue fell to $74.11 billion from $111.65 billion in the same quarter a year ago, the result of lower oil and gas prices. The company, which constantly trades places with Apple for being the largest publicly traded company, still made $4.2 billion in profits in the quarter. (Apple’s net income for the last quarter was $10.7 billion on revenue of $49.6 billion.)

Meanwhile, the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report said gas prices in the US were down 11 cents in the past two weeks, with prices falling for 15 days in a row, the “longest streak of daily declines since January,” Cars.com> said.

Beijing will host the 2022 Winter Olympics, becoming the first city to host both the summer and winter Olympics. The decision was widely expected when the final two cities were Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan. Oslo, Munich and Stockholm all dropped out as the public’s enthusiasm for the games has fallen, with many worried that their city would be stuck with debts for hosting the games.

Boston this week said it was not interested in hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics after the city would not commit to talking on costs should the games come in over budget.

NBCUniversal is reported to be looking at making investments in the digital media companies BuzzFeed and Vox, a Re/code report said yesterday. The Comcast-owned company is said to be investing $250 million in BuzzFeed, and an unknown amount in Vox.

Re/code was recently acquired by Vox.

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