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Inside the Market

Up-to-the-minute insights
on developing market news

Entry archive:

Four health-care stocks investors can lean on

SCOTT BARLOW

The sheer volume of big-name merger and acquisition activity, highlighted Thursday by rumours of a General Electric Co. bid for French energy and transportation giant Alstom SA, has attracted many investors’ attentions away from the deal that interests me most, in the orthopedics sector.

Indiana-based Zimmer Holdings Inc. agreed Wednesday to acquire rival Biomet Inc. for $13.4-billion (U.S.). For investors, the deal highlights an industry where a number of powerful trends – notably demographics and the increasing prevalence of obesity – form an exceedingly bright outlook.

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Today’s market conditions a prelude to 'strong gains'

DAVID BERMAN

Strategists are still fixated on market rotation, as investors sell the leaders and buy the laggards. Here’s why: It tends to signal strong market gains ahead.

“Investors have chosen to take profits and invest in laggards,” said strategists at Pavilion Global Markets, in a note. “Our historical analysis shows that these de-risk/re-risk periods are usually followed by strong gains in equities.”

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Low fees aren't everything in ETF investing

ROB CARRICK

There’s a fee war going on in the exchange-trade fund world and it’s fabulous news for investors.

But let’s get something straight about ETF investing – low fees aren’t everything. OK, they’re 90 per cent of everything. The remaining 10 per cent is accounted for by such things as the makeup of the index being tracked, tracking error, liquidity, diversification and tax treatment of distributions, if applicable.

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Today's analyst upgrades and downgrades

Darcy Keith

Inside the Market’s roundup of some of today’s key analyst actions. This file will be updated during the trading day. For breaking analyst actions prior to market open every day, read our Before the Bell morning report.

Several analysts have raised their price targets on Apple Inc. after the tech giant easily beat Street forecasts in reporting first-quarter earnings late Wednesday while announcing plans for a stock split and more share buybacks.

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Before the bell: Tech sector soars amid flood of earnings

DARCY KEITH

The Before the Bell report is constantly updated to reflect the latest news developments and market moves in the premarket. Check back later for updates.

Corporate news is bursting out all over this morning, especially on the earnings front, but it's results late Wednesday from Apple and Facebook that really has the market basking in a warm glow today. 

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TransCanada is a long-term buy (regardless of Keystone)

DAVID BERMAN

When you hear the name TransCanada Corp. these days, you’re likely to associate it with deep disappointment.

The company has become best-known among casual observers for its proposed $5.4-billion Keystone XL pipeline, an extension that would deliver 50 per cent of Alberta crude to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast – and the news on that front has been dismal.

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Dividend stock offers play on our aging population

GORDON PAPE

If I had to pick one industry that is going to benefit from long-term demographic trends, it would be retirement homes. According to Statistics Canada, the average 65-year-old can expect to be around for another 20.2 years, with men living 18.5 years and women 21.6 years, respectively.

The percentage of people over 65 continues to increase each year. According to a University of Ottawa report, by 2021 – just seven years from now – there will be 6.9 million Canadians age 65 or older. They will represent 17.8 per cent of the total population.

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Wednesday's analyst upgrades and downgrades

Darcy Keith

Inside the Market’s roundup of some of today’s key analyst actions. This file will be updated during the trading day. For breaking analyst actions prior to market open every day, read our Before the Bell morning report.

RBC Dominion Securities analyst Stephen D. Walker upgraded Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. to "outperform" from "sector perform," believing that the stock's recent pullback offers an attractive entry point ahead of what will likely be a successful joint acquisition of Osisko Mining Corp.

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Before the bell: Stock futures weak as more earnings hit

DARCY KEITH

The Before the Bell report is constantly updated to reflect the latest news developments and market moves in the premarket. Check back later for updates.

North American stock futures are modestly weaker this morning, but that's masking a lot of volatility in premarket trading in several individual stocks as first-quarter earnings reports continue to spill out fast.

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Just say yes to pharma stocks

SCOTT BARLOW

Two potential multi-billion dollar deals highlight optimism over the global pharmaceutical sector.

Drug stocks are already outperforming: Over the past 12 months, the S&P 500 Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Index’s total return of 29 per cent outpaced the S&P 500 by seven percentage points. Much of the outperformance occurred this year; the Pharma index climbed 8.7 per cent relative to the S&P 500’s 1.8 per cent.

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BCE’s dividend makes it an RESP keeper

ROB CARRICK

As part of some spring cleaning in our boys’ RESP a few years ago, I cleared out most of the exposure to the stock market.

The last stock standing: BCE Inc. With its fat dividend yield, BCE is a keeper for now.

A heavy weighting of stocks in a registered education savings plan is appropriate when your kids are babies and in grade school. With one son in university and another finishing Grade 11, we can’t afford much stock market risk. The BCE shares in the RESP have almost doubled from what I paid back in 2009, but I’m not fooling myself that they’re in any way a safe thing to hold. If interest rates squirt higher, this slow-growing blue chip could fall in price.

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Blog contributors

David Berman

David Berman has been writing about business and investing since 1995. He has written for a number of magazines, including Canadian Business and MoneySense.

Follow David on Twitter @@dberman_ROB

Darcy Keith

Darcy Keith has been a business journalist since 1992 and joined the Report on Business in 2010 from Yahoo! Canada, where he was the senior editor of finance.

Follow Darcy on Twitter @eyeonequities

Scott Barlow

Scott Barlow is The Globe's in-house market strategist. He is a 20-year veteran of Canadian investment banks, including Merrill Lynch Canada, CIBC Wood Gundy and Macquarie Private Wealth (MPW).

Follow Scott on Twitter @SBarlow_ROB

Rob Carrick

Rob Carrick has been writing about personal finance, business and economics for close to 20 years. He joined The Globe and Mail in late 1996 as an investment reporter and has been personal finance columnist since November 1998.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rcarrick

Sonali Verma

Sonali Verma is digital editor and investment editor at the Report on Business. She has worked as a reporter, editor and producer of business news at Reuters, CNBC and Bloomberg News since 1995.

Follow Sonali on Twitter @SVerma__

David Milstead

A business journalist since 1994, David Milstead began writing for The Globe and Mail in 2009. During eight years at the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, Colo., he individually or jointly won nine national awards from SABEW, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

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