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Inside the Market

Up-to-the-minute insights
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Top links: The oil sands is fine with $50 per barrel oil

SCOTT BARLOW

A roundup of what The Globe and Mail's market strategist Scott Barlow is reading this morning on the World Wide Web.

A terrific report from Bloomberg underscores the comfort of oil sands producers at the $50 per barrel West Texas Intermediate crude oil benchmark price.

“Even with crude down 52 percent since June, output will grow 3.5 percent this year from the world’s fifth-biggest producer. The Canadian dollar is near a six-year low and materials cost less, helping oil sands producers cut costs and keep pumping. Oil would have to stay between $30 and $35 a barrel for at least six months, down from about $50 now, before wells and mines are shut, according to the Canadian Energy Research Institute.”

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Friday's small-cap stocks to watch

Darcy Keith

Our roundup of Canadian small-caps making news and on the move today. This post will be updated through the morning.

Monument Mining Ltd. announced that it will delay the start-up of producing iron and copper metal at the Mengapur Polymetallic project in Pahang State, Malaysia until further notice due to depressed and volatile commodity prices. The main plant at the Mengapur site will be put on care and maintenance while some work will continue at a reduced level.

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Before the bell: Futures suggest lower open

Luke Kawa

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

U.S. equity futures are modestly lower while Treasury yields tick higher ahead of this week’s final session. S&P/TSX 60 futures also suggest the composite index is poised to open marginally below Thursday’s close.

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A huge weight has been lifted off the loonie

Luke Kawa

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz’s hint that the central bank would wait to see how the economy fared before cutting rates again continues to inspire a radical re-evaluation of foreign exchange and interest rate assumptions.

Positioning on the Canadian dollar remains negative, but analysts are now wondering whether the early year collapse in the loonie was a case of the currency moving too far, too fast.

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Three stocks that fund managers are buying this month

Tim Shufelt

This is a new regular feature at Inside the Market that surveys Canadian fund managers on their recent stock purchases.

The fund manager: Jeff Young, chief investment officer, NexGen Financial

The purchase: Dream Office Real Estate Investment Trust

This is one of those non-energy stocks that have come under pressure for having indirect exposure to the oil patch. Dream, which is one of the country’s largest owners of city and suburban office properties, was once much more heavily concentrated in Alberta.

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How to get solid returns with the One-Minute Portfolio

LARRY MACDONALD

The main idea behind the One-Minute Portfolio is to simplify investing to the point where it takes just a “minute” each year to manage an investment portfolio that outperforms the majority of professional money managers.

What makes it possible is the low-cost, passive investing strategy of indexing a portfolio to movements in the stock and bond markets. This approach not only avoids tasks such as stock picking and market timing, but academic studies also find it produces better returns than most financial advisers and managers using active investment strategies.

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What if interest rates never return to ‘normal’?

ROB CARRICK

It’s time to reconcile our view about interest rates as borrowers and investors.

As borrowers, we’ve been acting like interest rates will never rise. How else could people rationalize the kind of mortgages they have to take on in some of the country’s biggest cities? As investors, we take the oppose position. We see rates as being artificially low right now and bound to rise at some point.

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Top links: BMO should stop scaring people and let other banks report first

SCOTT BARLOW

A roundup of what The Globe and Mail's market strategist Scott Barlow is reading this morning on the World Wide Web.

If Bank of Montreal is going to scare everyone for no reason, I humbly suggest that next quarter, another bank should report earnings first. Since BMO’s weak results Tuesday, the banks reporting since have been in the solid to spectacular range. CIBC and TD both announced earnings per share ahead of expectations this morning and also raised dividends. As always, the Report on Business has readers covered with the details.

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Thursday's small-cap stocks to watch

Darcy Keith

Our roundup of Canadian small-caps making news and on the move today. This post will be updated through the morning.

Laurentian Bank of Canada missed analysts’ expectations for first quarter earnings by a slim margin, with net income of $1.32 per diluted share, compared to an average forecast of $1.38, according to Bloomberg. “The 25 basis points decline in the Bank of Canada’s overnight rate in January has temporarily weighed on our first quarter results,” said Réjean Robitaille, Laurentian’s CEO. “However, it should be relatively neutral on earnings per share for the full year. Furthermore, in this challenging interest rate environment, our rigorous control over expenses and the sustained credit quality of the loan portfolio contributed to our financial performance.”

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Before the bell: Futures lower after mixed data

Luke Kawa

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

Janet Yellen’s dovish Congressional testimony continues to support U.S. equities, as futures were pointing towards a higher open this morning before trio of economic data changed the tone.

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Kinaxis stock soars as sales gain traction

SEAN SILCOFF

Kinaxis Inc. stock shot up 10 per cent Wednesday as the Ottawa business software firm logged its third busiest day on the Toronto Stock Exchange since going public last June. The stock closed at $24.01, up 10.11 per cent on the day and 84.7 per cent since the IPO as analysts showered the company with praise in the wake of its third quarter earnings report.

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Global bank takes bleak view on Canada, sees 69-cent loonie, 60,000 job losses this year

Luke Kawa

The Canadian economy is about to flatline, according to Macquarie Research.

In some of the most bearish commentary on Canada coming from a major financial institution, analyst David Doyle turns to history for a look at what to expect after a collapse in oil prices.

In 1986, following the last supply-side driven crash in oil prices, Canadian economic growth decelerated from 5 per cent to zero. What’s more, the Canadian economy was buoyed by three tailwinds that won’t be around this time: more momentum in the labour market heading into the shock, a pick-up in housing starts and residential mortgage credit growth, and an expansion in consumer credit growth.

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Top links: Controlling emotions is more important than investment strategy

SCOTT BARLOW

A roundup of what The Globe and Mail's market strategist Scott Barlow is reading this morning on the World Wide Web.

Analysis from energy research firm Wood Mackenzie Group projected that cash flow from the oil sands will decline by $23-billion in the next two years. Since energy stocks are priced primarily by price to cash flow, this would be an extremely painful process for investors in the sector.

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Before the bell: Stocks retreat as earnings flood in

Luke Kawa

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

Equity futures are slightly lower after U.S. indexes set records on Tuesday.

The retreat in the U.S. dollar index and gains in precious metals suggest the Asian markets view Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s testimony Tuesday as dovish; on the other hand, shorter-term U.S. Treasuries have weakened, which indicates the opposite. She'll provide a second day of testimony today.

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Wednesday's small-cap stocks to watch

Darcy Keith

Our roundup of Canadian small-caps making news and on the move today. This post will be updated through the morning.

Calfrac Well Services Ltd. reported fourth-quarter revenue of $748.8-million, up 62 per cent from a year ago, while net income before foreign exchange losses were 42 cents a share. The Street was expecting revenue of $654.5-million and EPS of 44 cents.

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The market is suddenly betting against a rate cut next week

Luke Kawa

On Tuesday afternoon, Governor Stephen Poloz gave the loonie back its wings.

The Canadian dollar surged against the U.S. dollar, rising seven-tenths of a cent to above 80 cents following some unexpected commentary from the head of the Bank of Canada.

In mid-October, the Bank of Canada said that it was abandoning the practice of forward guidance – that is, monetary policymakers would no longer provide market participants with information about the timing or direction of the next movement in the overnight rate. However, the governor appeared to drop a hint today.

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