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Inside the Market

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

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Investors flock to Africa despite Ebola fears

DAVID BERMAN

Emerging market stocks have been particularly volatile this year, amid worries about shifting U.S. monetary policy, slower economic growth, geopolitical tensions and a devastating outbreak of Ebola. But investors appear to be remarkably at ease with the risks.

The latest evidence: The New York Times reported on Friday that investors have been snapping up African sovereign bonds this year. Sub-Saharan nations have raised some $7-billion (U.S.) by issuing bonds so far in 2014, according to data from Dealogic. That’s more than in all of 2013.

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Three reasons to stay out of the stock market

Rob Carrick

The dramatics of the past month remind us that the ideal allocation to stocks for some people is zero.

Avoid stocks if:

You're saving to buy a home

The average-price resale home in Canada runs about $400,000, which means the minimum 5-per-cent down payment would run you $20,000 and closing plus moving costs could add another $5,000 to $10,000. The stock market running at full tilt would be a big help in meeting your savings goals. Figure on total returns of 7 to 9 per cent before fees on average over the long term.

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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.

TD Securities analyst Greg Barnes upgraded Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. to "buy" from "hold," believing that the outlook for the fertilizer is better than what is being reflected in the company's stock price.

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Top links: The danger of blindly investing in blue chips

Scott Barlow

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

Long-term, conservative investors are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with a trend that sees some of the world’s most reliable corporate profit machines disappoint. McDonald’s Corp., IBM Corp. and Buffett favourite Coca-Cola Co. have all posted earnings or forecasts below expectations.

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Small caps to watch: Restaurant stock now pays a dividend

DARCY KEITH

Inside the Market’s roundup of some of the Canadian small caps making news and on the move today.

Imvescor Restaurant Group Inc. said its board has adopted a dividend policy, providing for the payment of a quarterly dividend of 2 cents per share. "The dividend policy has been designed to allow sufficient flexibility to continue investing in the company's growth and its franchise network while providing returns to its shareholders," it said in a statement.

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For all the volatility, stocks are still flat

DAVID BERMAN

Another day, another big move by the S&P 500. If you’re keeping track, Thursday afternoon’s 1.2 per cent gain marks the eleventh move of 1 per cent or more since the benchmark index touched a record high on September 18.

That’s eleven out of 24 trading days, or nearly half. Consider that over the previous 28 trading days, the index sustained no moves of 1 per cent or more.

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Best web reads: 5 beaten-down U.S. dividend-payers

Darcy Keith

Inside the Market's weekend roundup of some of last week's best investing reads on the Internet, which are highlighted every morning in our Before the Bell report.

Stock picks

Five U.S. dividend-paying stocks with beaten-down prices.

A summary of stock picks from hedge fund managers at the Robin Hood Investors Conference.

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Before the bell: Ebola case sends shivers through markets

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.

A confirmed case of Ebola in the city that is the world's financial heartbeat is taking its toll on investor confidence this morning, with North American stock futures and European stocks modestly in the red.

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Top links: Goldman Sachs predicts major correction for stocks

SCOTT BARLOW

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

Few things can throw a chill into the average investor like a breakdown in so-called “blue chip” stocks, but that appears to be what’s happening south of the border. Poor earnings from the previously trustworthy bellweathers like Coca-Cola, IBM and AT&T have one hedge fund manager tweeting, hopefully with tongue in cheek, “If you are an adviser who’s stuffed all your clients into high dividend yielding ‘good companies’ I suggest you panic.”

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Thursday's analyst upgrades and downgrades

Tim Shufelt

Inside the Market’s roundup of some of today’s key analyst actions. This file will be updated during the trading day.

Although Mullen Group Ltd.’s future earnings potential has declined, the stock’s outsized selloff warrants an upgrade, said Raymond James analyst Andrew Bradford.

On Wednesday, the oilfield services and trucking company released third-quarter earnings which fell short of analyst expectations. “As far as the magnitude of beats or misses go, an 8-per-cent deviation from the consensus figure isn’t unusual, though it does force us to lower our expectations for the balance of 2014 and 2015,” Mr. Bradford said.

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Similarities to 2012 slump suggests oil producers to rebound: analyst

JEFFREY JONES

Several aspects of the slide in Canadian energy stocks look a lot like ones from the last big correction in 2012, and if they keep playing out the same way, some of the large producers are set to rebound shortly, according to a TD Securities Inc. analyst.

TD’s Menno Hulshof looked at Brent and West Texas Intermediate oil prices, share prices to net asset value and enterprise value to cash flow and found current valuations to be almost identical to the last sell-off, which was followed by a relief rally three months after the energy group bottomed out.

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Small-cap stocks to watch: Lithium explorer reveals eye-catching results

DARCY KEITH

Inside the Market’s roundup of some of the Canadian small caps making news and on the move today. This post will be updated through the morning.

Orocobre Ltd. announced results for two exploration holes this morning, and the implications - according to Dundee Securities analyst David Talbot - "are massive."

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Before the bell: Stocks head for rally amid big earnings beats

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.

U.S. and Canadian stock futures are on the rise this morning after markets got a shot of  better-than-expected economic news out of Europe and China at a time when slowing activity in those regions have been a key concern. Some key earnings beats in the U.S. - including Dow component Caterpillar - are helping stock futures to extend gains. S&P 500 futures are up about 0.70 per cent and TSX futures about 0.6 per cent.

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Wednesday's analyst upgrades and downgrades

Jody White

Inside the Market’s roundup of some of today’s key analyst actions. This file will be updated during the trading day.

CIBC World Markets analyst Kevin Chiang downgraded Exchange Income Corp. to "sector performer" from "sector outperformer" after its shares shot up Tuesday in reaction to news that the company sold its U.S. WesTower unit for $200-million (U.S.).

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Small-cap stocks to watch: REIT gets new CFO

JODY WHITE

Inside the Market’s roundup of some of the Canadian small caps making news and on the move today. This post will be updated through the morning.

Calloway Real Estate Investment Trust has announced the appointment of Peter Sweeney as chief financial officer. Mr. Sweeney most recently served as CFO of Allied Properties Real Estate Investment Trust, and will take over from interim CFO Mario Calabrese.

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Before the bell: Winning streak in stocks in jeopardy

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 suggesting this morning that the four-day rally in the S&P 500 may come to a halt today.

Futures for all the major indexes are virtually unchanged, with European equities largely flat, even amid reports that the European Central Bank is considering buying corporate bonds to stimulate the economy. That move would add to covered bond purchases the bank began this week and is another step closer to a full-blown quantitative easing program, which markets are hoping for in the wake of weak economic data out of the region this month, especially in Germany. Worrying investors across the pond are reports this morning that at least 11 banks could fail a region-wide financial health check this weekend.

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Chinese stocks are a dubious haven from volatility

DAVID BERMAN

Chinese stocks have been a big disappointment for investors in recent years, but at least they offer one upside: In a world where most major indexes tend to zig and zag together, China’s benchmark index stands out with a low correlation.

That has helped during the turbulence of the past month. As The Economist pointed out in its analysis of the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite index, U.S., European and Japanese indexes fell between 5 per cent and 9 per cent during the downturn that began in September, but the Shanghai index remained unchanged, giving it the look of a haven.

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