Every day ROB Insight delivers exclusive analysis on breaking business news and market-moving events. Streetwise offers news and analysis on Bay Street and the world of finance. Inside the Market delivers up-to-the-minute insights on market news as it develops.
Here are our editors’ picks of some of the best reads available to Globe Unlimited subscribers this week.
Why truckers are muscling up
The kings of the highway are expanding their realms – but that’s not necessarily an indicator of vitality for Canada’s trucking industry. In fact, the acquisition of Contrans Group Inc. of Woodstock, Ont., by TransForce Inc. of Montreal underscores the challenging economics of the long-haul industry. In Streetwise, Jacqueline Nelson explains that meagre margins and slow growth are forcing truckers to look to takeovers as a source of growth.
The turmoil at Partners REIT
In the normally placid world of Canadian board elections, it’s rare for a management nominee to be defeated. It’s even rarer for the other board directors to brush aside the voting results and decide to keep the candidate anyway. But that’s precisely what has occurred at Partners Real Estate Investment Trust. In Streetwise, Tim Kiladze examines why Marc Charlebois, a former chief operating officer of Calloway REIT, received such scant support in the recent vote at Partners – and why the decision by the other directors to keep him on the board may signal a new era of stability at the REIT.
Resistance is futile: The case for a market “melt-up”
The Mideast is in turmoil, Ukraine is facing a rebellion – and the stock market keeps steaming higher. What’s behind this odd conjunction of gloom and glee? In Inside the Market, David Berman looks at the investors, both bullish and bearish, who see more gains ahead, largely because of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy of maintaining interest rates at extraordinarily low levels.
Resistance isn’t futile: The sobering message in bond yields
Stock market skeptics take heart: There is one indicator, at least, that suggests the S&P 500 may finally be running out of fuel. High-yield bond yields usually move in the opposite direction to the stock market – as rates fall, equities rise, and vice versa. In Inside the Market, Scott Barlow notes there has recently been an interesting divergence between the two, with stocks climbing while bond spreads remain stuck in a range. Without a plentiful supply of ever cheaper debt to boost earnings, companies may actually have to – gasp – grow their sales.
The two-faced recovery
Time magazine’s cover this week touts “America’s comeback” while the Economist’s front warns of “America’s lost oomph.” Which is right? As Kevin Carmichael explains in ROB Insight, both are. Many of the latest numbers show the U.S. economy is finally shaking off the effects of the Great Recession, but central bankers remain rightly cautious about the ability of the country to regain its old pace of growth.
Canadian jobs: Don’t believe the hype
To hear the Conservative Party tell it, Canada has been a veritable fount of job creation, with more than one million jobs created since mid-2009. But look more closely and the numbers don’t look nearly so good, writes Andrew Jackson in ROB Insight. Median hourly wages haven’t kept pace with price increases and the proportion of the working-age population with a job has declined – all indicators that Canada’s job market remains weak.