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Scott Barlow

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

A Reuters column argues that OPEC can either retain its global market share or have higher prices, it can't have both,

"The crude import data from Asia's biggest buyers show the scale of the challenge facing Saudi Arabia and Russia, the two countries that are the lynchpins of the November agreement between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in the first six months of 2017… While OPEC and its allies have had success in ensuring high compliance with the deal, which has started the process of drawing down high global oil inventories, they have also opened the door to producers outside the agreement to raise output."

"Market share or higher prices? The Saudi, Russia oil dilemma: Russell" – Reuters
"Oil's Magic Numbers" – Gadfly

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One portfolio manager believes that marijuana stocks are "a bubble ready to burst,"

"'Once the THC wears off, investors are going to have a hell of a hangover,' Alex Ruus, portfolio manager at Arrow Capital Management, told BNN via email, making reference to tetrahydrocannabinol (the active psychoactive compound in marijuana, commonly referred to as THC). 'These things are a bubble waiting to burst,' Russ said."

The story notes that companies in the industry are struggling to generate profits despite investor interest that has driven stock prices sharply higher.

Some readers are likely to misconstrue criticism of marijuana stocks with anti-drug sentiments about marijuana use itself, but this is a mistake in my opinion. Referring back to technology stocks in the late 1990s, it is entirely normal for a new, high growth market sector to see an investment bubble grow and burst before sustainable profit growth begins. The marijuana sector may not play out that way, but it is a definite risk to investors.

"'A bubble waiting to burst': Why some investors aren't buying the cannabis hype" – BNN

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An important post by Ritholtz Wealth Management's Josh Brown highlights research showing that investors often underperform the asset classes they hold by buying and selling at the wrong times. This lesson – don't buy at the top or sell at the bottom – is repeated constantly but remains difficult for investors (including me) to follow. I've written before that 'financial literacy' is very similar to dieting advice in that most people know the rules but can't implement them,

"Steve Russolillo looks at the well-known phenomenon in which investors systematically underperform their own investments by acting emotionally, over-trading and making poor timing decisions. via Wall Street Journal:

"The gap between investors' returns and the market's performance is even wider over a longer time horizon. Equity-fund investors earned just 3.7% annually over the past 30 years through 2015 compared with a 10.4% annual return for the S&P 500."

"Investors Underperforming Their Own Investments" – Reformed Broker

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For the rare readers who haven't read any of what seems like thousands of stories about the "Trump Trade," here are some links,

"ROSENBERG: The Trump rally's 'great unwind' might just be getting started" – Business Insider
"'He is not a closer': Shares dip, pare losses after Trump health-care failure" – BNN
"These Charts Show Alarm Bells Ringing on the Trump Trade" – Bloomberg
"Trump risks losing Wall Street's faith after healthcare failure" – Financial Times

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Tweet of the Day: "@MAAWLAW If #NAFTA is only going to be "tweaked", it can't be done under #TPA; health care debacle proves that if there was ever any doubt about that" – Twitter

Diversion: "Scientists Demonstrate Method of Turning Spinach Leaves Into Human Heart Tissue" – Gizmodo

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