A roundup of what The Globe and Mail's market strategist Scott Barlow is reading this morning on the Web
Citi strategists write that 2016 was the year "contrarians win at last." Boosted by the recovery in resource stocks, Citi's global list of contrarian picks generated a 31- per-cent return, well above major equity benchmarks. The strategists also believe that contrarians will be 'back for more' in 2017 and published a list of contrarian investment ideas. Health care names dominate – Teva Pharmaceuticals, Allergan U.S. health care , Novo Nordisk A/S, and Gilead Sciences Inc. are among the ideas.
In a related research report, Goldman Sachs updated its list of stocks where they expect the best risk-adjusted returns. Using a highly modified Sharpe Ratio, the Goldman list contains investment ideas in all major U.S. market sectors.
"@SBarlow_ROB GS rebalances successful Sharpe Ratio basket " – (full list of stocks) Twitter
Bloomberg reports that some of the froth is coming out of metals markets as commodity prices took a hit overnight.
"Yen Climbs, Gold Rises as Traders Turn Defensive Before Year-End" – Bloomberg
Hedge funds and other speculative investors are piling in to energy futures markets as optimism for 2017 climbs,
"'There's been a full embrace of the OPEC, non-OPEC deal,' John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund that focuses on energy, said by telephone. 'They are being given the benefit of the doubt. The consensus is that supplies will tighten quickly and as a result investors are positioning for higher prices in the near term."
"Hedge funds increased wagers on rising WTI by 2.5 percent in the week ended Dec. 13, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show, while shorts, or bets on lower prices, tumbled 30 percent to the lowest level since May."
"OPEC Deal Makes Oil Investors Most Bullish Since Slump Began " – Bloomberg
Reuters details Blackberry Inc.'s plans to develop software and networks for driverless vehicles. As noted by Scotia research previously, Blackberry's secure network does give them an advantage here – software can be updated remotely instead of making a trip to the dealer to plug in.
"Switching gears, Canada's BlackBerry to open autonomous vehicle hub" – Reuters
I'm surprised this story isn't getting more attention. According to Fortune magazine, solar power in countries like India, China and Brazil is now cheaper than natural gas and coal,
"In a note to clients this week, BNEF chairman Michael Liebreich said that solar power had entered 'the era of undercutting' fossil fuels.
"Bloomberg reports that 2016 has seen remarkable falls in the price of electricity from solar sources, citing a $64 per megawatt-hour contract in India at the tart of the year, and a $29.10 per megawatt-hour deal struck in Chile in August—about 50% the price of electricity produced from coal."
"This Just Became the World's Cheapest Form of Electricity Out of Nowhere" – Fortune
Tweet of the Day: " @dbcurren RBC. Weak US #industrial production levels do not bode well for Canadian exports #cdnecon " – Twitter (includes chart)
Diversion: "A 99-million-year-old piece of amber definitively proves that dinosaurs had feathers" – Quartz