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

The British Columbia government announced a 15-per-cent tax on foreign home ownership to help stem Vancouver's rocketing real estate market. I can't see how Toronto can avoid similar measures – if they do nothing, the increased, diverted inflow of foreign investment will send prices into the stratosphere,

"'It's a very reasonable step,' said Bank of Montreal chief economist Douglas Porter of the provincial government's plan to start charging foreign home buyers in the Greater Vancouver Area a one-time 15-per-cent tax starting next Tuesday. 'I think what's gone on in B.C. cries out for some sort of intervention.'"

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"Real estate industry watchers applaud B.C.'s move to tax foreign home buyers" – Report on Business
"Vancouver Unveils New Tax for Foreign Home Buyers" – Wall Street Journal

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I wrote a column yesterday on why I don't think the "beat rate" – the number of stocks reporting earnings above analyst expectations – is important, but, in hindsight, I should have mentioned that corporate forward-looking guidance does matter in the current slow growth environment.

Caterpillar is a good example of this thought process. The company reported earnings ahead of forecasts, but warned of difficult times ahead,

"The US heavy machinery maker cut its full year sales and profits forecast for a second straight quarter on Tuesday as weak demand for equipment used in the mining and energy sector continue to weigh on its North American business while the strong dollar and weaker capital spending in Europe ate into its overseas sales. .. The guidance cut comes as second quarter revenue at Caterpillar tumbled 16 per cent to $10.3bn. Sales fell in all categories and drove profit down to 93 cents a share, compared to $1.31 per share last year."

"Caterpillar cuts sales and profit forecast (again)" – FastFT
"@C_Barraud CATERPILLAR SAYS CAUTIOUS ENTERING SECOND HALF OF YEAR – BBG " – Twitter

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"The bears are in charge" in the oil patch writes Bloomberg's Will Kennedy,

"West Texas Intermediate futures declined 1 percent after falling 2.4 percent Monday. While U.S. crude inventories probably slid by 2.25 million barrels last week, gasoline supplies are seen increasing by 600,000 barrels, swelling stockpiles that are also at the highest in decades."

Consultancy Wood Mackenzie and the International Energy Agency are worried about flagging demand for crude,

"'There are signs that (demand) momentum is easing," especially in the US and China, while Europe's surprisingly robust demand 'is unlikely to last,' the IEA report said. … 'While we expect US crude production to continue falling into 2017, the rate of decline is expected to ease…' Wood Mackenzie, the energy consulting group, said that the US shale oil sector had adapted to low oil prices and that the percentage of projects that would be profitable below $60-per-barrel oil had increased substantially in the past year."

"IEA, Wood Mackenzie worry over global oil market recovery" – Vanguard
"Oil Falls to Three-Month Low as Surplus Withstands Supply Drop" – Bloomberg
"Renewed oil weakness sparks demand fears" – Reuters
"@tracyalloway Oil demand growth so far this quarter is running at less than a third its rate in same period last year. Barclays: pic.twitter.com/rHPSveC0SF " – Twitter

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Tweet of the day: "@AstroRM The moon passed between @NASA climate observatory and the earth. Almost unbelievable that this is a real photo pic.twitter.com/MWxwgDfUIw " – Twitter

Diversion: "Guy Ritchie Debuts His King Arthur Movie, Emphasis on the Guy" – i09

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