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

I spent 20 years in the Canadian brokerage industry and saw some horrible, horrible things. And, while unsure of the implications of changing the rules in Canada, I'm following proposed U.S. legislation to make brokers more accountable to client interests closely.

Today we have a New York Times story detailing the huge fight U.S. brokers are putting up to avoid fiduciary standards. Excuse the long excerpt, but this story annoys me on a number of levels: "Amid fierce pushback from the financial services industry, the Labor Department, which oversees retirement plans, recently delayed releasing a revised proposal that would require a broader group of professionals to put their clients' interest ahead of their own when dealing with their retirement accounts. 'They have really been stymied by the financial industry, which is spending millions of dollars to fight this rule,' said Karen Friedman, executive vice president and policy director at the Pension Rights Center, a nonprofit consumer group."

Brokers Fight Rule to Favor Best Interests of Customers – NY Times

A late spring Friday is a good day to recommend The Fly. The pseudonymous portfolio manager's blog reads like the unholy offspring of Don Rickles and Fidelity's Peter Lynch. Every post has something to offend everyone (including occasional NSFW language) as his emotions swing from chest-thumping bombast when his portfolio's going up, to self-flagellating misery when performance fails.

The Fly's entertainment value is high but it is also among the most helpful sites for equity traders. He is 100 per cent transparent – every buy and every sell, win or lose - and there's a lot to learn about portfolio discipline.

The Fly's post on Lululemon Athletica is vintage, starting by trolling our entire nation with "Is anyone surprised that LULU is getting its big, fat, Canadian face bashed in this morning?" But then it adds valuable insight into the future of the retail industry in typically entertaining fashion: " But the big, overarching, trend for retail is really death and destruction. It's in a virtuous spiral of deflationary angst, whereby they keep throwing Chinese stars at one another, begging for market share gains."

Boy Does Retail Suck – The Fly

Retail stocks are for trading, not investing - Scott Barlow, Inside the Market

A full slate of Chinese economic data was reported in line with expectations, showing lower but robust growth. The bullish highlight was a 12 per cent increase in retail spending.

Economists react to the mixed picture today's data present for China's economy - WSJ

China's housing market remains a major concern, however. As the Wall Street Journal reports, "Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that housing sales and construction starts declined less rapidly in May. New home sales by value fell 11.3% in May from a year earlier compared to the 15.4% decline recorded in April."

It's hard to overstate the importance of the Chinese real estate market – former UBS strategist George Magnus has called it the world's most important market sector.

No Miracle in the Offing for China's Housing Market - WSJ

China No-Money-Down Housing Echoes U.S. Subprime Loan Risks – Bloomberg

See also: Looking for a China's May implied oil demand falls to 9-month low – Reuters

Diversion: The Problem with Journalism and the Internet, in One Quote – Longreads