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3 top stock picks from portfolio manager Norman Levine

Norman Levine, managing director, Portfolio Management Corporation.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Norman Levine is managing director with Portfolio Management Corp. His focus is North American large caps.

Top picks:

TransCanada Corp.

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TransCanada has a lot of potential new projects that have been announced recently. While not all will come to fruition, but enough should to keep earning growing. Most important are Keystone XL (after next week's election) and a partial reversal of the mainline for conversion into an oil pipeline.

International Forest Products

Lumber prices are set to break out to the upside and International Forest is set to be a major beneficiary. Demand in the U.S. for housing is picking up and the damage done by Hurricane Sandy will only add to that demand.

SNC-Lavalin

SNC is one of the world's premiere engineering companies. It is trading at a huge discount due to unethical past behaviour. We are looking forward and believe that when looking back in a year or two this will have proven to be a huge buying opportunity. The company has recently been awarded a number of new contracts, showing that the scandal has not affected its day-to-day business.

Past picks: Oct. 24, 2011

Covidien PLC

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Then: $46.95
Now: $55.92
Total return: +21.17 per cent

Morneau Shepell

Then: $9.75
Now: $13.03
Total return: +43.98 per cent

Suncor Energy

Then: $31.16
Now: $34.55
Total return: +12.61 per cent

Total return average:+25.92 per cent

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Market outlook

We think that sentiment on the U.S. economy is too negative and that the recovering housing market will cause economic growth to be higher than most expect. This should prove positive for U.S. equities. In Canada, the huge weighting of commodity stocks has caused it to hugely underperform. There are, however, some sectors and even some commodities that continue to be attractive. We will use periods of market weakness to accumulate companies with cash we have been carrying for just this type of opportunity.

Watch Mr. Levine on BNN.

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