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Stars and Dogs

The Globe's stars and dogs for the week

A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week

Bitcoin (DOG)

Bitcoin's crashing? Geez, nobody saw that coming. With authorities in China, South Korea, Russia and other countries vowing to crack down on cryptocurrency trading, investors dumped their virtual coins as fast as they could, sending bitcoin's price briefly below $10,000 (U.S.) – half of the $20,000 peak it reached in December – before it recovered some of its losses. Funny how investors suddenly fall back in love with good old-fashioned money when their crypto dreams comes crashing down.

Bitcoin CME Futures January 2018 $11,515.00 (U.S.), down $1,870.00 or 13.97% over week

General Electric (DOG)

At some point, General Electric will become a screaming buy – if it isn't sold off in pieces first. Hammered by $11-billion (U.S.) in tax, impairment and insurance charges that will hit its fourth-quarter results, the industrial conglomerate's stock market meltdown continued this week, bringing its loss in the last year to about 47 per cent. Chief executive John Flannery said he's considering the spinoff of several units, but investors evidently believe GE's problems run too deep to be fixed by asset sales.

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GE (NYSE), $16.26 (U.S.), down $2.76 or 14.51% over week

Ford Motor (DOG)

Whoever came up with the slogan "Built Ford Tough" obviously wasn't talking about the stock. Shares of the car and truck maker crumpled like a tin can after the company issued guidance for 2017 and 2018 that was short of analysts' expectations, citing currency volatility and higher costs for steel and aluminum. With Ford planning to spend heavily on electric vehicles even as it launches more trucks and SUVs in the coming years, investors could be in for a bumpy ride.

F (NYSE), $12.01 (U.S.), down $1.15 or 8.74% over week

Constellation Software (STAR)

Test your business knowledge! Shares of Constellation Software surged after the company: a) unveiled a new suite of cloud-based software solutions that will allow companies to control all their other cloud-based software solutions; b) received a $20-billion takeover offer – plus a free iPhone X – from Apple; c) announced the purchase of Montreal-based Acceo Solutions, which provides software and services to retailers, tour operators, daycare centres and other clients. (Answer: c.)

CSU (TSX), $788.32, up $55.15 or 7.52% over week

Alcoa (DOG)

Aluminum producer Alcoa traditionally kicks off earnings season, setting the tone for what's to come. Nice going, Alcoa. Citing factors such as drought in Brazil and higher power prices in Spain, the company posted revenue and adjusted earnings that were well below analysts' expectations, sending the stock – which surged 92 per cent last year – to its biggest intraday loss in more than 15 months. All good things must come to an end.

AA (NYSE), $53.10 (U.S.), down $3.81 or 6.69% over week

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