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Gordon Reid is president and CEO of Goodreid Investment Counsel. His focus is U.S. equities.

Top Picks:

E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co.

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This company is transforming from a traditional chemical company to a world class technology force. Agriculture, Industrial Bio Sciences and Nutrition and Health make up 35 per cent of sales and are growing strongly. Expect stock buybacks and dividend increases.

Halliburton

Strong international operations are driving profitability at this services and equipment oil concern. North American rig counts have been depressed but should rebound as the drive towards domestic energy self-sufficiency strengthens.

Dycom Industries

Dycom is a telecom infrastructure provider whose primarily customers are the large telecommunications companies. As the desire for increased bandwidth increases, Dycom will benefit and we expect growth in revenues, earnings and cash flow to be robust.

Past Picks: October 24, 2012

AIG Inc.
Then: $34.93
Now: $51.94
Total return: +49.00 per cent

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Qualcomm Inc.
Then: $57.63
Now: $68.73
Total return: +21.48 per cent

Crane Co.
Then: $42.30
Now: $61.39
Total return: +48.33 per cent

Total return average: +39.60 per cent

Market outlook:

The political circus in Washington is between innings, so we expect the market to focus on corporate earnings and the health and prospects for business for the next few weeks. The earnings season is in the early stages but appears to be setting up for a better than expected result. Watch for earnings warnings for future quarters, based on worries that the political wrangling has affected confidence.

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