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Globe Investor Rob Carrick’s top online brokerages of 2019, what’s up with Athabasca Oil’s stock and a look at SNC-Lavalin: What you need to know in investing this week

Looking for investing ideas? Here’s your weekly digest of the Globe’s latest insights and analysis from the pros, stock tips, portfolio strategies plus what investors need to know for the week ahead.



Which online brokerage is best in 2019? Rob Carrick ranks your options

A big divide has opened up between the middling to weak players and the elite when it comes to The Globe and Mail’s annual ranking of online brokers. The ranking has seen some battles over its 20 years, but not anything as tense as today. The top firms have cut fees in a few cases, while adding new features to help clients build and manage portflios. The annual Globe and Mail ranking of online brokers has seen some battles over its 20 years, but never anything as tense as today.

This year’s co-winners are TD Direct Investing and Virtual Brokers. TD earned its spot by surpassing other brokers with its website innovation and utility, particularly for planning portfolios. VB cut its fees sharply while also introducing a nimble new website and a state of the art tool for managing an investment portfolio. Check out the rest of Rob Carrick’s list of which online brokerage is the best in 2019, and see how each compare.

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Read more from Rob Carrick: The three retirement books that can really help you make decisions. Also, worried about money? Join the club. And: How to tell if you should dump your sad sack preferred shares.

What’s weighing on Athabasca Oil’s stock?

Athabasca Oil Corp., is widely viewed as one of the more leveraged plays on rising oil prices, attracting investors who can dream of a big upside here. David Berman is one of those dreamers. And sure enough, the price of Canadian oil has rebounded over the last month from recent lows. But Athabasca’s share price remains in the dumps, raising questions about what’s weighing the Canadian oil sands producer down – and if it’s a long-term pipeline problem.

Gordon Pape: Interested in an equity portfolio that pays an outsized yield? Try this closed-end fund

You don’t find many closed-ended funds around any more. They were never very popular, wth most of them trading at big discounts to their net asset value. But there are a few left, writes Gordon Pape, and here’s one worth a look if you’re interested in an equity portfolio that pays an outsized yield (hint: it yields almost 11 per cent, but the aggressive investment could be worth it).

Looking for guidance on SNC-Lavalin? The week’s most overbought and oversold stocks on the TSX

There are two index members trading at technically attractive, oversold RSI levels this week, below the buy signal of 30. Crescent Point Energy Corp. is the most oversold stock in the index, followed by SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. Normally, Scott Barlow wouldn’t pick a company with this much headline risk to focus on, but SNC has endured poor news flow in the past and the explanation might provide some guidance for investors.

Read more on this week’s Stars and Dogs here.

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If interest rates have peaked, utilities stocks’ post-Christmas roll could run a while longer

Remember those days when economic forecasts were upbeat and interest rates were rising? Well, they’re over – and the shift to a more subdued outlook has given rate-sensitive Canadian utilities a big lift over the past six weeks. The sector has rallied 13.7 per cent from its Dec. 24 lows, which is impressive for a collection of companies known for dividends and steady financial results, rather than spectacular growth and innovation. But how much upside is left?

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This question gained some urgency on Friday after a couple of analysts downgraded several utilities in response to the recent run-up in stock prices (including Algonquin Power and Utilities). However, here’s another way to approach utilities: The rebound has further to run as the market continues to adjust to the idea that interest rates may have peaked.

What investors need to know for the week ahead

Companies releasing earnings this coming week include: Air Canada, Aurora, Barrick, Bombardier, Canada Goose, Canadian Tire, Canopy Growth, Cineplex, Coca-Cola, Manulife Financial, PrairieSky Royalty, Pure Gold Mining, Restaurant Brands International, Shopify, Telus, TransCanada, West Fraser Timber and Yamana Gold.

Canadian economic data on tap include: Canadian motor vehicle sales for December (Thursday) and Canadian home sales for January (Friday)

Looking for more investing ideas and opinions?

Reasons for optimism on Canadian stocks, emerging markets in 2019

National Bank reveals its top 24 high-yielding stock picks

Here's how we found 15 U.S. dividend stocks with sustainable yields

John Heinzl: My dividend portfolio is off to a flying start in 2019

How a 30-year amortization would affect mortgage payments

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