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

Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF (STAR)

HMMJ - TSX

The Democrats weren’t the only ones cheering after they won both U.S. Senate elections in Georgia this week. So were cannabis investors. With the Democratic Party now controlling the Senate, House of Representatives and White House, pot stocks surged on hopes that “a Democratic sweep could clear the way for more progressive cannabis legislation to be passed,” Aaron Grey of Alliance Global Partners said in a note. Come to think of it, this is just what the United States needs after four years under Donald Trump: everyone to mellow out.

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Brookfield Renewable Corp . (STAR)

BEPC - TSX

Even before the Democrats took control of the U.S. Senate this week, renewable power stocks were rallying. Now, with U.S. president-elect Joe Biden in a stronger position to enact green energy policies, renewable stocks have gone parabolic. Shares of Brookfield Renewable Corp., for instance, have doubled since their debut in July as investors anticipate strong growth for solar and wind power. Maybe Brookfield could erect a giant wind turbine outside the U.S. Capitol to safely and humanely blow protesters off the premises the next time they try to crash Congress? Just a thought.

S&P/TSX Composite Index (STAR)

After trailing the S&P 500 for four consecutive years, will Canada’s benchmark stock index finally redeem itself in 2021? Well, it’s off to a good start. Lifted by marijuana producers, renewable power companies and resource stocks, the S&P/TSX Composite Index hit a record high this week, kicking off 2021 with a weekly advance of 3.5 per cent that topped the S&P 500′s gain of 1.8 per cent. Now, all the S&P/TSX has to do is maintain its lead for the next 357 days, and we’re good.

Restaurant Brands International (STAR)

QSR - TSX

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Business quiz! Shares of Restaurant Brands rose after the fast-food operator: a) unveiled Popeyes Chicken Timbit Tenders – strips of tender chicken breast deep-fried in doughnut batter; b) in a bid to reduce long car lineups at Tim Hortons, announced plans to replace all drive-thru employees with robots by 2024; c) unveiled the first rebranding of Burger King in 20 years, including a new logo, packaging, uniforms and restaurant decor. Answer: c.

Roku (STAR)

ROKU - Nasdaq

When you’re binge-watching shows on Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, you can’t afford to lose valuable seconds switching between services and finding your favourite programs. That helps to explain the growing popularity of Roku, which allows TV addicts to access all manner of paid and free content with the convenience of a single remote. Helped by the pandemic, Roku added 14 million active accounts in 2020 for a total of 51.2 million at year-end, prompting Needham analyst Laura Martin to hike her price target on the shares to US$400 from US$315. For Roku investors, watching the share price soar is all the entertainment they need.

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