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stars and dogs

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

Toronto-Dominion Bank (DOG)

TD – TSX

Canadian banks have been reporting strong profits in recent quarters. To be honest, though, it’s getting a bit boring. And look out: The Liberals now want to tap bank profits above $1-billion with higher taxes. The solution for banks? Mix things up by adding some uncertainty. Everyone loves vulnerability! Toronto-Dominion Bank rose to the occasion this week with a quarterly profit that exceeded analysts’ guesstimates – by a lousy 4 cents a share. Ouch! Maybe now the Libs will leave the bank’s $3.5-billion third-quarter haul alone.

Stelco Holdings Inc. (STAR)

STLC – TSX

Wind farms are wonderful. But if you want to make a bundle, bet on stocks that are throwbacks to the good old days, when emissions puffed dreamily from smokestacks and the only existential fear was nuclear Armageddon. Case in point: Stelco, whose steel is used to make your fridge, your car and the nails holding together your house, is on a tear thanks to high steel prices, big profits and rising dividends. Green is great, but steel is sublime.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. (STAR)

DKS – NYSE

I have to confess, I’ve put on a few pounds during the pandemic. This whole working-from-home routine, with 4 p.m. Miller time, means that I no longer have to maintain an imposing physical presence. Who am I going to impress? Zoom calls are neck-up, right? Unfortunately, my face is now expanding so much that Carl from accounting, of all people, asked if I’ve been inflating air mattresses as a side gig. Better get some workout gear. Looks as if lots of people are, given record sales and profits at Dick’s. Maybe I’ll start with new bowling shoes.

CAE Inc. (STAR)

CAE – TSX

Here’s a business tip for CAE. Demand for flight simulators can be rocky when COVID cases are rising, which got me thinking about a missed opportunity here: Sell seats to passengers looking for a thrill. I can picture myself relaxing in a roomy simulator, sipping a cocktail and chatting with my wife, while the kids fight in the back. Then the real excitement kicks in as the trained pilots up front navigate all kinds of mayhem in the simulated skies! A few hours later, we emerge and go home. The perfect staycation for me. The perfect diversification opportunity for CAE.

Crude oil (Star)

After crude oil notched its biggest weekly gain in more than a year, the experts said it was because a hurricane is bearing down on the Gulf of Mexico, affecting production at offshore wells. Interesting theory. But listen to this: I just picked up my kid from her far-away camp, setting a new personal best for hours at the wheel and litres of gas burned. And the driving got me thinking: I’m going to keep this old Mazda on the road for another couple of years, to see how this electric-vehicle fad plays out. Glug glug.

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