Every day ROB Insight delivers exclusive analysis on breaking business news and market-moving events. Streetwise offers news and analysis on Bay Street and the world of finance. Inside the Market delivers up-to-the-minute insights on market news as it develops.
Here are our editors' picks of some of the best reads available to Globe Unlimited subscribers this week.
Death by a zillion clicks
The long deep-freeze of the past winter contributed to the chill on retailers' quarterly results, but a much bigger and deeper trend is threatening their long-term performance. That would be that Internet thing, and a shift to online sales that has been steadily gathering pace, prompting chains to shutter locations and laying waste to countless jobs. In ROB Insight, Brian Milner delves into the retail revolution sending convulsions throughout the sector and explains the strategy of Amazon, the 800-pound gorilla of online retail, that is threatening the very survival of many bricks-and-mortar operations.
Bay Street gets spring in its step
Spring is in the air and, over the past few weeks, also in the mood on Bay Street. Despite a respectable 15-per-cent advance in the TSX benchmark over the past year, potential buyers for new issues have been thin on the ground, resulting in a sporadic market for offerings. Now the market is seeing multiple offerings on the same day as both investors and issuers feel more confident. In Streetwise, Tim Kiladze looks at the factors driving the surge.
When big dividends raise a red flag
High-yielding securities are usually high-yielding for good reason – and that's usually not a good reason, at least as far as investors are concerned. Erratic financial results, high volatility, management issues, and the cyclical nature of certain industries are often signs that that an investor should steer clear. In Inside the Market, Gordon Pape explores the pros and cons of investing in stocks with big payouts.
Russian bear swipes at Canadian LNG
The news this week, that Russia and China have signed a $500-billion long-term deal to supply gas to China marks not just a very big energy deal, but a massive pivot to the east for Russia. Historically, the nation has been oriented to Europe in both cultural and economic matters, regarding China with such suspicion that Russia left its Eastern Siberian gas riches untapped. But with new political tensions threatening its European market, Russia has now committed to a massive pipeline project and 30-year contract with its new BFF. What does it all mean for Canada? In ROB Insight, Carl Mortished examines how ambitious plans to ship tankerloads of LNG to the Pacific basin will be undermined by the new supply.
RBC makes it perfectly clear
Read his lips: Royal Bank of Canada will not be snapping up a personal and commercial bank in the U.S., so don't ask again. CEO Dave McKay felt compelled to tell analysts and investors during a conference call to discuss results earlier in the week to draw a line under the matter. Speculation has been rife that the bank wants to expand its footprint south of the border, and it still does, but the focus is squarely on wealth management and corporate loans. In Streetwise, Tim Kiladze examines the reason behind RBC's strategy.
Big deal? That bargain stock may not be
With the S&P 500 up more than 180 per cent over the past five years, stock valuations have become central to the debate over whether the bull market can continue, or is at risk of a severe setback. But investors have a challenge, writes David Berman in Inside the Market: Different approaches to calculating price-to-earnings ratios offer wildly different estimations on a stock's value.