Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Big Board gets a Bell Curve

Not surprisingly, the NYSE had to change its market capitalization listing rules in the current bear market. With stocks like Citigroup (NYSE:C), General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Ford (NYSE:F) all flirting with a share price level that would trigger delisting - a $1 minimum - the exchange temporarily suspended its minimum rule late last year and lowered the minimum market cap to $15-million last month. Now the lower standard is being floated as a more permanent fix. This is a sign of the time, but surely raises some questions about standards going forward. The Big Board ain't so Big anymore.

Monday, February 23, 2009


It's always telling to see a stock hit a new 52-week high while the rest of the market suffers. Eldorado Gold (TSX:ELD) scaled to $11.60 this morning. The stock was a Stock Trends Pick of the Week on January 9 at $9.25. It turned Stock Trends Bullish a month ago.

Nova's Middle East saviour

Maybe we need a lot more foreign vultures at the table. Abu Dhabi's state owned IPIC has swooped in to offer $6 share for downtrodden Nova Chemicals Corp. (TSX:NCX, NYSE:NCX). Trading in NCX was notably slim last week as the stock stabilized after several weeks of heavy trading and gruesome losses. This offer was likely very swift in the making.

Tech relative strength

Most investors are running for cover. The question they should ask, though: what cover? most of our trend signals point toward precious metals - and for good reason. But technology stocks are also garnering a stalwart reputation in the market downdraft. The Nasdaq 100 index has outperformed the S&P 500 over the last three months by 12%. The Powershares Nasdaq 100 ETF (NASDAQ:QQQQ) is currently Stock Trends Bearish, but its relative strength has been on an upward trend since November. Investors should feel reasonably comfortable weighting some of their holdings in tech.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Out with the plastic, in with the cheese

First it was doughnuts, now it's cheese - Canada's blue chip club is slowly becoming a food emporium instead of an industrial complex. Replacing the beleaguered plastics and chemicals firm Nova Chemicals Corp (TSX:NCX) in the S&P/TSX 60 Index is Canada's largest cheese maker, Saputo Inc. (TSX:SAP). SAP now joins Tim Horton's (TSX:THI) as the latest consumer stock added to the blue chip index. Oh, I may be forgetting about the addition of T-shirt maker Gildan Activewear (TSX:GIL), but the message remains the same: Canada's economy is exceedingly lightweight when it comes to the consumer sector. The TSX will remain the domain of the resource and financial sectors.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

A healthy advance

Bright spots on the TSX are few and far between, but the performance of SXC Health Solutions (TSX:SXC) is notable one. It reached an new 52-week high today, climbing to $25.40 in the morning session. SXC has been Stock Trends Bullish since June of last year, but made its significant move in November. The 13-week moving average trend line offered support last week, giving investors reason to stick with this bullish trend. Today's move rewards the trend traders.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Investors coming out of hibernation

Relative market stability is starting to bring back anxious investors. January was the first month since August to have net inflows into Canadian mutual funds. Much of that went to fixed income funds, but stocks also benefited from this gradual renewal. This is another sign of hope.

Mega Brands scores

Mega Brands (TSX:MB) spiked 182% today after its deal with Microsoft was announced. Mega Brands will be producing construction toy sets for the Halo Wars video game franchise. Trading in the stock had been unusually light in recent weeks, so this deal was kept under wraps. Still, MB remains in a bearish trend and has more to prove before it deserves Stock Trends attention.