A roundup of what The Globe and Mail's market strategist Scott Barlow is reading this morning on the Web
CBC news is reporting that a record 202,000 Canadians 'cut the cord' – cancelled cable television programming in favour of streaming services – in 2016. To date, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Corp. has been merely studying the phenomenon but there are older position papers suggesting that the CRTC should act to protect the incumbent cable companies if cord cutting became a significant theme. This being Canada, history suggests that any new regulatory measures will come at the expense of consumers.
"Record 202,000 Canadians cut the cord last year and ditched television service" – CBC
Cloud computing and health care remain my favoured long-term investment sectors. On the cloud front, Reuters reports that global financial firms are increasingly moving to the cloud to cut costs,
"The fact that the Feb. 28 shutdown had no visible impact on the industry's use of cloud services goes to show how far it has progressed since then in embracing the cloud after nearly a decade of hesitation… The benefits are so unquestionable that last month's outage caused by an employee who typed in a wrong code was barely a bump on the road to the cloud and merely a reminder that no technology is foolproof, financial executives, Silicon Valley vendors and analysts who work with them said."
There are two issues for investors looking to benefit from the broad-based moved to cloud computing are valuations – dominant companies like Amazon.com and VMWare are extremely high – and also that change in the technology industry means it's not easy to pick winners in peripheral plays. Personally, I have successfully traded stocks, Like F5 Networks, in the sector but currently have no exposure in my personal account.
"U.S. financial firms embrace cloud, 'fat fingers' notwithstanding" – Reuters
Oil prices are headed for their first weekly gain in March but supply concerns remain,
"Oil prices rose on Friday, helped by a weaker dollar, as investors weighed the impact of OPEC production cuts against rising U.S. shale oil output and persistently high inventories. But analysts said the comments gave limited support because Riyadh has said it needs co-operation to rebalance the market and non-OPEC producers, such as Russia, have yet to deliver fully on reduction commitments in the first half of 2017. "The market remains relatively calm today with concerns about having to extend the production cut deal being offset by a weaker dollar," said Saxo Bank head of commodity strategy Ole Hansen."
Motley Fool's Matthew DiLallo has selected three U.S. energy stocks he'd buy immediately.
"Weaker dollar helps lift oil, supply worries persist" – Reuters
"Oil Traders Have Lots of Reasons to Be Bullish" – Bloomberg
"Saudi Arabia Says Oil-Supply Cuts May Be Extended If Needed" – Bloomberg
"Halfway into 2017's oil supply cut, Asia remains awash with fuel" – Reuters
"3 Oil Stocks I'd Buy Right Now" – Motley Fool
Tweet of the Day: "@natnewswatch: Subway says it plans to sue CBC for $210 million over chicken findings thestar.com/news/canada/20… via @torontostar " – Twitter
Diversion: "The Best New Resorts in the Caribbean" – Bloomberg Pursuits