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Canadian Dollar

Bad idea: Changing the words of the national anthem. Good idea: Changing the nickname of the Canadian dollar to "the freakin' awesome loonie." As if winning virtually every Olympic medal that mattered wasn't enough, Canada has now turned its attention to dominating global currency markets as our soaring buck closes in on parity with the U.S. dollar. You go, you freakin' awesome loonie!

Aeropostale ? Is that, like, when someone loses it on an airplane? No, it's a teen clothing chain that's beating the pants off competitors. The retailer, which specializes in lower-priced casual wear, posted strong fourth-quarter results and forecast 2010 profit that topped estimates, sending the shares up faster than you can say, "Does my butt look huge in this?"

Billboards may not beautify the landscape. But they beautify investors' wallets. Riding a rebound in ad spending, Clear Channel , the world's largest billboard company, narrowed its fourth-quarter loss and posted sales that topped expectations. With analysts upgrading the stock and investors hoping for a special dividend, this billboard is screaming "buy!"

What could be more fun than rousing your kids at 3 a.m. to catch a flight to a resort with lousy food, third-rate entertainment and German tourists who claim all the deck chairs? Staying home, that's what. Just ask tour operator Transat , whose stock plunged after it predicted a second-quarter loss. Seems Canadians were more interested in watching the Olympics than jetting off to a Caribbean island.

Things you should never do with concrete: 1) Make a face print in a freshly poured sidewalk; 2) Stand directly under the cement mixer's discharge chute while your buddy makes a hilarious YouTube video; 3) Invest in U.S. Concrete . Hammered by the housing bust, the company posted a fourth-quarter loss of $16.7-million (U.S.) and said "there is substantial doubt" it will survive without restructuring.

U.S. Concrete

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About the Author
Investment Reporter and Columnist

John Heinzl has been writing about business and investing since 1990. A native of Hamilton, he earned a master's degree from the University of Western Ontario's Graduate School of Journalism and completed the Canadian Securities Course with honours. More

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