Canada: Investing in the World's Safest Economy Can Put Profits in Your Pocket
When a March 25 "no-confidence" vote toppled the government of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, it also set the stage for a new general election.
This May 2 election will be Canada's third in five years and fourth in seven years. In light of the civil unrest in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region – not to mention the financial problems that continue to plague Europe – it would be understandable if global investors added Canada to the "do not invest" list.
But don't make that mistake: Our neighbor to the north remains one of the most stable big-market profit plays on the planet today.
Some investors even refer to it as the "world's safest economy." And with good reason.
Buy, Sell or Hold: Suncor (NYSE: SU) Energy Inc. Is an Oil Gusher with Limited Risk
If you are looking for a mining company that generates energy with its own diversified refinery division, wholly owned pipelines, and a retail gas station network, then Suncor Energy Inc. (NYSE: SU) should be at the top of your list.
Here are just a few reasons why:
- Suncor offers diverse and reliable production at a time when civil unrest in the Middle East has increased uncertainty in the energy market.
- It's leveraged to higher oil prices.
- It's transparent
- And it's reducing its debt.
There's no question about it: Suncor Energy Inc. is a "Buy" (**).
China's Highway System Growth Paves the Way to a Stronger Economy
What some have called "the worst traffic jam in human history" happened on the Beijing-Tibet Highway in August 2010. It trapped some drivers for more than 20 days and stretched more than 60 miles (97 kilometers).
The mess was so severe that local residents turned into vendors and profited from selling water, noodles and nuts to stalled travelers.
The cause of the auto standstill was thousands of trucks transporting coal from Inner Mongolia's coal fields to power plants in Beijing's suburbs to satisfy the country's surging electricity demand. The lack of railways connecting the two regions often results in trucks crowding highways, and excessive road damage from heavy vehicles blocks parts of the highway from maintenance.
BATS Global Markets to Challenge NYSE, Nasdaq for Stock Listings
Just as a wave of mergers and acquisitions among the world's major bourses has raised regulatory concerns, a feisty challenger, BATS Global Markets, has announced plans to enter the stock listings business by year's end.
As an Electronic Communication Network (ECN), BATS currently can conduct trades of stocks listed on other exchanges but has no stock listings of its own. As another primary U.S. market, BATS would compete directly with NYSE Euronext (NYSE: NYX) and Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (Nasdaq: NDAQ) for listings of publicly traded U.S. companies.
Its timing couldn't be better. A merger proposed in February between the Deustche Börse AG and the NYSE Euronext would create an exchange nearly four times bigger than any rival. News of that deal drove Nasdaq to consider a counter-bid for NYSE Euronext, which if successful would leave just one U.S. listing market.
Supply Chain Disruptions from Japan Disasters Hit Auto, Electronics Industries
Companies both in Japan and around the world have begun to feel the sting of supply chain disruptions resulting from the catastrophic March 11 earthquake and its aftermath.
In addition to the damage done to factories in northeastern Japan by the quake itself, companies must contend with ruined roads, fuel shortages, and rolling power blackouts. Many companies are not sure when some of their facilities will be able to resume production, creating uncertainty for companies further down the supply chain.
"This is serious and it's still difficult to evaluate," Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (PINK: NSANY) Chief Executive OfficerCarlos Ghosntold Bloomberg News. "You have the earthquake, you have the tsunami, rolling blackouts, and fuel shortages hitting at the same time, and they aren't only hitting the car manufacturers, but also the suppliers and the dealers."
Insurance Companies Likely to Survive – And Even Prosper – Following Japan's Earthquake
With estimates for insured losses from Japan's March 11 earthquake ranging from $12 billion to $35 billion, many investors have lost faith in reinsurance companies that have exposure to the stricken island nation.
But despite having to make some significant payouts, reinsurers ultimately may prosper from the disaster.
"Reinsurers typically benefit from a major disaster that's big enough to affect prices but not big enough to kill the industry," Karl Huber, a fund manager at Pioneer Investments in Munich, told Bloomberg Business Week. "That's the business of reinsurance."
Japan Disaster Update: Crisis Investing Strategies From Money Morning's Top Experts
The Group of Seven (G-7) nations today (Friday) joined together to sell Japanese yen, a currency-weakening intervention move that's aimed at helping Japan deal with the after-effects of last week's earthquake and tsunami, and a nuclear power plant problem that could end up as one of the worst ecological disasters in history.
Japanese authorities apparently requested the assistance, according to a statement issued by the G-7 after a morning conference call between members.
The G-7 said that "in response to recent movements in the exchange rate of the yen associated with the tragic events in Japan, and at the request of the Japanese authorities, the authorities of the U.S., the U.K., Canada and the European Central Bank will join with Japan, on March 18, in concerted intervention in exchange markets."
Japan Update: How to Proceed in the Wake of Japan's Tragedy
Japan's earthquake-ignited nuclear crisis has gone from bad to worse.
Radiation levels at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant rose today (Thursday) as attempts to cool the stricken reactor with high-pressure hoses failed. The No. 3 reactor's spent fuel rod pool is overheating and could release dangerous amounts of radiation into the atmosphere.
Sadly, the nation's death toll already has climbed above 5,300, with many more missing or in danger. And analysts now estimate that the direct monetary costs from Friday's 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami will range from $160billion to $200billion.
Indeed, the early reports forecast that the disaster could trim the output of Japan's $5.39 trillion economy by half a percentage point – which would add another $25 billion to that tab.
Japan Nuclear Crisis: New Power Plant Construction Renaissance in Peril
Concerns revived by the nuclear crisis in Japan could well reverse a renaissance in new power plant construction in many countries, while design upgrades to prevent similar reactor failures will make those that are built more expensive.
The 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami that struck northeastern Japan on Friday have caused a series of catastrophic failures in several nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Attempts to cool overheating fuel rods have led to four explosions, giving rise to fear over how much nuclear radiation may have escaped.
As the crisis has deepened, so has its potential to inflict lasting damage on the nuclear industry.
Japan's Stock Market Plunges as Export Disruption Threatens Global Supply Chain
Japan's stock market fell the most in two years yesterday (Monday) in the aftermath of Friday's devastating earthquake, the biggest in Japanese history. Rolling blackouts and factory damage threatened exports for some of the country's biggest companies, many of which play a key role in industries' global supply chain.
The Nikkei 225 stock index closed down 6.2% yesterday at 9,620.49, after falling 1.7% Friday.
"The market is pricing in a better understanding of the enormity and complexity of the two natural disasters that struck Japan," Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive officer at Pacific Investment Management Co., told Bloomberg News. "The immediate impact will be felt through lower global aggregate demand, disrupted supply chains and funds flows into Japan."