April 18, 2016 12:20 pm eastern

Markets are moderately higher today despite the oil price decline.

TD Direct alerted me to a new issue of rate reset preferred shares at 5.75% with a minimum 5.75% distribution at the reset. It sold out quickly. This was a very attractive return as long as long as there was no real concern about the financial strength of the company. Several fairly strong companies have offered similar terms and I think it would be wise to grab some of these. I was going to place an order for some of the Pembina issue but I was too late. With new issues you have to be prepared to react very quickly.

Statistics Canada reported today that Canadian production of bitumen was up 16% in January. However light and medium crude production was down 14% and heavy crude production was down 10%. Obviously, reductions will be helpful in pushing prices up. Given lower oil prices those companies with lower costs are clearly at a strong advantage. Higher cost producers may not survive.