February 11, 11:15 am eastern

Statistic’s Canada reports that new home prices were about unchanged in December. These prices tend to be stubborn and take a long time to react to a slower economy. Even in Calgary new home prices are down only 1% year over year. That may not account for added incentives outside of the sale price but in general new home prices have not yet adjusted downwards.

TransCanada announced a large $2.5 billion loss in Q4. The stock is about unchanged on the news. That makes sense because the loss was likely not much of a surprise. With denial of the Keystone application it was inevitable that some of the keystone costs would have to be written off.

Manulife is down about 8% after announcing some unexpected losses. I used to have Manulife on the list here years ago. At that time it was reporting consistent 30% earnings increases despite lower interest rates and a higher Canadian dollar. Then suddenly it had massive losses. I realised that under accounting rules its earnings were fairly meaningless and open to manipulation. It’s a total black box where you have to place faith in actuaries. I have not looked at it in years. I harbour a suspicion that it (probably legally) manipulated its earnings in the early 2000’s but there was never any hint of this in the mainstream media. Instead its CFO received accolades.

Lots of stocks are getting beat down in price. If I had U.S. cash I would be adding to positions in Toll Brothers and Bank of America and Berkshire Hathaway.