May 16, 2018

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 was up 0.4% and Toronto was up 0.1%.

Notable gainers include:

BHP Billiton (The BBL shares) up 1.7% to $47.05. These shares had trended down from $45 in February and bottomed at under $39 on April 9th. This is a case where volatility could have been used to advantage although buying on dips does not always work out well. This was a company that I added to the list for diversification.

CN Rail was up 2.4% to $106.35. At he last update it was not a compelling buy but it is a strong company and has been a great stock to buy and hold.

Meanwhile, Linamar was down 5.9% to $70.63 after reporting Q1 earnings. This has been a volatile stock as worried about NAFTA ebb and flow. On April 12 I had mentioned I put in an order to sell some of my Linamar that I had bought at a lower price on a dip if the price should rise about 10% from where I had bought on a dip. As a result I had 300 shares of Linamar sell from my account on May 10 at $74.90. I am now tempted to buy those back and likely will do so especially if Linamar falls to $68 or so. This sort of thing is just to try to take advantage of volatility but really amounts to “tinkering” with my portfolio. Some of my recent “volatility trades” have worked out well while others have not. I don’t think it is necessary to be doing buys and sell like this. It might make more sense to enter such orders for larger moves like 15% to make it more worthwhile. It depends on the stock. For some stocks a 10% move is a normal day, for others it would be a big move in a month or three.

Statistics Canada reports that manufacturing sales in Canada grew 1.4% in March. That is in one month, not year over year and is a positive report. Volume was up 0.6% and prices were up 0.8%. That is an important break-out since it is volume that adds more to the economy (jobs and spin-off) than does a price increase (good for profits but not necessarily for jobs at least immediately).