November 19, 2016

On Friday, the S&P 500 was down 0.2% and Toronto was up 0.3%

Canadian Western Bank was up 2.7% to $27.69. While I think it offers good value at this price, it is interesting to see this stock rising while Melcor Developments continues to decline. One major difference is that Canadian Western Bank is a vastly more liquid stock and has much more interest from analysts. Canadian Western Bank has an equity market value that is close to 6 times larger than that of Melcor but its trading volume is 36 times higher.

Based on an order I had placed a couple of weeks ago, I added modestly to my position in Melcor at $12.25 on Thursday.

AutoCanada was down 2.7%.

Statistics Canada reported CPI figures for October. The report indicated that food prices declined in September and are down 0.7% year over year, the first decline since January 2000. This news brought out some howls of disbelief. There are always those who simply will not trust the government’s numbers. I have no reason not to trust them and in any case there is nothing better available. Those who don’t believe the numbers should first spend some time digging into the details available in the CANSIM tables. There they can see in great detail exactly which categories of food prices went down in October and which went up. However, many people have a strong preference to believe what they want to believe and are not interested in mere facts.

What Alberta Recession?

Today, I was out in the shopping area of my community (a suburb of Edmonton). The stores were busy, the roads were busy, the parking lots were nearly full. Somehow, someway, the economy rolls on and consumer spending continues apace. I am sure the figures will show some little slowdown, but it’s not much.