October 22, 2015

On Thursday, the S&P 500 rose 1.7% and Toronto was up 1.3%. These are hefty gains.

Individual winning stocks today included CN Rail up 2.5%, Canadian Western Bank up 2.0%, Berkshire Hathaway up 3.1%, Constellation Software up 3.4%, and AutoCanada was up 7.6% to $36.01 AutoCanada’s stock traded under $26 on several days in the last few months and as recently as October 1. Some “clever” person managed to catch the very bottom and sell a few shares at $22.10 within the last few months.

Declining stocks today included Valeant Pharmaceuticals, down 6.6%. And American Express which was down 5.2% after releasing earnings yesterday. Buffett still sings its praises and Berkshire holds a huge amount. But Berkshire established its position in 1994 and 1995 with a small additional purchase in 1998 and not a single share bought or sold since then. Berkshire’s ownership has nevertheless increased as the company bought back shares and stands at about 14% of the company. I believe Berkshire is precluded from buying any additional shares as normally no one company or person is allowed to own more than 10% of a bank. And I believe American Express is registered as a bank holding company.

In my own investing I had an order in to sell the 100 Costco shares that I scooped on August 24 at $125 if the price hit $154.90. It did so yesterday and so my shares were sold for a quick profit. I may regret selling shares in such a wonderful company (which closes at $158.15 today. When the trade settles I am going to consider moving those U.S. dollars back to the Canadian side of my accounts. I hate to pay the high currency trading fee which cannot be avoided as this is RRSP money and so is totally captive to my broker. Well, I could try buying a Canadian stock that trades in New York and then having the stock “journaled” to the Canadian side of my RRSP and then selling that in Canada. But meanwhile it takes three days to settle and the price can move and the whole thing is generally a big Hassel and not worth it.