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Robins joins modern-day Yukon gold rush

John Robins' connection to the Yukon runs deep -- his great-great grandfather trekked north as part of the Klondike gold rush of 1896 to 1899, joining an estimated 100,000 prospectors seeking their fortunes.

As Fed gives up on inflation, insiders signal US stocks may get cheaper

Markets are in the process of resetting as the US central bank effectively put to rest any notion that it was going to do anything more to help inflation get back to its 2% target. On Saturday, Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer addressed the Kansas City Federal Reserve economic symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyoming where he more or less repeated the same old line that the Fed expects inflation to move back to target. Mr. Fischer's speech was a polite way of saying that the Fed is going to let the inflation chips fall as they may and more tightening is on the way.

Number Cruncher: Insiders see opportunities in these 15 TSX stocks

What are we looking for?

We are halfway to the next semi-annual rebalancing of the INK Canadian Insider Index, which will be implemented on Nov. 20. Today, we look for the stocks that are leading candidates for inclusion in the 50-stock index used by the Horizons Canadian Insider Index ETF (HII). A stock already in the index before rebalancing date stays so long as it is in the top 30 per cent of all stocks ranked on the basis of the INK Edge V.I.P. criteria (valuations, insider commitment, price momentum). We replace index drop-outs with the top ranked V.I.P. stocks which are not already index members. To identify where insiders see the best opportunities right now, we focus on the top 15 INK Edge ranked TSX stocks.

Insiders are buying, but is a Canadian lost decade ahead?

As we suggested in our INK subscriber Monday market comments, we expect market participants to be fixated on what Fed vice-chair Stanley Fischer says about inflation at a key speech to be given at the end of this week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. For more than a year we have been writing about the Fed's failure to achieve its annual inflation rate objective of 2%. The Fed's chickens are coming home to roost as market participants are calling the institution out on its claim to be working towards that 2% aim. So why are insiders buying?

Are Markets, Speculative Stocks Headed Much Higher?

With the recent volatility in world markets and currencies, market commentators and mainstream media outlets have become bearish on oil, gold and even the broad markets (think magazine covers screaming 'this is the end!').  The investor herd is running scared, as evidenced by $2.8 billion in outflows from U.S.-based domestic-focused stock funds two weeks ago according to Lipper data. CNBC talking-head Dennis Gartman weighed in, calling for a US bear market to begin.  Another commentator slagged gold, the 5000 year old metal of kings, as a mere “pet rock.”  And Mad Money’s Jim Cramer recently swore off oil stocks.  We see this outcry of capitulation as a perfect contrarian signal that is putting a profit opportunity of impressive size before investors.

Canadian real estate: last bubble blowing?

Will Canadian housing suffer the same fate as the oil and gas sector? While in our view the answer is ultimately yes, insiders are signalling if so, not just yet.

CFO buying at Valeant Pharmaceuticals

August 6, 2015 - Today we look in on Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) which we last featured in our morning report on April 1st. On the day, the stock closed at $249.15. Since then, it has advanced 39% to close at $346.32 (and setting a new 52-week high of $347.62) on August 5th.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals has caught our interest again because their new CFO has been spotted buying recently. Mr. Robert Rosiello was appointed as CFO this summer on July 1st. Although the terms of his compensation are not yet disclosed, we suspect that he like other executives at the firm is required to hold shares in the company. Mr. Rosiello does not appear to be wasting any time putting in buy orders. 

As Canada risks stagflation, insiders stick with the basics

August 4, 2015 - On Sunday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper decided to get an early start on his campaign, making an expensive early election call which will cost taxpayers up to an extra half billion dollars according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. Although we doubt that the extra costs have been factored into the incumbent government's razor-thin balanced budget projections, it may end up as a rounding error in any event. We say that in light of the fact that crude oil is now trading near US$45 per barrel, well below the current budget survey assumptions of US$54 for 2015 (projections get even more optimistic in subsequent years).

As broker problems brewed last fall, Home Capital Group CEO sold

July 31, 2015 - At the request of the Ontario Securities Commission, late Tuesday Home Capital Group (HCG) reported more details on its July 10th press release when it announced that a "review of its business partners led to the company terminating relationships with certain mortgage brokers." On Thursday, investors learned that these relationships with some 45 brokers in total had been been terminated because "falsification of income information had occurred" on mortgage applications.

According to the company, the mortgage broker terminations took place during the period from September, 2014 to March, 2015. During that period, CEO Gerald Soloway sold $2.6 million worth of shares into the public market. One could argue that the amounts were modest. Indeed, after years of low interest rates by the Bank of Canada and unrestrained assorted foreign inflows into the local property market, $2 million is only enough to snag a modest single family home in Vancouver. 

The sun is still out for Alimentation Couche-Tarde

July 29, 2015 - Today we revisit Alimentation Couche-Tarde (ATD) which we last featured in our morning report on October 16th. On that day it closed at $35.25 and it is up 63.3% since then, closing at $57.56 on July 28th (and setting a new 52-week high of $58.75 on July 20th along the way). There has been some recent insider selling from the CEO and CFO which is something to keep an eye on, but at this point it may be nothing more than clearing the decks for more option grants.

Alimentation Couche-Tarde is ranked tenth on the July edition of our INK Edge Top 40 on the equally weighted basis of valuations, insider commitment and price momentum. This is up thirty spots from its rank in the June edition of the list, and it appears to be the beneficiary of the trend that has seen other grocery type companies like Empire Company (INK Edge Outlook: sunny; EMP) and George Weston (INK Edge Outlook: sunny; WN) added to this month's edition of the list.

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