Canadians investing in the financial markets typically have their eye on several sectors, which they usually have holdings in. Bank stocks, oil, and the recent marijuana craze are just some trends that people follow. But one of the best performers in the global markets might not be getting the Canadian audience it deserves.
“[H]ealth care and technology… get almost no reader attention at all when we write about them,” said Globe and Mail columnist Scott Barlow in a recent commentary.
The lack of readership contrasts sharply with the sectors’ healthy profit growth, as reported by Merill Lynch Chief Quantitative Strategist Savita Subramanian. “Overall, 58% of companies beat on EPS, 50% beat on sales, and 36% beat on both,” she said, commenting on the S&P 500’s fourth-quarter earnings season. “Tech and health care once again had the most beats, while defensive sectors (ex-health care) had the weakest results.” The latest showing continues a multi-quarter streak of strong results.
Barlow offered two possible explanations for readers’ disinterest: either they’re still nursing wounds from the early 2000s’ tech bubble and the late 90s’ biotech boom-and-bust, or the readers are ignoring them because they play a very small role in the S&P/TSX Composite.
“I hope the second theory isn’t true,” he said. “[I]t would be a shame for domestic investors to miss out on higher returns because of a provincial perspective.”
Certain healthcare sectors, particularly pharmaceuticals, have also come under fire in recent weeks for allegedly unfair pricing practices that contribute to surging health care costs.
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