Manulife Financial has a good reputation. It’s a huge company, with ambitions of expanding into China. They provide insurance, investment and banking products. Their share price was in the $30s until 2008, when the problems with the assumptions underlying their GWB product were exposed. Since the share price fell by over 50%, it has begun the climb back and has produced reasonable returns for investors (after that point).

According to analysts, Manulife is somewhat more expensive than banks and there is increasing short interest, as happened to banks before their tumble. If interest rates continue to rise, that will benefit the banking and insurance segments of the business. The stock’s positive momentum implies that more money is buying shares than selling (even short). This is the second week it’s been in my top five of the TSX 60.

PennWest didn’t perform very well over the last week. It still has positive momentum, but there are so many more attractive names. I would really just consider that a mistake.

Banks performed well in the recent past. Some of them are just starting to have positive momentum (especially RY and TD). As a conservative investment, they might present a good option.

It’s surprising to notice that Rogers (RCI.B) and Telus (T) did really poorly in the recent past, but Shaw (SJR.B) did well. There might be a reason or an opportunity for arbitrage.

Manulife Financial (MFC)

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