Latest Blogposts

  • In May 2016 Apple struck a deal with seven of Canada’s major banks, including every member of the big five (RBC, CIBC, BMO, TD and Scotiabank) to expand the compatibility of its Apple Pay mobile payment system to all credit cards and debit cards issued by those banks.

    When it launched in Canada in November 2015, Apple Pay was only compatible with cards issued by American Express, which limited the technology’s usefulness, since many stores in Canada don’t accept American Express on account of high merchant fees. Now however, Apple Pay is already compatible with cards from RBC and CIBC and the new deal with the big five banks virtually assures that the majority of Canadian bank account holders will be able to pay with their iPhone the same way they can now tap and pay with their physical credit and debit cards.

    “Our mission in this world is for merchants to give consumers the ability to pay however they want to pay and more … that’s with electronic means,” says Rob Cameron, chief

    Read More »from Apple Pay, Samsung Pay convenience comes at a cost
  • Canada is lagging behind the leaders in the Western world in terms of the presence of women in company boardrooms and bridging the wage gap between genders.

    Data from PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 2016 Women in Work Index says between 2000 and 2007 there was a 19.2 per cent shortfall between a woman’s median wage and a man’s.

    And in Canada, women only made up about 13 per cent company boardrooms.

    The numbers place Canada in a tie with Spain for 19th for boardroom representation among the countries examined, just one spot ahead of ahead of the U.S.

    In terms of wage equality, Canada finished in the bottom third, coming in at 24th, just ahead of Switzerland.

    <div>Data from PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 2016 Women in Work Index says between 2000 and 2007 there was a 19.2 per cent shortfall between a woman’s median wage and man’s. </div><div></div><div>Meanwhile, Canadian women only made up about 13 per cent company boardrooms.</div>

    Souha Ezzedeen, a professor at Toronto’s York University who researches the role of gender in management, told Yahoo Finance Canada that she’s unsurprised by the findings and classified the country’s results as “low.”

    She said women’s participation in lower levels of organizational hierarchies, as well as their graduation rates from

    Read More »from Canada lags behind Western nations in bridging women’s wage gap
  • Alex Hamberger proved that a little kindness can go a long way. (Photo: Alex Hamberger/Facebook)Alex Hamberger proved that a little kindness can go a long way. (Photo: Alex Hamberger/Facebook)

    When it comes to airline fees, passengers often feel like their backs are against the wall.

    But as the following stories show, all fees are negotiable if you use a little creativity.

    Take Alex Hamberger, a 30-year-old man who used his mastery of the English language to convince American Airlines to waive a $200 cancellation fee.

    Hamberger planned to fly from Buffalo, N.Y., to Kansas City to visit family when he started to feel sick. He went to a doctor who advised him not to travel because he had flu-like illness that could introduce pneumonia and other dangerous illnesses to his infant niece.

    Hamberger rescheduled his flight, asking the airline rep if they could waive the $200 cancellation fee. He was told that the request would have to be sent through the mail along with a doctor’s note. He wanted to ensure that his request was heard, so Hamberger formulated a witty and heartfelt letter to catch the airline’s attention.

    “Dear Most Kind and Benevolent American Airlines Customer

    Read More »from Crazy (and creative) ways people have dodged annoying airline fees
  • Wall Street is blown away by this red-hot retailer

    Retailers have continued to report declining or lackluster sales growth.

    But Ulta Salon (ULTA) managed to report comparable store sales growth of 15% in its first quarter report on Thursday, causing the stock to rise about 8%.

    “So this is where all the traffic is going,” wrote Deutsche Bank analyst Mike Baker, who pegged the company’s quarter the ULTAmate retail earnings report.

    Meanwhile, the company raised its full year guidance for comparable store sales to rise 10-12% (up from previous guidance of 8-10%) with earnings per share growth in the mid-20s. And while many retailers suffered declining margins because of promotional and discount pressure, for Ulta, margins rose 130 basis points to 13.8%, beating estimates.

    “We believe it is remarkable that the comp delta to retail peers across categories and store formats continue to widen,” said RBC’s Brian Tunick.

    In the last five years, Ulta’s stock has risen 350%. This beat the well-positioned home improvement retailers Home Depot (

    Read More »from Wall Street is blown away by this red-hot retailer
  • Why low gas prices are here to stay

    Millions of Americans are in for a welcome relief at the gas pump this Memorial Day weekend. Although the price of crude (CLN16.NYM) has been on the rise in recent weeks, drivers are set to pay the lowest price for gasoline for the Memorial Day holiday since 2005.

    Today’s national average for a gallon of regular gasoline is $2.32, up four cents per gallon over the past week and 16 cents higher per gallon on the month, according to AAA. The recent climb is a result of oil pushing back near $50 per barrel on declines in U.S. stockpiles, a reversal from earlier this year when prices tumbled below $27 a barrel. But taking a step back and looking at oil over the past several years, it's still well below the $100 per barrel level hit between 2010 and 2014.

    So what’s ahead for crude and gasoline as we head into the summer driving season? Scott Shellady, SVP of Derivatives at TJM Investments, told Yahoo Finance’s Seana Smith that he thinks low prices are here to stay.

    “The story is lower for a

    Read More »from Why low gas prices are here to stay
  • Why next week's US jobs report may look particularly crummy

    Amid mixed economic data this week including strong housing numbers and underwhelming durable good orders, all eyes are on May’s US jobs report, which will be released next Friday.

    Unfortunately, that report will be skewed by an unusual event. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) May strike report indicated that there were over 35,100 workers newly on strike during the May reference week for the report.  Barclays’ analyst Jesse Hurwitz said this could put downward pressure on employment numbers for the month.

    “The Verizon worker strike that began on April 13 and continued through the May reference week will likely depress monthly nonfarm payroll growth in next Friday’s report,” Hurwitz said on Friday.  

    Economists currently estimate US companies added 160,000 jobs in May. So the strike will have a material effect on the report.

    However, Hurwitz noted the net effect of the strike on overall nonfarm payroll growth might be moderated to some degree. When Verizon workers went on strike in

    Read More »from Why next week's US jobs report may look particularly crummy
  • Human drivers are still way better than self-driving cars

    We speed, tailgate, blow red lights and drift between lanes while juggling cellphones and spilling coffee. Yet the deeply flawed human driver is still superior to a computerized one.

    Self-driving cars piloted by software are clearly on the way, and once perfected, they could dramatically improve auto safety and transform other elements of transportation. But they’re further off than a lot of breathless headlines suggest. “We don’t have any autonomous car yet where the car, on average, is better than a person,” Gill Pratt, CEO of the Toyota Research Institute, said recently at a conference held at MIT. “People are really good at driving safely. These are the standards artificial intelligence has to beat.”

    News snippets on self-driving cars make it sound as if we’ll be chauffeured by robots in just a few years. Nearly every automaker is developing autonomous vehicle technology, and Google (GOOGL) publishes regular updates on its own self-driving car program. Upstart electric-car maker

    Read More »from Human drivers are still way better than self-driving cars
  • Canadians may be less apt to brag about professional achievements than our American counterparts, but modesty could be holding us back from getting the job.

    According to LinkedIn’s @Work study – which explores generational, cultural, and industry-specific changes in workplaces around the world – 29 per cent of Canadians say they’re proud to talk about professional achievements compared to 40 per cent of Americans.

    In fact, over half of Canadians surveyed say they feel like they’re bragging when they talk about their achievements, with 55 per cent adding that they’d rather talk about their colleagues achievements than their own.

    But knowing how to talk about your achievements without feeling like you’re boasting is key, whether you’re interviewing for a new job or reviewing your performance with the boss, says Eileen Chadnick, an executive coach and founder of Big Cheese Coaching.

    “Your track record and accomplishments are testaments to what you can do going forward,” she says. 


    Read More »from Canadians need to get better at boasting about workplace wins
  • I'm beginning to think the busiest person in the world is the press officer at the FOMC: NYSE trader

    The Federal Reserve is now the great market disrupter.

    By Keith Bliss of Cuttone & Co.

    It’s complicated…

    The great debate on the floor and among those of us who trade stocks for a living the last two weeks is “which way now?" I have written that the charts, price action, and other internals have been inconclusive indicators, and when one couples the cross current of the outside influences, then the debate gets really complicated.

    The price action this week has been positive, but until the major averages get back above some key levels, it is premature to suggest that the all-time highs will be challenged. To be sure, the recent trade has run counter to historical convention. "Sell in May, and go away" has not been the trade this year. But the averages are still consolidating and will be nearing a decision point soon. 

    The S&P 500 (^GSPC) has approached some good resistance in the 2095-2100 area, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) is trying desperately to get back to its trend line from 2009. These are positive developments, but

    Read More »from I'm beginning to think the busiest person in the world is the press officer at the FOMC: NYSE trader
  • This company wants to cure your hangover through Instagram

    It’s the unofficial start of summer and the warm months ahead will likely coincide with a bit of overindulging. Whether it’s too much beer or too much barbeque, summer nights often lead to painful mornings – enter Dirty Lemon. The company wants to use another Beyoncé-approved seasonal staple to help you detox: lemonade. Dirty Lemon infuses its product with charcoal, ginger and dandelion root in an effort to absorb toxins and aid digestion.

    Charcoal is typically used in a hospital setting to treat overdoses or poisonings but has become trendy as an at-home cleansing ingredient. While the ingredient is safe when administered by a medical official, it can be problematic when used at home because it binds to medications and nutritional supplements and renders them ineffective.

    “Charcoal works with whatever is in your stomach at the time that you drink it,” says Zak Normandin, CEO and co-founder of Dirty Lemon. “So if you’ve had alcohol, pizza or a heavy meal, and there are ingredients you

    Read More »from This company wants to cure your hangover through Instagram
  • Why you should care that Google dodged Oracle's $9 billion bullet

    A federal jury in California handed down a verdict Thursday about an aspect of software development that most of us will never see firsthand but that still affects our digital lives.

    That jury’s decision means Google owes Oracle none of the $9.3 billion it demanded for the non-existent offense of duplicating the functions of Oracle’s Java software in the code of its Android operating system.

    Oracle (ORCL) threw an army of lawyers into this quest to punish Google (GOOG) for a common coding practice that pretty much everybody else in computing accepts as legal and fair: re-implementing features built into one piece of software to allow other programs to work with it.

    This isn’t just a win for Google: Had this case gone the other way, it would have made a vast expanse of software development a permission-first environment. Now, coders don’t have to ask permission ... but they may still need to seek forgiveness, because the jury’s verdict doesn’t offset how far off the rails this case has

    Read More »from Why you should care that Google dodged Oracle's $9 billion bullet
  • On the surface, at least, things look good for stocks. This week, the S&P 500 (^GSPC) saw its best two-day winning streak since March. It’s about 3% away from record highs.

    But according to one fund manager, there is little reason to be overly optimistic about the markets for the rest of the year or even for much of 2017.

    “Global growth is going to continue to decelerate,” said Chad Morganlander, portfolio manager at Stifel’s Washington Crossing Advisors. He sees this weakness based on his expectation that China’s fiscal stimulus from earlier this year will wear off. China is estimated to contribute nearly a one-third of the IMF’s 3.1% global growth forecasts.

    “There's going to be a fiscal retrenchment within China,” he said. “Debt creation in China is going to be substantively lower. As well, the emerging markets in general are going to be lackluster, which accounts to about 50% of global GDP.”

    The worldwide economic environment could impact the Federal Reserve’s inclination to

    Read More »from Weak global growth will mean market stagnation until the end of 2017: portfolio manager
  • Does your mood swing up and down with the TSX? Does the price of oil keep you up at night? If you’ve got your finger on the pulse of the business news scene in Canada, then this quiz on the week’s top business stories should be a breeze. Find out how savvy you are about Canadian and international financial news.

  • Yahoo Finance is tracking the stocks you’re following, based on your Yahoo Finance ticker searches.

    Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) – The Wall Street Journal reported that Valeant Pharmaceuticals rejected a combined takeover approach from Takeda (TKPYY) and private-equity firm TPG. It came before Valeant hired Joseph Papa as its new CEO.

    Tesla (TSLA) – The electric carmaker plans to hold a Gigafactory grand opening event on July 29 at its plant in Reno, marking the first time it’s open to the public. The company sent personal invitations to Tesla owners who referred five or more Model S buyers between November 1 and December 31 of last year.

    GameStop (GME) – The company posted a decline in both revenue and profit, and provided a weak profit outlook. New videogame software sales fell 7.6%, while sales of preowned and value games dropped 3.7%. These two categories account for nearly 60% of total sales.

    Palo Alto Networks (PANW) – The company reported its eigth consecuritive quarterly beat,

    Read More »from Valeant rejects takeover approach; Tesla Gigafactory grand opening; GameStop falls on weak guidance
  • Warren Buffett says money can’t fix the biggest threat to the world

    Legendary investor Warren Buffett says there’s one massive threat to the global economy and there’s no way American corporations or their investors can shed the risk. Buffett is referring to what he calls "CNBC"—the threat of cyber, nuclear, biological and chemical attacks. During the question-and-answer session at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting on April 30, Buffett said it’s the “ultimate problem” and is the only “real threat to Berkshire’s economic well-being over time.”

    Buffett doesn't think corporations can do much to reduce the chances of an attack. “I don't know how Berkshire does anything. I don't know how to do it philanthropically. If I knew how to reduce the probabilities of a CNBC-type mass attack by 5%, all my money would go to that. There's no question about that," he said.

    The potential financial fallout from a CNBC attack is catastrophic. According the World Economic Forum's 2016 Global Risks Report, crime in cyberspace alone will cost the global economy

    Read More »from Warren Buffett says money can’t fix the biggest threat to the world


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