Even amid a global pandemic that continues to wreak havoc on economies across the globe, the Canadian market is down just 5% on the year — not too bad considering at one point the S&P/TSX Composite Index dropped more than 30% in a single month.
The market crash earlier this year was one of the steepest drops that Canadians had faced in decades. It’s very possible that the worst has yet to come, but investors have witnessed an incredible bounce back over the past seven months.
The previously mentioned index has run up close to 45% since the last week of March. But even as strong as that bull run has been, many tech stocks have surged far more than 45% over the past seven months.
Canadian tech favourites like Shopify and Lightspeed have seen their share prices explode since the market began to rebound. Since the beginning of April, both tech stocks are up more than 200%.
Why are tech stocks soaring?
The global pandemic has dramatically increased the dependence on technology for both consumers and businesses across the globe. The trend of shifting towards a digital world was already evident, the pandemic just helped accelerate that digitization. As a result, we’ve seen stocks critical to helping digitize a business, such as Shopify and Lightspeed, soar throughout this pandemic.
It’s not just popular stocks like Shopify and Lightspeed that are on incredible bull runs, though. There’s a long list of Canadian tech stocks that deserve serious consideration for any investor that’s willing to hold for the long term.
I’ve covered a tech stock that has absolutely crushed the Canadian market this year. In addition to that, I believe that this company has a very strong chance to continue to outperform the Canadian market over the next decade.
The pandemic has altered the lives and routines of Canadians across the country — perhaps none bigger than the changes within the working environment. To respect social-distancing regulations, the percentage of employees working from home has skyrocketed this year. And the longer employees continue to do so, the harder it may be to return to the grind of the office commute.
Docebo (TSX:DCBO) is my top work-from-home stock. The tech company specializes in developing cloud-based learning platforms that provide a virtual training experience for employees. The technology is powered by artificial intelligence, aimed to develop a unique learning experience for each user.
The tech stock has been a public company for just over one year. It’s a short track record to review performance, but investors that picked up shares just about at any point over the past year would be sitting on gains today.
Since the beginning of the year, the stock is up 215%. That’s not too bad considering the Canadian market is down 5%. But if you were fortunate to pick up shares at the lowest point of the year, you’d be up more than 400%.
Valuation is my biggest knock against Docebo. Growth of more than 200% on the year doesn’t come without the risk of extreme levels of volatility.
The company trades today at a very expensive price-to-sales ratio of 30. It might seem high, but that’s the cost of investing in a company that has grown 400% over the seven months.
Foolish bottom line
Just because the market is down on the year doesn’t mean there aren’t any companies that are growing. The tech industry is full of stocks that are trading near all-time highs today.
If you’re able to hold for the long term and can stomach the highly anticipated volatility over the short term, this is one tech stock that has the potential to continue to outperform the market for a long time.
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Fool contributor Nicholas Dobroruka owns shares of Lightspeed POS Inc and Shopify. Tom Gardner owns shares of Shopify. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Shopify and Shopify. The Motley Fool owns shares of Lightspeed POS Inc.
Ford government to release guidelines on holiday gatherings this afternoon – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
Premier Doug Ford is expected to release guidelines this afternoon about what type of gatherings Ontarians will be permitted to have over the holidays.
Toronto and Peel Region are currently in a 28-day lockdown period, which is set to expire just days before Christmas.
Under the current restrictions, restaurants can only offer takeout and delivery and non-essential businesses have been forced to close stores to in-person shopping.
In the lockdown category of the province’s colour-coded reopening framework, residents must only gather with members of their own household and people have been told to only go outside for essential purposes, including picking up groceries, going to medical appointments, and getting exercise.
Mayor John Tory says he does not believe the province’s advice for holiday gatherings in Toronto will stray far from the restrictions that are currently in place.
“There are restrictions right now that say that you are not supposed to spend time with people outside your own home, with exceptions for people who live alone. And so I think you will see something more along that line,” Tory told CP24 on Wednesday morning.
Ontario’s daily case count of new COVID-19 infections has not dipped below 1,000 since Nov. 5, reaching a record high of 1,588 on Nov. 21.
Toronto and Peel Region continue to see the highest number of new COVID-19 infections in the province each day.
The rolling seven-day average of new cases in now 413 in Toronto and 421 in Peel.
Tory said in order to bring the virus under control, there will need to be strict limits on gathering in private homes over the holidays.
“There are going to be strong recommendations, if not restrictions, that are placed on the kinds of activities that people can engage in,” he said.
“Even if the 28-day period has come to an end and we’ve seen some improvement, the last thing everybody wants to see… is to be sliding back into some kind of another shutdown or series of restrictions in the New Year because we didn’t pay attention to our behaviour at Christmas.”
In Quebec, where the rolling seven-day average of new infections is now 1,182, Premier François Legault has eased restrictions for a four-day period, allowing residents in the province to attend two gatherings of up to 10 people between Dec. 24 and Dec. 27.
On Monday, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister asked residents only to gather with those in their immediate households over the holidays due to a surge in new cases in that province.
Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious diseases expert, told CP24 on Wednesday morning that recommendations given to Ontarians will likely be similar to the ones in Manitoba.
“I think we’re going to have a significantly modified holiday season, it’s pretty clear. Especially given how we’re doing in these hot spots. I never know what they’re going to say but I imagine it’s going to be akin to our Thanksgiving messaging which was if you don’t live under that roof, don’t go into that house,” he said.
“We know that indoor spaces, crowded spaces, confined spaces where people aren’t wearing masks in indoor spaces, we know that that’s how this is transmitted so we should be avoiding that at all costs. Connect virtually, connect outdoors, connect safely but let’s not have large family gatherings.”
Ford, Health Minister Christine Elliott, and Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, will be releasing the province’s holiday gathering guidelines at a news conference at Queen’s Park at 1 p.m.
The announcement will be streamed live on CP24.com.
Ontario government to spell out whether people can have winter holiday gatherings – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
The Ontario government is expected to spell out its guidelines today for celebrating the upcoming winter holidays as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
Toronto and Peel Region are currently under the grey or lockdown level in the province’s tiered COVID-19 alert system, with those restrictions to stay in place at least until the week of Christmas.
Public health measures under the lockdown level include a ban on indoor gatherings except with those in the same household, as well as closing down restaurants for all but takeout and delivery.
The province’s top doctor said earlier this week it seemed unlikely the situation would improve in those regions enough over 28 days to warrant moving them to the red alert level, which is one level lower.
Five other regions — Hamilton, Durham, Halton, York and Waterloo — are currently classified as red zones, which caps social gatherings at five people indoors and 25 outdoors.
Ontario’s most recent modelling showed the province is on track to see up to 6,500 new daily cases of COVID-19 by mid-December, though those projections are expected to be updated Thursday.
1 in 3 Toronto schools, nearly half of Brampton schools, have active COVID-19 cases – 680 News
One in three Toronto public schools have an active case of COVID-19 – more than double the provincial average being touted by Ontario’s education minister as he promotes the government’s school safety strategy and the picture worsens at other boards in pandemic hot spots.
In Toronto’s public board, 35 per cent of schools, some 206 facilities, have at least one student or staff member who are reported as actively sick with COVID-19. Of Toronto’s Catholic schools, 40 per cent – or 79 institutions — have active cases. In Brampton, 48 per cent of all schools, both public and Catholic, have active cases.
Toronto and Peel are in lockdown so it’s no surprise they have more cases than the provincial average, but the premier has acknowledged it’s concerning.
“It is definitely setting off alarm bells,” Premier Doug Ford said at a press conference Tuesday.
The government has consistently said it is safer for students to be in school, and that the priority is to keep them open. It has never mentioned that cases in locked-down regions are significantly higher than the provincial average, which is 14.6 percent. Four schools are currently closed due to outbreaks.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce stood in the legislature Monday and insisted schools were safe.
“Parents want the facts. Here’s a fact that I think would instill a level of confidence: if they knew that 99.95% of students are COVID-19-free, that 99.92% of staff are COVID-19-free, that 99.7% of staff have never had COVID-19,” said Lecce. “Our leadership in public health and our school boards are working together to flatten this curve, to reduce the risk and to keep our kids safe, and that is a good thing we should celebrate in this province”
In Brampton, 61 public schools and 28 Catholic schools are reporting 122 and 89 cases, respectively. In the public board, 51 schools beyond Brampton are reporting a further 78 cases. Of those, 46 schools are in Mississauga, four schools are in Caledon, and one is in Bolton.
In the Dufferin-Peel Catholic board, 37 schools outside of Brampton are reporting a total of 61 cases. All but one of those schools is in Mississauga, with the lone other location in Caledon.
Brampton’s percentage of schools with active COVID-19 cases exceeds the proportion in its school boards in large.
The rate across Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board, which includes Mississauga, Caledon, Bolton and Orangeville, is 43 per cent, with a total 65 of its 151 elementary and secondary schools reporting active cases. In Peel’s public board, which serves Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon, the rate is 44 per cent, or 112 of the boards 257 schools.
CityNews has used the latest information posted on all the boards’ own websites to compile this data.
The premier said today that he was not downplaying cases at schools: “numbers don’t lie, they are out there.”
Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has said several times it is important to keep schools open for children’s mental health, and while students and staff are bringing COVID-19 into schools, it’s not being spread inside them. Provincial Minister of Health Christine Elliott echoed that today, adding she would re-evaluate the situation if needed.
“If the circumstances change and there’s a huge increase in the number of cases in schools, we might have to take another look at it,” Elliott said.
Ontario has started deploying rapid testing in long-term care homes and rural communities. Ford called it a game-changer and suggested if schools needed testing, it could happen. University of Toronto epidemiologist Colin Furness says he doesn’t believe schools need to close, but he says those inside should be tested regularly.
“We should be doing surveillance testing broadly in the province, we should have been doing that since April. By surveillance testing, I mean you don’t test people who show up at hospital looking sick, that’s diagnostic testing. Surveillance testing means you go and test people at risk,” he explained.
“We should be testing teachers because they are also in high-risk positions, and if want to know what’s going on with COVID in schools, test teachers,” he added, “But Ontario has been very resolutely committed to not doing surveillance testing. We are not trying to control transmission with testing, we are controlling with lockdowns. I think that’s unfortunate.”
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