The techstock boom has well and truly arrived in Canadas market

It makes up almost 6 per cent of Canada’s stock market and is the best-performing sector this year.That’s right: technology stocks have climbed a massive 59 per cent in 2019 — more than double the next-best industry group on the S&P/TSX Composite Index. In fact, tech’s share of the benchmark index has grown at the fastest rate among all sectors in the past four years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.“The tech ecosystem in Canada is very robust,” said Todd Coupland, managing director of institutional equity research at CIBC Capital Markets. “There are some high-quality growth companies that have begun to scale up over the last few years and they’ve gone public, and the success of those companies is manifesting itself in higher share prices.” Some of Canada’s hottest tech firms are weighing IPOs following success of Lightspeed, Shopify rally Crackdown on big tech rivals could be ‘tremendous’ opportunity for Shopify, analyst says Shopify is now more valuable than two of Canada’s oldest companies Canada’s tech sector hasn’t always had a smooth road. Fortunes have ebbed and flowed with the likes of BlackBerry Ltd., formerly known as Research In Motion, and now-defunct telephone equipment maker Nortel Networks Corp. But the S&P/TSX Composite Information Technology Index is now on track for its seventh year of gains — its longest winning run on record — having added $108 billion (US$81 billion) in market value in 2019.Ottawa-based Shopify Inc., which has climbed more than 1,500 per cent since it went public in 2015, is a big part of the success. It has a 39 per cent weighting on the tech sub-gauge and comprises 2.18 per cent of the broader benchmark.“With Shopify getting bigger and bigger, it’s getting more on the radar of larger, more global focused investors,” said Suthan Sukumar, an analyst at Eight Capital. “That is drawing more eyeballs to the Canadian market.”It isn’t just Shopify that’s making waves. Lightspeed POS Inc. — which boasted Canada’s second-biggest IPO this year and the biggest offering by a Canadian tech firm in almost nine years — had a stunning trading debut in March. The stock has climbed 175 per cent as the company forecast annual revenue that beat analyst expectations. That performance isn’t reflected in the S&P/TSX Info Tech index, which hasn’t yet added Lightspeed.And another tech company is looking to follow in Lightspeed’s footsteps. Toronto-based Docebo announced Wednesday that it filed documents with regulators for an IPO.With valuations sky-high, it’s worth asking whether the rally can last. The price-to-earnings ratio for the S&P/TSX Composite Info Tech gauge stands at 34.6, compared with the broader benchmark’s multiple of 14.3.Sukumar says he sees opportunity in at least some corners of tech.“There is an opportunity for investors to continue rewarding higher-quality growth and growth that can prove to be resilient in these kind of market conditions,” he said.Bloomberg.com read more

Ohio States Sam Thompson None of us like to lose — were

Junior forward Sam Thompson (12) attempts a dunk during a game against Iowa Jan. 12 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 84-74.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorIn sports, losses are bound to happen. Especially in men’s college basketball, where the last undefeated national champion was the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers.For the Ohio State men’s basketball team, though, losses have been a rarity the past two years — just 18 in 93 games.But back-to-back losses to then-No. 5 Michigan State and then-No. 20 Iowa could cause some uneasiness around the program. That is not the case though, junior forward Sam Thompson said.“I don’t think anyone in the locker room is hanging their heads. We’re obviously upset about the losses. None of us like to lose — we’re all competitors,” Thompson said Wednesday.OSU (15-2, 2-2) coasted through its non-conference schedule and first two conference games, rising as high as No. 3 in the top 25. But the back-to-back setbacks — first on the road against the Spartans and then Sunday at home to Iowa — could have the team reeling as it prepares for its road contest with Minnesota (13-4, 2-2) Thursday. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m.The Buckeyes, however, are doing their best to not let the negativity continue, junior guard Shannon Scott said.“I think we were all down at first, we were pretty upset with the way we’ve been playing lately but we’re starting to get back a winner’s mentality now,” Scott said Wednesday. “I think we’re all positive, we all know what we have to do to become successful so we’re all sticking to that and we’re going to try and move on from there.”OSU’s been here before, dropping multiple games once conference play began in the past two seasons. Two years ago, the Buckeyes lost two of four games over a 11-day span, and last season dropped three of four in February. Those teams rallied to earn trips to the Final Four and Elite Eight, though, which could prove useful for the rest of this year.“Simply put, it’s a long season,” OSU coach Thad Matta said Wednesday. “I told (freshman forward) Marc Loving after the game, ‘This isn’t going to be the only time in your career you’re at a low point — trust me, it happens.’ It’s the reality for me coaching as long as I have. We’ve lost to two top-20 teams in back-to-back games and we’ve had a shot to win them both. I think the thing we’re trying to find is how do we get back to our consistent, our best basketball.”The Golden Gophers took MSU to overtime Saturday in East Lansing, Mich., before ultimately falling 87-75.“(Minnesota’s) a great team, they’ve got great guard lay and great bigs as well. We know nothing’s going to be easy,” Scott said. “We’re in the Big Ten now, it’s not like we’re playing some random team.”Minnesota has four players who average in double figures scoring, led by junior guard Andre Hollins with 16.3.“We know they’re not a slouch. We know that Minnesota, just like every team in this league can beat us,” Thompson said. “They’re a great team, they play a style of play that’s really caused a lot of problems for opponents this season. They force a lot of turnovers, they make a lot of threes. We know that if we don’t bring our best game or we could very easily lose this game.”Despite his team’s losses last week, Matta said in order to get a win Thursday, OSU just has to get back to what was working before when it opened the season with 15 wins.“I think just doing what we do, the consistency of what we do,” Matta said. “I say this all the time, know that we’re going to hold teams scoreless, not that we’re going to score every time we have the basketball but it’s one play after another play after another play after another play and then you put yourself in a position and you have a great chance to win the basketball game.”Thompson agreed.“We definitely weren’t the same team that we were the first few weeks of the season (last week),” Thompson said. “Whatever the issue may be with that, we just have to get it back.” read more