The new North American trading week began on Monday, February 26th with investors wondering if the recent sharp market correction may be over and that perhaps better days were ahead. To which technical analysts David Tippin & Ron Meisels commented – “The market is now going through one of its periodic and normal corrective phases during which volatility increases and the markets move both down and up for a while.” (For a complete copy of this report please contact Rod.Blake@canaccord.com.)
The World Gold Council reported that global gold mine production rose by only 105.1-million ounces in 2017 but still set a record total gold bullion production of 3,268.6-tonnes.
Ivanhoe Mines ‘IVN-T’ shares’ rose by almost 5% to $3.28 after the mineral developer reported a large increase in reserves at its prized Kakaku Copper project in Democratic Republic of Congo – making Kakula the world’s 4th-largest copper deposit.
The price of Lucara Diamond Corp. ‘LUC-T’ soared up by 17% to $2.49 after the miner announced mining magnate Eira Thomas as new CEO and that the company was also entering the word of crypto-currency with a $29-million all-share purchase of blockchain company Diamond Solutions.
Tuesday, February 27th had Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau post the federal government’s fiscal 2018-19 budget that included among other things – a deficit of some $18-billion on spending of some $311-billion with enhanced workforce and wage opportunities for women.
Meanwhile U.S Fed Chairman Jerome Powell caused the equity markets shudder when he suggested that there may be as many as four ¼-point interest rate hikes this year.
America’s largest home builder Toll Brothers ‘TOL-N’ announced the company sold more homes at higher prices than expected in the 1st-quarter.
Nitrisystem Inc. ‘NTRI-N’ shares’ fell by almost 22% to US$31.20 after the dietary company’s 1st-quarter financials failed to live up to the street’s expectations.
Student Transportation ‘STB-T’ shares’ surged up by over 25% to $9.65 on Wednesday, February 28th after the bus company agreed to a US$860-million take-over offer led by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
The price of Valeant Pharmaceuticals ‘VRX-T’ fell by over 11.5% to $21.01 after the big pharma company disappointed the market with its 4th-quarter financials.
Dicks Sporting Goods ‘DKS-N’ joined a growing number of retailers calling for changes to the American gun laws by announcing will no longer carry assault-style firearms.
Thursday, March 1st once again saw the markets shaken after American President Donald Trump unexpectedly warned of impending duties and tariffs on steel and aluminium imported into the Unites States.
Newalta Corp. ‘NAL-T’ shares’ soared up by 21% to $1.15 after the petroleum services company agreed to a merger with Tervita Corporation a privately held but much larger like company.
The price of Box Inc. ‘BOX-N’ stock plunged by over23% to US$18.45 after the cloud storage company’s current revenue forecast failed to meet analysts’ expectations.
Friday, March 2nd had Statistics Canada report that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) unexpectedly doubled in 2017 to 3.0%.
Oil & gas industry consultant Baker Hughes ‘BHGE-N’ reported that the number of active American drilling rigs rose by 3-rigs last week to 981 active rigs. Across the line – the number of active Canadian drilling rigs fell by 4-rigs to 302 active drilling rigs.
And after starting the day much lower – North American markets shook off most of the weeks negativism and rallied late in the trading day.
During the Week – Canadian Pacific Railway ‘CP-T’ at $240.00, MCAN Mortgage ‘MKP-T’ at $18.50 and Toromont Industries ‘TIH-T’ at $58.79 all reached new TSX 52-week trading highs while Absolute Software ‘ABT-T’ at $6.06, Dundee Corp. ‘DC.A-T’ at $2.30 and KP Tissue ‘KPT-T’ at $12.48 all dropped to new 52-week trading lows.
For the Week – the Dow Industrials lost 3.05% to 24,538, with the S&P 500 down by 2.04% to 2,691 and the NASDAQ off by 1.08% to 7,258. Up north – the TSX Composite fell by 1.62% to 15,385 while the TSX Venture Exchange was unchanged at 826.
With Commodities – gold bullion fell by 0.53% to US$1,323, with copper down by 3.12% to US$3.11, as crude oil dropped by 3.40% to US$61.39 while natural gas rose by 1.88% to US$2.71. Overall – the CRB Spot Commodity Index gained 0.45% to end the week at 445.
The Canadian dollar lost 1.23% against its American neighbor to finish the week at US$0.7740.
And the closely watched CBOE Volatility Index or VIX rose by 3.15-points to end the week at a much more nervous level of 19.64.
And Finally – The Globe & Mail reported there were a record 18,564 new electric vehicles were sold across Canada in 2017.
And Finally, Finally – The Week is taking a few days away to take in the giant Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada Convention (PDAC) in Toronto. Should all go as planned this publication will reappear once again on or about Monday, March 19th.
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