The first trading week of the last quarter of 2018 began on Monday, October 1st with word that Canada and the United States had finally agreed on a new trade agreement that included Mexico – to be known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement or USMCA.
Meg Energy ‘MEG-T’ shares’ soared up by 38% to $11.07 on word that giant integrated petroleum company Husky Energy ‘HSE-T’ was making an $6.4-billion cash & debt unsolicited takeover bid for the Alberta based crude oil producer.
The price of General Electric ‘GE-N’ stock rose by 7% to US$12.09 after the giant conglomerate replaced current CEO John Flannery with outsider Larry Culp.
And the price of Tesla Inc. ‘TSLA-Q’ shares’ rebounded back up by some 17% to US$310.70 on word that company founder and visionary Elon Musk – while being forced out as chairman – be staying on as CEO of the world’s premier eclectic auto company.
Tuesday, October 2nd – saw Royal Dutch Shell ‘RDSA-N’ with 40%, Malaysia’s Petronas with 25%, PetroChina Co. at 15%, Mitsubishi Corp. at 5%, and Korea Gas Corp. with 5% announced the official start of the long awaited $40-billion liquified natural gas (LNG) export plant in Kitimat, British Columbia. This is the largest infrastructure project in Canadian history,
Amazon.com Inc. ‘AMZN-Q’ announced it will give all of its 350,000 American employees a minimum wage of US$15-an-hour – well above the federally regulated minimum wage of US$7.25-an-hour.
The price of Davidstea Inc. ‘DTEA-Q’ stock soared up by 63% to US$4.16 on media reports that the retailer of tea company was investigating an entrance into the cannabis space.
Maple Leaf Foods ‘MFI-T’ shares’ gained 6% to $32.51 after the domestic food processer announced it had purchased VIAU Foods – a Quebec based marketer of premium Italian cooked meats – in a cash & share deal of some $215-million.
An RBC Economic Research Report released on Wednesday, October 3rd found that the ownership costs of a Canadian home bought in the 2nd-quarter of 2018 now consumes a record 53.9% of an average household’s income.
The price of Torex Gold ‘TXG-T’ stock rise by 2.5% to $11.35 after the Mexican based miner reported producing a record 101,400-oz.-of-gold in the 3rd-quarter.
While most of the media attention has been focused on Tesla Inc. ‘TSLA-Q’ founder Elon Musk – the premier electric auto company announced its car production rose by 50% in the 3rd-quarter to over 80,000 units.
Thursday, October 4th – Technical analysts David Tippin & Ron Meisels commented– on the heightened state of the markets – “Investors should begin to think about protecting recent gains and be increasingly selective in entering new positions.”
Canadian Pacific Railway ‘CP-T’ shares’ advanced by 3% to $280.08 after the giant railroader forecast improved corporate economics for the year ahead.
Conversely, the price of Manulife Financial ‘MFC-T’ dropped by 3% to $22.54 after short selling hedge fund Muddy Waters published a negative report on the insurance company.
The markets fell in late day trading after the American 10-year treasury bond rose above the critical 3% level to 3.2% and putting it on par with many riskier dividend paying equities.
Friday, October 5th – had Statistic Canada report the economy created a much better than expected 63,300 new jobs in September and that the countries unemployment rate fell by 0.1% to 5.9%. Down south – the U.S Labor Department reported their economy created a less than expected 134,000 new jobs in September, but their unemployment rate fell by 0.1% to a 47-year low of 3.7%.
Stats. Canada also reported that due to an unexpected drop in imports – the country posted a $526-million trade surplus in August.
Petroleum industry consultant Baker Hughes ‘BHGE-N’ reported that the number of American active drilling rigs fell by 2-rigs last week to 1,052 active drilling rigs. The number of active Canadian drilling rigs rose by 4-rigs to 182 active drilling rigs.
While on a related note – Precision Drilling ‘PD-T’ reported it was taking over fellow Canadian driller Trinidad Drilling ‘TDG-T’ in an all-stock deal of some $1-billion.
Costco Wholesale ‘COST-N’ shares’ fell by % to US$ after the giant retail/wholesaler warned that rising costs and compressed sales margins may affect future earnings.
And the price of Tesla Inc. ‘TSLA-N’ stock dropped by % to US$ after company founder Elon Musk mocked the SEC in a tweet.
Aritzia Inc. ‘ATZ-T’ shares’ surged up by almost 14% to $18.39 after the Canadian ladies’ clothier reported a much better than expected 2nd-quarter report.
During the Week – the price of natural gas rose to a 1-year closing high of US$3.23/mmcf as crude oil reached a 4-year closing high of US$76.41/bbl and the Dow Industrials climbed to a new record high of 26,828.
Canadian Pacific Railway ‘CP-T’ at $285.56, MEG Energy ‘MEG-T’ at $11.07 and Toromont Industries ‘TIH-T’ at $66.95 all climbed to new TSX 52-week trading highs while Artis Real Estate Investment Trust ‘AX-T’ at $11.45, Dollarama Inc. ‘DOL-T ’at $39.00 and Kinross Gold ‘K-T’ all fell to new 52-week trading lows.
For the Week – the Dow Industrials slightly lower by 0.04% to 26,447, with the S&P 500 down by 0.96% to 2,886 and the NASDAQ off by 3.21% to 7,788. In Canada – the TSX Composite fell by 0.79% to 15,946 and the TSX Venture was 0.42% lower at 706.
With Commodities – gold bullion gained 0.84% to US$1,206, while copper dropped by 1.78% to US$2.76, as crude oil gained 1.49% to US$74.34 and natural gas rose by 4.32% to US$3.14. Overall, the CRB Spot Commodity Index gained 0.48% to end the week at 417.
The Canadian dollar lost 0.23% against its southern cousin to finish the week at US$0.7729.
And the closely watched CBOE Volatility Index or VIX rose by 2.7-points to end the week a somewhat more nervous level of 14.82.
And Finally – In an 180-degree look to the future – Norway’s $1-trillian Sovereign Wealth Fund – funded mainly from the country’s fast North Sea petroleum royalties – is sighting poor returns in reducing its $40-billion exposure to oil & gas stocks.
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