The last trading week of the month begins on Monday, April 28th with investors pleased that another weekend had come and gone with the Ukraine situation flaring up into a full-scale military skirmish, while at the gas pump, consumers were looking at North American gasoline prices that in many areas were at record or near record levels. For those who are interested, prices here in the Vancouver, BC area are nudging $1.52-a-litre, or for our American readers….about US$5.25-a-gallon.
Newmont Mining (NEM-N) decided that its first date with Barrick Gold (ABX-T) didn’t go so well and called off any further merger talks between the two gold mining giants.
Most uranium stocks have a bad day as the spot price of uranium falls by $1.75 to touch a new nine-year low of US$30.75-a-pound.
Like general managers exchanging player in a big-time sports trade, cablevision giant Comcast Corp. (CMCSA-Q) offered to sell 1.4-million pay TV subscribers to Charter Communications (CHTR-Q) for some US$7.3-billion in order appease regulators in its proposed US$45-billion takeover of giant rival Time Warner Cable (TWC-N).
The shareholders’ of OncoGenex (OGXI-Q) were stunned to watch their company’s shares plunge by 60% to US$3.88 on word that the pharmaceutical company’s leading prostate cancer drug Custirsen did not produce significantly better results in its most important phase III trial.
The major North American markets surged ahead on Tuesday, April 29th after U.S. Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen assured Congress that the Fed would continue on its cautious path to reducing economic stimulus of the American economy.
We’re not too sure about the enthusiasm about this offering, but the Government of Canada reported it quickly sold out of its first ever $750-million issue of a 50-yrear bond that pays a flat rate of 3.5% to….now wait for it….2064.
Meanwhile, the Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index climbed by another 0.2% last week to a to 4-year high of 60.1.
Vancouver, BC based West Fraser Timber Co. (WFT-T) with mills in British Columbia, Alberta and the American south, reiterated its place as the world’s largest softwood lumber producer by producing a record 5.15-billion board feet of wood in 2013.
And the markets had further stimulus to move higher on Wednesday, April 30th on word the U.S. private sector added a better than expected 220,000 new jobs in April.
Technical analysts Olaf Sztaba & Ron Meisels – “If past patterns persist and oil prices remain stable, the years following 2014 could be good for investors. Since markets entered a new secular bull period in 2009, returns for this decade could make up the poor returns from 2000 to 2010….Past precedents show that gold stocks usually come to the fore towards the tail end of bull markets. We are not there now.” (To see the full report send a request to ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’.)
Canfor Pulp Products (CFX-T) shares’ rose by almost 8% to $12.25 when their 1st quarter results came in ahead of analysts’ expectations.
Similarly, the share price of Denison Mines (DML-T) rose by almost 5% to $1.50 when the uranium explorer/producer reported exceptionally high U3O8 assays from their Wheeler River property in northern Saskatchewan.
However, Twitter Inc. (TWTR-N) shares’ fell by over 9% to US$38.71 when the social media’s 1st quarter results couldn’t live up the company’s share price evaluation.
And Barrick Gold (ABX-T) said a final farewell to retiring Chairman, Peter Munk, the long-time mine builder who was instrumental in molding Barrick into the world leading gold producer that it is today, and just fell short of the attempted merger with Newmont Mining (NEM-T) earlier in the week.
Canadian continue to improve their rides as DesRosiers Automotive Consultants reported on Thursday, May 1st that Canadian auto sales increased by 4% year-over-year in April to a record 178,703 units.
Caterman (CCT-T) shares’ rose by over 11.25% to $46.33 on when the provider of pharmacy benefit pharmacy services and healthcare information technology reported 1st quarter financials that were above analysts’ expectations.
All eyes were on employment on Friday, May 2nd, and they weren’t disappointed as the U.S. Labor Department reported their economy created a better than expected 288,000 new jobs in April and that their unemployment rate fell by 0.4% to a new 5-year low of just 6.3%.
Under the heading of ‘Pulp Fiction’ – Torstar Corp. (TS.B -T) ends its 39-year love affair with Harlequin as it sells the iconic book division to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. (NWS-N) in an all-cash deal worth some $455-million.
Another intermediate index high was established during the week when the TSX Composite Index reached a new 6-year closing high of 14,765.
Bauer Performance Sports Ltd. (BAY-T) at $15.82, Saputo Inc. (SAP-T) at $59.48 and Whistler Blackcomb Holdings (WB-T) at $16.93 all established new TSX 52-week trading highs while North American Palladium (PDL-T) at $0.31, NovaCopper Inc. (NCQ-T) at $1.19 and Yamama Gold Inc. (YRI-T) at $7.93 all posted new TSX 52-week trading lows.
For the Week – The Dow Industrials advanced by 0.92% to 16,513, with the S&P 500 Index up by 0.95% to 1,881 and the NASDAQ Exchange up on the week by 1.18% to 4,124. To the Les Canadiéns move on to second round of the NHL playoffs north, the TSX Composite Index rose by 1.59% to 14,765 and the TSX Venture Exchange improved marginally by 0.09% to 1,014.
Gold Bullion gained 0.26% to US$1,298, while copper lost o.65% to US$3.09. With petroleum, crude oil fell by 0.82% to US$99.79 and natural gas gained 0.64% to US$4.72. Overall, the CRB Spot Commodities Index rose by 2.13-points to end the week at 502.39.
The Canadian dollar gained 0.51% against the U.S. buck to US$0.9979.
And the closely watched CBOE Volatility Index ‘VIX’ dropped by 1.15-poiints to finish the week at a much calmer level of 12.91.
And Finally – Landlord Equity Residential surmises the percentage of American homeowners may fall to as low as 55% as more and more young people choose to rent rather than buy a home as they postpone marriage and parenthood in favour of establishing their careers.
And Finally, Finally – The Week will be taking a 2-week hiatus as we will be traveling to Las Vegas to attend an investment conference. (Yes, we will be working). If all goes as planned, this publication will once again be in your inbox sometime near Monday, May 26th.
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