The new trading week began on Monday, August 31st with investors somewhat mesmerized by the previous weeks action that saw the major North American markets drop by record amounts one morning only to rally back and end the week higher and wondering, if like lightning, if the same sort of action might happen again.
Technical analyst Ron Meisels – “August 24th’s action clearly indicated a selling climax but probably not the selling bottom….A potential October low could occur either with a successful retest of the recent low, or with a decline that reaches a slightly lower low before the next up-leg.” (For a complete copy of this report please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A-N) announced the world’s largest holding company had acquired a 11% or US$4.48-billion interest in giant American petroleum company Phillips 66 (PSX-N).
While on a similar note – the price of crude oil and petroleum stocks rallied after the U.S. Department of Energy lowered its domestic oil production figure by 130,000 barrels-a-day and OPEC indicated it was willing to discuss “level playing field” production cuts with other producers.
And still related – The International Energy Agency (IEA) calculates that the median baseline cost of producing solar energy power has dropped by $300 in the past 5-years to just US$200-a-megawatt-hour, much closer to the current US$100-a-megawatt-hour cost for coal, natural gas & nuclear power.
Blyth Inc. (BTH-N) shares’ soared higher by over 104% to US$3.04 on word the direct sales company had agreed to a US$98-million buyout from the Carlyle Group (CG-N).
Tuesday, September 1st began with Statistics Canada reporting that the economy shrank by an annualized 0.5% in the second quarter, marking the second consecutive quarter of negative growth that officially, or unofficially (depending on one’s vantage )puts the country in a recession.
Industry sources reported that American auto sales improved in August to a better than expected annualized 17.5-million units.
Restaurant conglomerate Cara Operations (CAO-T) announced they were purchasing New York Fries for an undisclosed amount.
Pengrowth Energy (PGF-T) and Penn West Petroleum join the growing list of petroleum companies to announce dividend cutbacks.
Dollar Tree (DLTR-Q) shares’ fell by over 10% to US$7.83 when the discount retailer failed to impress the street with its 2nd quarter financials.
Oil was in the media again on Wednesday, September 2nd when the National Energy Board (NEB) reported that although it was encouraging that Canadian exports of crude to countries other than the United States rose by 25% in the 2nd quarter to 26,277 barrels-a-day, they were still well below the 117,829 barrel-a-day exported in the same quarter just one year ago.
The shares’ of Synergetics USA (SURG-Q) surged up by over 50% to US$6.59 on word the precision surgical device company was being taken over by industry favourite Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX-T).
Vera Bradley (VRA-N) shares’ rose by almost 28% to US$13.34 when the handbag & purse manufacturer reported better than expected 2nd quarter financials.
Thursday, September 3rd saw the decimated iron ore stocks get a bit of a refreshing lift after mining giant Rio Tinto (RIO-N) saw increased iron ore demand going out to 2030.
Statistics Canada reported the country’s trade deficit fell by almost 27% in July to $593-million.
Millennial Media (MM-N) shares’ surged up by almost 30% to US$1.74 on news the mobile advertizing company had agreed to a US$240-million take-over by AOL.
Friday, September 4th had the markets focuses on employment figures with Statistics Canada reporting that the country created a better than expected 12,000 new jobs in August although the unemployment rate did rise by 0.1% to 7.0%. On the American side, the U.S. Labor Department reported they created a less than expected 173,000 new jobs in August and their unemployment rate fell by 0.1% to a 7-year low of 5.1%.
Smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry Ltd. (BB-T) announced it had purchased secured technology company Good Technology in a cash deal of USS$445-million.
United States driving is cheap going into the Labor Day holiday weekend as according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, gasoline is selling for a average 11-year low of US$2.44-a-gallon.
Descartes Systems Group (DSG-T) at $23.39, Mad Catz Interactive (MCZ-T) at $0.71, and Whistler Blackcomb (WB-T) at $22.50 found new TSX 52-week trading highs while DragonWave (DWI-T) at $0.25, O’Leary Canadian Diversified Fund (ODI.UN-T) at $9.86 and TransAlta Corp. (TA-T) at $5.93 all fell to new 52-week trading lows.
For the Week – The Dow Industrials lost 3.25% to 16,102, with the S&P 500 Index off by 3.42% to 1,921 and the NASDAQ Exchange down by 2.78% to 4,684. To the baseball fevered north, the TSX Composite Index fell by 2.75% to 13,487 and the TSX Venture Exchange gave back 1.07% to 553.
With commodities, gold bullion was off by 0.71% to US$1,122, with copper down by 0.85% to US$2.32, while crude oil rose by 1.78% to US$46.02 and natural gas dropped by 2.57% to US$2.65. Overall, the CRB Spot Commodity Index improved by a marginal 0.25% to end the week at 406.
The Canadian dollar was 0.45% lower against the American dollar to finish the week at US$0.7540.
And the closely watched CBOE Volatility Index or VIX rose by 1.48-points to end the week at a fairly nervous level of 27.53.
And Finally – Manulife (MFC-T) announced they are introducing “voice biometrics natural language technology” into their automated phone system that will eliminate the need for clients to use passwords or PINs to access their accounts.
And Finally, Finally – The Week is taking a short time off to visit family is Saskatchewan. If all goes according to plan this publication will once again appear in your inbox on or about Monday, September, 21st.
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