The first trading week of the month began on Monday, August 3rd with the American markets forced to go it alone as the Canadian markets closed for their provincial holidays.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper called Canadians to the polls to elect a federal government on October 17th.
After five weeks of standing on the sidelines, investors in Greece got to trade again as the Athens Stock market reopened for trading – but immediately plunged by 16% for its worst day since the market crash of 1987.
The best news of the day came from the airline industry as carriers on both sides of the boarder reacted in unison to the illegal killing of the prized lion Cecil in Zimbabwe by announcing they would no longer carry animal hunting trophies.
The share price of YRC Worldwide (YRCW-Q) soared by over 26% to US$19.30 when the freight company reported an unexpected quarterly profit.
Conversely, Linkedin Corp. (LNKD-Q) shares’ fell by over 10.5% to US$203.26 when the business networking company failed to overly impress the street with its 2nd-quarter financials.
Auto sales are still improving as DesRosiers Automotive Consultants reported on Tuesday, August 4th that Canadian vehicle sales rose by another 0.4% in July to a record 177,844 units.
First Quantum Minerals (FM-T) announced the closing of one of its Zambian copper mines due to power outages caused by an extended drought.
Technical analysts’ David Tippin & Ron Meisels – “Our view remains that New York is in a rotational correction that will be resolved by a conclusive move out of the trading range and into new high territory. When this occurs Toronto will be dragged along for the ride, ending its corrective period.”
Entertainment companies were front and centre on Wednesday, August 5th with the price of Walt Disney (DIS-N) stock falling by over 9% to US$110.53 when the company’s 3rd quarter financials failed to meet analysts’ expectations.
Likewise DreamWorks Animation (DWA-N) shares’ fell by almost 12.5% to US$21.00 when the animation company failed to impress the market with its latest quarterly report.
And the price of Time Warner (TWX-N) shares came down by almost 9% to US$79.80 when the cable & entertainment company also came up short on its 2nd-quarter financials.
Statistics Canada reported that the country’s exports grew by an unexpected 6.3% in June, the best increase since December, 2006 and helped to drop the overall trade deficit down by almost $3-billion to just $476-million.
Employment numbers were front and centre on Friday, August 7th, especially in Canada where the resource laden economy had been suffering of late, but Statistics Canada surprised most and reported that the economy actually created an unexpected 6,600 new jobs in July and that the unemployment rate held steady at 6.8%.
To the south, the U.S. Department of Labor reported their economy created 215,000 new jobs last month keeping their unemployment level steady at a 7-year low of 5.3%.
SNC Lavalin Group (SNC-T) shares’ slid by almost 8.5% to $40.05 after the giant engineering firm disappointed with its 2nd-quarter financials.
And the share price of Fitbit Inc. (FIT-N) dropped by over 13.5% to US$44.60 after the fitness monitoring company failed to impress the street with its 2nd quarter financial report.
Gold stocks finally had a good day coming off of extreme oversold lows as the price of gold bullion rebounded after many down day.
And in direct contrast to the falling price of crude oil, petroleum industry observer Baker Hughes reported that the number of active American oil drill rigs rose by another six last week to 670 active rigs.
Severalmid to long-term commodity related downtrends continued during the week with crude oil sinking to a new 6-month low of US$44.69-a-barrel, while gold bullion dropped to a new 6-year low of US$1,083-an-ounce. with copper falling to a 6-year low of US$2.33-a-pound and the CRB Spot Commodities Index dropping to a new 5-year low of 407.All of whichpulled the Canadian loonie to a new 11-year low of US$0.7588 and the TSX Venture Exchange down to a new record low of just 577.
Just Energy Group (JE-T) at $7.29, Onex Corp. (OCX-T) at $77.85 and Whistler Blackcomb Holdings (WB-T) at $21.27 all set new TSX 52-week trading highs while Calfrac Well Services (CFW-T) at $5.35, Energy Fuels (EFR-T) at $4.83 and First Majestic Silver (FR-T) at $3.76 all fell to new 52-week trading lows.
For the Week – The Dow Industrials lost 1.79% to 17,373, with the S&P 500 Index off by 1.25% to 2,078 and the NASDAQ Exchange down by 1.64% to 5,044. On the Canadian side, the TSX Composite Index was lower by 1.14% to 14,303 and the TSX Venture Exchange fell by 2.86% to 577.
With commodities, gold bullion eased by another 0.27% to US$1,092, with copper off by 1.27% to US$2.32, while crude oil fell by 6.70% to US$43.78, but natural gas gained 2.94% to US$2.80. Overall the CRB Spot Commodities Index was lower by 0.73% to 407.
The Canadian dollar eased by another 0.29% against the American dollar to finish the week at US$0.7617.
And the closely watched CBOE Volatility Index or VIX rose by 1.42-points to end the week a bit more nervous level of 13.54.
And Finally – An Apple Inc. (AAPL-Q) iPhone sustained a few scratches but was still fully operational with its memory intact after…….now wait for it….. surviving a 9,300 foot freefall from an airplane.
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