The last trading day of 2018 and the first abbreviated trading week of the New Year began on Monday, December 31st with most investors keenly aware that the major North American markets were at correction levels not seen in many years. To which technical analysts David Tippin & Ron Meisels commented – “The bulls still need to make a convincing case that the final bottom has been made and that the correction is over.” (For a complete copy of this report please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.)
The continues scenarios of a partial U.S Government shutdown and ongoing international trade concerns continued into the New Year.
American cannabis company Green Growth Brands ‘GGB-C’ reiterated its intention to take over Canadian marijuana grower Aphria Inc. ‘APHA-T’ in an all-stock deal of some $2.8-billion.
Tuesday, January 1st had the markets closed to celebrate the beginning of 2019.
Eldorado Gold’s ‘ELD-T’ long suffering shareholders’ may have for a moment thought they were suddenly in the black, but the truth was that the stock started Wednesday, January 2nd trading on a 1-for-5 consolidated bases.
The price of General Electric ‘GE-N’ shares’ rose by over 6% to US$8.05 after one of 2018’s worst performing stocks finally had a New Years’ rally.
Tesla Inc. ‘TSLA-Q’ shares’ fell by almost 7% to US$310.12 after the electric car company’s 4th-quarter production figures failed to live up to the company’s previous predictions. The company also announced a $2,000 per unit price reduction designed to offset a similar drop in federal tax credits for electric vehicles.
Thursday, January 3rd saw the price of Apple Inc. ‘AAPL-Q’ shares’ plunge by 10% to US$142.19 after the giant electronics company warned of a drop in Chinese iPhone sales.
Delta Airlines ‘DAL-N’ stock fell by almost 9% to US$45.61 after the giant U.S. carrier lowered its revenue forecast for the second time in 2-months.
The price of Celgene Corp. ‘CELG-N- shares’ surged up by over 20.5% to US$80.43 after the giant pharmaceutical company agreed to be purchased by fellow company Bristol-Myers Squibb ‘BMY-N’ in a cash & stock deal of some US$74-billion.
Friday, January 4th began with Statistics Canada reporting that the country added 9,300 new jobs in December bringing the unemployment rate down by 0.1% to a 42-year low of 5.6%. Further south – the U.S. Labor Department reported their economy produced a much better than expected 312,000 new jobs in December, although their unemployment rate rose by 0.2% to 3.9%.
Petroleum industry analyst Baker Hughes ‘BHGE-N’ reported that the number of active American drilling rigs fell by 8-rigs last week to 1,075 active drilling rigs. Across the line – the number of active Canadian drilling rigs rose by 6-rigs to 76 active drilling rigs.
Hudson’s Bay Co. ‘HBC-T’ shares surged up by 18% to $8.52 on word that company Chairman Richard Baker had arranged to buy a large block of the retailer’s stock for a 28.6% premium of $9.25-a-share.
During the Week – Gold bullion rose to a new 6-month high of US$1,296-an-ounce.
Dundee Precious Metals ‘DPM-T’ at $3.78, Mitek Systems ‘MTK-T’ at $11.27 and Nevsun Resources ‘NSU-t’ at $6.00 all rose to new TSX 52-week trading highs while Chartwell Retirement Residences ‘CSH.U-T’ at $13.83, Spark Power Group ‘SPG-T’ at $2.40 and Tervita Corporation ‘TEV-t-T’ at $6.29 all fell to new 52-week trading lows.
For the Week – the Dow Industrials gained 1.61% to 23,433, with the S&P 500 ahead by 1.85% to 2,532 and the NAASDAQ up by 2.34% to 6,739. In Canada – the TSX Composite rose by 1.44% to 14,427 and the TSX Venture improved by 6.34% to 587.
With Commodities – gold bullion gained 0.23% to US$1,286, while copper dropped by 1.12% to US$2.65 as crude oil surged up by 5.80% to US$47.96 but natural gas plummeted by 7.62% to US$2.91 Overall, the CRB Spot Commodity Index gained 0.98% to end the week at 413.
The Canadian dollar rose by 1.98% against its American counterpart to finish the week at US$0.7476.
And the closely watched CBOE Volatility Index or VIX fell by 6.96-points to end the week at a much more calmer level of 21.38.
And Finally – UBS reported that the world created 199 new billionaires last year with a collective value of US$8.9-trillion.
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