The Shortened trading week began on Tuesday, February 16th with investors anxiously waiting to see if the previous end of week rally would carry over and mark the end of the current correction, or prove to be another false rally of an ongoing bear market.
The Canadian Real Estate Association reported that when weighted by prices in Toronto and Vancouver, the average price of a Canadian home rose by 17% in January over the same month just one year ago to $470,297. But when those two cities are taken out of the equation, the weight of falling Alberta home prices caused a 0.3% year-over-year drop in the average Canadian home price to $286,911.
Element Financial (EFN-T) shares gained over 6% to $13.28 after the equipment finance company announced that it would split itself into two separate companies – one a fleet management company and the other a commercial finance company.
The share price of Platinum Group Metals (PTM-T) surged up by over 31% to $2.70 after last week’s positive action in gold & silver spilled over to platinum/palladium issues as well.
And speaking of silver – The Silver Institute reported that global silver coin demand rose in 2015 to a record 130-million ounces.
The Bomber finally had a good day as Wednesday, February 17th saw the shares’ of Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B-T) shares’ soar up by over 21% to $1.09 after the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer announced that Air Canada (AC-T) had signed a letter of intent to purchase up to seventy-five of their new CSeries S300 airliners.
Kinder Morgan (KMI-N) shares’ rose by almost 10% to US$17.16 on word that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A-N) had been accumulating shares in North America’s largest pipeline company.
And the shares’ of Priceline Group (PCLN-Q) gained over 11% to US$1,235.56 after the online travel agent reported better than expected 4th-quarter financials.
Thursday, February 18th had Canadian Tire (CTC.A-T) stock rise by almost 8% to $125.63 after Canada’s favourite retailer report 4th-quarter financials that beat the streets expectations.
Conversely, Jack In The Box (JACL-Q) shares’ fell by over 16% to US$64.47 when the American burger chain failed to meet analysts’ expectations with its 4th-quarter financials.
The share price of Ingram Micro (IM-N) surged up by 22.5% to US$36.22 on word the electronics distributor had been sold to Chinese aviation and shipping conglomerate HNA Group in an all-cash deal of some US$6-billion.
Friday, February 19th began with Statistics Canada reporting that – led by higher food prices – the country’s inflation rate rose by a greater than expected 0.4% in January to annualized an 2.0%.
Stats. Canada also reported that retail sales fell in December by an unexpected 2.2%.
The share price of Deere & Co. (DE-N) fell by over 4% to US$76.96 after the heavy equipment manufacturer increased its expected drop in sales to 10% from a previously announced 7%.
Search engine Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO-Q) announced it was exploring strategic alternatives in an effort to enhance shareholder value including spinning off its US$40billion holding in china’s online supermarket Alibaba Group (BABA-Q).
The Canadian farmer is doing very well thank-you – as Agriculture Canada reported the Canadian farming community’s income rose by 6% in 2015 to a record $15-billion. In 2016, the average farmer is expected to earn over $77,000 and have a net worth of $2.7-million.
During the week, the lowly TSX Venture Exchange climbed to a new 2016 and 3-month high of 531.
Claude Resources (CRJ-T) at $1.26, Progressive Waste Solutions (BIN-T) at $40.53 and Saputo Inc. (SAP-T) at $38.48 all set new TSX 52-week trading highs while Athabasca Oil (ATH-T) at $1.01, Logan International (LII-T) at $1.30 and West Fraser Timber (WFT-T) at $39.01 all fell to new 52-wee trading lows.
For the Week – The Dow Industrials gained 2.62% to 16,392, with the S&P 500 Index up by 2.84% to 1,918 and the NASDAQ Exchange ahead by 3.83% to 4,504. Across the line, the TSX Composite Index was up by 3.49% to 12,813 and the TSX Venture Exchange rose by 3.91% to 531.
With commodities – Gold bullion lost 0.81% to US$1,229, with copper up by 2.09% to US$2.09 while crude oil gained 0.56% to US$32.09 and natural gas lost 5.08% to US$1.87. Overall, the CRB Spot Commodity Index was unchanged at 385.
The Canadian dollar improved by 0.54% against the American dollar to end the week at US$0.7260.
Meanwhile, the closely watched CBOE Volatility Index or VIX dropped by 4.87-points to end the week at a much calmer level of 20.53.
And Finally – A recent Ipsos Reid survey found that nearly one half of Canadians come within $200 each month of being unable to pay their bills.
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