The new trading week began on Monday, February 1st with investors wondering if the previous week’s rally was finally the delayed start to the much anticipated New Year’s rally or was it just a dead cat bounce leading to more market pain to come.
Amaya Inc. (AYA-T) shares’ surged up by 20% to $18.00 after company founder David Baazov announced he had a group that would make a bid to take the online gambling company private.
Alphabet Inc. (GOOG-Q), the former Google, with a market cap of US$571-billion, has overtaken Apple Inc. (AAPL-Q) with a market cap of US$538-bilion, which just a year ago overtook ExxonMobil (XOM-N) as the world’s most valuable publicly traded company.
Temple Hotels (TPH-T) share’s fell by over 14.5% to $0.82 after the company suspended its annual dividend due to deteriorating Alberta market conditions.
The share price of Questar Corp. (STR-N) stock rose by over 22.5% to US$24.99 on word the Utah centred gas company was being taken over by Virginia based Dominion Resources (D-N) in an all-cash deal of some US$4.4-billion.
Tuesday, February 2nd began with energy giant BP PLC (BP-N) announcing a 91% drop in 4th-quarter earnings and a major cut of 7,000 people to their worldwide workforce.
The share price of Mattel Inc. (MAT-N) rose by almost 14% to US$3.70 after the manufacturer of the re-modeled Barbie doll reported its first quarterly revenue increase in the past 2-years.
WestJet Airlines (WJA-T) shares’ caught a downdraft of 11% to $16.63 after the Calgary based airline reported an Alberta oilpatch induced major drop in 4th-quarter financials.
After being rejected in 2012, American home improvement giant Lowes Cos. (LOW-N) came back on Wednesday, February 3rd with an enhanced, but more importantly, friendly $3.2-billion all-cash takeover offer for Quebec based Rona Inc. (RON-T). The announcement caused Rona stock to soar up by almost 98% to $23.30.
Indigo Books & Music (IDG-T) shares’ surged up by almost 18% to $14.85 after the bricks & mortar retailer reported a 60% increase in 3rd-quarter profits.
2015 was not a particularly good year for most hedge funds as Hedge Fund Research reported that 257 hedge funds were liquidated in the 3rd quarter, up from 200 liquidated in the 2nd quarter and bringing the total number of hedge funds closed in the first 9-months up by 13 to 674 over the same period one year earlier.
Tidewater Midstream (TWM-V) shares’ rose by over 13% to $1.47 on word the petroleum company had bought some attractive natural gas assets from AltaGas Ltd. (ALA-T) in a cash & stock deal of some $86.8-million.
The lengthy arm of government closelined Primero Mining (P-T) on Thursday, February 4th as its stock price plunged by over 29% to $2.58 on word that Mexican tax authorities had filed a claim against the company.
Danier Leather (DL-T) reported the company was seeking bankruptcy protection to give the retailer time to sort out its financial problems.
GoPro Inc. (PGRO-Q) shares’ fell by almost 9% to US$9.76 after the digital camera company reported an unexpected loss in their 4th-quarter.
And Ralph Lauren (RL-N) made it 3-for-3 as the price of its stock plunged by over 22% to US$89.97 after the high-end retailer reported a major decline in their Christmas holiday sales.
Friday February 5th began with the U.S. Labor Department reporting a less than expected 151,000 new jobs were created in January, but their unemployment level eased by another 0.1% to 4.9%. Meanwhile, Statistics Canada reported that trouble in the oilpatch resulted in a loss of 5,700jobs in January and that the unemployment rate rose by 0.1% to 7.2%.
The shareholders of LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD-Q) were shocked to see their investment plunge by over 43.5% to US$108.38 after the business networking company lowered its guidance for the year ahead.
During the week gold bullion moved up to a new 3-month high of US$1,173-an-ounce.
Algonquin Power & Utilities (AQN-T) at $12.01, Detour Gold (DGC-T) at $18.86 and North West Co. (NWC-T) at $31.00 all established new TSX 52-week trading highs while AutoCanada Inc. (ACQ-T) at $16.20, Gildan Activewear (GIL-T) at $34.08 and WestJet Airlines (WJA-T) at $15.91 all set new 52-week trading lows.
For the Week – The Dow Industrials lost 1.59% to 16,205, with the S&P 500 Index off by 3.09% to 1,880 and the NASDAQ Exchange down by 5.44% to 4,363. To the north, the TSX Composite Index fell by 0.45% to 12,764 while the TSX Venture Exchange rose by 1.60% to 508.
With Commodities – Gold bullion gained 5.11% to US$1,173, with copper ahead by 0.97% to US$2.09, while crude oil fell by 7.76% to US$31.01 and natural gas dripped by 10.43% to US$2.06. Overall, the CRB Spot Commodity Index improved by 0.78% to end the week at 387.
The Canadian dollar improved by 0.57% against its American cousin to finish the week at US$0.7197.
And the closely watched CBOE Volatility Index or VIX gained 3.23-points to end the week at a much more nervous level of 23.43.
And Finally – It’s all about quality of life in that Tim Hortons & Burger King parent Restaurant Brands International (QSR-T) has joined fellow restaurateurs Denny’s (DENN-Q), McDonald’s (MCD-N) and Starbucks (SBUX-Q) by announcing they were starting a process that will see only use ‘cage-free’ eggs in their North American outlets.
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