The new trading week started on Monday, January 11th with investors acutely aware that the North American major markets had just come through their worst opening week of their history and wondering if the carnage was going to continue.
And to add to the feeling of gloom, a recent Bank of Canada survey found that the country’s businesses’ hiring and investment intentions were at their lowest levels since the financial meltdown of 2009.
The shareholders’ of Rubicon Minerals (RMX-T) were shocked to see their investment plunge by over 64% to just $0.05 when the mineral developer severely downgraded the resource of its Phoenix gold project in the Red Lake district of Ontario.
Fitbit Inc. (FIT-N) shares’ fell by almost 12.5% to US$18.85 and drop for the first time below the fitness monitoring company’s US$20 IPO price of just last June.
Tuesday, January 13th saw Eldorado Gold (ELD-T) shares’ tumble by over 19% to $3.53 after the miner pushed back against the Greece Government and its frustrating permitting process and shut all of its operations in that Mediterranean country.
BP PLC (BP-N) joined many of its petroleum counterparts by announcing a 5% or 4,000 worker reduction of its worldwide workforce.
The markets moved sharply lower after The Royal Bank of Scotland encouraged people to – “Sell everything except for high quality bonds” – in advance of a predicted big market crash.
GMP Capital (GMP-T) shook up the financial world on Wednesday, January 14th when one of the few remaining independent brokerage firm announced it was closing its UK and Australian offices, reducing its payroll by about 30% and scrapping its dividend.
Shaw Communications (SJR.B-T) announced it was selling its media division that includes Global Television to Corus Entertainment (CJR.B-T) in a cash & stock deal of some $2.65-billion.
The share price of Trican Well Service (TCW-T) rose by almost 27% to $0.50 after the debt heavy company announced it was in talks to sell its American oilfield pressure pumping division.
Fresh off of a record 2015 sales year, General Motors (GM-N) and Ford Motor Co. (F-N) announced respective higher and special dividends.
Thursday, January 15th saw the share price of Pacific Exploration (PRE-T) plunge by over 37% to $0.79 after the petroleum company announced it was considering the restructuring or sale of its assets.
Contrary to most petroleum companies, Painted Pony Petroleum’s (PPY-T) share price rose by over 16% to $3.28 following word that the company was ahead of schedule on its plan to reach its 4th-quarter 2016 production figures.
Best Buy (BBY-N) shares’ fell by over 9.6% to US$2.83 after the giant electronics retailer warned of weaker than expected Christmas season sales.
Similarly, the price of GoPro Inc. (GPRO-Q) stock dropped by almost 15% to US$12.44 after the recreational camera manufacturer also reported less than expected 2015 holiday season sales.
And the bull market that just won’t correct kept going last year as the Canadian Real Estate Association reported that the selling price of an average Canadian home rose by 12.0% in 2015 to….now wait for it……$454,342.
During the week – Copper traded down to a 7-year closing price of US$1.96-a-pound, with crude oil falling to a 13-year low of US$30.62-a-barrel. All of which helped to drag the Canadian loonie down to a 13-yerar low of US$0.6884, the TSX Composite down to a 21/2-year low of 12,073 and the TSX Venture Exchange down to a record low of 489. South of the border, the Dow fell to 5-month low of 15,988, with the S&P 500 also at a 5-month low of 1,880 and the NASDAQ down to a 21/2-year low of 4,488.
Horizons US Dollar Currency ETF (DLR-T) at $14.35, Kinaxis Inc. (KXS-T) at $52.59, Valener Inc. (VNR-T) at $18.45 established new TSX trading highs during the week while Canadian Crude Oil Index ETF (CCX-T) at $2.72, Hudson’s Bay Co. (HBC-T) at $15.90 and Suncor Energy (SU-T) at $31.02 all set new 52-week trading lows.
For the Week – The Dow Industrials fell by 2.19% to 15,988, with the S&P 500 Index also off by 2.19% to 1,880 and the NASDAQ off by 3.36% to 4,488. On the Canadian side, the TSX Composite lost 2.99% to 12,073 and the TSX Venture Exchange fell by 5.05% to 489.
With Commodities – Gold bullion eased by 0.91% to US$1,088, with copper down by 3.96% to US$1.94, while crude oil dropped by 7.77% to US$30.62 and natural gas plunged by 14.98% to US$2.10. Overall, the CRB Spot Commodities Index eased by 0.53% to 276.
The Canadian dollar fell by another 2.44% against its American cousin to end the week at US$0.6884.
And the closely watched CBOE Volatility Index or VIX gained 0.64-point to finish the week at a little more nervous level of 27.65.
And Finally – With figures that make the potential winning prize of my $5-million Lotto 6/49 ticket seem almost trivial, three people in the United States split last week’s record US$1.6-billion Powerball Lottery win.
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