The major North American markets opened for trading on Tuesday, January 2nd to begin the first trading week of the year at or near their all-time highs.
To which technical analysts David Tippin & Ron Meisels commented – “New York remains in solid shape as 2018 begins. Key indicators of market health such as price patterns, rising 200-day moving averages and strong daily advance/decline line continue to be positive. But…” (For a complete copy of this report please contact Rod.Blake@canaccord.com.)
After many months since it was first proposed – Agricultural giants Agrium Inc. ‘AGU-T’ and Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan ‘POT-T finally merge into the new corporate entity of Nutrien Ltd. ‘NTR-T’.
Meanwhile – Marijuana companies are putting in their applications to get approval to use Potash’s now defunct trading symbol ‘POT’.
Marijuana stocks surged in mass as the world’s largest cannabis market- California with its 40-million people – enters the legalized use recreational of marijuana.
Petroleum Industry observer Baker Hughes ‘BHGE’N’ reported that the number of active American drilling rigs rose by 47% in 2017 to 747 active drilling rigs.
Wednesday, January 3rd saw automotive observer DesRosiers Automotive announce that Canadian new vehicle sales broke the2-million ceiling for the first time in 2017 to a record 2.038 vehicles.
The price of BlackBerry Ltd. ‘BB-T’ surge up by almost 13% to $12.85 after the electronic software company announced an agreement with China based internet search firm Baidu to jointly develop the autonomous vehicle market.
Moneygram International ‘MGI-N’ shares’ fell by over 12.5% to US$12.00 after the U.S. government blocked a pending takeover of the money transfer company by China’s Ant Financial.
The price of Scana Corp. ‘SCG-N’ stock soared up by over 22% to US$47.66 after the nuclear reactor builder received a US$7.9-billion all-stock takeover offer from Dominion Energy ‘D-N’.
Marijuana stocks shudder sharply lower at the open on Thursday, January 4th after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced he was allowing federal agents to enforce federal marijuana laws at the state level.
Tesla Inc. ‘TSLA-Q’ reported further production delays for its new Model 3 economy car.
The price of L Brands ‘LB-N’ shares’ fell by over 12% to US$51.00 after the Victoria Secrets retailer reported yet another drop in December lingerie sales.
Friday, January 5th had Statistics Canada report that the economy created a much larger than expected 78,600 new jobs in December and that the unemployment rate fell by 0.2% to a record low of 5.7%. Overall, 422,500 new Canadian jobs were created in 2018.
On the American side – the U.S Department of Labor reported the American economy created 148,00 new jobs in December for a total job creation in 2017 of some 2.1-million new jobs. This dropped their unemployment rate down by 05% over the year to end 2017 at a low of 4.1%.
Statistics Canada reported that pipeline disruptions helped to drop the country’s crude oil exports the United State by some 2.4% in November to 3.28-million barrels-a-day. Meanwhile Canadian imports of foreign oil increased in November by 8.7% to 635,00 barrels-a-day.
Petroleum industry consultant Baker Hughes ‘BHGE-N’ reported that the number of active American drilling rigs dropped by 5-rigs last week to 924 active drilling rigs. To the north – the number of active Canadian drilling rigs rose by 38-rigs last week to 174 active drilling rigs.
During the Week – gold bullion rode to a new 31/2-month high of US$1,324-an-ounce, while crude oil reached a new2½-year high of US$62.01-a-barrel. All of which helped the Canadian dollar to rally to a new 3¼-month high of US$0.8054. Meanwhile, the TSX Venture Exchange climbed to a new 3-year closing high of 896, while the TSX Composite reached a new record close of 16,413. To the south, the Dow industrials, S&P 500 and NASDAQ Exchange rose to new respective all-time closing highs of 25,296, 2,743 and 7,136.
BlackBerry Ltd. ‘BB-T’ at $17.49, Husky Energy ‘HSE-T’ at $18.65 and Canopy Growth ‘WEED-T’ at $26.25 all rose to new TSX 52-week trading highs while Airboss of America ‘BOS-T’ at $10.08, Kingsway Financial Services ‘KFS-T’ at $6.01 and Torex Gold ‘TXG-T’ at $10.12 all dropped to new 52-week trading lows.
For the Week – the Dow Industrials gained 2.33% to 25,296, with the S&P 500 up by 2.58% to 2,743 and the NASDAQ Exchange up on the week by 3.38% to 7,136. To the frozen north – the TSX Composite Index rose by 0.86% to 16,349 and the TSX Venture Exchange improved by 5.29% to 896.
With Commodities – gold bullion rose by 0.92% to US$1,321, while copper dropped by 2.12% to US$3.23, as crude oil gained 1.87% to US$61.55 and natural gas fell by 5.08% to US$2.80. Overall, the CRB Spot Commodity Index gained 1.15% to end the week at 437.
The Canadian dollar improved by 1.33% against its American counterpart to finish the week at US$0.8054.
And the closely watched CBOE Volatility Index or VIX dropped by 1.82-points to end the week at a much calmer level of 9.22.
And Finally – As we enter 2018 it is of interest that the National Post reports that the average person can now expect to live to be a very mature 81.0-years – up from an expected 76.8-years in 2001.
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