The new trading week began with some enthusiasm on Monday, June 22ndas word spread that the Greek government was close to reaching an acceptable deal with the other eurozone nations on the restructuring of the Mediterranean nation’s overwhelming debt.
In a deal where both sides seemed to lose, the price of Martha Stewart Living Omni (MSO-N) stock fell by almost 12.5% to US$6.11 and the share price of Sequential Brands Group (SQBG-N) lost 2% to US$16.66 on word that Sequential was acquiring Martha Stewart in a cash & stock deal of some US$353-million.
Powerful Apple Inc. (AAPL-Q) fell to the business prowess of singer Taylor Swift when the giant media company reluctantly agreed to pay royalties on the first 3-months of album sales after the country music idol threatened to pull her latest album from Apple’s streaming music service.
BlackBerry Ltd. (BB-T) announced on Tuesday, June 23rd that the restructuring smartphone company had entered into a long-term patent cross-licensing agreement with Cisco Systems (CSCO-Q).
TransGlobe Energy (TGL-T) shares rose by almost 11% to $5.05 when the petroleum producer reported 2nd-quarter production figures that were above the street’s expectations.
The first major M&A deal of the young Canadian medical marihuana industry was announced on Wednesday, June 24thwith Tweet Marijuana Inc. (TWD-T) reporting they were taking over Bedrocan Cannabis Corp. (BED-T) in an all-stock deal of some $58-million.
No sooner did Transition Therapeutics (TTH-T) touch a new 52-week trading high then it plunged to a new 52-week trading low on word that its Alzheimer’s drug ELND005 failed to meet its primary efficiency endpoint in a critical Phase 2/3 trial.
Netflix Inc. (NFLX-Q) announced it was splitting its stock on a 7-for-1 basis in an effort to get its stock price down to a more affordable price of less than US$100-a-share.
Wal Mart Stores (WMT-N) has informed its suppliers that it will begin charging them to stock items on their shelves or in its warehouse inventory.
Thursday, June 25thbegan withword that the world’s largest potash producer Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (POT-T) was making an unsolicited US$8-billion bid for Germany’s and Europe’s premier fertilizer producer K&S AG.
No-one likes a Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) investigation, and the shareholders’ of AGF Management (AGF.B-T) were no different as they continued to bail on the stock, driving it to an 18-year low or $6.06 on word that the real estate management company was under the scrutiny of Canada’s tax agency.
Joe’s Jeans (JOEZ-Q) rose by 28% to US$0.24 on word that the apparel company may be a takeover target of private equity company Tengram Capital.
American consumer confidence continues to improve as the University of Michigan reported on Friday, June 26th that their closely watched Consumer Sentiment index rose by 5.4-points in June to a 5-month high of 96.1, it’s best 6-month pace since 2004.
The markets seemed to mark time going into the weekend as the media’s attention to the looming Greek financial crisis sent investors to the sidelines ahead of the June 30th deadline for the Mediterranean nation to repay the International Monetary Fund €1.6-billion. (This will be very interesting indeed.)
During the week the tech laden NASDAQ Exchange rose to another record closing high of 5,160.
Advantage Oil & Gas (AAV-T) at $8.11, Gildan Activewear (GIL-T) at $42.06 and Transition Therapeutics (TTH-T) at $11.42 all reached new TSX 52-week trading highs, while Akita Drilling (AKT.A-T) at $8.95, Transition Therapeutics Inc. (TTH-T) at $2.63 and Yamana Gold (YRI-T) at $3.72 all fell to new 52-week trading lows.
For the Week – The Dow Industrials lost 0.37% to 17,950, with the S&P 500 Index off by 0.43% to 2,101 and the NASDAQ Exchange down by 0.70% to 5,081. To the north, the TSX Composite Index gained 1.06% to 14,808 while the TSX Venture Exchange lost 0.73% to 679.
With commodities, gold bullion lost 2.41% to US$1.173, while copper was up by 2.72% to US$2.64, with crude oil off by 0.57% to US$59.63 and natural gas was down by 2.11% to US$2.79. Overall, the CRB Spot Commodities Index eased by 0.47% to 422.
The Canadian dollar lost 0.47% against the U.S. dollar to end the week at US$0.8117.
And the closely watched CBOE Volatility Index or VIX edged higher by 0.06-point to finish the week at a slightly more nervous level of 14.02.
And Finally – You may not see it when you go to refill your barbeque propane tank, but according to industry analyst DTN Energy, modern fracking techniques combined with a backup in pipeline capacity have left such a glut of propane on the Alberta market that the wholesale spot price has recently dropped to a minus US$5.8-cents-a-gallon.
And Finally-Finally – The Week will take a week off going into the July 1st Canada Day and July 4th U.S. Independence Day holidays. If all goes to plan, The Week will publish again somewhere near Monday, July 13th.
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