The first trading week of the second quarter set up to be rather uneventful as it contained two national holidays and began with investors, although mostly satisfied with their first half gains, were somewhat concerned that the markets had pulled back from their recent mid and long-term advances.
Ballard Power Stystems (BLD-T) continued to expand their products throughout the world on Monday, June 30th when the environment friendly company announced a
$1-million fuel cell licensing and engineering agreement with Europe’s M-Field Energy.
Tuesday, July 1st marked the 147th birthday of Canada and its exchanges took the day off to celebrate the event.
But on the American side, new IPO darling GoPro Inc. (GPRO-Q) continued to attract investors as the personal camera’s stock price rose another 13% to US40.48 in just its third day of trading.
Technical analysts David Tippin & Ron Meisels – “The bulls continue to rule the roost, although at some point the major market indices are going to take a break and move below their respective 50-day moving averages. But until this occurs, investors should be positioned (with proper stops) in strong sectors and stocks, and take advantage of the big prize this bull market continues to offer – repeated upside surprises.” (To see the full report send a request to ‘email@example.com’).
Copper stocks suddenly came to the attention of the market on Wednesday, July 2nd when the economically sensitive mineral rose by a nickel to a four month high of US$3.25 ahead of the release of the all important American June payroll numbers and industry sources that suggest that U.S. auto sales for 2014 are on track to reach an annualized 16.3-million units.
And not to be outdone, industry sources also report that 2014 Canadian auto sales are on track to beat last year’s record of 1.74-million units.
And two other components of the auto industry also did well as the price of Lead & Zinc both moved up by a few cents last week to US$1.00 & US$1.02 respectively.
Mineral projects are still subject to severe pricing pressure as Labrador Iron Mines Holdings (LIM-T) reported they will not start up operations this year due to iron prices that are hovering near US$90-a-tonne.
The U.S. markets take half a day off on Thursday, July 3rd ahead of their Independence Day holiday on Friday.
And Americans had something to celebrate after the U.S. Department of Labor reported their economy had created a much better than expected 288,000 new jobs in June and that their unemployment rate fell by another 0.2% to just 6.1%.
To the north, Statistics Canada reported the country’s trade deficit for June fell by a much larger than expected $809-millionto just $152-million.
The share price of Tekmira Pharmaceuticals (TKM-T) lost over 16% to $12.24 on word the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had halted the companies TKM-Ebola Phase I healthy volunteer clinical trial.
PetSmart Inc. (PETM-Q) shares’ rose by 12.5% to US$67.28 when Barry Rosenstein’s activist hedge fund Jana Partners L.P. announced it has acquired a 9.9% interest in the giant pet supply retailer.
The outstanding success of the new horizontal shale drilling/fracing that the petroleum industry is achieving was clearly brought into focus on Friday, July 4th when Bank of America (BAC-N) reported the United States was averaging 11-million barrels-a-day of oil production to overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s largest producer of crude oil, a position it hadn’t held since the early 1970s.
While on a related note, Bloomberg estimates that China will have 3.8-million autos running on natural gas by the year 2020.
The Bank of Montreal (BMO-T) at $79.47, Saputo Inc. (SAP-T) at $64.47 and Shaw Communications (SJR.B-T) at $27.93 all established new TSX 52-week trading highs during the week, while Groupe Bikini Village (GBV-T) at $0.69, Journey Energy (JOY-T) at $11.70, and MBAC Fertilizer (MBC-T) at $0.37 all established new 52-week trading lows.
New record index highs and lows were established during the week with the TSX reaching a new closing high of 15,215, while on a shortened week, the Dow Industrials rose to a new all-time closing high of 17,068, the S&P 500 achieved a new record high of 1,985. Not too far back, the NASDAQ Exchange marked a new 14-year high of 4,486. On the other side of the ledger, the closely watched CBOE Volatility Index fell to a new 7-year low of 10.32.
Meanwhile, who would have taken the bet as we entered 2014 that the TSX Gold Composite Index would be up by over 23% in the first half of the year while the TSX Junior Mining Index would be up by over 28%.
For the Week – The Dow Industrials were up on a shortened week by 1.28% to 17,068, with the S&P 500 Index up by 1.27% to 1,985 and the NASDAQ Exchange ahead by 2.00% on the shortened week to 4,486. On the Canadian side of 49, the TSX Composite Index rose by 0.80% to 15,215, and the TSX Venture Exchange improved by 1.46% to 1,038.
Gold bullion gained 0.27% to US$1,321, with crude oil down by 1.85% to US$103.77, natural gas off by 0.91% to US$4.35 and copper improved by 3.15% to US$3.27. Overall, the CRB Spot Commodities Index eased by 0.20% to end the week at 496.00
The Canadian dollar improved by 0.07% to finish the week at US$0.9383.
And the CBOE Volatility Index or VIX fell by another 0.94-poit to end the week at 10.32.
And Finally – Retirement for some is not all that it was meant to be as a recent ING Direct survey found that about 30% of retired Canadians have returned to work primarily because they misjudged how much a life of retirement would cost.
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