The new trading week began on Monday, March 14th with investors acutely aware that, after a very scary start to the year, most North American markets were finally trading at 2016 or multi-month highs, and hopeful of course that this recent trend would continue.
And the week started wellwith 3-D Systems (DDD-N) shares’ soared up by over 24.5% to US$14.39 after the 3D printing company reported better than expected 4th-quarter and fiscal 2015 financials.
Fresh Market (TFM-N) shareholders’ were pleased to watch their investment surge up by over 23% to US$28.25 on word the company was being taken private by Apollo Global Management (APO-N) in an all-cash deal of some US$1.36-billion.
Under the heading of ‘Seat Sale!’ – The International Air Transport Association reported that global airfares fell by 4.5% in 2015.
Trading in Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX-N) dominated both sides of the border on Tuesday, March 15th as the giant medicine maker’s share price cratered by over 35.5% to US$33.51 on a much lower than expected outlook for 2016 and a warning that a delay in filing the company’s annual report could lead to a debt default risk.
Conversely, Karnalyte Resources (KRN-T) shares’ soared up by 80% to $2.25 when the emerging potash producer announced it had secured in principle a $700-million financing thru Gujarat State Fertilizers & Chemicals Ltd. (GSFC) to construct Phase I of the company’s potash mine in Wynyard, Saskatchewan.
Markets generally hate litigation and Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF-N) was no exception as its share price dropped by over 12.5% to US$2.37 on word of a bondholders’ suit over a bond exchange offer the company made in January.
Wednesday, March 16th had the markets passing time in the morning and then surge ahead after the U.S. Fed held it federal funds rate unchanged in the 0.25% – 0.50%range.
After a very slow 2014 and 2015, TD Securities calculates that gold based Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) have bought 270-tonnes of gold so far in 2016.
Technical analysts David Tippin & Ron Meisels commented – “Due to the broad-based recovery the markets are overbought and a pullback is very likely needed to digest recent gains. After the pullback meets renewed support, it is likely that major market indices will then mount a concerted effort to reach new highs.” (For a complete copy of this report please contact “email@example.com”).
Statistics Canada reported that the country’s manufacturing sales rose by a better than expected 2.3% in January to a record $53.1-billion.
Bellatrix Energy (BXE-T) shares’ rose by almost 11% to $1.52 even though the oil & gas company posted a 4th-quarter loss.
The price of Peabody Energy (BTU-N) plunged by over 45% to US$2.19 after America’s largest coal producer reported that it may have to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
TransCanada Corp. (TRP-T) may have been turned back at the American border with their proposed Keystone II pipeline, but it still had eyes on the south as on Thursday, March 17th the giant Canadian petroleum transportation company announced a cash & debt US$13-billion takeover of northeastern U.S. based Columbia Pipeline Group (CPGX-N).
FedEx Corp. (FDX-N) shares’ rose by almost 12% to US$17.07 after the giant courier reported better than expected 3rd-qharter financials and better yet – forecast rising earnings for the year ahead.
Friday, March 18th saw Statistics Canada report that Canadians were shopping again as the country’s retail sales rose in January by a 6-year high of 2.1%.
Stats. Canada also reported that the country’s annual inflation rate eased in February to 1.4%.
BRP Inc. (DOO-T) shares’ surged up by almost 18% to $18.95 after the Ski-Doo manufacturer said its 4th-quarter loss was mainly due to a mild winter and weak consumer interest in Western Canada.
During the Week – the DJIA and S&P 600 reached a new respective 2016 closing highs of 17,602 and 2,049. To the north, the TSX closed at a 31/2-month high of 13,621 and the Venture closed at a 71/2-month high of 581. Natural gas rose to a 1-month high of US$2.01-mmbtus, crude oil hit a 3 1/2-high of US$41.66-a-barrel and the CRB reached a 51/2-month high of 400. The Canadian loonie hit 5-month high of US$0.7698 and the VIX fell to a 41/2-month low of 13.97.
Belo Sun Mining (BSX-T) at $0.68, First National Financial (FN-T) at $25.80 and Hydro One (H-T) at $24.25 all set new TSX 52-week trading highs while Cardiome Pharma (COM-T) at $4.75, Empire Co. (EMP.A-T) at $22.05 and Torstar Corp. (TS.B-T) at $1.54 all fell to new 52-week trading lows.
For the Week – The Dow Industrials gained 2.26% to 17,602, while the S&P 500 Index rose by 1.34% to 2,049 and the NASDAQ Exchange improved by 1.01% to 4,796. On the Canadian side, the TSX Composite Index eased by 0.18% to 13,497 while the TSX Venture Exchange gained 0.87% to 581.
With commodities – gold bullion lost 0.32% to US$1,255, while copper gained 2.23% to US$2.29, with crude oil up by 2.89% to US$41.25 and natural gas ahead by 3.13% to US$1.98. Overall, the CRB Spot Commodities Index gained 1.27% to end the week at an even 400.
The Canadian dollar rose by 1.65% against its southern neighbour to end finish the week at US$0.7681.
And the closely watched CBOE Volatility Index or VIX fell by 2.53-points to a much calmer level of 13.97.
And Finally – When the European Central Bank (ECB) cut its deposit rate by 10 basis points to -0.4% last week it joined four other countries Denmark, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland, and brought to five the number of jurisdictions that officially now have negative interest rates.
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