The new North American trading week began on Monday, May 29th with the Canadian markets going it alone as the American markets were closed for the Memorial Day holiday and investors keenly aware that the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Exchange, after a lengthy pause, had finally pushed through to all-time highs.
Leaving technical analysts David Tippin & Ron Meisels to comment – “Do not underestimate the underlying strength of the bull market in its recent horizontal phase.” (For a complete copy of this report please contact ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’.)
The World Gold Council reported that global gold demand fell by 18% in the 1st-quarter of 2017 to 1,034-tonnes.
Husky Energy (HSE-T) announced it was once again going offshore Newfoundland & Labrador as the integrated oil company said it would commit $2.2-billion to bring into production its West White Rose project some 350-kilometers east of St. John’s.
Tuesday, May 30th saw Kinder Morgan Canada (KMI-T) begin to trade after raising $1.7-billion to facilitate the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta to Canada’s west coast near Vancouver, BC.
The price of Atwood Oceanics (ATW-N) surged up by 24% to US$10.04 on word the offshore driller would be taken over by rival Ensco PLC (ESV-N) in an all-stock deal of some US$839-million.
Similarly, the price of Xactly Corp. (XTLY-Q) stock rose by 16% to US$15.55 after the sales performance management software company announced it will be taken private by Vista Equity Partners in an all-cash deal of some US$564-billion.
The Canadian economy is doing better than some might think as Statistics Canada reported on Wednesday, May 31st that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by a better than expected 0.5% in March to an annualized 3.7%.
Case in point – The National Energy Board reported that Canadian oil exports by rail to the United States grew by 52% in the past year to March to an 18-month high of 155,655-barrels-a-day.
And the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers reported their province produced a record 152.2-million pounds of that prized liquid this spring.
While not to be outdone, the Canada Agriculture Ministry estimates that prairie farmers will sow a record 22-million acres of canola this year, more than what they will plant for spring wheat.
Asanko Gold (AKG-T) shares’ plunged by 13% to $2.19 after market commentator Muddy Waters announced it was shorting the Ghana gold miner.
Clean and alternative energy stocks sank in mass on Thursday, June 1st after U.S. President Donald Trump officially took his country out of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
Meanwhile Canadian lumber stocks rose after the Natural Resources Minister offered forest companies $867-million in support to help combat the new U.S. tariffs on Canadian softwood.
And the Dakota Access Pipeline – that was the brunt of much protest and media coverage last fall – quietly began shipping oil from North Dakota to refineries to the south.
BRP Inc. (DOO-T) shares’ surged up by almost 13% to $37.03 after the manufacturer of Ski-Doos & Sea-Doos not only posted better than expected 1st-quarter financials but better still, introduced an inaugural quarterly dividend of $0.08/share.
Friday, June 2nd had Statistics Canada report that a sharp rise in exports helped to reduce the country’ trade deficit declined in April to $370-million.
To the south, the U.S. Labor Department reported their economy created about 138,000 new jobs in May and that their unemployment rate fell by 0.1% to a 16-year low of 4.3%.
Petroleum industry analyst Baker Hughes (BHI-N) reported that the number of active American drilling rigs increased by another 8-rigs last week to 916 active rigs. On the Canadian side, the number of active drilling rigs remained unchanged at 99-active rigs.
Broadcom Ltd. (AVGO-Q0 shares’ rose by over 8.5% to US$254.65 after the electronic chip maker announced an expected dramatic increase in 4th-quarter sales.
During the Week – The Dow Industrials, S&P 500 and NASDAQ all set new respective record closing highs of 21,106, 2,439 and 6,306. Meanwhile the VIX fell to a new all-time closing low of 9.75 while the CRB Spot Commodity Index rose to 3½-month high of 436.
CAE Inc. (CAE-T) at $22,32, Restaurant Brands Intl. (QSR-T) at $84.11 and Waste Connections (WCN-T) at $131.61 all reached new TSX 52-week trading highs while Bellatrix Exploration (BXE-T) at $0.84, Laurentian Bank of Canada (LB.N-T) at $51.20 and PHX Energy Services (PHX-T) at $2.33 all fell to new TSX 52-week trading lows.
For the Week – The Dow Industrials rose by 0.60% to 21,206, with the S&P 500 Index up by 0.95% to 2,439 and the NASDAQ Exchange ahead by 1.55% to 6,306. To the north, the TSX Composite Index improved by 0.17% to 15,443 while the TSX Venture Exchange was off by 0.10% to 801.
With Commodities – gold bullion gained 0.79% to US$1,281, with copper up by 0.39% to US$2.58 while crude oil fell by 4.04% to US$47.79 and natural gas dropped by 9.06% to US$3.01. Overall the CRB Spot Commodity Index improved by 0.46% to end the week at 436.
The Canadian dollar eased by 0.34% against the American buck to finish the week at US$0.7410.
And the closely watched CBOE Volatility Index or VIX fell by 0.60-point to end the week at a very calm level of 9.75.
And Finally – JetBlue Airlines (JBLU-Q) – in an effort to do away with paper boarding passes – is experimenting with facial-recognition technology that will match passenger facial scans with their driver’s licence, passport or visa photos.
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