The first full trading week of the month begins on Monday, May 4th with the major North American markets marking time in a sideways congestion while some commodities, notably copper and crude oil, quietly moving up to multi-month highs.
Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B-T) announced they were in final discussions with the Egyptian government to build a US$1.5-billion, 52-kilometer long monorail near Cairo.
The world’s largest restaurant company McDonalds Corp. (MCD-N) announced they planned to reverse their recent sales slump by initiating a four-point plan that included among other things, shifting more of their outlets over to franchise owners.
Technical analysts David Tippin & Ron Meisels commented on Tuesday, May 5th that – “Our view is that the markets will continue to consolidate for a little longer…..the balance of the evidence is that the next major move will be higher and that we will see visible up-legs in both New York and Toronto. (For a copy of the full report contact email@example.com.)
Sometimes a little outside help can go a long way as on when the share price of Lithium Americas (LAC-T) surged up by 35% to $0.41 on word that South Korean steel company POSCO was investing the junior company and its Cauchari-Olaroz lithium project in Argentina.
WestJet Airlines (WJA-T) announced record net quarterly earnings of $140.70-million or $1.09-a-share.
And Westport Innovations (WPT-T) announced they were teaming up with Ford Motor Co. (F-N) to offer a natural gas option to the F-150 pick-up line.
A multi-billion dollar free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union is being held up because Greece wants a clause changed so that only that Mediterranean nation can use the word ‘feta’ for its salty white cheese.
Statistics Canada reported that the country’s trade deficit for March followed lower crude oil prices to a record $3-billion.
While on a related note, Albertans responded to the recent shocks to their petroleum industry with their ballets as they ousted the incumbent Conservative Government after some forty-four consecutive years of power and installed a left leaning New Democrat Party (NDP) Government with a sizable majority.
The markets on both sides of the border opened lower on Wednesday, May 6th as investors adjusted their portfolios to better reflect the new government in Alberta and U.S. Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s comments that – “Equity markets valuations at this point were generally quite high”.
Newmark Knight Frank Devencore reported that unoccupied office space in downtown Calgary increased by 1.2-million square feet in the first quarter to raise the vacancy rate by 2.8% to 11.1%.
One uptick of note came from Pacific Rubiales Energy (PRE-T) whose share price surged up by over 27.5% to $6.16 on word that Mexico’s ALFA, S.A.B. de C.V. and Harbour Energy Ltd. were entering into discussions to take over the Colombia-focused petroleum company.
Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA-Q) reported that first quarter sales of its luxury electric car rose by 55% over the same quarter in 2014 to 10,030 units.
Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B-T) shares’ gained over 7% to $2.55 on Thursday, May 7th when the trains & planes manufacturer let the market know it was finally going to spin off a portion of its train division into a separate initial public offering or IPO.
And the price of Linamar (LNR-T) shares’ surged up by 14% to $83.21 when the equipment manufacturer/ leaser recorded record 1st quarter financials.
On the heels of the federal government’s recent raising the Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) contribution levels from $5,500 to $10,000 annually, the Canada Revenue Agency reported that close to 20% of Canadians are maximizing their annual contribution allotments.
The markets finished the week on a positive note on Friday, May, 8th after the U.S. Labor Department reported the American economy created a better than espected223,000 jobs in April, causing their unemployment rate to ease by another 0.1% to 5.4%.
The Canadian figures weren’t quite as impressive as Statistics Canada reported our economy actually lost an unexpected 19,700 jobs in April, but not enough to knock the unemployment rate from its current 6.8%.
While on a related note, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported the country’s housing starts fell by over 4% in April to an annualized 181,814 units.
A recent CIBC survey estimates that the average Canadian homeowner will spend over $17,100 on renovations this year, down 13% from the 19,750 the spent renovating in 2014.
Some commodities continued to build on their mid-term trends with copper reaching a new 5-month high of US$2.935-a-pound and crude oil also establishing a new 5-month high of US$60.42-a-barrel.
Celestica Inc. (CLS-T) at $15.47, Great-West Lifeco (GWO-T) at $37.64 and The Keg Royalties Income Fund (KEG.UN-T) at $21.14 all reached new 52-week trading highs while Almaden Minerals (AMM-T) at $0.94, Sprott Strategic Fixed Income Fund (SFI.UN-T) at $5.69, and Wi-Lan Inc. (WIN-T) at $2.60 all touched new 52-week trading lows.
For the Week – The Dow Industrials fell by 0.93% to 18,191, while the S&P 500 Index managed a gain of 0.38% to 2,116, and the NASDAQ Exchange eased by 0.04% to 5,004. North of the border, the TSX Composite Index lost 1.11% to 15,170 and the TSX Venture Exchange fell by 1.14% to 691.
Gold bullion rose by 1.02% to US$1,187, with copper off by 0.34% to US$2.92, while crude oil gained 0.56% to US$59.48 and natural gas firmed by 2.83% to US$2.91. Overall, the CRB Spot Commodities Index gained 1.90% to finish the week at 428.
The Canadian dollar gained 0.57% against its American cousin to end the week at US$0.8269.
And the closely watched CBOE Volatility Index rose by 0.21-point to finish the week at a little more nervous level of 12.92.
And Finally – The true value of those additional baggage, reservation and seat selection charges to the airlines was highlighted by a U.S. Department of Transportation report that revealed that the money collected for those annoying fees rose by another 6% in 2014 to US$6.5-billion.
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