The shortened first trading week of the new month begins on Tuesday, September 2nd because of the Labour Day long weekend and has investors wondering if the previously established new market highs will hold or will the long talked about correction once again rear its seasonal head.
Technical analysts David Tippin & Ron Meisels – “The August rally and the position of important cycles leaves the bull market poise to burst into more new high territory. But the markets are stretched at the moment, slightly overbought and in a need of a volume boost and new leadership…Selective buying of sectors and individual stocks that have completed pullbacks and have a history of out-performance in late bull markets is our preferred investment strategy.” (To see the full report send a request to ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’).
Positive economic data continued to roll in with the Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index finishing the month of August at a better than expected level of 59.0.
And the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics announced that their domestic air carriers have sold 84% of their seats in the first half of this year, well up from the 81% capacity reached just 5-years ago and 74% capacity established just 10-years ago.
With what should prove to be well worth waiting for, Athabasca Oil (ATH-T) announced they had finally closed the sale of a 40% working interest of their Dover SAGD oilsands project to PetroChina (PTR-N) for a total gross proceeds of $1.184-billion.
Compuware Corp. (CPWR-Q) shares’ rose by almost 13.4% when the software maker agreed to a US$2.5-billion deal to be taken private by private equity group Thoma Bravo LLC.
Mergers & Acquisitions were front and centre on Wednesday, September 3rd when Manulife Financial Corp. (MFC-T) announced it had acquired Scotland’s Standard Life PLC Canadian book of some 2,000 employees and 1,4-million customers in an all-cash deal of some $4-billion.
Alimentation Couche-Tard (ATD.B-T) shares’ improved by almost 7% to $35.46 when Canada’s largest convenience store chain (Mac’s & Circle K) reported stronger than expected second quarter sales and profit growth.
And America’s largest luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers (TOL-N) reported the number of homes they sold rose by 385 units in the second quarter and that their average price rose by 12% over the past year to US$732,000.
Automotive industry website Edmunds.com calculated that the American automakers delivered an eight-year high 1.6-million vehicles in August.
A recent Ipsos Reid poll found that 82% of Canadians now shop online to the tune of about $954 each annually.
Currency and commodity markets throughout the world went into afrenzy on Thursday, September 4th as they adjusted to new levels when the European Union moved their key interest rate down to 0.5%, leaving the euro to fall by over 2-cents against its American counterpart.
Under the heading of ‘Come Fly With Us’ – Both of Canada’s national commercial air carriers reported increased passenger activity for August, as Air Canada (AC.B-T) improved its load factor by 0.3% over the year to 89.8% and WestJet Airlines (WJA-T) improved their passengers by 1.4% to 89.3%.
North American employment figures for August were front and centre on Friday, September 5th when Statistics Canada reported the economy lost a disappointing 11,000 jobs and leaving our unemployment rate steady at 7.0%, while the U.S. Labor Department said their economy created a less than expected 142,000 new jobs, leaving their unemployment rate to drop by a further 0.1% to 6.1%.
The ALS Association reported that their topical ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ has raised a much better than expected US$100-million since the campaign was launched earlier this summer.
After a 3-month engine failure delay, Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B-T) announced it had once again began flight testing of its new CSeries 100-165 seat commercial jet liner in an attempt to have it ready for commercial delivery by the end of 2015.
The North American markets once again established new long-term and record closing highs during the week with the NASDAQ reaching a new 14-year closing high of 4,598, and the TSX Composite, the DJIA and the S&P 500 closing at a new respective record highs of 15,652, 17,137 and 2,008.
Bank of Montreal (BMO-T) at $85.24, Finning International (FTT-T) at $34.34 and WestJet Airlines (WJA-T) at $31.15 all established new TSX 52-week trading highs over the week while iShares Broad Commodity ETF (CBR.A-T) at $19.68, Redknee Solutions (RKN-T) at $3.38 and Spyglass Resources Corp. (SGL-T) at $1.49 all set new 52-week trading lows.
For the Week – The Dow Industrials gained 0.22% to 17,137, with the S&P 500 Index improved by 0.21% to 2,008 and the NASDAQ Exchange rose by 0.07% to 4,583. On the north side of the border, the commodity sensitive TSX Composite Index eased by 0.36% to 15,570 and the junior TSX Venture Exchange lost 2.84% to 995.
Crude oil fell by 2.53% to US$93.45, with natural gas down by 6.6% to US$3.80 and copper ahead by 0.36% to US$3.17. Overall, the CRB Spot Commodity Index eased by 0.21% to 483.
The Canadian dollar was down on the week by a marginal 0.2% against the American dollar to US$0.9194.
And the closely followed CBOE Volatility Index or VIX rose by a slight 0.15-point to end the week at a little more nervous level of 12.13.
And Finally – You may want to keep your head up on your next commercial airline flight as the Association of Flight Attendants reports that the number of passenger conflicts has risen in proportion to airlines booking more people on flights as a result of adding more seats and leaving each passenger with less legroom.
And Finally, Finally – The Week is taking another week off due to traveling commitments. If all goes according to plan you will once again see this publication in your inbox on or about Monday, September, 22nd.
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