Canada’s Employment Stats Blow Away Expectations, U.S. Stats Disappoint

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You can read the original version online: ——————————————————————————– April 8, 2012 Week In Review…

Week In Review For April 2 to April 6, 2012 Canadian Companies mentioned include:

* Rodinia Lithium Inc. (TSX-Venture:RM) * Prodigy Gold Inc. (TSX-Venture:PDG) * Great Quest Metals Ltd. (TSX-Venture:GQ) * Gold Canyon Resources Inc. (TSX-Venture:GCU) * Asantae Holdings International Inc. (TSX-Venture:JVA) U.S. Companies mentioned include:

* Stellar Pharmaceuticals Inc. (OTCBB:SLXCF) * Lithium Exploration Group Inc. (OTCBB:LEXG) * SMF Energy Corp. (NASDAQ:FUEL) * American Apparel, Inc. (AMEX:APP) This week on

* Article Published, April 3, 2012: Over $600 Million in Revenue and Most Still Do Not Know About This Micro-Cap Steel Producer ($600-Million-in-Revenue-and-Most-Still-Do-Not-Know-About-This-Micro-Cap-Steel-Producer.htm) (U.S. Company) * Article Published, April 4, 2012: Dually-Listed Junior Miner Looking For a Rise on Uranium Optimism ( (CDN / U.S. Company) Video charts for the week:

* April 2nd Technical Video Chart For SLXCF. Coming off a triple bottom, the Stellar Pharmaceuticals` chart has formed a bullish flag pattern. Three green closes heading into the weekend have the chart on watch to break the flag`s resistance at 62 cents to potentially challenge the next level at 70 cents. Support after the big move is at 54 cents. view:

( ).

* April 3rd Technical Video Chart For MAY:CA. The Meadow Bay Gold chart is forming a large upward channel that is producing 50 percent swings. The pps is coming off the lower side of the channel again with three straight green days giving hints of another potential run. Click here to view:

( ).

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WEEKLY UPDATE – STOCKS KICK-OFF Q2 ON SOUR NOTE The North American markets came out bullish on the first day of the second quarter as gold miners and energy plays charged upward, but sentiment was quickly dampened in the shortened trading week with all the major indexes on Wall and Bay Streets diving into the red by the time the Good Friday holiday arrived. The bulls found a reason to kick the quarter off with optimism based on the latest manufacturing numbers in the States showing that inflation was under control, but from that point forward, a relatively decent batch of economic data from both Canada and the U.S. was largely ignored.

The latest release of the minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve March meeting sparked concerns and stripped-away hope of another round of quantitative easing in the near future that many investors were hoping for. Typically, signs of the economy recovering would be met with optimism in equities, but the Fed signaling that the favorable movement in the economy has diminished prospects of another round of bond buying by the central bank was met with cynicism causing upward pressure to stall.

Overseas information also weighed on the markets with economic data coming through showing a mixed bag of growth in Japan and Germany.

Weaker than expected demand during an auction for Spanish bonds on Wednesday was also difficult for investors to swallow as it could mean that Spain could struggle in meeting its 2012 budget deficit goals; stoking fears about Europe`s debt problems again. Reaching their highest level in more than three months, the yield on 10-year Spanish bonds jumped to 5.8% Thursday following the poor auction outcome.

Trading volumes throughout the week were notably light with traders taking a breather heading into the long Easter weekend.

If, for some reason April continues as the first week began, it will be bucking a five-year trend in which the benchmark S&P 500 has recorded average gains of 4.5% during the month.

Although the equities markets were closed on Friday, futures trading was open until 9:15 AM EDT. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were holding in the green until the latest unemployment report from the U.S. hit the wires; coming in below expectations. Dow futures promptly dove about 160 points upon the jobs report, closing down by 143 points as the S&P 500 and NASDAQ futures also retreated into negative territory.

Canada’s dollar recorded its first weekly gain in four weeks against the U.S. dollar on the back of the Canadian jobs report showing that more jobs were added than expected during March. The loonie had been down again against the dollar early in the week on Europe`s sovereign-debt crisis spurring concerns that investors may look for safety in the greenback amid global financial woes, but gained traction against the vast majority of its world peers when Stats Can reported jobs gains that outstripped economists` predictions by more than 600 percent. The Canadian dollar remained stronger than the USD at the week`s end with next week beginning with one Canadian dollar buying US$1.00285.

Commodity Snapshot:

* Gold futures fell to 11-week lows in overnight trading last Wednesday in the wake of bearish sentiment that barreled through the investment community after the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee of the U.S. Federal Reserve were disclosed early in the week. Gold trading was closed for Good Friday, but overseas trading saw bullion rise in value on Friday amidst the jobs report showing less Americans than expected found jobs in March. Potentially also adding to bullishness to start next week is the fact that a 3-week-long strike in India over excises taxes by traders and jewelers has ended. Gold prices in India shot-up on the news. When trading ended for the week on Thursday in the States, June contracts, the most actively traded, had fallen $41.80, or 2.50%, to close at $1,630.10 per troy ounce.

* Silver prices fell prey to a rising U.S. dollar, the Fed minutes and sliding gold prices that sapped demand for metals across the board. May contracts, which remained the most actively traded, fell hard on Wednesday in part of a broad metal sell-off. On the week, the contracts subtracted $0.754, or 2.32%, to close at $31.73 an ounce.

* Copper prices eked higher on Thursday after Wednesday`s sharp drop of 3.3%which enticed a few bargain hunters, although futures remain under pressure, much like other metals. Investors in growth-sensitive assets like copper had been carefully adding to holdings in recent weeks on hopes that the Fed may provide a third round of quantitative easing. Copper is a widely-used metal with applications in the auto industry, electronics and plumbing, making it closely watched with regards to global growth acceleration. On the week, May contracts, the most actively traded on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, depreciated by 2.95 cents, or 0.77% to close the week at $3.7955 a pound.

* Oil prices rose last Monday on the good manufacturing stats coming from the Institute for Supply Management`s factory index and concerns arose in the North Sea, but also took a hit on Wednesday to fall into negative territory. A rise of more than 1% on Thursday over concerns surfacing again about possible disruptions in supplies from Iran provided some strength for crude prices to save gains for the week.

The dispute over Iran`s nuclear activities was complicated by news that a major Chinese ship insurer is no longer going to provide coverage for tankers carrying Iranian oil. May contracts, the most actively traded, edged-up by 0.28%, or $0.29, to end at $103.31 per barrel.

Equity Market Snapshot:

(All percentages on a weekly basis unless otherwise noted) * Major gold miners fell again, with most suffering their fourth down week out of the last five. Barrick Gold (ABX, -6.55%), Yamana Gold (YRI,-5.08%), Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM, -3.13%), Inmet Mining Corp.

(IMN, -3.87%), Kinross Gold (K, -6.15%) and Goldcorp (G, -9.70%) all surrendered points on the Toronto exchange.

* Shares of Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. (TSX:IMN) unloaded 12.30% after TD Securities and Bank of Montreal downgraded their ratings on the stock.

* Lake Shore Gold Corp. (TSX:LSG, -7.77%) reported that an accident at its Timmins West mine in Ontario killed one of its employees.

* Some green was found in the gold sector with Pretium Resources Inc.

(TSX:PVG, +2.88%) reporting a high-grade mineral resource estimate for its Brucejack project in northern British Columbia.

* Energy stocks generally suffered losses, despite oil squeaking ahead modestly. Suncor Energy (NYSE:SU, -6.33%), Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ, -3.47%), Cenovus Energy (NYSE:CVE, -3.95%) and Imperial Oil (NYSE:IMO, -2.84%) all doffed-off points. Talisman Energy (NYSE:TLM, +1.03%) was a rare gainer for the week.

* In other big energy news, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. said Allan Markin had resigned as chairman for personal reasons, and will be succeeded by vice-chairman N. Murray Edwards. Canacol Energy Ltd.

(TSX:CNE, +10.13%) shares perked after ExxonMobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM, -2.20%) agreed to provide $50 million for Canacol`s shale-oil exploration project in Colombia.

* Financial plays languished after a productive first quarter as EU financial concerns surfaced again. Bank of America (NYSE:BAC, -3.55%), Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE:GS, -5.12%), JP Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM, -2.94%) and Citigroup (NYSE:C, -4.82%) gave back a few points.

* In addition to simply struggling along with banks this past week, JP Morgan Chase felt the sting of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission hitting them with a $20-million civil penalty to settle charges that it had unlawfully handled customer funds ahead of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy.

* Losses were broad on the Canadian banking front as well with The Bank of Nova Scotia (TSX:BNS, -0.95%), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSX:TD, -1.57%), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (TSX:CM, -1.10%), Bank of Montreal (BMO, -1.13%) and Royal Bank of Canada (RY, -1.47%) all slinking lower.

* Shares of Royal Bank, Canada`s largest bank by assets, suffered amidst accusations by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission that the bank has been engaging in illegal stock futures trades with itself to gain Canadian tax benefits. Royal Bank vehemently denies the accusations. Outside of the new lawsuit, the bank also said it has reached a definitive deal to acquire full ownership of the RBC Dexia Investor Services Ltd. joint venture for about $1.1 billion.

* Research In Motion Ltd. (TSX:RIM, -13.74%) fell to new lows after launching the full version of its BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, a mobile device management software that enables enterprise customers to manage Apple`s iOS and Android devices through the BlackBerry server. Shares of RIM are down about 80 percent in the last year as the company continues to pursue options to combat its continuing loss of market share to Apple, Inc.

* Speaking of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), shares continue to make new all-time highs amidst several analysts raising price targets and one analyst`s prediction that shares will climb to $1000 each. Shares closed this past week ahead by another 5.69% at $633.68.

* Shares of Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE:TAP) dove by 8.80% after the company said it will buy brewer StarBev L.P. from CVC Capital Partners for 2.65 billion euros ($3.54 billion U.S.) to expand in Central and Eastern European beer markets.

* Shares of internet beast Yahoo, Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO, -1.02%) weighed on the Naz as the company announced 2,000 job cuts, as part of its restructuring process. Retailer JC Penney Co. (NYSE:JCP, -0.74%) also reported that it will be cutting 600 jobs – or 13% of the workers – at its Plano, Texas headquarters.

* Shares of cosmetics maker Avon Products (NYSE:AVP, +20.97%) leapt upward after competitor Coty publicly put an offer on the table to acquire Avon for approximately $10 billion in cash. Coty had been in private discussions with Avon about the acquisition and also said that it will not be pursuing a hostile takeover attempt if the deal doesn`t happen.

* Home renovation retailer Rona Inc. (TSX:RON, +11.82%) had shares spike upon saying that the company is not up for sale, despite comments from Robert Hull, CFO of Lowe`s Companies Inc., saying that Lowes may be interested if Rona put itself on the auction block.

* Some downgrades hit household names this past week with General Electric (NYSE:GE, -2.89%) getting a downgrade from Moody`s, citing debt due to risks associated with its finance subsidiary, GE Capital Corp. International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM, -1.52%) and cruise ship operator Carnival Corp. (NYSE:CCL, -4.36%) also both dropped on reports of analyst downgrades.

* On the social front, the New York Post reported that Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA, -9.43%) is in talks with casino operator Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN, +0.85%) over a possible online gambling game. Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ:GRPN, -22.85%) shares plummeted after announcing that it was revising its Q4 income and sales to lower levels because of a high rate of customers looking for refunds. Additionally, Groupon`s auditor has discovered a deficiency in its financial statements. This news hit later in the week after the SEC said that it was investigating the first set of financial reports of the daily deals company from when it went public in October of 2011.

* Shares of credit card processor Global Payments, Inc. (NYSE:GPN, -3.87%) fell further this past week after a more than $5 drop per share the week prior as its massive data breach was reported; potentially compromising credit and debit card information from all of the major card operators, including Visa and MasterCard.

* In other news, Air Canada (TSX:AC/B, -8.51%) shares are testing all-time lows again after Moody`s Investors Service downgraded the airline`s debt rating to Caa1 from B3. Air Canada has been plagued with labor issues over the last year and was recently hit by wildcat strikes that caused delays at its biggest airports. Moody`s cited concerns over the airline`s ability to fund new planes and shortcomings related to pensions all ongoing amid rising costs of fuel and soft economic conditions.

Weekly Indices Results:

The S&P TSX Composite Index accelerated its downward pace, falling for the sixth straight week by subtracting 289.07 points, or 2.33%, to 12,103.11. The TSX Venture Exchange wiped-out any gains from the prior week by unloading 85.35 points, or 5.45%, to finish at 1,481.04.

In the States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average continued its up-a-week, down-a-week pattern with a red week; weakening by 151.90 points, or 1.15%, on the week to 13,060.14. The much-broader S&P 500 dropped for the second time in three weeks; stripping 10.39 points, or 0.74%, from its total to close at 1,398.08. The tech-rich NASDAQ Composite hit a bump in the road after 13 weeks of closing higher than it opened; slipping back by 11.07 points, or 0.36%, to 3,080.50 on the week.

Canadian Economic Data:

* After a sharp 11.4% drop in January, building permits rebounded strongly in February with a 7.5 percents increase as contractors grabbed more permits to construct factories and schools. The total value of building permits during the month increased to $6.53 billion, according to Statistics Canada, crushing economists` expectations of a 2 percent increase. The gains were largely paced by a 36.2% rise in the non-residential sector.

* Adding the most full-time jobs since September 2008, employment rose by 82,300 jobs in February after a decline of 2,800 in January.

The new jobs numbers lowered the unemployment rate by 0.2% to 7.2% from January to February. Much like building permits, the substantial gain far surpassed expectations, with economists only calling for a moderate gain of 10,500 new jobs.

* Stats Can said that purchasing activity slid mildly in March as compared to February. The seasonally-adjusted Ivery Purchasing Managers Index edged down to 63.5 in March from a 66.5 reading in February. It was the first drop in five months, but still is recording the highest levels in nearly one year. Readings above 50 indicate growth in purchasing activity.

Next week, the economic data slate will remain thin with housing starts on Monday; and the New Housing Price Index and International Merchandise Trade statistics on Thursday.

U.S. Economic Data:

* Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in March for the 32nd consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 34th consecutive month, according to the nation`s supply executives in the most recent Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. Increases in apparel, leather and allied products – followed by nonmetallic mineral products – led the 15 of the 18 manufacturing industries that registered growth in March. Computer & electronic products led the few industries reporting contraction.

* Claims for U.S. unemployment benefits dropped to the lowest level in four years with a drop of 6,000 to 357,000 for the week ended March 31, 2012. While at four-year lows, economists had expected a decrease to 355,000. The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure than the weekly figures, decreased to 361,750 during the week, from 366,000.

* In their monthly non-farm employment report, ADP said that a total of 209,000 private sector jobs were created in March. The number was in line with expectations. A broad increase across all industries were paced by the goods producing sector adding 45,000 jobs during the month. The employment numbers for February and January were revised upwards to 230,000 (from 216,000) and 182,000 (from 173,000).

* The Institute for Supply Management`s Non-Manufacturing Index slipped from one-year highs of 57.3 in February to 56 in March, indicating that the world`s largest economy in still expanding (readings over 50 show growth). The ISM compiles its diffusion index by surveying more than 370 purchasing executives in more than 62 different service industries – covering roughly 90% of U.S. companies in all sectors outside of manufacturing – once a month.

* The latest report from the Labor Department showed that the unemployment rate in the U.S. lowered to 8.2% in March from 8.3% in February as the economy created 120,000 jobs during the month.

Economists had predicted a far greater growth rate of 203,000 new jobs. The U.S. economy has lost more than 5 million jobs since the recession of 2007 – 2009 and, although the unemployment rate has fallen from 9.1% in August 2011, it will not recoup all of those lost jobs at this current pace until early in 2014. On the bright side, the U.S. economy has added 858,000 jobs since December, representing the best four month stretch in hiring in two years.

Next week, data in the States will be very light with International Trade, Initial Jobless Claims and the Price Producer Index updates on Thursday; and the Consumer Price Index on Friday.

Penny Stocks to Watch & Company Spotlight Results:

Among the stocks we watched this week, mineral explorer Rodinia Lithium Inc. (TSX-Venture:RM) rose to its intraweek high of $0.25 on Tuesday before giving up a portion of its gains to close the week at 23 cents for a gain of $0.005, or 2.22%. The other stock we had on radar, Vancouver-based explorer Prodigy Gold Inc.

(TSX-Venture:PDG) surged ahead to an intraweek high of 76 cents before a pull-back on Wednesday and Thursday to wrap the week weakened by 3 cents, or 4.29%, at $0.67.

In the States, specialty biotech Stellar Pharmaceuticals Inc.

(OTCBB:SLXCF) trickled sideways before taking off on Friday to close at the week`s high of 65 cents, representing a gain of 4.5 cents, or 7.44%. The other U.S. stock on our watchlist, miner Lithium Exploration Group Inc. (OTCBB:LEXG) came out on Tuesday to hit its intraweek high of $0.93, but lost its momentum and slid to close the shortened week down by 12.5 cents, or 15.53%, at $0.68.

If you`d invested in all four stocks and held them to the end, you`d have seen an average loss of 2.54%. However, if you`d bought all four at the beginning of the week and sold each at its peak, you`d have realized gains of a respectable 10.66%.

Next week, we focus on Great Quest Metals Ltd. (TSX-Venture:GQ) and Gold Canyon Resources Inc. (TSX-Venture:GCU). In the States, look for big things from SMF Energy Corp. (NASDAQ:FUEL) and American Apparel Inc. (AMEX:APP).

Big news hit this past week for Asantae Holdings International Inc.

(TSX-Venture:JVA) (Pink Sheets:ASNHF) when the company reported record growth metrics in several key areas from the first quarter that outpaced even the company`s own guidance. Asantae reported triple-digit gains in recurring (auto-ship) orders for its RealW8 product and new affiliates as well as a 280% increase in total units sold over the fourth quarter of 2011. More information on Asantae can be found by going here: (

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