You can read the original version online:
http://ymlp297.net/zXleiJ ——————————————————————————– September 2, 2012 Month In Review…
Month / Week In Review For August 27 to August 31, 2012 Canadian Companies mentioned include:
* Orko Silver Corp. (TSX-Venture:OK) * Bellhaven Copper and Gold Inc. (TSX-Venture:BHV) * Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas Ltd. (TSX-Venture:EOG) * Condor Petroleum Inc. (TSX:CPI) * Excelsior Mining Corp. (TSX-Venture:MIN) U.S. Companies mentioned include:
* DragonWave Inc. (NASDAQ:DRWI) * Quest Water Global Inc. (OTCBB:QWTR) * Netlist Inc. (NASDAQ:NLST) * Bitzio Inc. (OTCBB:BTZO) * Columbia Laboratories Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRX) * Omega Commercial Finance Corp. (OTCQB:OCFN) This week on AllPennyStocks.com:
* Article Published, August 27, 2012: Omega Commercial Finance Among News of More Merger and Acquisition Activity (http://www.allpennystocks.com/aps_us/special-reports/290/omega-commercial-finance-among-news-of-more-merger-and-acquisition-activity.htm) (U.S. Company) * Article Published, August 29, 2012: NeuLion Bolsters Management and Looks to Turn Things Around in 2H 2012 (http://www.allpennystocks.com/aps_ca/special-reports/292/neulion-bolsters-management-and-looks-to-turn-things-around-in-2h-2012.htm) (CDN Company) * Article Published, August 31, 2012: Investors Could be Dropping a Coin in EC Development (http://www.allpennystocks.com/aps_us/special-reports/291/investors-could-be-dropping-a-coin-in-ec-development.htm) (U.S. Company) Video charts for the week:
* August 28th Technical Video Chart For OCFN. The Omega Commercial Finance chart has been rising in leaps and bounds the last few months.
A look at a five-year weekly chart shows a strong technical upside with no resistance in the path as the chart is now in a breakout and making multi-year highs. view:
( http://www.youtube.com/user/AllPennyStocks#p/a/u/1/vEQsVVKQr34 ).
* August 29th Technical Video Chart For BHV:CA. The Bellhaven Copper and Gold chart is on the climb again after making a double bottom off support at 20 cents. As the chart battles with the 50 dma, the upside is nice with resistance not until 31 cents. view:
( http://www.youtube.com/user/AllPennyStocks#p/a/u/1/R6pHuWCEiFI ).
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WEEKLY & MONTHLY UPDATE -NORTH AMERICAN STOCKS TAKE BREATHER FROM RECENT RALLY North American stocks struggled to find any momentum during the week ahead of the annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming organized by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City that would culminate with Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke delivering a speech on Friday. Investors knew heading into the week that the meeting of policy makers was going to be the driving news force of the markets.
Seemingly, most investors looked to take a risk aversive strategy ahead of the meeting and Bernanke`s speech by lightening positions and securing gains from a multi-week run that began to lose momentum the week prior.
Other news from across the oceans, decent earnings reports and relatively upbeat economic data from North America had little positive effect on a somewhat dour sentiment across Wall and Bay Streets.
Spain reported that its economic recession deepened in the second quarter, as gross domestic product contracted at a faster pace both on an annual and a quarterly basis amid a stark downturn in domestic spending. The euro zone`s fourth-largest economy contracted 0.4 percent from the first quarter and by 1.3 percent compared with the second quarter of 2011, according to INE, Spain`s statistical institute. The reading for the quarter was basically in line with what INE had previously estimated, but the annual reading was worse than expected by registering a 0.6 percent contraction as opposed to the 0.4 percent deceleration originally estimated.
Gross domestic product information from both Canada and the U.S were reported at higher than expected levels. Housing data in the States showed some of the best figures in years. The Federal Reserve`s Beige Book report, a regional snapshot of economic conditions, suggested that economic activity has grown across most regions and sectors, including retail. On the other hand, data also showed that consumer sentiment was low and key indicators of growth through orders were weaker than hoped. In the past, the positive information would have been a catalyst for an upswing in stocks, but investors are salivating so much at the idea of another round of quantitative easing – or money printing and bond buying to keep long-term interest rates low – that positive information is not being well received because it could reduce the likelihood of central banks stepping in with monetary stimulus. As Michael Gayed, chief investment strategist at Pension Partners LLC, put it, “The world waits for SuperBen and the League of Extraordinary Bankers to put on their suits Friday morning.” Investors were also ready to key upon any commentary from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi who was slated to speak the day after Bernanke`s speech on Friday. Draghi is also under a microscope to offer hints of a full-blown Spanish bailout and additional monetary policies to bolster European economies. Draghi squashed all those hopes for instant gratification by saying that he would not attend the annual conference of Jackson Hole due to a “heavy workload foreseen” in Europe across those days.
After four straight red closes, the markets heard what they wanted to hear from Helicopter Ben (Bernanke earned this nickname as people expect him to fly over the country dropping money from a helicopter).
While in typical fashion, Bernanke stopped short of committing to any hard measures for a third iteration of quantitative easing, he left the door pretty wide open this time, saying, “Taking due account of the uncertainties and limits of its policy tools, the Federal Reserve will provide additional policy accommodation as needed to promote a stronger economic recovery and sustained improvement in labor market conditions in a context of price stability.” The Fed leader also expressed “grave concern” over the persistently high levels of unemployment that “will wreak structural damage on our economy that could last for many years.” Bernanke`s commentary gave the markets a lift with the Dow registering triple-digit gains at one point after the speech before moods tempered and gains were shortened. What we could be seeing here is the law of diminishing returns as investors may already have QE3 baked into the value of the markets at this time. Bernanke stands firm that another round of QE would be effective, but there are plenty of critics that believe it will not do much to stimulate long-term growth and that the USA`s GDP will stay near 2 percent in coming years. Food for thought anyway; that`s for sure.
Next week will feature Labor Day for both Canada and the US on Monday with the markets being closed to celebrate the holiday. Economic data will be thin for the week, but include the key monthly reports on unemployment from the US and Canada. Also, investors will start focusing results of the ECB meeting during the week and looking for more news of monetary changes to inspire growth and thwart recessions.
Stateside, the next Fed meeting on September 12 and 13 will start to move into focus with traders looking for additional news about another multi-hundred billion dollar bond buying plan.
Heading into Friday, the Canadian dollar was set to post losses for the second straight week against its US counterpart, but surprising strong Gross Domestic Product data from Canada turned the tables for the loonie to rally to secure its biggest monthly gain against the greenback since January. The USD had been getting a foothold earlier in the week after a report showed the U.S. economy grew 1.7% in the second quarter, a little faster than previously estimated by the government. From a broader view, according to the Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Indexes, the loonie – named for the image of the aquatic bird on the $1 Canadian coin – is the second-best performer (behind Japan’s yen) in the past six months versus the currencies of nine developed-nation counterparts. During the last five days, the Canadian dollar gained 0.69% on the US dollar, so next week will begin with one Canadian dollar buying US$1.01385.
* Gold futures were steadily sliding throughout the week as part of a broad market fall and strengthening US dollar before an explosion of nearly 2 percent on Friday sent the precious yellow metal to its highest price since late in March. The surge was inspired by Spain`s government approving banking reforms and words from Fed Chairman Bernanke who showed his hand saying that further economic stimulus was waiting in the wings. On the week, December contracts were the most actively traded; rising by 0.88%, or $14.70 per ounce, to close the week at $1,687.60 – with a high of nearly $1,700 per ounce – on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. During August bullion grew in value from $1,618.00 to current values, representing an increase of $69.60, or 4.30%, per ounce.
* Silver prices also catapulted higher on Friday, rising 3.27% to hit four-month highs. Riding alongside gold, silver was driven by a weakening dollar on Friday and stimulus hopes that would both increase silver`s value as a hedge against inflation and as an industrial metal buoyed by greater demand internationally. Silver for September delivery remained the most actively traded; running 2.68%, or $0.06, higher to $31.442 per ounce to add to a more than 9 percent climb the week before. During the month, silver has risen by 14.34%, or $3.944 per ounce.
* Copper prices didn`t track higher with precious metals this past week as global demand issues still hang over the industrial metal. A tepid rise in value after Bernanke`s speech helped pare some losses for the week, but copper still remains range bound, struggling to push back above $3.50 per pound. Traders will be looking ahead to an important ECB meeting next week to give signs of stimulus in Europe and for any data from China, the world`s largest consumer of copper, that would signal growth and demand for the red metal. September contracts were the most actively traded on New York`s COMEX exchange during the week; fading 2.65 cents, or 0.76%, to $3.457 per pound. On the month, copper futures appreciated by 3.1 cents, or 0.90 percent.
* Oil prices were trading low during the week and lost even more steam initially after Bernanke`s speech. But as traders digested the stimulus potential, oil futures gained and eventually packed-on 2 percent on Friday to move ahead on the week. As in other weeks, oil was feeling pressure from several directions as the Group of Seven leading economies requested oil-producing countries to increase output on risks to the global economy from higher oil prices; speculation that the US was going to release oil from its strategic reserves; and Hurricane Isaac forcing shutdowns in the heart of the US refinery industry in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of the storm coming ashore late Tuesday. Add in a fire at Venezuela’s biggest refinery and oil prices couldn`t find a direction. When all was said and done, October contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude were the most actively traded and closed the week ahead by $0.32, or 0.33%, at $96.47 per barrel. It was a strong August for the black gold, however, as prices rose 7.03%, or 6.34 per barrel.
Equity Market Snapshot:
(All percentages on a weekly basis unless otherwise noted) * Major gold miners primarily remained bullish with bullion still rising. Agnico-Eagle Mines (TSX:AEM, +1.36%), Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX, +1.52%), Yamana Gold (TSX:YRI, +1.38%), Goldcorp (TSX:G, +1.00%) and Newmont Mining (TSX:NMC, +1.92%) all climbed upward as Kinross Gold (TSX:K, -1.90%) gave a little back after three green weeks.
* In some big metal news, Canadian uranium giant Cameco (TSX:CCO, -4.36%) said that it has purchased one of Australia“s largest undeveloped uranium deposits. Cameco is paying BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP, -4.36%) $430 million for its Yeelirrie uranium project.
* Energy stocks limped a bit with oil fighting to keep momentum.
Talisman Energy (NYSE:TLM, +1.98%) rose for the sixth straight week, but Imperial Oil (NYSE:IMO, -2.26%), Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ, -3.00%), Suncor Energy (NYSE:SU, -1.04%) and Cenovus Energy (NYSE:CVE, even) faded back.
* Oil and gas producer Fairborne Energy Ltd. (TSX:FEL, -17.50%) got pounded upon saying that it is selling dry natural gas assets for a total of $189 million. The Calgary-based company said depressed natural gas prices and volatility in capital markets have challenged its ability to fund growth.
* The biggest of banks in the US didn`t do much to help the markets this past week. Bank of America (NYSE:BAC, -2,08%), Citigroup (NYSE:C, -0.40%), JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM, -0.08%), UBS AG (NYSE:UBS, -0.45%) and Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC, -0.03%) all closed the week red while Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE:GS, +1.17%) edged ahead. XLF (NYSE:XLF, +0.20), the financials select sector SPDR that tracks the financial stocks in the S&P 500, barely eked up after a flat week last week as well.
* The biggest banks in Canada were mixed despite widely topping analysts` earnings expectations. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (TSX:CM, +0.11%), National Bank of Canada (TSX:NA, +0.84%) and Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RY, +2.68%) appreciated in value, but Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSX:TD, -0.16%), The Bank of Nova Scotia (TSX:BNS, -0.40%) and Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO, even) couldn`t advance.
* All of the big six banks delivered quarterly earnings reports which beat expectations.
* Additionally, Scotiabank reported that it has reached an agreement to buy ING Bank of Canada from Netherlands-based parent ING Group for $3.13 billion in cash.
* Hertz Global Holdings (NYSE:HTZ, +7.83%) and Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group (NYSE:DTG, +7.60%) agreed to merge in a deal valued at $2.3 billion. Hertz will pay $87.50 U.S. a share in cash through a tender offer for Dollar Thrifty stock.
* Rogers Communications (NYSE:RCI, -0.12%) said it is buying sports broadcaster Score Media Inc. (TSX:SCR, +11.69%) in a transaction valued at $167 million, or $1.62 per share. Shares of Score Media had surged more than 50 percent the week prior on rumors that the deal was going to happen.
* Shares of WellPoint Inc. (NYSE:WLP, +3.83%) rose after announcing that its chief executive officer, Angela Braly, had resigned.
WellPoint`s general counsel, John Cannon, will serve as interim CEO until Braly`s replacement is found.
* Best Buy (NYSE:BBY, +2.48%) reached an agreement with its founder, Richard Schulze, that allows him a closer look at the company“s financial statements as he finalizes a proposal to take over the electronic retailer. The agreement also grants Schulze permission to form an investment group with private equity sponsors and gives him 60 days to present a fully financed deal.
* Saba Software Inc. (NASDAQ:SABA, +27.54%), an outfit that makes software used in human resource management, saw its share surge on speculation that the company could be an acquisition target following news that IBM Corp. (NYSE:IBM, -1.48%) plans to buy Saba rival Kenexa Corp. (NYSE:KNXA, +41.53%) for $1.3 billion.
* Ampal-American Israel Corp. (NASDAQ:AMPL, -43.23%) took a nosedive upon filing a voluntary petition for Chapter 11 reorganization in U.S.
Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Ampal is an investment company that acquires interests primarily in businesses located in or related to Israel.
* After winning a jury verdict for patent infringement against Samsung the previous week, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL, +0.30%) on Monday asked the presiding judge for a preliminary injunction against eight Samsung products. Samsung Electronics responded and said that it will fight the request to have its products removed from store shelves with “all necessary measures.” The phones that Apple wants removed accounted for $1.3 billion in sales for Samsung during the first half of 2012.
The judge is scheduled to rule on the potential sales ban on Sept. 20.
* Topping analyst`s predictions, PVH Corp. (NYSE:PVH, +6.78%), whose brands include Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, said it expects 2012 adjusted earnings of $6.25 to $6.32 a share. In the second quarter, PVH’s adjusted earnings were $1.25 a share. On a net basis, PVH made $87.7 million, or $1.19 a share, on the strength of its Hilfiger brand in North America and Europe. In 2011, the company netted $66.2 million, or 92 cents a share. Sales were $1.34 billion compared with $1.33 billion.
* Gilead Sciences Inc`s (NASDAQ:GILD, +0.70%) reported that the Food & Drug Administration approved its four-drug combination pill to treat HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The four-drugs-in-one pill, which was formerly called “Quad”, but has been rebranded “Stribild,” is designed for patients starting HIV therapy for the first time. Wall Street estimates for sales of about $46 million this year and $370 million next year. Stribild becomes the third single-tablet HIV regimen developed by Gilead, joining Atripla and Complera.
* Shares of watchmaker Movado Group (NYSE:MOV, +22.30%) had another strong week to make a 52-week high, after the company issued a better-than-expected quarterly earnings report and raised its fiscal-year outlook. Movado said it now sees earnings of around $1.40 a share, on net sales of $510 million. The company had previous forecast earnings of approximately $1.15 a share, on net sales of $505 million to $510 million. MOV shares have surged about 50% in August and have nearly doubled in value in 2012.
* AOL Inc. (NYSE:AOL, +2.28%) announced its final steps in returning roughly $1.1 billion to shareholders, as the company authorized a special cash divided of $5.15 U.S. per share.
* Molycorp Inc.’s (NYSE:MCP, +19.77%) shares advanced after the miner said it had begun operations to produce rare-earth elements from ore mined at its Project Phoenix facilities in Mountain Pass, California. The company also got a lift from analyst Brian Chin of Gabelli & Co. upgrading Molycorp to “Buy” from “Hold.” * Gildan Activewear Inc. (NYSE:GIL, -4.88%) CEO Glenn Chamandy could earn more than $85 million after deciding to sell up to 28% of his 9.8 million shares in the apparel company. Chamandy made a $23 million bet on the garment maker during the markets collapse when others were selling and driving the price down in 2008 and 2009. Shares sank as low as $5.55 at that time. Even with cashing-in some gains, Chamandy will remain the largest shareholder of Gildan.
* Lexmark International (NYSE:LXK, +13.19%) continued to rise from lows when it said it would eliminate about 1,700 positions worldwide, including 1,100 in manufacturing, as a result of another round of restructuring actions that includes exiting the inkjet hardware market. The move has also spurred speculation that the company is going to put itself up for sale.
* Shares of Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc.’s (NASDAQ:JOSB, +18.27%) jumped after the men’s apparel retailer reported second-quarter results that exceeded Wall Street’s expectations.
* Business review website Yelp Inc. (NYSE:YELP, +12.94%) had its shares advance upon the expiration of the company`s lock-up period from its IPO, which lifts the rules that prevent insiders from selling shares into the market. The rise came as a surprise after shares of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB, -6.96%) crumbled upon its lock-up period expiring recently.
* In more things web, Angie`s List Inc. (NASDAQ:ANGI, -1.34%) got an upgrade from Oppenheimer analyst Jason Helfstein from outperform to perform. Streaming music website owner Pandora (NYSE:P, +20.26%) saw its shares soar upon saying that it broke even in its most recent quarter.
* Even though shares have nearly doubled from 2012 lows, Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ:SHLD, -6.65%) is getting kicked out of the S&P 500 at the closing bell on September 4. Once the most iconic retailer in the US, the founding member of the S&P 500 is getting the boot because its public float (the number of shares held by public investors) has dropped below key requirements. The float issue comes about because the board at Sears approved a plan that will allow shareholders to swap shares for new stores that it plans to spin-off.
JC Penney (NYSE:JCP, +5.37%) is the sole surviving retailer that was an original member of the benchmark index.
Weekly Indices Results:
The S&P TSX Composite Index ran its losing streak to two weeks; slipping another 132.97 points, or 1.10%, to 11,949.26. The TSX Venture Exchange faded some after three straight green weeks; giving back 11.02 points, or 0.88%, to 1,240.86 on the week.
In the States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed points for the second time in as many weeks;dropping 67.13 points, or 0.51%, and ending the week at 13,090.84. The much-broader S&P 500 followed along; dropping by 4.55 points, or 0.32%, to close at 1,406.58. The tech-rich NASDAQ Composite completed the sweep of the major indices closing in the red;slipping 2.83 points, or 0.09%, to 3,066.96 on the week.
Canadian Economic Data:
* According to Statistics Canada, the Industrial Product Price Index was down 0.5% in July compared with June, marking the third straight month of declines. The decline was mainly attributable to chemical products and motor vehicles and other transportation equipment, but only three of the 21 major commodity groups in the IPPI were up for the month (14 fell and 4 were unchanged). Analysts were expecting a rise of 0.1 percent.
* The Raw Materials Price Index rose 0.9%, largely because of higher prices for mineral fuels and vegetable products. It was the first monthly advance in the RMPI in six months. Year-over-year, the RMPI was down 10 percent as compared to July 2011, primarily because of a drop in crude oil prices.
* Stats Can also reported that Gross Domestic Product grew at a 0.5% quarterly pace, or 1.8 percent annualized pace, during the second quarter; matching the revised January-March figure. The expansion was ahead of economists` predictions for the rate to fall to 1.6 percent.
The growth bodes well for the Conservative government that has been trying to balance the budget through spending cuts in the headwinds of the economy facing challenges by slowing economies in China and Europe that can impact the export-dependent country. Exports for the three months grew at a 0.8 percent pace, the slowest in a year. Imports expanded at their quickest pace since Q2 2011. Even with the GDP expansion, it is expected that the Bank of Canada is going to keep interest rates at low levels for at least another year.
Next week, economic data will include only the Bank of Canada Interest Rate announcement and Employment/Unemployment reports on Friday.
U.S. Economic Data:
* The Conference Board reported that its consumer confidence index fell 60.6 in August from 65.4 in July, representing a nine-month low and signaling that US citizens are worried about the economy and the likelihood of finding a job. Economists were calling for a rise to 66.0 for the month. Consumer spending accounts for as much as 70 percent of U.S. economic activity, but people tend to spend less when they are worried about the future.
* In a different reading of the mindset of Americans, the University of Michigan-Thomson Reuters’ second and final reading of consumer sentiment in August rose to 74.3, a touch higher than their initial estimate of 73.6 and ahead of analysts` predictions of 73.8. The U of M/Reuters` index asked questions to consumers about how they feel about their own financial position and short-term plans to buy goods or services. Generally speaking the Conference Board`s index is more closely watched as it asks consumers how they feel about the state of the economy.
* The latest reading from the S&P/Case-Shiller Index showed that U.S.
home prices climbed higher for a second month in June; notching the strongest back-to-back monthly advance in the more than decade-long history of the price gauge. The 20-city composite index registered a 2.3 percent advance during the month. This equaled the upwardly-revised gains in May and took the year-over-year reading to a gain of 0.5%; its first reading in positive territory in nearly two years. The gains were lead by a 6 percent rise in Detroit, a city that has taken a pummeling in housing prices since the financial collapse in 2008.
* The U.S. economy grew 1.7% in the second quarter, slightly faster than the 1.5% previously reported by the Commerce Department, largely on the back of increased consumer spending and few imports than originally estimated. Personal spending rose 1.7%, up from the prior reading of 1.5%, while imports rose just 2.9% against an initial estimate of 6.0%. Imports subtract from GDP.
* The National Association of Realtors said that pending home sales (contracts to buy, not closings of purchases) climbed 2.4% in July to the highest level since April 2010, when a home-buyer tax credit was set to expire. The NAR`s pending home sales index rose to 101.7 in July from 99.3 in June, marking an increase of 12.4 percent compared to July 2011 readings. The July rise is the 15th straight month of year-over-year gains, signaling that the US housing market continues to heal.
* For the week ended August 25, jobless claims were basically flat from the week prior; tallying 374,000 applications for benefits, according to the Labor Department. Economists were calling for a drop to 370,000. Claims have been moving sideways, perhaps as a sign that employers are remaining cautious ahead of taxes increases related to the upcoming fiscal cliff that still remains unaddressed in Washington. Unemployment has been above 8 percent since February 2009, the longest stretch in the post-World War II era.
* In August, the Chicago Price Managers Index (PMI) modestly decelerated to a reading of 53.0 from 53.7 in July, generally in line with market predictions. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.
Indexes for production and new orders climbed while order backlogs plummeted to 41.7 in July from 52.8 in June, representing the lowest level since September 2009. A gauge of overall growth, economists watch the regional manufacturing reports for any early signals on the national outlook.
* Fueled by increased demand for aircraft and automobiles, orders to US companies rose in July. Factory orders, as they are called, rose 2.8 percent during the month, the largest advance in a year, according to the Commerce Department. On the downside, core capital goods orders – a key category that gauges businesses investment plans (including things like computers, machinery and steel) – dove by 4%, its fourth drop in five months. Orders for durable goods, items meant to last at least three years, rose a seasonally-adjusted 4.2 percent in July, riding the wave of some massive orders to Boeing.
Next week, data in the States will include the ISM Manufacturing Index on Tuesday; the ADP Employment Report, ISM Non-Manufacturing Index and Jobless Claims on Thursday; and the Employment Situation on Friday.
Penny Stocks to Watch & Company Spotlight Results:
Among the stocks we watched this week, miner Orko Silver Corp.
(TSX-Venture:OK) had a volatile week, hitting an intraweek high of $1.60 on Monday before tumbling lower and then roaring back to close near highs at $1.58 for a gain of 8 cents or 5.33 percent. The other Canadian stock on our radar, fellow miner Bellhaven Copper & Gold Inc.
(TSX-Venture:BHV) held a channel with an intraweek high of 26.5 cents and closed near the bottom of the channel on Friday at 24 cents for a loss of a penny, or 4 percent.
In the States, telecommunications company DragonWave Inc.
(NASDAQ:DRWI) trended sideways to hold primarily strong gains from the prior week and hit an intraweek high of $2.85 before slipping mildly to close at $2.63, down a nickel, or 1.87 percent. The other U.S.
stock on our watchlist, water technology company Quest Water Global Inc. (OTCBB:QWTR) hit its intraweek high of $1.17 on Monday, but lost all traction after that; closing down by 21 cents, or 18.26%, at $0.94.
If you`d invested in all four stocks and held them to the end, you`d have seen an average loss of 4.70%, largely on the meltdown by QWTR.
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 5.19%.
Next week, we focus on Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas Ltd. (TSX-Venture:EOG) and Condor Petroleum Inc. (TSX:CPI). In the States, look for big things from Netlist Inc. (NASDAQ:NLST) and Bitzio Inc. (OTCBB:BTZO).
Our latest US spotlight, Omega Commercial Finance Corporation (OTCQB:OCFN), reported this week that it signed a Letter of Interest to acquire a boutique brokerage firm that illustrates historical profits from top-line gross production of $4.3 million. The firm maintains 17-licensed advisors that offer a full range of financial products covering 40-States. Additionally, the firm is a licensed RIA and can offer insurance products, plus has approximately a half billion dollars in assets under management. Operationally this brokerage firm will cultivate growth strategies for OCFN with the ability to integrate a capital markets Institutional Sales Team whose sole responsibility is to offer structured finance products such as CMBS`s, CLO`s, ABS`s, or proprietary lines of credit, to support the subsidiary lending operations. Additional products will include one-off private placements for first-rate types of strategic alliances, joint-ventures, and CRE development projects. Likewise, management has determined the brokerage firm`s current advisors can offer these structured financial products on day one of the acquisition.
Shares of OCFN hit a new multi-year high this past week at 34 cents before pulling-back to consolidate in the area of 20 cents and have risen sharply from our initial profile price of $0.052. Keep an eye on this commercial banker as they are increasing revenues and aligning for further growth; making them a strong candidate for possible future share appreciation.
The Month at a Glance – August U.S. stocks notched a third month of gains in August despite a dismal final two weeks to the month. Canada`s benchmark TSX Composite Index also rose for the third straight month while the smaller Venture Exchange finally got some tailwind behind it to rise after five straight losing months. With a nearly five percent climb, the Venture paced all the major exchanges in gains.
It has been a quiet three-month rally on low volume for the markets that seem to have largely priced-in another round of quantitative easing by the US Federal Reserve and monetary actions in Europe to deal with its fiscal crisis. Even though volumes and volatility tend to stay on the sidelines during the summer, this year it was especially true as investors are planning for and waiting on concrete changes in policy to bolster economies throughout the world.
September and the Labor Day holiday typically mark an increase in trading activity, so the upcoming jobs data to kick-off the month and meetings by central banks throughout the first two weeks of the month could certainly set the tone and spider into an uptick in the Vix (the “fear” index that measures market volatility) that touched five-year lows in August.
Jobs data is a key as it is a catalyst for the economic growth cycle through consumer spending, home sales, manufacturing, etc. Stocks got a lift to usher-in August on a jobs report that surprised by showing that Americans added 163,000 jobs in July and ignoring the fact that US unemployment rose 0.1% to 8.3%. In Canada, employment in July declined by 30,400, representing the biggest drop since last October.
The unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage point to 7.3%.
Two of the most closely-watched bank leaders in the world, ECB President Mario Draghi and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke pledged to support faltering economies. Draghi said that he`ll do “whatever it takes” to save the euro and bolster Europe`s fleeting banks. Perhaps forced into a corner, Bernanke hasn`t delivered definitive words of further easing, but has all but said he has QE3 in his back pocket and will pull it out whenever he deems it necessary.
Speculation on stimulus, both foreign and domestic, has underpinned market sentiment. German Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced her allegiance with Draghi to save the euro zone and met with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to discuss Greece`s economic condition as Samaras looks for an extension for Greece`s austerity package from two to four years. Merkel said that she expects Greece “to stick to its commitments” and that she wants to see a report from Greece`s collection of international lenders in October before any decisions can be made about giving the country more time to implement reforms.
Data during the month showed world economies continue to struggle. To run around the globe in a few sentences: China reported that its economy grew by 7.6 percent in the latest quarter on a year-over-year basis, its smallest quarterly expansion since 2008. The United Kingdom said that their economy contracted 0.7 percent in the most recent quarter, its biggest drop since 2009. The Bank of England also cut its inflation outlook and slashed its forecast for economic growth in Britain to 2% annually in two years, down from its earlier estimate of 2.6%. Italy`s economy also shrank for the fourth straight quarter, according to its report for the three months ended June 30. Japan`s GDP expanded just 0.3 percent in April-June, half the 0.6 percent pace that was expected. Annualized, Japan’s GDP expanded just 1.4% in the second quarter, a substantial drop from the 5.5 percent growth posted in the first quarter. GDP data from Germany (the euro zone`s largest economy) showed only a 0.3% expansion in the second quarter.
France’s economy was flat in the same period. GDP in Portugal and Spain contracted 1.2% and 0.4%, respectively, in the second quarter contributing to a 0.2% fall for the euro zone on the whole during the quarter.
It is the litany of weak economic information that has helped buoy the markets via an undertone of increased likelihood of central banks taking action. On the other side of the coin, the markets have seen a fair share of positive economic data (as detailed above) that ironically is creating negative forces on Wall Street because signs of growth can actually have an adverse effect on policy makers springing to action. Factor-in the presidential election that is drawing closer in the United States and September should be an interesting month to say the least.
Monthly Indices Results:
* S&P TSX Composite: up 2.44% (+284.55 pts.) * TSX-Venture: up 4.89% (+57.85 pts.) * Dow Jones Industrial Average: up 0.63% (+82.16 pts.) * S&P 500: up 1.98% (+27.26 pts.) * NASDAQ: up 0.4.34% (+127.44 pts.) Monthly Equity Market Snapshot:
(All percentages on a monthly basis unless otherwise noted) * August was chock-full of news from household name companies and merger news. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB, -16.82%) stock continues to fall-apart since its high profile IPO in May. Shares are now worth 52.47% less than the original $38 IPO price. August featured the expiration of Facebook`s “lock-up” period, giving insiders the right to sell shares acquired before the initial public offering and they unloaded hard. Board member and one of the earliest FB investors Peter Thiel dumped the vast majority of his position; netting him about $1 billion from his original $500,000 investment. About 271 million shares were released in mid-August, while more than 1.3 billion shares will become available for trading by mid-November.
Rubbing salt in the wounds, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and BMO Capital cut their price targets for FB and Stifel Nicolaus trimmed its forecast on the social network company.
* The historic patent battle between Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL, +9.39%) and Samsung came to an end (sort of…Samsung is appealing the verdict) as a California jury found Samsung had infringed on the majority of the patents in question – including software features like double-tap zooming and scrolling – and recommended that Apple be awarded more than $1 billion U.S. in damages. As a result of the win, Apple has filed an injunction with the courts to have 8 of Samsung`s phones banned from US sales. Apple is also the topic of speculation that it is going to become a Dow component and possibly do a stock split.
During the month, Apple continued to make new all-time highs and solidify itself as the most valuable public company ever with a market cap of $623.6 billion. Right now, Apple is more than 54 percent more valuable than #2 Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM, +1.17%) at $402.97 billion.
* In more things legal, a federal arbitrator sided with Air Canada (TSX:AC.B, -5.26%) in its dispute with the union representing its pilots saying that the five-year collective agreement will be effective until April 2016. Shares of Air Canada had been taking a beating amongst arguments with its workers and their unions.
* The gavel also swung as the chief executive of Peregrine Financial Group Inc., Russell Wasendorf Sr., was indicted on 31 charges of lying to government regulators regarding the failed brokerage`s operations.
Wasendorf faces a maximum sentence of 155 years` imprisonment on the charges and fines of about $7.75 million. Wasendorf was arrested July 13, just 4 days after he attempted suicide and left a confession detailing a two-decade long fraud against Peregrine`s customers.
* Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG, +8.23%) announced that it is cutting about 20 percent of Motorola Mobility`s – a company it acquired in May in a $12.5 billion – work force, a move the phone maker said is designed to return its mobile devices unit to profitability, after it lost money in fourteen of the last sixteen quarters. Motorola will shave 4,000 positions of a total of about 20,000. Two-thirds of the reductions will take place outside the U.S.
* In a downward spiral that is accelerating, Groupon Inc.
(NASDAQ:GRPN, -37.69%) missed Wall Street`s expectations with its latest earnings report. Further, the daily deals company and LivingSocial Inc. were sued by XcellaSave Inc., a patent owner claiming that the online marketers are infringing protected technology related to mobile phone advertising. During the month, Citigroup and Barclays both slashed their ratings on Groupon. Shares have plummeted nearly 80 percent from its IPO price last November.
* Kinross Gold Corp. (NYSE:KGC, +7.10%) was in the news as it replaced its president and CEO Tye Burt in a decision the company felt was necessary to move forward with its plan to improve its lagging performance.
* Merger & Acquisitions were still steady throughout the month.
Shares of oil-field equipment maker National Oilwell Varco Inc.
* QEP Resources (NYSE:QEP, -4.39%) reported that it inked a total of $1.38 billion worth of all-cash deals with Black Hills Corp.
(NYSE:BKH, +8.64%) and Unit Corp. (NYSE:UNT, +0.05%) to acquire properties in North Dakota promising “significant crude-oil development.” The acquisitions give QEP a net daily production of about 10,500 barrels of oil equivalent as well as development opportunities near its existing core acreage in the Williston Basin.
* Verint Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:VRNT, +2.58%) said that it plans to acquire its holding company, Comverse Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:CMVT, +10.50%), for at least $780.7 million in stock after Comverse Technology spins off its telecommunications billing software unit.
* Retirement home operator Sunrise Senior Living Inc. (NYSE:SRZ, +115.27%) bolted ahead after the company agreed to be acquired by Health Care REIT Inc. (NYSE:HCN, -4.96%), the world’s third largest real estate investment trust, for $14.50 per share in a deal valued at about $845 million. Spotlighting an aging population and demand potential, others in the industry got a boost too with Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE:BKD, +32.02%) and Five Star Quality Care (NYSE:FVE, +32.49%) making strong moves.
* Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET, +6.52%) confirmed plans to buy Coventry Health Care Inc. (NYSE:CVH, +24.90%) in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $5.7 billion that will make Aetna one of the largest providers of government-financed health care.
* New York-based asset management firm Carlyle Group (NASDAQ:CG, +7.31%) said it will pay $3.3 billion to Hellman & Friedman to purchase Getty Images, the creator and distributor of photos, video and multi-media products. Per the deal, Carlyle will acquire a controlling stake in Getty Images, with Mark Getty, co-founder and chairman of the firm, rolling his ownership interests into the transaction.
* In what could be called anti-merger news, Rona Inc. (TSX:RON, -4.81%) refused an unsolicited takeover from American competitor Lowe`s Companies (NYSE:LOW, +12.26%) valued at $1.76 billion. Rona said the offer from Lowe`s wouldn`t be in its shareholders` best interests.
* Shares of First Solar Inc (NASDAQ:FSLR, +28.64%) may have found their bottom in early June; continuing their climb from those lows.
Shares got a helping hand this month as the company posted an 82% jump in second-quarter profit.
* Casino giant Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS, +16.39%) is being probed by federal authorities with investigators questioning if the company violated money-laundering laws by not reporting millions of dollars that were transferred to the casino by high rollers. The US attorney`s office is delving into money handled by the casino from a client that was later indicted on drug trafficking charges and a California executive who was convicted of taking illegal kickbacks.
* Research in Motion (TSX:RIM, -8.50%) fell from intra-month highs to post its 14 red month out of the last 17. The once-tech darling of Canada got a pop when Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said the embattled tech company may be looking to license its new operating system to Samsung, but crumpled upon earnings that fell shy of analysts` estimates. For the first time, RIM has fallen out of the top five in global smartphone shipments and only commands less than five percent of the smartphone market share now. The phone maker has also begun showing its newest smartphone with the new BlackBerry 10 operating system to wireless carriers globally, but is still months away from starting to sell them.
* Knight Capital Group Inc. (NYSE:KCG, -73.28%) received a $400 million cash infusion through the sale of convertible securities to outfits like TD Ameritrade Holdings and Blackstone Group LP. The bailout will help save Knight, who has been flirting with bankruptcy after a computer breakdown on August 1 cost the company about $440 million. The dilutive financing will add roughly 267 million common shares to Knight`s share structure. The beleaguered market maker also said that it supports Nasdaq`s proposal to pay $62 million to companies that suffered losses in Facebook Inc.`s public debut.
* Pfizer (NYSE:PFE, +0.17%) discontinued clinical studies on an Alzheimer drug it was developing with a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ, -1.70%). In a separate matter, Pfizer settled charges that it bribed doctors and government officials in several overseas markets by agreeing to pay $26.3 million to the Security and Exchange Commission.
* Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE:LLY, +3.16%) said that two Phase III clinical trials for its Solanezumab drug for patients with Alzheimer`s disease did not meet their primary endpoints. The company is still encouraged and said that the pooled data from both trials “showed statistically significant slowing of cognitive decline in the overall study population of patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer`s disease.” The drug maker intends to discuss the findings with the FDA to discuss the next course of action in development.
* Internet company Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO, -7.51%) saw its stock turn lower after SEC filings showed that new CEO Marissa Mayer is reviewing a business strategy which may result in the company scotching plans to give shareholders a multi-billion dollar payout as part of the cash generated by the sale of Yahoo`s stake in Chinese internet giant Alibaba.
* On the IPO front, Manchester United PLC (NYSE:MANU) made its debut and raised $233.3 million with shares of the English soccer club priced at $14 each, beneath the marketed $16 to $20 range. Shares closed the first month for MANU at $13.30 each. Bloomin` Brands (NASDAQ:BLMN), the owner of Outback Steakhouse as well as smaller chains like Carrabba`s Italian Grill and Bonefish Grill, saw its shares appreciate from their reduced-IPO price of $11. Shares rose as high as $14 during the month and closed on Friday at $12.98.
* Film-streaming service Netflix Inc.(NASDAQ:NFLX, +5.05%) said that it will attempt to outbid British Sky Broadcasting Group PLC (the current holder of the rights) in securing the premium rights to movies from Hollywood`s six biggest studios. Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings acknowledged the size and power of BSkyB, but conveyed that Netflix is ready to invest heavily to take the rights. Netflix launched in the U.K. and Ireland in January and has already signed up more than 1 million customers.
* ATP Oil & Gas (Pink Sheets:ATPGQ, -81.06%) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing corporate struggles resulting from the rising costs associated with its deep-water drilling projects in the Gulf of Mexico. Shares have plummeted from $55 in April to $2.00.
Monthly Penny Stocks To Watch Leaders & Company Spotlight Results:
Among the stocks that we watched in August, the champion of the month in Canada was miner Excelsior Mining Corp. (TSX-Venture:MIN) whom we selected as a penny stock to watch on August 3 at a price of 23 cents per share. Shares rose quickly and then channeled sideways before exploding in the third week of August to hit a high of 40 cents for a gain of 17 cents, or 73.91%. In the U.S., the winner for August was Columbia Laboratories Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRX) which we selected for one of the first penny stocks to watch of the month when shares were at 81.3 cents. Again, shares took about two weeks to explode, but they are now holding a strong uptrend, including hitting a monthly high of $1.15 last week, representing a gain of 33.7 cents, or 41.45%, per share. We congratulate all the followers of our “Penny Stocks to Watch” who were able to reap rewards from these most recent companies and look forward to another solid month of penny stocks to watch in September. Be sure to check each weekend for our new write-ups as we continue to find gems that are regularly producing solid gains.
It would be impossible to not mention the massive gains that our latest spotlight also produced in the recent week or so. When we detailed Omega Commercial Finance Corp. (OTCQB:OCFN) we spoke of the sound fundaments as well as the technicals; saying the chart looked poised to run…and run it did! Shares have moved on strong volume from our initial price of 5.2 cents each to hit a high of 34 cents last week for a whopping 553.85 percent increase for members who caught it early. Shares are still holding 20 cents (for gains of 285%), but we believe that this consolidation is healthy for the chart as it takes a breather before another potential climb. We encourage our members to read all of the information that we have provided on Omega and to keep a close eye on this quickly-moving financial play.
————————- Forward Looking Statements This report includes forward-looking statements that reflect the mentioned companies current expectations about its future results, performance, prospects and opportunities. the mentioned companies has tried to identify these forward-looking statements by using words and phrases such as “may,” “will,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “intends,” “estimates,” “plan,” “should,” “typical,” “preliminary,” “we are confident” or similar expressions. These forward-looking statements are based on information currently available and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause the mentioned companies actual results, performance, prospects or opportunities to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and other factors include, without limitation, the Company`s growth expectations and ongoing funding requirements, and specifically, the Company`s growth prospects with scalable customers, and those outlined above. Other risks include the Company`s limited operating history, the Company`s history of operating losses, consumers` acceptance, the Company`s use of licensed technologies, risk of increased competition, the potential need for additional financing, the terms and conditions of any financing that is consummated, the limited trading market for the Company`s securities, the possible volatility of the Company`s stock price, the concentration of ownership, and the potential fluctuation in the Company`s operating results.
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For more information see our disclaimer section, a link of which can be found on our web site. This document contains forward-looking statements, particularly as related to the business plans of the Company, within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and are subject to the safe harbor created by these sections. Actual results may differ materially from the Company`s expectations and estimates.
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