“When Waking A Tiger Use A Long Stick” -Mao Tse Tung

 

Markets Rise Slightly

The Toronto stock market closed slightly higher amid a mixed bag of economic data while traders kept a close eye on how U.S. budget negotiations are progressing.  The S&P/TSX composite index gained 36.19 points to 12,239.04. The TSX Venture climbed 2.52 points to 1,220.9. The Canadian dollar was down 0.09 of a cent to 100.64 cents US as the economy stalled out during September. Statistics Canada reported there was no growth in gross domestic product during that month following a 0.1% dip during August.  That translated into third quarter economic growth of 0.6% cent on an annualized basis, versus expectations of 0.8% growth. The Dow Jones industrials added 3.76 points to 13,025.58 after a government report showed that consumers cut back on spending last month with no growth in personal income. U.S. consumer spending dropped 0.2% in October. That’s down from an increase of 0.8% in September and the weakest showing since May. The Nasdaq was 1.79 points lower to 3,010.24, while the S&P 500 index edged up 0.32 of a point to 1,416.27.

 

Fiscal Cliff Dance Continues

Markets have shown considerable sensitivity this week to every sign of progress or lack thereof in the negotiations to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, which threatens to slow the world’s biggest economy at a time when it’s still trying to recover from the last recession.

On Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner said that there had been “no substantive” progress in the budget talks. But other key figures in Washington were more optimistic, with Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer later saying progress was being made and White House spokesman Jay Carney said the Barack Obama administration remained optimistic.  With more substantive talks still to come, markets may be overreacting to the daily comments coming out of Washington. Most feel an agreement will be reached and the Republicans will have to cave in eventually on tax increases of some kind for the wealthy, given that the Democrats campaigned on doing exactly that.  Look for a settlement before Christmas with both sides claiming victory.

 

Markets Update as of November 30 2012 

The TSX closed at 12239, up 26 points or 0.21% over the past week. YTD the TSX is up 2.38%.

The DOW closed at 13026, up 16 points or 0.12% over the past week.YTD the DOW is up 6.61%.

The S&P closed at 1416, up 7 points or 0.50% over the past week.YTD the S&P is up 12.56%.

The Nasdaq closed at 3010, up 43 points or 1.45% over the past week.YTD the Nasdaq is up 15.55%.

Gold closed at 1715, down -20.00 points or -1.15% over the past week.YTD gold is up 9.58%.

Oil closed at 88.85, up 0.57 points or 0.65% over the past week.YTD oil is down -10.16%.

The USD/CAD closed at 0.9934, up 0.0008 points or 0.08% over the past week.YTD the USD/CAD is up 1.39%.

 

Sources: Bloomberg; globeadvisor; advisor.ca