“Without Valentine’s Day February Would Be January” -Jim Gaffigan”


U.S. Trade Numbers, European Budget Agreement Drive Market Higher

The U.S. benchmark index rose to a fresh five-year high on Friday, after a smaller-than-expected trade deficit pointed to stronger economic activity in the fourth quarter and European leaders agreed to a seven-year budget. The S&P 500 closed at 1517.93, up 8.54 points or 0.6 per cent. The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average closed at 13,992.97, up 49.15 points or 0.4 per cent – after briefly rising above 14,000 earlier in the day. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index closed at 12,801.23, up 45.31 points or 0.4 per cent.

The U.S. trade deficit fell to $38.5-billion (U.S.) in December, a much steeper drop than expected, which points to economic growth in the fourth quarter when revised figures are released. A preliminary reading showed a contraction of 0.1 per cent.  China’s trade surplus in January was bigger than expected, with exports rising 25 per cent over last year.  In Europe, EU leaders agreed to a seven-year budget that entails the region’s first-ever spending cuts.

Housing Starts Fall In January

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says housing starts slipped sharply in January.  The agency says there were 9,904 actual starts last month, compared with 13,038 in January 2012. Urban starts decreased by 22.3% in January to 138,134 units on the seasonally adjusted annual basis.  Single urban starts fell by 11.2% to 59,318 units and multiple urban starts decreased by 28.9% to 78,816 units.  On the adjusted annual basis, rates of urban starts were down 43.9% in Ontario and 29.6% in Quebec, while they were 59.4% higher in Atlantic Canada and 7.7% higher in British Columbia.

Market Update as of February 8, 2013

The TSX closed at 12801, up 32 points or 0.25% over the past week. YTD the TSX is up 2.07%.

The DOW closed at 13993, down -17 points or -0.12% over the past week.YTD the DOW is up 6.78%.

The S&P closed at 1518, up 5 points or 0.33% over the past week.YTD the S&P is up 6.45%.

The Nasdaq closed at 3194, up 15 points or 0.47% over the past week.YTD the Nasdaq is up 3.33%.

Gold closed at 1668, changed 0.00 points or 0.00% over the past week.YTD gold is down -0.71%.

Oil closed at 95.81, down -1.84 points or -1.88% over the past week.YTD oil is up 3.50%.

The USD/CAD closed at 1.0031, up 0.0054 points or 0.54% over the past week.YTD the USD/CAD is up 1.57%.


Sources: Bloomberg,  Investment Executive, globeadvisor; advisor.ca