New gains and highs

March 11 - 15, 2013

Market news: Some indexes continued to be pushed up last week, whilst others merely flirted with new highs. The S&P, for instance, was only two points away from a new high (last set in October of 2007) before falling on Friday. The DOW gained 10 of the last 11 trading session, its winning streak failing only  on Friday. The Canadian markets have not been behaving as strongly, as commodity/mining companies are dragging them down. Additionally, Canadian banks are confronting a slowing housing market and an uncertain economy, both of which could weigh on earnings this year.

With regards to winning streaks: there have been 24 prior winning streaks of nine days or more for the Dow in the post-war period, and 11 of them (or 46 per cent) have gone on to at least a tenth day...The current winning streak, according to Bespoke, has driven the Dow up 2.85 per cent over the previous nine sessions. That is the weakest in terms of percentage gains since 1964. Suggesting these streaks are less meaningful than people make them out to be. 

Company News: Chevron has a larger market capitalization than Royal Dutch Shell. It is now the west's second largest oil and gas company, just behind ExxonMobil. 

RIM continued to do well last week amid takeover rumours; seems Lenovo may be interested. Also surged on Wednesday after announcing an order for 1 million of its BlackBerry 10 smartphones - the largest single purchase of its phones in history.

JP Morgan and the whale hearings in New York. Leaders blamed UK "underlings" or the losses. Also in financials, SAC Capital pays US $614m out to the SEC to settle insider trading charges. 

International: Last week European exchanges were similarly on a streak, quickly approaching 2007 levels. Unfortunately, Cyprus requires a bail out from its debt; as negotiations continue, concerns over a bank run persist, and markets are falling.