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Jul. 9, 2001. 01:30 AM
Week ahead: No recovery soon
Bulls run in Pamplona but bears run markets after bleak reports
A discouraging week on markets in Toronto
and New York left analysts with intensified
fears that a turnaround in the North American
economy won't occur before 2002.
And analysts are predicting that the second
quarter will be the year's worst for corporate
profits, especially among tech firms - so
results expected this week aren't likely to
give investors comfort.
Among U.S. firms announcing quarterly
results this week are Motorola Inc. (NYSE:
MOT) and Yahoo Corp. (Nasdaq: YHOO),
both Wednesday, and Internet equipment
maker Juniper Networks (Nasdaq: JNPR)
"The weak economic numbers out (last
Friday) morning blew a chill into the market,"
said Nereo Piticco of Toronto-based PCJ
Investment Counsel, referring to corporate
profit warnings and government reports that more Canadians and
Americans were out of work last month.
He added that the profit warnings disappointed investors hoping the worst
"Everybody is wanting to believe all the bad news is in the marketplace,
but we keep getting it."
Investors simply see no reason to buy, knowing that starting this month
hundreds of companies in a cross-section of industries will release dismal
second-quarter earnings, an Associated Press analysis explained Friday.
Since May, more than 720 firms have warned that results will miss
expectations, outnumbering those of last year's second quarter 3 to 1,
according to Thomson Financial/First Call.
For the week, the TSE gave away 142.23 points, and the near-term
outlook isn't rosy with a host of companies getting set to release quarterly
results. The Dow lost 249.72 points for the week - or 2.4 per cent - after
dropping 227.18 to 10,252.68 on Friday, its seventh straight weekly
Those who had been arguing for a sunnier view of the markets made the
best of the numbers.
"We have to reset our image of a bull market - not of a virile, robust bull,
but a skinny, scrawny bull,'' said Jon Brorson, director of equities at
Northern Trust in Chicago.
The Canadian dollar also lost some of the momentum it had held since
the previous Friday, when the loonie closed over 66 cents (U.S.) for the
first time since February. It closed Friday at 65.67 cents (.S.), down 0.43
of a cent (U.S.) from Thursday.
Traders reacted to a Statistics Canada report showing the national
unemployment rate was steady in June at seven per cent, but there was a
loss of 13,000 jobs during the month.
"One of the things that had driven the Canadian dollar up was the talk that
the Bank of Canada wouldn't be cutting rates," said Avery Shenfeld,
senior economist and currency specialist at CIBC World Markets.
"With the weakness in the Canadian employment numbers, the market is
now assuming rates will fall here, and that makes investments in Canadian
dollars less attractive."
The American jobs outlook was also poor. The U.S. Labour department
reported unemployment in June rose to 4.5 per cent as businesses cut
The Canadian dollar will also continue to fluctuate somewhat wildly,
"We're going to continue to have a fair bit of volatility, and continue to
weaken with the slower pace of economic activity."
The week ahead:
Monday, in Washington, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board reports on
consumer credit for May.
Wednesday in Montreal, hardware operator Rona Ltd. holds a special
shareholders meeting to approve its acquisition of Revy Home Centres
Inc., creating Canada's biggest chain of home renovation stores.
Thursday in Washington, the U.S. Labour Department reports on weekly
jobless claims. In New York, the largest U.S. retailers announce their
sales figures for June.
Friday in Washington, the U.S. Commerce Department reports on retail
sales for June and the Labour Department reports on the producer price
index for June.
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