U.S. markets, Nov. 18-22

The rally continued south of the border, with the S&P 500 Index making up for three days of losses and finishing 6 points higher at 1,804.76 points for the period.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 102 points to 16,064.77 in its seventh straight weekly gain — its longest streak in two years. And while not as impressive as the Dow, the Nasdaq Composite Index at least didn’t break its upward momentum, as it was up a point to 3,991.65 points.

U.S. markets made gains, which was seen as a sign that investors could find little negative news to keep them away from buying.

One possible dark cloud on the horizon, however, came out of the Fed’s latest meeting, which stoked fears that the U.S. central bank could reduce its US$85-billion monthly bond purchases in the coming months. Standing against those concerns is incoming Fed Chairman Janet Yellen, who supports low interest rate and bond-buying policies.

Uranium stocks found favour with U.S. investors, with shares of Uranium Resources, Uranerz Energy, Cameco, Denison Mines and Uranium Energy all amongst the period’s top performers. The move came as year-end approaches, which will also mark an end to a deal to turn former Soviet nuclear warheads into American nuclear energy. The deal has some concerned that there will be a supply strain in the uranium market.

Augusta Resource saw 33% of its value slip away during the period. The big sell-off came after a leaked letter from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reportedly said Augusta’s proposed mitigation measures at its Rosemont project were “inadequate to compensate for the impact to water resources from the project, as set out in the guidelines of Section 404.” This led many to believe that the EPA would deny a permit for the open-pit copper project near Tucson, Ariz. Augusta said the report was leaked by a non-governmental organization that is trying to undercut development of Rosemont by way of “inaccurate press releases” and “inappropriate comments.”


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