US markets continue to roll, Feb. 24-28

The U.S. equity market keeps defying experts’ warning of a correction, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 219 points to 16,321.71, the S&P 500 up 23 points to 1,859.45 and the Nasdaq up 35 points to 4,308.12 for the period.

The gains came after the first revision to fourth-quarter gross domestic product showed that the American economy grew at a 2.4% annualized rate. The number matched expectations but was down from the original 3.2% forecast. The revision came after intense winter weather in parts of the country.

Word that the Japanese government had drafted a bill that would clear the way for reopening its nearly 60 nuclear plants — as well as the building of new reactors — signalled that a major source of demand for  uranium oxide was set to consume again. This was good news for uranium miners, and they dominated the largest gainers by percentage points for the period.

Uranium Resources led the charge, up 23% to US$3.21; Ur-Energy was up 22.7%; and Denison Mines gained 22%, finishing the period at US$1.63. Cameco also partook in the mini-rally, with the heavyweight producer up 15% to US$24.26 per share, while Uranerz Energy was up 13% to US$1.70.

Mines Management had a strong period. The company that plans to build a silver–copper mine in Montana saw its share price climb 15% to finish the period at US$1.36. The boost came after the company said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a “Final Draft Biological Opinions” for its Montanore silver–copper project. Since taking this big step in permitting the project, the company has shifted its focus to getting its final environmental impact study and issuing a draft Record of Decision.

Northern Dynasty Minerals wasn’t so successful on the environmental front. Investors sold shares after U.S. environmental regulators said they would block development of the company’s Pebble mine in Alaska. While Pebble could become one of the world’s biggest copper–gold mines, the regulator said a mine would cause irreversible harm to the state’s salmon fishery. Its stock dropped 33% and finished the period at US$1.


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