U.S. stocks hit ‘wall of worry’, April 13-17

After two weeks of gains, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Index ended moderately lower due to concerns about Greece’s debt negotiations, mixed U.S. corporate earnings and warnings by regulators in China about excessive borrowing on margin. Higher gasoline and housing costs, meanwhile, drove U.S. consumer prices higher in March, while the U.S. dollar fell almost 2% against a basket of major currencies. The gold price finished relatively flat at US$1,203.30 per oz. and the Philadelphia Gold and Silver Index advanced 2.4% to finish at 70.95. The Dow fell 1.3% to 17,826.30 and the S&P 500 slipped 1% to 2,081.18.

Molycorp surged 51% to US80¢ per share after the company reported a deal with Siemens to supply rare earth materials over the next decade for Siemens’ wind turbine generators. Molycorp said it would supply rare earth materials to Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., which will produce the rare earth magnets for Siemens’ direct-drive turbines. The magnets will contain lower levels of heavy rare earth elements (HREES), such as dysprosium. Molycorp and Shin-Etsu, in collaboration with Siemens Wind Power, will improve the magnet material to reach zero HREES.

A contract with India to provide uranium for electricity generation sent Cameco’s shares up US90¢ to finish at US$16.11. Under the deal with the Department of Atomic Energy, Cameco will provide 7.1 million lb. uranium concentrate through 2020. The contract is Cameco’s first with India, which operates 21 nuclear reactors providing 6,000 megawatts of nuclear capacity, meeting only 3% of its electricity needs. Another six reactors are under construction and expected to come online by 2017.

Entree Gold surged 36% to US45¢ per share on no news. The company is advancing its copper-molybdenum Ann Mason project in Nevada, and is a joint-venture partner with a carried interest on part of the Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia. 

Tahoe Resources’ shares dropped US49¢ to US$11.48. The company reported that its subsidiary in Guatemala will appeal the court-ordered confinement of an employee in charge of regulatory issues pending the investigation of a 2012 environmental claim.


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