A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
That long family road trip you were planning this summer? Might want to think about pitching a tent in your backyard instead. With unrest in Egypt stoking oil supply worries just when U.S. jobs growth is pointing to stronger energy demand, crude futures posted their biggest weekly advance in more than two years. Consider filling up your car now – before gas stations have time to change their signs.
June 28 close: $103.22 (U.S.), up $6.66 or 6.9% over week
EGX 30 Index
Current events quiz! With people rioting in Cairo’s streets and the army taking over, Egypt’s stock market is:
b) going sideways;
Answer: c. Judging by the 7.3-per-cent jump in Egypt’s main index on Thursday – the biggest gain in more than a year – investors like the army a lot better than deposed president Mohammed Morsi, under whose rule the index slumped 13 per cent in June.
June 27 close: 5,334.54, up 649.45 or 13.9% over week
Mead Johnson Nutrition
There’s an easy way to fight the soaring cost of baby formula: put Coca-Cola in the bottle instead. Still, Chinese authorities – upset with the rising costs of powdered milk – are investigating whether companies including Mead Johnson, Abbott Labs, Nestlé and Danone fixed prices to drive up profits. That sucking sound isn’t a baby drinking his milk; it’s the sound of money being sucked out of investors’ portfolios.
June 28 close: $69.33 (U.S.), down $9.90 or 12.5% over week
For centuries, gold has been prized as a store of value and a symbol of wealth. Now, it has about as much appeal as a punch in the face. Just ask Barrick shareholders: Already reeling from soaring mine costs and plunging bullion prices, the shares sank to a 21-year low after strong U.S. jobs numbers fuelled speculation the Fed will pull back on stimulus, further reducing gold’s appeal.
June 28 close: $14.57, down $2.03 or 12.2% over week
First, Apple’s stock hit the wall. Now, it’s Samsung’s turn. With growth in sales of high-end smartphones starting to slow as the devices become commoditized, the South Korean electronics giant – the leading smartphone maker with about 33 per cent of the global market – warned that second-quarter earnings will miss estimates. Investors are using their stock trading apps to unload the shares.
June 28 close: 1,267,000 won, down 75,000 or 5.6% over week