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On the rise

Uranium stocks surged Monday following a bullish Bank of America note that pointed out the Democrats under Joe Biden are increasingly embracing nuclear power, and that delays to nuclear plant closures over the next decade could meaningfully boost demand for the metal.

Cameco Corp. (CCO-T) shares were up 19 per cent , and several other uranium names weren’t far behind: Ur-Energy Inc. (URE-T) was up 12 per cent; Denison Mines Corp. (DML-T) 12 per cent; and Energy Fuels Inc. (UFL-T) 11 per cent. The Global X Uranium ETF, which holds shares in global uranium and nuclear power stocks, is up close to 9 per cent.

“If expected closures in 2021-2030 were delayed to beyond 2030, we estimate an additional 26 million pounds of global uranium demand over that period. While just a 2% increase, it helps, plus such a shift could lead to increased pressure on utilities to move forward new contracting,” Bank of America analysts led by Lawson Winder said in a note.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is reportedly studying the technical implications of extending nuclear power plant licenses to 100 years. “Successful license extensions to 100 years would allow all 94 U.S. nuclear plants in operation today to continue operating until at least 2069,” the note mentioned.

- Darcy Keith

TSX-listed silver producers jumped on Monday after silver broke above $30 an ounce for the first time since 2013 on Monday as an army of retail traders stormed into the metal after betting billions of dollars on stocks last week, triggering risks of a multi-asset melt-up in global markets.

Organized in online forums and traded with fee-free brokers such as Robinhood, small-time investors have driven a 1,600% rally in the shares of video game retailer GameStop, scooping up assets big fund managers had bet against.

The phenomenon spilled over into silver late last week.

Spot silver leapt more than 11 per cent in London to $30.03 an ounce and was on track for its biggest one-day rise since 2008, taking gains to about 19 per cent since last Wednesday.

Stocks seeing gains included Endeavour Silver Corp. (EDR-T), Pan American Silver Corp. (PAAS-T) and Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. (WPM-T).

See also: Is this a bubble or not? Three things wise investors should keep an eye on

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movie theater operator AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (AMC-N) continued to rise on top of its gains of 278 per cent respectively last week, while videogame retailer GameStop Corp. (GME-N), which jumped nearly 400 per cent, was lower.

See also: To the brink and back on GameStop - Wall Street vs Reddit

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Tesla Inc. (TSLA-Q) jumped higher after an equity analyst at Piper Sandler doubled his target price for its shares to a new high on the Street.

”2020 was a breakout year for TSLA, but in our view, the fireworks aren’t over ... we don’t think investors should be selling this stock,” said Alexander Potter.

Keeping an “overweight” recommendation for the electric vehicle maker, Mr. Potter hiked his target to US$1,200 from US$515. The current average target on the Street is US$577.28 according to Refinitiv data.

See also: Wall Street expects Tesla’s deliveries to rise by at least 50% in 2021

Kansas-based consumer finance company CURO Group Holdings Corp. (CURO-N) rose after announcing the $155-million acquisition of Toronto-based consumer financing company Flexiti Financial Inc., a provider of point-of-sale (POS) consumer financing solutions for retailers.

“After founding Flexiti, I knew this business was destined for exceptional success,” said Flexiti founder and CEO Peter Kalen. “Flexiti continues to grow at a rapid rate and this transaction will enable us to accelerate our growth trajectory. I am tremendously proud of the success that Flexiti has achieved in its seven years of operations and I have no doubt we are better positioned than ever to provide great BNPL offerings to our retail partners and cardholders.”

See also: No money down: New financing companies are transforming online shopping by offering pay-later options for small purchases

ExxonMobil Corp. (XOM-N) was narrowly lower and Chevron Corp. (CVX-N) increased amid reports its chief executives held preliminary talks in early 2020 to explore combining the two largest U.S. oil producers in what would have been the biggest merger of all time, according to people familiar with the matter.

The discussions, which are no longer active, are indicative of the pressure the energy sector’s most dominant companies faced as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and crude prices plunged.

The talks between Exxon Chief Executive Darren Woods and Chevron CEO Mike Wirth were serious enough for legal documents involving certain aspects of the merger discussions to be drafted, one of the sources said. The reason the talks ended could not be learned.

The sources requested anonymity because the matter is confidential. Exxon and Chevron, which have market capitalizations of US$190-billion and US$164-billion, respectively, declined to comment.

Dorel Industries Inc. (DII.B-T) increasedafter announcing an increase to the purchase price for its going-private transaction.

The Montreal-based company said the purchase price from the buyer group, led by Cerberus Capital Management LP, has increased to $16 from $14.50 per share.

See also: Dorel Industries accepts Cerberus-led privatization offer

With files from wires and staff

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