Stocks Keep Gains Midday

Energy Soars

Canada’s main stock index rose on Thursday, led by gains in the energy sector, which benefited from rising oil prices.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index grew 50.95 points to greet noon hour Thursday at 16,234.88

The Canadian dollar fell 0.16 cents to 77.11 centsU.S.

Biggest boosts to the energy group were shares of Suncor Energy, rising $1.30, or 2.6%, to $52.37, and Canadian Natural Resources which gained 98 cents, or 2.3%, to $44.51

Among financials, Toronto-Dominion Bank was up 34 cents to $75.75 and Royal Bank of Canada rose 26 cents to $99.50

The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Canadian Western Bank, which jumped $1.81, or 5.3%, to $36.16, after reporting second-quarter revenue above consensus.

Dollarama fell $9.96, or 6.4%, to $146.52, the most on the TSX, after reporting first-quarter revenue and same-store sales that misses estimates.

The second biggest decliner on the TSX was Aphria, down 72 cents, or 5.6% to $12.07

The Canadian dollar was little changed against its U.S. counterpart as voters in Ontario headed to the polls and ahead of an assessment by the Bank of Canada of risks to the stability of the financial system.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture skidded 1.37 points to 773.73

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower, with health-care fading 1.7%, information technology off 1%, and consumer discretionary stocks down 1%

The four gainers were led by energy, gushing 2.3%, while financials gained 0.5%, and telecoms picked up 0.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

The NASDAQ composite pulled back for record levels on Thursday as declines in Facebook and other major tech names pushed the sector lower.

However, the Dow Jones Industrials gained 120.36 points to 25,266.75, as McDonald’s shares rose 3.2% after the company announce a fresh batch of layoffs.

The S&P 500 faded 1.8 points to 2,770.36, as gains in energy and consumer staples mitigated tech’s decline.

The NASDAQ fell 51.75 points to 7,637.49, as Facebook and Netflix both fell more than 2%. Amazon and Alphabet also contributed to the NASDAQ’s losses, sliding more than 1%

Tech has risen sharply in recent weeks, with the sector gaining more than 5% over the past month.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told the media that the U.S. struck a deal with China’s ZTE to end American sanctions against the company. Ross noted the deal includes a $1-billion penalty against ZTE and a U.S.-chosen compliance team to be embedded at ZTE.

Equities have rebounded nicely over the past month, with the major indexes rising at least 3% in that time period. Strong economic data, coupled with tech’s sharp rise, have helped push stocks higher.

Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett said he expects the economy to perform strongly for years to come. “Right now, there’s no question: It’s feeling strong. I mean, if we’re in the sixth inning, we have our sluggers coming to bat right now,” Buffett told the media.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S.Treasury gained slightly, lowering yields to 2.97% from Wednesday’s 2.98%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices picked up $1.13 at $65.86U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices regained one dollar to $1,302.40U.S. an ounce.

This article provided by NewsEdge.