Stocks Poke Higher Midday

Valeant Stands Out

Canada’s main stock index edged higher on Wednesday, lifted by health-care that overcame losses in gold and utility issues.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index recovered 6.87 points to wind into noon hour ET at 16,129.12

The Canadian dollar jumped 0.37 cents at 77.49 centsU.S.

The industrials sector slid led by declines in the shares of Canadian National Railway. The railroad operator said it would invest $340 million in British Columbia.

On the matter of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Mexico’s economy minister said he expects a better than 50% chance of reaching an agreement this year.

Health-care stocks again carried the day, as Valeant Pharmaceuticals ballooned $1.80, or 5.9%, to $32.40, while Canopy Growth took on 16 cents to $39.78.

In the gold sector, Alacer Gold Corp climbed seven cents, or 3%, to $2.39, while Ivanhoe Mines dipped four cents, or 1.2%, to $3.32.

The biggest drag on the TSX was Dream Global REIT, which slipped 44 cents, or 2.9%, to $14.60, following an equity offering.

Hudson’s Bay Co. recovered from a negative morning to spring ahead 16 cents, or 1.5%, to $10.62, after analysts cut price targets following dismal first-quarter results.

It’s been a busy day in the economic docket, with Statistics Canada reporting that Canada’s exports rose 1.6% to a record $48.6 billion in April, while imports were down 2.5% to $50.5 billion. As a result, Canada’s merchandise trade deficit with the world narrowed from $3.9 billion in March to $1.9 billion in April.

Also, the agency said municipalities issued $7.8 billion worth of building permits in April, down 4.6% from March. Declines were reported in every component except commercial buildings.

Western University’s IVEY Business School’s Purchasing Manager’s Index (seasonally adjusted) for May stands at 62.5, indicating that purchases were considerably lower than the previous month. That compares with 71.5 in April, and with 53.8 in May 2017

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture advanced 4.09 points to 771.94

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher by noon, mostly health-care, racing 2.9%, consumer discretionary stocks, up 0.5%, and information technology, clicking higher 0.3%.

The four laggards were weighed most by gold, tailing 0.6%, utilities, cooling 0.5%, and consumer staples, off 0.4%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose on Wednesday as bank shares rallied on higher interest rates, while Boeing climbed up.

The Dow ballooned 224.24 points to 25,024.22, with Boeing rising 1.9 percent and contributing the most to the gains. J.P Morgan and Goldman Sachs were also among the biggest contributors of gains. The Dow also broke above 25,000 for the first time since May 22.

Shares of J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley all rose more than 2%, while Goldman Sachs advanced 1.1%.

The S&P 500 grew 11.53 points to 2,760.33, as financials climbed 1.4%, getting a boost from higher interest rates.

The NASDAQ regained 17.47 points to 7,665.33, as tech tried to regain earlier losses. The index also hit a fresh all-time high earlier in the session.

Tech has been on fire recently, rising more than 6% over the past month to a record high. The best-performing tech names over that time include chip makers Advanced Micro Devices, Micron Technology and Microchip Technology. PayPal, Electronic Arts and Facebook are also up sharply over the past month.

Mexico — one of the biggest U.S. trade partners — unveiled tariffs on Tuesday that target U.S. goods such as pork, cheese and steel. This comes after the Trump administration last week slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Mexico and Canada.

Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said the country plans to slap dollar-for-dollar tariffs on the U.S. Meanwhile, the E.U. threatened to retaliate with tariffs of its own.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S.Treasury slouched, raising yields to 2.97% from Tuesday’s 2.91%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dipped 83 cents at $64.49U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices stayed positive $2.10 to $1,304.30U.S. an ounce.

This article provided by NewsEdge.