Stocks Turn Skyward Wednesday

Cannabis Firms Perk from Federal Word

Canada’s main stock index thundered ahead on Wednesday, reclaiming ground after Tuesday’s losses, on the shoulders of health-care and tech issues.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index vaulted 104.42 points to close Wednesday at 16,420.95

The Canadian dollar settled 0.16 cents to 75.11 centsU.S.

The biggest percentage gainers on the TSX were cannabis firms, rallying on the legalization of recreational marijuana. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau proclaimed Wednesday afternoon that pot may legally be bought and sold effective October 17.

Shares of Aphria jumped 46 cents, or 3.9%, to $12.40, and Canopy Growth rose $2.41, or 5.7% to $44.94.

The Senate legalized recreational marijuana on Tuesday, setting the stage for the country to become the first among G7 nations to legalize cannabis.

Among techs, BlackBerry picked up 10 cents to $15.89, while Constellation Software moved ahead $29.61, or 2.9%, to $1,062.10.

In the consumer staple sector, Restaurant Brands gained 19 cents to $80.97, and Saputo advanced 61 cents, or 1.4%, to $43.95.

In the gold patch, Barrick Gold gave up a penny to $17.08, while Goldcorp lost 12 cents to $18.10.

Shares of Lundin Mining slid a dime, or 1.3%, to $7.83, and New Gold were unchanged at $2.76, as copper and gold prices dipped.

The federal government believes a deal to update the North American Free Trade Agreement is still possible despite a U.S. move to impose tariffs on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Tuesday.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange leaned lower 0.04 points to 751.25

All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher, as health-care stocks muscled up 3%, while information technology and consumer staples each gained 1.6%.

Only gold – down 0.5% — and materials — losing 0.4% — missed out on the festivities.

ON WALLSTREET

The NASDAQ composite and S&P 500 closed higher on Wednesday, boosted by dealmaking activity and potentially improving trade relations between the U.S. and the European Union.

The Dow Jones Industrials stumbled 42.41 points to 24,657.80, and posted its seventh straight day of losses, its longest losing streak since March 2017. The 30-stock index briefly rose more than 100 points earlier in the session.

The S&P 500 gained 4.73 points to 2,767.32, with real estate stocks outperforming.

The NASDAQ grew 55.93 points – though off its highs of the day — to 7,781.52, and hit closed at an all-time high, led by Facebook and Netflix, which also reached record levels.

Disney raised its bid for Twenty-First Century Fox assets to $38 per share, or $71.3 billion, surpassing an offer made by rival and NBCUniversal parent Comcast. Last week, Comcast bid $65 billion in cash for Fox assets which include FX, Star TV and stakes in Sky.

The bid sent Fox up 7.5%.

Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance rose more than 5% after S&P Dow Jones Indices announced it would replace General Electric on the blue-chips index. General Electric, meanwhile, closed 0.5% lower.

Starbucks saw its stock drop by 9.1% after announcing it plans to close more than 150 stores in the next year and after lowering its sales guidance for the third quarter. The stock also posted its worst day since July 2017 and is on track for its worst week since 2016.

Trade tensions among the largest economies in the world have increased recently as the Trump administration aims at obtaining more favorable trade deals and conditions for the U.S.

But investors got a reprieve Wednesday from the negative news on trade. The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. ambassador to Germany had met with the leaders of German car makers BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler, where they pitched the idea of ending car tariffs between the U.S. and the EU.

During these talks, the executives said they would be in favour of scrapping these levies as part of a broader deal encompassing industrial goods, the Journal said.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S.Treasury fell hard, raising yields to 2.94% from Tuesday’s 2.89%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained 67 cents to $65.57U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices faltered seven dollars at $1,271.60U.S. an ounce.

This article provided by NewsEdge.