TSX finishes with healthy gains

By Baystreet Stock Market Update

Energy shakes off earlier weakness to lead gainers

Equity markets in Canada’s largest centre posted strong gains Wednesday, as energy charged into positive range to join health-care issues as the market leader.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index came off its highs of the day, but still finished positive 50.37 points to close Wednesday at 16,347.34

The Canadian dollar regained 0.29 cents to 76.97 cents

Leading the gainers on TSX was the energy sector as oil touched two-week highs. Suncor Energy’s rise of 90 cents, or 1.7%, to $53.41 was the biggest help to the energy sector. Canadian Natural Resources hiked 65 cents, or 1.4%, to $45.78.

Raging River Exploration added nine cents, or 1.7%, to $5.32, after receiving shareholder and court approval for its planned merger with rival Baytex Energy, whose shares were up three cents to $3.91.

Health-care also presented a strong challenge, as Bausch Health Companies rose $1.04, or 3.6%, to $30.24. Canopy Growth leaped $1.89, or 3.8%, to $52.15.

Among techs, BlackBerry eked up four cents to $13.20.

Telecoms shrank by the opening bell, as Rogers Communications retreated $1.15, or 1.7%, to $68.11, while BCE faded 24 cents to $53.76.

Magna International fell $1.26, or 1.8%, to $69.52, while Canadian Tire dipped 97 cents to $164.61.

In the industrial sector, Bombardier dropped a penny to $4.62, while Canadian National Railway reversed $1.26, or 1.1%, to $114.27.

On the economic calendar, Statistics Canada reported that, following a 2.2% increase in May, retail sales edged down 0.2% in June to $50.7 billion.

The agency went on to say sales were down in six of 11 sub-sectors, representing 52% of total retail trade, to $63.1 billion, for the second time in three months, with sales off in five of seven sub-sectors, accounting for 71% of total wholesale sales.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 6.91 points to 698.87

Seven of the 12 subgroups were higher on the day, as energy spiked 1.9%, while health-care galloped 1.5%, and information technology gained 0.8%.

The five laggards were weighed by telecoms, down 1.1%, consumer discretionary stocks, off 0.6%, and industrials, fading 0.5%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks tread water on Wednesday as Wall Street measured renewed political worries surrounding President Donald Trump against strong corporate earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 88.69 points to 25,733.60

The S&P 500 slumped 1.14 points to 2,861.82, as energy and tech outperformed. Energy stocks were boosted by a 3% rally in oil.

The NASDAQ grew 29.92 points to 7,889.10, as Netflix gained 1.9%, and Amazon picked up 1.1%

Wednesday’s moves took place as the current bull market was set to become the longest on record. Target shares jumped on strong earnings, helping stocks offset some of the losses. Home-improvement retailer Lowe’s also reported better-than-expected earnings, sending its stock up more than 6%.

The current bull market turned 3,453 days old on Wednesday. In that time, the S&P 500 has skyrocketed more than 300% in that time period. On Tuesday, it tied the one that ran from October 1990 to March 2000.

Target reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings on the back of its best same-store sales growth in 13 years. The report sent Target shares up by more than 3%

Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, pleaded guilty to eight counts related to tax fraud, campaign contributions, making false statements to a financial institution, and unlawful corporate contributions. Cohen also admitted to making payments to two women at the direction of Trump.

Meanwhile, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was found guilty on eight counts in a separate case. Five of those counts pertained to tax fraud, two to bank fraud and one to failing to file foreign bank account reports.

Stock futures fell overnight after the news came out but quickly jumped off their lows.

Also helping to boost sentiment was a media report that said a “handshake” deal between the U.S. and Mexico on the North American Free Trade Agreement could be announced on Thursday. The report said that time has been cleared on the White House schedule for the announcement.

The report comes as a nine-member delegation from Beijing is set to start talks with U.S. officials in Washington today, with the hope of finding ways to relieve friction between the two nations. The meeting comes as fresh tariffs from the U.S. on $16 billion of Chinese goods are due to come into effect this week, with Beijing having imposed the same amount in retaliatory levies on the States.

The Federal Reserve released the minutes from its meeting earlier this month. The minutes showed central bank officials are concerned that the ongoing trade war is the biggest threat to an otherwise “strong” economy.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S.Treasury gained slightly, lowering yields to 2.82% from Tuesday’s 2.84%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained $2.08 at $67.92U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices added $3.40 to $1,203.40U.S. an ounce.

This article provided by NewsEdge.