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Indices Climb by Noon

Baystreet.ca
Stocks in Canada’s largest market got some traction midday Thursday, as investors took in a raft of ...


Stocks in Canada’s largest market got some traction midday Thursday, as investors took in a raft of corporate earnings and as resource-related shares benefited from a rise in commodity prices.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 29.16 points to greet noon at 15,553.17

The Canadian dollar dropped 0.12 cents to 78.63 cents U.S.

Magna International provided one of the biggest boosts to the index, rising 2.3% to $71.19 a share after the auto parts maker's quarterly results were lifted by higher sales in Europe and the launch of new cars for BMW and Jaguar.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce rose 0.5% to $117.07 a share after its quarterly results topped expectations on a strong performance in all business units and an expansion in the United States.

But the financial sector as a whole gave up an early advance to trade 0.1 percent lower, with Bank of Nova Scotia down 0.5% at $77.60 a share.

A gain in spot gold prices also boosted the resource sector, with shares of Teck Resources up 1.8% at $37.58 a share.

Among other companies that reported results, SNC-Lavalin advanced 3.4% to $55.28 a share after its profit topped expectations and the company gave a strong forecast for 2018.

On the downside, Loblaw Cos Ltd declined 1.7% to $64.22 a share following its quarterly report.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada announced retail sales decreased 0.8% in December to $49.6 billion, after three straight monthly hikes.

Despite this decline, the agency adds, retail sales were up 1.5% in the fourth quarter and up 6.7% for the year.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange eked ahead 0.71 points to 828.78

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were positive to begin the day, with materials up 0.8%, information technology soaring 0.6%, and gold better by 0.5%.

The five laggards were weighed most by utilities and consumer staples, sagging 0.4% each, and real-estate, sinking 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

The Dow Jones Industrials screamed higher 324.83 points, or 1.3%, to head toward noon ET at 25,122.61, with United Technologies as the best-performing stock in the index.

The S&P 500 hiked 28.28 points to 2,729.61, with real estate and energy rising more than 1.5%.

The NASDAQ leaped 55.6 points to 7,273.82

In corporate news, Chesapeake Energy shares jumped more than 25% after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings. The stock was also the best performer in the S&P 500.

Meanwhile, Roku's stock shed 14% after the streaming company issued weaker-than-expected revenue guidance for the current quarter.

Earlier this month, stocks suffered their first 10% pullback since early 2016. The Dow, S&P 500 and NASDAQ all closed in correction territory on Feb. 8. The move lower was sparked, in part, by fears of rising inflation and higher interest rates.

But the major averages were quick to recover some of those losses. As of Wednesday's close, the NASDAQ had regained about 62% of the losses suffered, while the S&P 500 and Dow had jumped about 40% and 35%.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note were lower, raising yields to 2.92% from Wednesday’s 2.95%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained $1.03 a barrel to $62.71 U.S.

Gold prices slipped one dollar to $1,331.10 U.S. an ounce.