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Stocks Stay Positive by Noon

Baystreet.ca
Equities in Toronto rose on Thursday as gains for energy companies, financial stocks and some miners ...

Equities in Toronto rose on Thursday as gains for energy companies, financial stocks and some miners offset a pullback in marijuana producers and a slip in Shaw Communications after its quarterly earnings disappointed.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 42.26 points to greet noon at 16,290.21

The Canadian dollar squeaked 0.02 cents to 79.81 cents U.S.

The energy group climbed, as crude oil prices pushed higher, with Cenovus Energy Inc up 3.4% at $13.55 and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd rising 1.7% to $46.56.

The most influential weights on the index included Shaw Communications, which fell 1.7% to $27.48 after reporting quarterly earnings that missed expectations.

Marijuana producers also weighed, with Aphria Inc down 5% at $21.46 and Canopy Growth Corp off 3.9% at $40.27.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added strength as Alamos Gold fell 3.9% to $7.63 while Yamana Gold Inc rose 1.9% to $4.08 after each miner provided a business update to investors.

On the economic slate, Canadians saw little overall change in new home prices in November, according to Statistics Canada.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange tumbled 23.04 points, or 2.5%, to 887.7

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups remained down, with health-care losing 4%, consumer discretionaries and real-estate down 0.5% each.

The five gainers were led by energy, gushing 2.4%, while industrials and telecoms each improved 0.5%.

ON WALLSTREET

Blue chips rose to an all-time high on Thursday as investors bet economic growth would pick up steam.

The Dow Jones Industrials moved higher 117.31 points to pause for lunch at 25,486.44, led by Boeing, General Electric and Caterpillar. These names stand to benefit the most if economic growth ratchets up.

The S&P 500 acquired 10.15 points to 2,758.34, with energy and industrials as the best-performing sectors.

The NASDAQ composite index gained 29.16 points to 7,182.73, as shares of Apple gained 0.3%.

In corporate news, Walmart said it will raise its starting wage to $11 per hour and will give some employees bonuses following the tax-bill passage.

Delta Air Lines reported adjusted earnings that surpassed analyst expectations, sending the company's stock 1.5% higher. Homebuilder KB Home also posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit; the stock rose 9.1%.

BlackRock, J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo are all scheduled to report Friday. Earnings are expected to have grown by 10.6% during the fourth quarter

In economic news, U.S. producer prices fell for the first time in more than a year.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note inched down, raising yields to 2.56% from Wednesday’s 2.55%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices tacked on one dollar a barrel to $64.57 U.S.

Gold prices gained three dollars to $1,322.30 U.S. an ounce.