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Stocks Storm Higher to Start September

Markets in Toronto put a ribbon on a very strong week Friday, with energy and health-care issues powering the market higher.

The TSX barreled ahead 252.74 points, or 1.3%, to close Friday at 20,545.36. The gain on the week was 709 points, or 3.58%.

The Canadian dollar slid 0.49 cents to 73.52 cents U.S.

Energy was the star Friday, with MEG Energy hiking $1.32, or 5.5%, to $25.49, while Tamarack Valley Energy climbed 19 cents, or 5.2%, to $3.84.

In health-care, Chartwell Retirement Residences acquired 25 cents, or 2.4%, to $10.52, while Bausch Health Companies took on 22 cents, or 2%, to $11.50.

In consumer staples, Alimentation Couche-Tard spiked $1.70, or 2.4%, to $72.36, while George Weston grew $2.73, or 1.8%, to $152.58.

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Communications settled, though, Cogeco Communications moving downward $1.21, or 1.8%, to $65.49, while BCE skidded 84 cents, or 1.5%, to $56.40.

Gold paled by the close, with Alamos Gold sliding 51 cents, or 2.9%, to $16.87, while Lundin Gold trailed 36 cents, or 2.2%, to $15.84.

Statistics Canada informed us Friday that real gross domestic product was nearly unchanged in the second quarter, following a 0.6% rise in the first quarter.

The slowdown was attributable to continued declines in housing investment, smaller inventory accumulation, as well as slower international exports and household spending. On a monthly basis, GDP declined 0.2% in June.

The Markit Canada Purchasing Managers Index registered 48.0 in August, in contrast with a forecast of 49.2 and with last August’s reading of 49.6.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 4.92 points to 591.52, for a gain on the week of 10.3 points, or 1.8%.

All but two 12 TSX subgroups strengthened Friday, energy the champion, jumping 2%, health-care popping 1.8%, and consumer staples up 1.4%,

Communications stocks shed 0.3%, and gold fell 0.1%.

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ON WALLSTREET

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose on Friday as traders weighed the latest U.S. jobs report to conclude a winning week.

The 30-stock index rolled into the weekend with a gain of 116.17 points to 34,838.08.

The S&P 500 index advanced 8.11 points to 4,515.77.

The NASDAQ index dipped 3.15 points to 14,031,82.

The S&P 500 took on 2% and the Dow was up 1% for the week. That puts them on track for their biggest weekly advance since July. The NASDAQ is up nearly 3% week to date, also on pace for its best one-week performance since July.

Investors also pored over fresh earnings reports. Database software maker MongoDB picked up 3.5%, and Dell Technologies advanced 22%, on the back of stronger-than-expected earnings reports. Shares of athletic apparel retailer Lululemon Athletica added 5% after crushing Wall Street’s estimates.

The latest U.S. non-farm payrolls report showed the unemployment rate ticked higher to 3.8% in August, reaching its highest level in more than a year. Economists had expected it to remain at 3.5%.

August payrolls grew at a faster-than-expected pace, with 187,000 being added. However, job numbers first reported for June and July were revised down by a combined 110,000.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury sagged, raising yields to 4.18% from Thursday’s 4.10%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices climbed $2.26 to $85.89 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices poked ahead 90 cents to $1,966.80 U.S. an ounce.