Rubiales, Bombardier in focus The latest sign that Canada's economy is doing better than expected helped push the Toronto stock market higher Monday as it began a quiet trading week. The S&P/TSX composite index tacked on 62.24 points to greet noon at 13,461.84 The Canadian dollar grew 0.33 cents to 94.31 cents U.S. In corporate news, Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. says it is selling its 5% stake and transportation rights in a Colombian oil pipeline to a consortium led by a private equity unit of Franklin Templeton for $385 million U.S. in cash. Pacific Rubiales acquired its stake in the OCENSA pipeline when it bought Petrominerales Ltd. , in a $1.6-billion deal that was announced in September and closed on Nov. 28 . Proceeds from the sale will be applied to the Petrominerales transaction and reduce the cost for Pacific Rubiales to about $1.2 billion . Its shares fell a penny to $18.75 . French railway operator SNCF has exercised an option to buy an additional 30 Regio 2N double-deck electric passenger trains from Bombardier Inc. The order is valued at $379 million U.S. and brings the total number of units that SNCF has ordered to 159, Bombardier announced Monday from Berlin , where its rail division has its global headquarters. The info tech sector advanced as shares in BlackBerry jumped 3.8%, or 29 cents , to $8.03 On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported this morning that Gross Domestic Product for October rose 0.3%, up for a fourth consecutive month. The general estimate had been for gross domestic product to grow by 0.2%, compared with September's increase of 0.3% ON BAYSTREET The TSX Venture Exchange gained 6.18 points to 894.36 All but four of the 14 TSX subgroups were higher, led by information technology, gaining 1.2%, while energy moved higher 0.7%, and financials gained 0.5%. The four laggards were weighed mostly by gold, off 0.9%, while consumer staples and utilities each faded 0.2%. ON WALLSTREET The Dow Jones Industrials and S&P 500 rose to new records early Monday, while the NASDAQ climbed to a fresh 13-year high. The Dow popped 80.66 points to 16,301.80 by midday. The S&P 500 index improved 9.91 points to 1,828.23. The NASDAQ climbed 36.36 points to 4,141.10. The NASDAQ got a boost from Apple's stock surging 3%, after the company announced it had inked an important sales deal in China . The tech-laden index also got a lift from social media company Facebook which debuted as part of the S&P 500. Shares were up almost 2% in early trading as investors added the stock to their index funds. Shares of retailers Men's Warehouse and Jos. A. Bank fell. Jos. A Bank rejected last month's buyout offer from Men's Warehouse . Investors are also feeling increasingly confident after the head of the International Monetary Fund , Christine Lagarde , said her organization was much more upbeat about the U.S. economic recovery. While a so-called Santa Claus rally may continue to fuel stocks in record territory, trading volume is expected to remain light due to the holiday-shortened week. The market is only open for a half-day trading on Tuesday and is closed on Wednesday for Christmas. The latest figures out of Washington also pointed to a rosy outlook. The U.S. Commerce Department reported that Americans increased their spending in November by the most in five months, and their income edged up modestly. It says consumer spending rose 0.5% from October, when spending had risen 0.4%. It was the best showing since June. The gain was driven by a jump in spending on long-lasting durable goods such as autos. Prices for 10-year U.S. Treasuries dipped, hiking yields to 2.91% from Friday's 2.89%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions. Oil prices slid 41 cents to $98.92 U.S. a barrel. Gold prices slipped five dollars to $1,198.70 U.S. an ounce.
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