News Column

TSX pulls ahead to close week, May

May 30, 2014

GDP figures disappoint


Equities in Canada's biggest market found their way into the green by Friday's close, but any potential gains were weighed by metals stocks, after data showed the pace of economic growth slowed more than expected in the first quarter.

The S&P/TSX composite index improved 15.21 points to close the day, week and month at 14,604.16.

The Canadian dollar slid 0.06 cents to 92.23 cents U.S.

Experts say markets also felt the impact of investors consolidating positions on the last trading day of May.

Gold stocks led the charge out of the gutter Friday, led by Barrick Gold, up 34 cents, or nearly 2%, to $17.46. Goldcorp climbed 23 cents to $25.29.

Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals tacked on $2.30, or 1.6%, to $142.41, putting some momentum behind Thursday's gains. The company earlier in the week raised the cash component of its unsolicited offer for Botox maker Allergan Inc.

Bank shares did their best to help out the index, making it above breakeven with Royal Bank progressing 17 cents to $74.93, though Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce dipped $1.76, or 1.8%, at $95.92.

As for energy issues, Imperial Oil gave back two cents to $53.55, while Suncor added 15 cents to $41.86.

Metals stocks did not fare so well, as Teck Resources dropped 29 cents to $24.25, while Lundin Mining sank 18 cents to $5.70.

It's a big day for economic news, as Statistics Canada reported that the Gross Domestic Product rose 0.3% in the first quarter, following 0.7% growth in the fourth quarter of 2013. This was the smallest increase since the fourth quarter of 2012. On a monthly basis, real GDP by industry edged up 0.1% in March.

The agency's industrial product price index declined 0.2% in April, and its raw materials index increased 0.1% in the same month.


The TSX Venture Exchange gained 2.47 points to 983.99.

Eight of the 14 Toronto subgroups gained on the day, what with gold up 0.7%, health-care ahead 0.6%, and energy up 0.3%.

The half-dozen laggards were weighed by metals and mining and their brethren in global base metals, down 1.4% each, while real-estate sank 0.7%


All three U.S. markets were fairly flat by Friday's closing bell, but the indexes held onto sizable monthly gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average recovered 18.43 points to close Friday at 16,717.17

The S&P 500 gained 3.54 points to 1,923.57, but the NASDAQ composite index slid 5.33 points to 4,242.62

This month, S&P surged by nearly 2% to new records. The NASDAQ underwent an even more dramatic rebound after two months in the red, adding about 3% in May.

Salesforce shares were down after initially getting a bump from company announcement about a partnership with Microsoft.

Speaking of Microsoft, the news that the company's former CEO Steve Ballmer will buy the L.A. Clippers for $2 billion U.S. was having an effect on the stock of Madison Square Garden.

Shares of MSG, owners of the Knicks and the Rangers, are up more than 4% today as investors bet that the size of the Clippers deal will translate into a high valuation for New York teams, which play in biggest market in the country.

The Rangers begin play in the Stanley Cup final Wednesday against either Los Angeles or Chicago, which could also provide MSG with some lift.

Big Lots soared 13% after the retailer topped analysts' earnings expectations and raised its outlook for the rest of the year.

Apple rallied as investors continue to show renewed optimism for the tech giant. The stock has benefited from the company's $3-billion U.S. acquisition of Beats, as well as anticipation ahead of a developer's conference Monday.

Shares are up 8.5% in the past month. At roughly $640 U.S. each, they are now less than 10% from their September 2012 all time high of above $705 U.S. per share. There's also excitement about Apple's seven-to-one stock split in early June.

Shares of Ann Taylor popped 6% after the women's apparel retailer beat earnings estimates, boosted by sales increases in its more casual LOFT brand.

Prices for 10-year U.S. Treasuries remained negative, raising yields to 2.46% from Thursday's 2.45%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions

Oil prices dumped 79 cents to $102.83 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices shed $8.40 to $1,244.90 U.S. an ounce.

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Source: Baystreet Stock Market Update (Canada)