News Column

TSX stronger by close

June 4, 2014

BlackBerry blooms

Canada's main stock index moved higher on Wednesday although sluggish U.S. private-sector job growth and a drop in the price of copper fueled declines in the mining sector.

The S&P/TSX composite index moved ahead 62.10 points to finish Wednesday at 14,796.79. The index is up 8% on the year so far.

The Canadian dollar lopped off 0.27 cents to 91.42 cents U.S.

Information technology stocks remained the stars, with BlackBerry clicking 32 cents, or 3.9%, higher to $8.47.

Consumer discretionary stocks were also winners, with Linamar Corp. up $1.69, or 2.7%, to $65.21.

Copper futures were down, weighing on shares of miners such as Teck Resources and First Quantum Minerals.

Shares of energy producers declined despite higher oil prices. Enbridge Inc shed nine cents to $51.80, and Talisman Energy fell six cents to $11.16.

Among mining stocks, First Quantum lost 41 cents, or 1.8%, to $22.15 and Teck lost 38 cents, or 1.6%, to $23.81.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported this morning that our merchandise exports declined 1.8% with imports hiking 1.4% in April.

As a result, Canada's trade balance with the world went from a surplus of $766 million in March to a deficit of $638 million in April.

The Bank of Canada today announced that it is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1%. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1.25% and the deposit rate is 0.75%


The TSX Venture Exchange notched higher by 0.35 points to 982.37.

All but four of the 14 Toronto subgroups were higher by day's end, championed by information technology stocks, up 1.3%, while consumer discretionary and industrial issues each took on 1%.

The four laggards were weighed most by health-care stocks, off 0.7%, metals and mining, down 0.3%, and real-estate stocks, swooning 0.1%.


After a sluggish start, stocks were up modestly Wednesday afternoon. But investors are wary of making any big moves ahead of two big events later this week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average forged ahead 15.19 points to 16,737.53

The S&P 500 picked up 3.64 points to 1,927.02 yet another all-time record -- and the NASDAQ composite index gained 17.56 points to 4,251.64

General Motors shares gained more than 3%, extending a two-week long rally for the troubled automaker. Investors are waiting for the results of an internal probe from GM that will be released Thursday about why it took so long to recall cars with a faulty ignition switch that was tied to the deaths of at least 13 people.

Shares or Walgreen gained 4.5% after the drugstore chain reported strong sales for May.

Handbag and accessory maker Coach continues to struggle. It is down around 2.5% and off more than 30% for the year as it struggles to remake its brand and boost sales.

Apple shares rose to a new 52-week high of over $646 U.S., bouncing back after taking a hit earlier this week. The iPhone maker unveiled new features for its various devices on Monday, to mixed reviews. On Friday, Apple's seven-for-one stock split takes effect.

On the earnings front, Brown-Forman, the maker of Jack Daniel's whiskey, reported quarterly results that topped expectations. The stock was little changed but has been among the top 10% of S&P 500 companies this year.

Shares of companies that make solar panels were warming up. First Solar and SolarCity were both significantly higher, possibly benefiting from the proposed carbon cutting plan from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Data from paycheque processor ADP showed that private sector payrolls grew by 179,000 in May, which was below the 210,000 figure that economists had predicted.

The private sector data is often seen as a preview of the government's monthly report on hiring and unemployment, which comes out Friday.

The upcoming jobs report could mark an important milestone. The U.S. economy needs to add 113,000 more jobs in order to finally recover all the jobs lost in the financial crisis.

Meanwhile, investors are also looking ahead to monetary policy announcement from the European Central Bank on Thursday.

The ECB is widely expected to cut interest rates, and could announce other stimulus measures, to prevent low inflation from derailing the fitful euro-zone economic recovery.

Prices for 10-year U.S. Treasuries slid, raising yields to 2.61% from Tuesday's 2.59%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions

Oil prices slid 18 cents to $102.48 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices were down 90 cents at $1,243.60 U.S. an ounce.

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Source: Baystreet Stock Market Update (Canada)

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