News Column

6-yr. peak for TSX

June 9, 2014

Energy stocks show muscle

Canada's main stock index rose on Monday to its highest in nearly six years after higher commodity prices helped drive up shares in the energy and mining sectors.

The S&P/TSX composite index gained 45.84 points to break for lunch at 14,884.74

The Canadian dollar grew 0.17 cents to 91.66 cents U.S.

The Toronto market has gained more than 9% this year, but some investors are starting to get concerned about stock prices outpacing fundamentals.

Shares of energy producers climbed as Suncor Energy was up 0.7% at $43.15, and Canadian Natural Resources advanced 0.2% to $46.10.

The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, gained as Barrick Gold added 0.6% to $17.62, and Agrium rose 0.5% to $99.69.

In corporate news, Ritchie Bros Auctioneers jumped 6%, to $26.75, after Cantor Fitzgerald and raised its rating on the stock.

On matters economic, Canadian housing starts picked up more than expected in May and the number for April was revised higher.

A report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp showed the seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of housing starts rose to 198,324 in May from an upwardly revised 196,687 units in April. That surpassed analysts' expectations for a May reading of 185,000.


The TSX Venture Exchange gained 2.98 points to 990.43

All but three of the 14 Toronto subgroups were higher, with utilities, energy and industrial stocks each gaining 0.6%.

The three laggards were health-care, listing lower by 0.5%, gold, off 0.2%, and metals and mining weaker by 0.04%.


The announcement of deals and bidding wars gave investors lots to digest and trade on this morning.

The Dow gained 34.47 points, to greet noon at 16,958.75, another all-time high.

The S&P 500 added 4.58 points to 1,954.02 also a new peak for that index -- and the NASDAQ composite index took on 24.18 points, to 4,345.58

If the S&P 500 ends higher on Monday, that will mark its 11th rise of the past 13 sessions, and its seventh record close of the past eight trading days. While Wall Street's upward trend looks intact, traders may need new catalysts to bid the market up further lest the momentum runs out of steam.

Merck announced earlier this morning that it was going to acquire Idenix Pharmaceuticals, a Hepatitis C drug producer, for $24.50 U.S. a share. Merck shares are flat while Idenix stock is up an eye-popping 231%.

In other merger news, Tyson Foods announced its plans to acquire Hillshire Brands for $63 U.S. a share, ending its bidding war with Pilgrim's Pride for the maker of brands like Jimmy Dean and Hillshire Farm.

Tyson stock is down nearly 5%, Hillshire stock is up about 5%, and Pilgrim's Pride is trading 6% lower.

Hedge fund manager Carl Icahn, of Icahn Enterprises, announced a 9.3% stake in Family Dollar on Friday after the bell, and now the whole discount retail sector is drawing excitement.

Family Dollar shares are up 14% this morning. Rival retailer Dollar General is up 11% as investors consider whether Icahn may push for the two companies to merge. Shares of Dollar Tree are also 2% higher.

Apple's seven-for-one stock split goes into effect today. The tech giant is issuing more shares to existing investors in order to bring down the price of the stock and bring in more retail investors. Apple stock closed at about $646 U.S. Friday, but started trading today at $92.70 U.S. this morning. Shares have bounced around but are currently flat.

Time Inc, the magazine publisher of Time, Fortune, Sports Illustrated and other titles, began its first day of trading after being spun off of TimeWarner. Shares are down more than 5% so far.

After a surge in late trading on Friday, K-Cup coffee company Keurig Green Mountain is trading more than 6% lower.

Prices for 10-year U.S. Treasuries dropped, raising yields to 2.61% from Friday's 2.60%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions

Oil prices up $1.46 to $104.12 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained 40 cents at $1,252.90 U.S. an ounce.

For more stories on investments and markets, please see HispanicBusiness' Finance Channel

Source: Baystreet Stock Market Update (Canada)

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