News Column

Stocks keep momentum

July 16, 2014

Gold, staples strongest

Equity markets in Toronto strengthened on Wednesday as positive economic data from China helped boost commodity prices and shares in the natural resource sectors.

The S&P/TSX composite index climbed 121.23 points to pause for lunch at 15,203.05.

The Canadian dollar forged ahead 0.04 cents to 92.99 cents U.S.

The index is up nearly 12% this year, but some investors are worried about valuations getting extended and the likelihood of a possible correction.

Financials added strength as Bank of Nova Scotia gained 0.9% to $73.38.

Shares of energy producers reflected a rise in the price of U.S. crude oil. Suncor Energy climbed 1.1% to $44.67, and Canadian Natural Resources rose 1.1% to $47.92.

The gold-mining sector rebounded with the bullion price after sharp declines in the previous two sessions. Goldcorp advanced 1% to $29.31, and Barrick Gold jumped 1.3% to $19.97.

Barrick also announced that Chief Executive Officer Jamie Sokalsky would step down on Sept. 15.

BlackBerry shares tumbled 5.3%, to $11.50, a day after IBM said it planned to partner with Apple Inc to sell iPhones and iPads loaded with applications geared to business users.

China's economic growth picked up slightly in the second quarter, topping market expectations, as it benefited from the government's stimulus measures.

Back home, the Bank of Canada announced this morning that it is standing pat on its overnight rate at 1%. The bank rate is 1.25% and the deposit rate is 0.75%

Elsewhere on the economic front, Statistics Canada reported this morning that manufacturing sales rose 1.6% to $51.6 billion in May, the fourth increase in five months.


The TSX Venture Exchange gained 4.74 points to 1,011.31.

All but one of the 14 Toronto subgroups were higher, with gold up 2%, while consumer staples and telecoms each improved 1.3%,

The lone laggard was information technology, down 1,3%.


Worries over a possible bubble in biotech and social media stocks quickly faded, sending stocks to record highs at Wednesday's midpoint. .

The Dow Jones Industrials moved forward 58.66 points to yet another all-time high of 17,119.34 by noon ET.

The S&P 500 recovered 6.42 points to 1,979.70, and the NASDAQ composite bolted higher 15.28 points to 4,431.67

The S&P 500 is also flirting with its 26th record close of the year. The broad index would have to finish above 1,985 for that to happen and earlier it was just a few points away.

Time Warner shares surged16% after the owner of HBO and CNNMoney confirmed it received and rejected a takeover offer from Murdoch's 21st Century Fox.

Shares of 21st Century Fox, which also owns Fox News and The Wall Street Journal, dropped about 3% on the M&A buzz. While Time Warner rebuffed the buyout, stay tuned for more drama in this emerging story.

In the mean time, the Time Warner story drove up prices of other media stocks, includingDiscovery Communication, CBS, Comcast, Walt Disney Co. and Scripps Networks Interactive.

In the tech world, shares of both IBM and Apple floated higher after they announced they would join forces to offer iPhones and iPads preloaded with special software developed by IBM. The alliance drove down shares of BlackBerry by almost 8%.

FireEye is heating back up. The cyber security company popped 4% after Goldman Sachs put a buy rating on the stock. But it's still trading at just $35 U.S., which is a far from the nearly $100 U.S. level it flirted with as recently as March.

Earnings continue to largely impress. Intel rose nearly 6% after the chip maker posted earnings that beat expectations and announced plans to boost its share repurchase program by $20 billion U.S. Intel is now the top performing stock in the Dow for 2014.

Textron Inc gained altitude, rising 4% on the Cessna maker's higher profits and jumping revenue.

The world's second biggest economy grew by 7.5% compared with the same period last year, despite continued worries about a slowdown in real estate. It was the first time the economy has accelerated in three quarters, putting China on a somewhat better footing to reach its official growth target of 7.5% for 2014.

Investors focused on a number of positives, including stronger growth in China, a string of upbeat earnings reports and M&A chatter about the media sector.

Prices for 10-year U.S. Treasuries regained some strength, lowering yields to 2.54% from Tuesday's 2.55%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained 96 cents to $100.92 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices added $5.20 to $1,302.30 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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