News Column

Stocks grow by closing bell

July 9, 2014



Gold, techs take reins







Equity markets in Canada's largest centre found some traction Wednesday afternoon, as gold and tech stocks showed the way upward

The S&P/TSX composite index moved forward 78.01 points to close Wednesday at 15,215.19. The index is up about 11% this year.

The Canadian dollar gained 0.2 cents to 93.85 cents U.S.

The gold-mining sector jumped, with Goldcorp rising 46 cents, or 1.5%, to $30.19 and Barrick Gold gaining 19 cents, or 1%, to $20.14.


Financials advanced as Royal Bank of Canada climbed 67 cents, or 0.9%, to $78.50, and Bank of Nova Scotia added 27 cents, or 0.4%, to $72.16.


Shares of energy producers declined, with Canadian Natural

Resources Ltd losing 11 cents, or 0.2%, to $49.01.


In corporate news, Potash Corp's chief executive said on Tuesday he will stick with the fertilizer producer's focus on supporting the price of potash by matching output of the crop nutrient to demand, rather than maximizing sales volume to fend off competition.


The stock was down 82 cents, 2.1%, at $38.98 on Wednesday and had the biggest negative influence on the index.

Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver is expected to announce Wednesday that he has enough support from the provinces to set up a national securities regulator. Sources say Saskatchewan and New Brunswick are ready to join Ontario and British Columbia in supporting the proposal, which is opposed by Quebec and Alberta.

Ottawa says it would be more far effective if the financial markets were policed by one national body instead of the current patchwork of 13 regulators.

Real estate company Royal LePage said the average price of a home in Canada increased between 3.9% and 5.2% in the second quarter of 2014 and prices are expected to go up steadily for the rest of the year.

According to the Royal LePage survey, the average price of detached bungalows rose 5.2% to an average price of $406,454. Meanwhile, standard two-storey homes rose 5.1% year-over-year to $440,972, while standard condominiums posted gains of 3.9% to $258,501.


In the economic docket, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said that the seasonally-adjusted annual rate of housing starts rose to 198,200 units last month from May's total of 197,000 units.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange moved up 5.11 points to 1,032.63.

All but two of the 14 Toronto subgroups were positive, with gold soaring 1.5%, information technology clicking 1.7% higher, and the materials sector 0.9% to the good.

The two laggards were health-care, down 0.7%, and the metals and mining sector, listing 0.04% lower.

ON WALLSTREET

After two days of selling, investors hit the "buy" button once again Wednesday, and thanked the U.S. Federal Reserve for the rosier outlook.

The Dow Jones Industrials hiked 78.99 points to 16,985.61

The S&P 500 inched up 9.12 points to 1,972.83, and the NASDAQ composite advanced 27.57 points to 4,419.03.

Shares in Alcoa rose after kicking off earnings season by beating analyst estimates.

Overall, earnings for the companies in the S&P 500 are expected to be up 4.9% in the second quarter, compared with the same period last year, according to FactSet.

Shares in Gigamon were down again Wednesday after plunging a whopping 33% on Tuesday. The technology company had lowered its revenue guidance for the second quarter.

The Container Store was also suffering -- down around 10% -- after reporting sluggish same-store sales.

Citigroup is reported to be close to agreeing to pay $7 billion to settle a U.S. government investigation into the sale of mortgage backed securities. The deal would include billions in help for borrowers, according to the reports. The stock has moved little.

J P Morgan paid $13 billion U.S. last year to settle similar charges.

The latest news from the Fed caused stocks to jump. The minutes from their latest meeting seemed to assuage fears about any precipitous interest rate increases.

The Fed could end its bond buying program as soon as October, assuming the economy continues to perform as officials expect, according to minutes from the central bank's June policy meeting.

The Fed has been shrinking its monthly bond purchases since January and is widely expected to complete the program this year. But the Fed had not mentioned a specific month until now.

Prices for 10-year U.S. Treasuries gained, lowering yields to 2.55% from Tuesday's 2.56%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices skidded $1.21 to $102.19 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices vaulted $14.00 to $1,334.30 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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