News Column

TSX static ahead of Yellen speech

August 21, 2014

Home resales, jobless figures factor in

Canada's main stock index was little changed on Thursday as investors digested mixed economic data and awaited a speech from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen for clues on the direction of the central bank's monetary policy.

The S&P/TSX composite index was still negative 6.69 points to close the session out at 15,555.26

The Canadian dollar was up 0.21 cents at 91.37 cents U.S.

Financials climbed, with Royal Bank of Canada rising 0.1% to $81.66 and Toronto Dominion Bank adding 0.6% to $57.90.

Shares of energy producers received a lift from a higher U.S. crude oil price. Suncor Energy was up 0.2%, at $43.75, while Imperial Oil gained 1% to $56.75.

The gold-mining sector dropped with the bullion price. Goldcorp shed 3.5% to $30.05 and Barrick Gold declined 1.8% to $20.18.

Speaking of things economic, Statistics Canada reported this morning that the number of people receiving regular Employment Insurance benefits was little changed in June at 501,900, this, following a slight decline in May.


The TSX Venture Exchange regained 5.46 points to 1,002.16

All but four of the 14 Toronto subgroups ended the day negative, with gold tumbling 2.5%, materials sliding 1.9%, and metals and mining off 1.5%

The four gainers were led by financials, richer by 0.6%. energy, 0.5% more energetic, and telecoms, beaming 0.1% higher.


Equity markets edged higher on Thursday, with the S&P 500 hitting a new all-time high, as U.S. and German data drove confidence on economic growth and helped extend a stock rally.

The Dow Jones Industrials moved up 60.43 points to end Thursday at 17,039.56

The S&P 500 moved higher 5.87 points to 1,992.38, the 28th record close this year for the popular index of U.S. stocks.

The NASDAQ turned positive 5.62 points to 4,532.10

Hewlett-Packard Co. and Hormel Foods Corp. were the biggest winners in the S&P 500 after each company posted quarterly profit that topped expectations.

EBay Inc. was another top performer in the S&P 500, gaining more than 4% in the wake of speculation it may spin off its PayPal business.

Shares of retailer Gap Inc. edged higher in the lead up to quarterly earnings after the closing bell.

Dollar Tree Inc. shares were down 1.3% after reporting quarterly results and as Family Dollar Stores Inc. reaffirmed its support for Dollar Tree's takeover bid, rejecting a rival offer from Dollar General Corp.

In economic news, initial jobless claims fell by 14,000 to 298,000 last week, basically in line with the 300,000 claims expected by economists.

In the United States, home resales rose to a 10-month high in July, factory activity in the mid-Atlantic region hit its highest level since March 2011 in August, and a gauge of future economic activity grew solidly last month.

An August reading for the Philadelphia Fed index, a manufacturing gauge, came in at 28, besting forecasts for a reading of 18, and a manufacturing gauge from Markit also jumped.

With time to mull it over, investors appeared to further shrug off the Fed minutes released Wednesday that showed some officials arguing the groundwork should be laid for raising interest rates sooner than expected. A Thursday report showing a three-month low for Chinese factory data was also brushed aside.

Prices for 10-year U.S. Treasuries were higher, lowering yields back to Wednesday's 2.41%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices inched up 61 cents to $94.06 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices were lower by $15.90, to $1,279.30 U.S. an ounce.

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Source: Baystreet Stock Market Update (Canada)

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