News Column

Stocks positive on day

September 3, 2014

Couche-Tard, other staples, lead charge

The Toronto stock market managed to hold onto its gains, even building on them in some cases, by Wednesday's closing bell, thanks largely to food-oriented stocks.

The S&P/TSX composite index gained 38.55 points to close Wednesday at 15,657.63.

The Canadian dollar gained back 0.37 to 91.87 cents U.S.

The energy sector, which stumbled slightly on the day, has gained roughly 17% so far this year as investors bought into undervalued stocks.

Experts said valuations were still on the low end of fair value for many oil and gas names, including Suncor Energy, which was up 0.4% at $44.11.

Elsewhere, Alimentation Couche-Tard jumped 6.7% to $35.45 after the convenience store and gas station operator posted solid results and said it had agreed to sell its aviation fuel business.

Metals and mining stocks were also strong, as First Quantum Minerals mushroomed 95 cents, or 4%, to $24.99.

Also improving on the day were information technology stocks, most notably BlackBerry, which shot higher by 2.4% to $11.69.

At the other end of the spectrum, Canexus Corp. shares fell 11.2% to $4.75 after the chemical company said it was suing MEG Energy Corp for refusing it access to a pipeline.

Analysts at CIBC called the development a "nightmare" in a note to clients. MEG was up 1.5% at $38.62.

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


The TSX Venture Exchange reversed itself and lost 1.35 points to 1,009.53.

All but four of the 14 Toronto subgroups were positive by day's end, with consumer staples muscling up 2%, metals and mining stronger by 1.5%, and information technology better by 1.3%.

The four laggards were weighed mostly by gold, down 0.7%, materials, skidding 0.3%, and health-care, down 0.2%.


Falling Apple Inc. shares dragged the S&P 500 lower in Wednesday trading. Apple represents the most heavily-weighted component of the main benchmark as well as the NASDAQ Composite.

The Dow Jones Industrials maintained gains of 10.72 points to 17,078.28

The S&P 500 dipped 1.56 points to 2,000.72. The NASDAQ slid 25.62 points to 4,572.57.

Apple Inc. shares sold off, falling 4.2% after Apple's main rival Samsung unveiled Gear, a device which serves as an adapter, turning phablets into virtual reality 3-D screens. The drop in Apple shaved off nearly three points off the S&P 500.

Infinity Pharmaceuticals Inc. soared 44% after the biotech company announced a new collaboration with AbbVie Inc. to develop and commercialize Infinity's duvelisib, a treatment for blood cancers.

Delta Air Lines Inc. was the worst performer on the S&P 500, falling 5.2% after the company lowered its operating margin view for the third quarter and raised its fuel price outlook. Even as the airline company's revenue per average seat mile increased 2% in August, the growth was at the lower end of the company's expectations.

Shares in General Motors and Ford Motors fell after both companies reported monthly sales numbers. Despite a spate of recalls, sales have continued to march upward, but lackluster numbers in August indicate a slowdown.

On the economic front, new orders for manufactured goods increased a record 10.5% in July. June's orders were revised to show a 1.5% increase instead of the previously reported 1.1% rise.

Prices for 10-year U.S. Treasuries regained lost ground, lowering yields to 2.41% from Tuesday's 2.42%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices spiked $2.46 to $95.32 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices added four dollars to $1,270.90 U.S. an ounce.

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Source: Baystreet Stock Market Update (Canada)

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