American Market News


Cannabis Stocks Limit TSX Gains


Telecoms Prove Star of the Show

Oct 17 2017 04:36 pm EST


Stocks in Canada stayed tenaciously above the breakeven mark Tuesday, despite downward tugs from the health-care and materials sector.

Telecoms and utilities did their bit to move the index forward.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 14.2 points Tuesday at 15,816.90

The Canadian dollar fell 0.05 cents to 79.82 cents U.S.

Health-care stocks took a beating on the day, as Aphria slumped $1.07, or 13.5%, to $6.85, while Canopy Growth stumbled 62 cents, or 4.7%, to $12.51.

In the materials sector, Lundin Mining gave up 16 cents, or 1.6%, to $9.71, and Atalaya Mining dived 25 cents, or 7.7%, to $3.00.

The biggest gains were featured in the telecom sector, where TELUS acquired 15 cents to $45.17, while Rogers Communications took on 40 cents to $67.60.

Utilities also flourished, as Fortis climbed 39 cents to $46.53.

Trade ministers from the United States, Canada and Mexico wrap up a contentious round of NAFTA trade talks on Tuesday marked by aggressive U.S. demands that have left the future of the 23-year-old free trade pact in doubt.

The Bank of Canada said Monday Canadian companies have seen capacity and labour market pressures intensify over the past year, but that has not yet hit their ability to meet demand, underscoring expectations the bank will not raise interest rates next week.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange faded 1.41 points to end Tuesday at 791.08

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were positive by the close, as telecoms jumped 0.7%, utilities improved 0.6%, and industrials were better by 0.3%.

The four laggards were weighed most by health-care, down 1.5%, materials, sliding 0.6%, and consumer staples, dipping 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

America''s main stock index scaled new heights, broke above 23,000 for the first time on an intraday basis.

The Dow Jones Industrials index added 40.48 points to Monday''s all-time record, closing at 22,997.44, buoyed by shares of UnitedHealth and Johnson & Johnson. The index also posted intraday and closing records.

Boeing and Caterpillar were the biggest point contributors on the Dow since Aug. 2, when the index first broke above 22,000. They added 142 points and 121 points, respectively. The two stocks have had a stellar year, rising 65.9% and 41.2% respectively.

Home Depot and Goldman Sachs, meanwhile, contributed 97 points and 87 points to the Dow''s latest 1,000-point run.

The S&P 500 squeezed higher 1.72 points to 2,559.36

The NASDAQ slid 0.35 points to 6,621.38, after shares of streaming giant Netflix pulled back 1.6%. Netflix posted better-than-expected earnings and revenue, boosted by stronger-than-expected subscriber growth. The stock hit a record high before retreating.

UnitedHealth reported a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit and raised its full-year adjusted earnings forecast, helped by growth across all its businesses. Shares of the largest U.S. health insurer rose 5.5% to hit an all-time high.

Johnson & Johnson also reported better-than-expected quarterly results, driven by its pharmaceutical business and its recent acquisition of Swiss biotech Actelion and other businesses. The company''s stock rose more than 3.4% and hit an all-time high.

Shares of Morgan Stanley hit levels not seen since May 2008. The company''s wealth management business posted strong quarterly results.

Goldman Sachs'' stock slipped 2.6%; it briefly traded higher after its third-quarter earnings and revenue beat Wall Street expectations.

Fixed-income trading revenue totaled $1.45 billion, a 26% year-over-year drop, but was enough to top an experts'' estimate of $1.38 billion.

JPMorgan touched an all-time high earlier in the day before it also rolled over.

This earnings season is off to a good start. As of Tuesday morning, 82% of the companies that had reported topped Wall Street earnings estimates, while 76% had surpassed revenue estimates

Hopes of U.S. tax reform have received a boost lately after the House of Representatives passed a $4.1-trillion budget. The Senate is expected to vote on a budget bill later this week.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note regained lost strength, lowering yields to Monday''s 2.3%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices inched up 13 cents a barrel to $52.00 U.S.

Gold prices lost $14.80 to $1,286.50 U.S. an ounce