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Stocks Conclude Week on Upbeat Note

Mar 15, 2019 (Baystreet.ca via COMTEX) --

Equities in Canada's largest market showed strength right to the end of Friday's session, stepping onto the shoulders of health-care and financial issues.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 52.37 points to conclude Friday and the week at 16,139.92

The Canadian dollar subtracted 0.15 cents at 74.90 cents U.S.

Health-care stocks proved to be the stars, with Aurora Cannabis spiking 86 cents, or 7.2%, to $12.78, while Canopy Growth climbed 31 cents to $60.90.

Financials also shared in the booty, as Royal Bank of Canada prospered 92 cents to $103.56, while Toronto-Dominion surged 44 cents to $75.47.

Communications stocks also enjoyed success, BCE clicking 58 cents, or 1%, higher to $58.89, while Shaw Communications took on 12 cents to $27.70.

Energy stocks struck a sour note, as Canadian Natural Resources faded 42 cents, or 1.1%, to $36.99, while Imperial Oil docked 41 cents, or 1.1%, to $36.35.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada said manufacturing sales increased 1.0% to $57.1 billion in January, following three consecutive monthly decreases.

Higher sales in the food as well as the electrical equipment, appliance and component industries were the main contributors to the gains in January.

Elsewhere, statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association show national home sales plummeted 9.1% month-over-month in February. Actual (not seasonally-adjusted) activity was down 4.4% year-over-year.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 4.7 points to conclude the week at 627.77

All but one of the 12 TSX subgroups gained Friday, with health-care climbing 1.9%, financials up 0.8%, and communications stronger by 0.5%.

Only energy was negative, trailing yesterday's close by 0.5%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks posted strong weekly gains as investors cheered renewed optimism on the U.S.-China trade front on Friday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rocketed 139.07 points 25,849.01, as Boeing shares turned around to close 1.5% higher. Boeing's turnaround was sparked by a report saying the company planned to roll out a software upgrade for its 737 Max aircraft. The stock had been under pressure all week after an Ethiopian Airlines flight using a 737 Max plane crashed on Sunday, which prompted several countries to ground flights involving the plane.

Gains in the tech and consumer discretionary sectors pushed the S&P 500 up 13.98 points to 2,822.46,

The NASDAQ Composite gained 57.62 points to 7,688.53, on strength of tech stocks.

This week's gains were largely led by tech shares, as the sector surged 4.9%. The tech sector also became the best-performer of 2019.

Nvidia was the best-performing stock in the sector, rising more than 12% while fellow semiconductor stocks like Broadcom and Lam Research also rose sharply this week.

Broadcom shares led the gains, rising more than 8% after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings.

On the week, the S&P 500 and NASDAQ both rose at least 2.9%, though the laggard Dow gained only 1.7% amid Boeing's troubles. The S&P 500 also posted its biggest one-week gain since November.

Stocks have been on a tear this year, with the three major indexes rising more than 10% each in 2019.

AT&T shares rose 1.3% after Raymond James upgraded the telecommunications giant to outperform from market perform, citing an attractive valuation relative to rival Verizon.

Ulta Beauty surged 8.3% on the back of better-than-expected quarterly earnings. The company's same-store sales also rose 9.4%, topping estimates of 7.9%

Tesla shares fell 5% after investors were left disappointed with the unveiling of the Model Y, the car company's latest electric vehicle.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He spoke via telephone with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Xinhua news agency reported Friday.

The news comes after reports Thursday that Chinese negotiators suggest combining a state visit to the U.S. with the signing of a trade deal. Beijing wants a deal to be fully ironed out before President Xi Jinping meets with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury rose sharply, weighing yields to 2.59% from Thursday's 2.63%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices were down 18 cents to $58.43 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $6.60 to $1,301.70 U.S. an ounce.

********************************************************************** As of Monday, 03-11-2019 23:59, the latest Comtex SmarTrend® Alert, an automated pattern recognition system, indicated a DOWNTREND on 04-16-2012 for SJR @ $19.67. For more inform

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