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TSX Holds Onto Gains at Closing Bell

Jan 12, 2018 (Baystreet.ca via COMTEX) --

Stocks in Toronto narrowly held onto gains they'd accumulated during the day and the week and finished ahead by a thin margin, as gold and information technology displayed the majority of the market's strength.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index remained positive 21.24 points to end the first full week of the year at 16,308.18

The Canadian dollar shot up 0.35 cents to 80.2 cents U.S.

Gold stocks showed their strength, as Barrick Gold climbed 52 cents, or 2.8%, to $18.88, while Kinross Gold picked up 19 cents, or 3.6%, to $5.41.

In the materials sector, Agnico Eagle Mines triumphed 84 cents, or 1.5%, to $58.90.

Tech stocks also had a successful day, with BlackBerry shooting ahead 16 cents, or 1%, to $16.99, while Constellation Software gained $6.06 to $733.00.

The health-care sector was battered as cannabis companies, which have risen sharply as they race to prepare for Canada's legalization for recreational use, resumed their downward trend Friday. Aphria fell $2.50, or 12.2% to $18.05 and Canopy Growth was down $5.22, or 13.9%, to $32.34.

Utilities were also on the downside as Hydro One lost six cents to $21.64, while Fortis Inc. was off 29 cents to $43.56.

Consumer staples lagged the pack, as Metro dipped 25 cents to $40.35, while Tim Hortons parent Restaurant Brands International doffed 30 cents to $76.34.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange lost 11.31 points, or 1.3%, to 878.20

Six of the 12 TSX subgroups remained in positive territory by the close, gold leading the way, up 2.3%, materials better by 1.5%, and information technology higher 0.5%.

The five laggards were weighed most by health-care, stumbling 6.2%, utilities, down 0.3%, and consumer staples, down 0.2%. Telecoms were unchanged by the closing bell.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose to record highs on Friday after some of the major financial companies in the U.S. reported strong quarterly results.

The Dow Jones Industrials took off like a Saturn rocket, ascending 228.46 points to finish the day and the week at 25,803.19. J.P. Morgan Chase was among the best-performing stocks in the index, rising 1.7%.

The S&P 500 acquired 18.68 points to 2,786.24, with energy and consumer discretionary as the best-performing sectors. Energy stocks got a boost from rising oil prices.

The index is also enjoying its best 10-day start to a year since 2003. In that time period, the S&P 500 is up 4.2%. It gained 5.9% during the first 10 days of 2003.

The NASDAQ composite index zoomed 49.28 points to 7,261.06. Amazon shares rose 2.2% and broke above $1,300 U.S. for the first time.

U.S. markets will be shuttered Monday for Martin Luther King Day.

S&P 500 profits are expected to have risen 11.2% in the fourth quarter of last year. All 11 S&P 500 sectors, meanwhile, are expected to post increases in both earnings and revenue. This would be the first time since 2011 that all the sectors in the S&P 500 posted sales and profit growth for the same quarter.

Stocks have carried over the momentum from 2017 into the New Year thus far. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ have closed lower only once this year, while the Dow has fallen just twice. For 2018, the major averages were up at least 3.5% entering Friday's session.

For the week, they posted gains of at least 1.6%. The Dow has outperformed the NASDAQ and S&P 500 this week, gaining 2%, as Boeing shares have soared 8.9%.

J.P. Morgan Chase, BlackRock and Wells Fargo all reported better-than-expected quarterly results.

Recent data suggests the stateside economy is picking up steam. The U.S. Labor Department said its Consumer Price Index excluding the volatile food and energy components rose 0.3% last month. That was the biggest advance in the so-called core CPI since January.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note faded, raising yields to 2.55% from Thursday's 2.54%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices improved 55 cents a barrel to $64.35 U.S.

Gold prices added $16.40 to $1,338.90 U.S. an ounce.

********************************************************************** As of Monday, 01-08-2018 23:59, the latest Comtex SmarTrend® Alert, an automated pattern recognition system, indicated a DOWNTREND on 04-20-2012 for JPM @ $43.15. As of Monday, 0

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