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TSX Finishes Week Strong

Feb 19, 2021 (Baystreet.ca via COMTEX) --

Stocks in Canada's largest centre had a situation of "all's-well-that-ends-well", as the indexes finished solidly in the green Friday after a week of bumps and bruises.

The S&P/TSX Composite rang higher 110.2 points to close Friday at 18,384.27. On the week, the index lost nearly 76 points, or 0.4%

The Canadian dollar jumped 0.42 cents to 79.27 cents U.S.

Among consumer discretionary stocks - kings of Friday's parade - Linamar reached for the sky $2.84, or 4.2%, to $70.32, while Magna International sprang up $9.22, or 9.7%, to $104.92.

In health-care stocks, Aphria jumped $1.28, or 5.3%, to $25.58, while Cronos Group popped 64 cents, or 4.3%, to $15.49.

Industrials had a strong day, too, with Ballard Power Systems hiking $2.42, or 6.3%, to $40.49, while GFL Environmental spiked $1.87, or 5.2%, to $37.71.

In the gold sector, Alamos Gold docked 34 cents, or 3.5%, to $9.35, while OceanaGold Corporation disposed of 14 cents, or 6.4%, to $1.91.

In communications stocks, BCE dropped 83 cents, or 1.5%, to $54.89, while Rogers Communications sank 82 cents, or 1.5%, to $55.61.

Consumer staples got knocked around a bit, as well, with North West Company falling 69 cents, or 2.1%, to $32.38, while Saputo bowed 42 cents, or 1.1%, to $36.98.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada said retail sales posted their largest decline since the low of April driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, decreasing 3.4% to $53.4 billion in December.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange galloped 26.47 points, or 2.5%, to 1,098.56. Over the last four sessions, the index strengthened 41 points, or 3.9%. Markets took Monday off, Canadian markets for Family Day, U.S. markets for Presidents Day.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were positive to end the day, with consumer discretionary stocks leading the way, up 3.3%, health-care better by 2.8%, and industrials chugging along 1%.

The four laggards were weighed most by gold, dulling in price 1.8%, communications, down 1.2%, and consumer staples off 0.9%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks came under pressure Friday afternoon, reversing early gains.

The Dow Jones Industrials eked higher 0.98 points to 31,494.32, for a gain on the week of nearly 36 points. The blue-chip index had jumped more than 150 points earlier in the session.

The S&P 500 demurred 7.26 points to 3,906.71, for a loss on the week of 28 points.

The NASDAQ Composite added 9.11 points to 13,874.46, for a tumble on a short week of 221 points, or 1.6%.

Though the major indexes traded higher for most of the morning, a combination of rising interest rates and profit taking in some of the market's largest technology companies appeared to dampen optimism after noon.

Cyclical stocks posted some of the strongest gains with the industrials up 1.8%, materials and financials sectors each ahead 1.6%. Utilities and consumer staples stocks were among the biggest laggards.

Applied Materials, which makes the equipment used to manufacture semiconductors, gave a better-than-expected second-quarter forecast after the bell Thursday. The shares gained 5.3% Friday. Other chip-related stocks also rose, including Lam Research, AMD and Nvidia.

The strength among economically sensitive stocks came after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told the media Thursday after the bell that more stimulus is necessary even as some economic data suggested a rebound is already underway. She added a $1.9-trillion stimulus deal could help the U.S. get back to full employment in a year.

Many on Wall Street agree with Yellen that a large stimulus is needed and that a trillion-dollar package, along with a smooth economic reopening this year, will cause the market rally to continue.

The House of Representatives will try to pass a $1.9-trillion coronavirus relief plan before the end of February, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday. Democratic Congressional leaders may try to pass a package without votes from Republicans.

After a temporary pullback in December, homebuyers returned to the market in January despite record low supply. Closed sales of existing homes in January increased 0.6% compared with December, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Sales ended the month at a seasonally adjusted, annualized rate of 6.69 million units. That figure is 23.7% higher compared with January 2020 and the second-highest sales pace since April 2006.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys lost ground, raising yields to 1.34% from Thursday's 1.29%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices sank $1.54 to $58.68 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices added $5.50 to $1,780.50

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