Stocks Leap on Vaccine Anticipation

Equities in Toronto screamed to the finish line Friday, on strength of energy and industrial issues. The TSX surged 122.95 points to close Friday and the week at 17,488.16. on the last five sessions, the index gained 124 points, or 0.7%. The Canadian dollar hiked 0.54 cents to 78.26 cents […]

Equities in Toronto screamed to the finish line Friday, on strength of energy and industrial issues.

The TSX surged 122.95 points to close Friday and the week at 17,488.16. on the last five sessions, the index gained 124 points, or 0.7%.

The Canadian dollar hiked 0.54 cents to 78.26 cents U.S.

As mentioned, energy stocks were the champions Friday, with MEG Energy leaping 47 cents, or 11.7%, to $4.19, while Crescent Point Energy jumped 25 cents, or 10.3%, to $2.68.

Industrials also enjoyed success, with New Flyer Industries vaulting $1.98, or 9.3%, to $23.21, while Mullen Group climbed 83 cents, or 8%, to $11.16.

In the consumer discretionary file, Aritzia zoomed 57 cents, or 2.4%, to $24.70, while Great Canadian Gaming popped 99 cents, or 2.7%, to $37.93.

Gold stocks, however, did not fare so well, with B2Gold dropping 20 cents, or 2.7%, to $7.11, while Equinox Gold surrendered 31 cents, or 2.3%, to $12.92.

Health-care stocks had a tough time of it, too, with Trillium Therapeutics getting hammered $1.62, or 7%, to $21.65, while Aurora Cannabis stumbled 44 cents, or 3.1%, to $13.98.

In tech stocks, Descartes Systems Group dipped $3.74, or 4.8%, to $73.53, while Enghouse Systems fell $1.71, or 2.6%, to $64.34.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported the economy created 62,000 jobs during November, following an increase of 84,000 (or 0.5%) in October. The numbers drove the unemployment rate down 0.4 percentage points last month to 8.5% in November.

In October, Canada’s merchandise exports increased 2.2% and imports rose by 1.9%. Thus, Canada’s merchandise trade deficit with the world was virtually unchanged at $3.8 billion in October.

Economists have predicted the Bank of Canada will not increase its asset-purchase programme anytime soon, and the country’s gross domestic product should reach pre-COVID-19 levels within two years.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said Thursday the economic impact of the second wave of COVID-19 in Canada has been deeper than expected and the government must be agile to ensure it can respond to gaps in supports should any emerge.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange subtracted 0.19 points to 769.11. Still, on the week, the index came out ahead nearly 20 points, or 2.66%.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were positive, led by energy, soaring 5.6%, industrials, advancing 1.2%, and consumer discretionary stocks, better by 0.7%.

The five laggards were weighed most by gold, down 1.3%, while the health-care and information technology sectors each fell 0.5%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose to record levels on Friday, notching another weekly advance, as traders shook off a disappointing U.S. jobs report.

The Dow Jones Industrials continued their surge, rising 248.74 points to 30,218.26. Chevron added 3.9% and Caterpillar rose 4.3%, to lead the Dow higher.

The S&P 500 picked up 32.4 points to 3,699.12. Energy was the best-performing S&P 500 sector, gaining 5.4%.

The NASDAQ gathered 87.05 points to 12,464.23. All three of major indexes posted intraday and closing record highs.

Friday’s jump led major averages to for their fourth weekly gain in five weeks. The Dow rose 1% this week. The S&P 500 gained 1.7% over that time period. The NASDAQ rallied 2.2% this week.

The U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November, well below a Dow Jones consensus estimate of 440,000. The unemployment rate, however, matched expectations by falling to 6.7% from 6.9%.

Friday’s report comes as the number of coronavirus cases has been rising sharply. The U.S. reported record numbers on Thursday of new infections, single-day deaths and hospitalizations.

On Thursday, the stock market was hit by a report suggesting troubles with Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine rollout. Major averages swiftly fell to their session lows after Dow Jones reported said Pfizer expects to ship half of the Covid-19 vaccines it originally planned for this year due to supply-chain problems.

Still, Pfizer and BioNtech are on track to roll out 1.3 billion vaccines in 2021 and the 50-million-dose shortfall this year will be covered as production ramps up, the report said.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury slumped, raising yields to 0.97% from Thursday’s 0.91%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices moved up 40 cents to $46.04 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices slid 30 cents to $1,840.80.

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