Vaccines Very Much in the News
Equities in Canada’s largest centre opened higher on Wednesday, supported by gains in materials stocks, while Britain’s approval of another coronavirus shot lifted sentiment around a vaccine-led global economic recovery next year.
The TSX began the penultimate session of 2020 up 20.17 points to 17,563.60.
The Canadian dollar gained 0.21 cents to 78.20 cents U.S.
The TSX Venture Exchange tacked on another 4.98 points to 863.97.
All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher, led by energy, up 0.6%, consumer discretionaries, up 0.5%, and materials, ahead 0.4%.
The two laggards were consumer staples, down 0.1%, and information technology, easing back 0.04%.
Stocks rose slightly on Wednesday as the market tried to reclaim record highs in the final days of 2020.
The Dow Jones Industrials recovered 136.66 points at 30,472.33.
The S&P 500 restocked 14.99 points to 3,742.03.
The NASDAQ regained 48.37 points to 12,898.59.
With just two trading days left in the year, the major averages were on track to end 2020 higher. The Dow is up 6.3% for the year, while the S&P 500 has gained 15.4%.
But the clear year-to-date winner remains the NASDAQ, which has gained 43%.
Wednesday’s move higher came after a British regulator approved a coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and
AstraZeneca for emergency use. The approval followed the discovery of a new COVID strain in the U.K., which has also been confirmed in the U.S.
The number of COVID cases continues to tick higher. The U.S. is now recording at least 180,905 new cases and at least 2,210 virus-related deaths each day, based on a seven-day average calculated by media outlets using Johns Hopkins University data.
Wall Street also continued to weigh the prospects of additional fiscal stimulus as lawmakers continued to disagree over direct payments to Americans.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s effort to fast-track the bill, passed by the House late Monday, that would increase checks to $2,000 from $600. McConnell then tied the payments hike to demands from President Donald Trump on tech and the election.
Stimulus payments started to go out Tuesday evening, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
Prices for the 10-Year Treasury were unchanged, keeping yields at Tuesday’s 0.94%.
Oil prices let go of one cent to $47.99 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices gained $3.50 to $1,886.40