Stocks Perk on Trump Inauguration

Materials, Gold Strongest


Canada’s benchmark stock index rose to a two-week high on Friday, led by financial and resource stocks as commodity prices rose, with investors brushing off a more uncertain outlook for NAFTA after the inauguration of Donald Trump as U.S. president.

The S&P/TSX Composite rocketed 138.07 points to close the day and the week at 15,547.88

The Canadian dollar fell 0.05 cents at 75.02 cents U.S.

The index’s most influential movers included one of its biggest oil and gas producers, Canadian Natural Resources, up 56 cents, 1.4%, to $40.96. Pipeline companies also gained, with Enbridge advancing 50 cents to $57.23 and TransCanada Corporation up 62 cents, or 1%, to $62.53.

Materials stocks gained as Potash gained $1.16, or 4.8%, to $25.23.

Among gold issues, Goldcorp perked 44 cents, or 2.2%, to $20.55.

Among health-care issues, Valeant Pharmaceuticals erased 22 cents, or 1.1%, to $19.64.

In the utility field, Algonquin Power & Utilities gave back four cents to $11.29.

On the economic calendar, the Consumer Price Index rose 1.5% on a year-over-year basis in December, following a 1.2% increase in November.

On a seasonally-adjusted monthly basis, inflation was up 0.3% in December, after decreasing 0.1% in November.

The agency also said retail sales rose for the fourth consecutive month, edging up 0.2% to $45.2 billion in November.

StatsCan attributes the jump to higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 4.45 points to 797.59

All but two of the 12 subgroups went skyward, as materials were better by 1.6%, gold shone 1.3% brighter, and financials were richer by 1%.

The two laggards were health-care, down 0.5%, and utilities, off 0.1%,

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. equities closed higher in choppy trade on Friday after Donald Trump took a protectionist tone in his first speech as president.

The Dow Jones Industrials were positive 94.85 points to 19,827.25, with Procter & Gamble, Merck and IBM contributing the most gains.

The blue-chips index also snapped a five-day losing streak.

The S&P 500 took on 7.62 points to 2,271.31, with telecommunications and materials leading advancers.

The NASDAQ composite index popped 15.25 points to 5,555.33

In corporate news, earnings season continued as Dow components General Electric and Procter & Gamble both reported quarterly results. GE posted in-line adjusted earnings per share while revenue came slightly below estimates. P&G's results topped estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

Trump took the oath of office Friday. The broader stock market has rallied significantly since Trump's shocking electoral victory on the hopes of more government spending, lower corporate taxes and deregulation of some sectors.

Stocks, however, have traded mostly sideways for the past month as investors look for more details about Trump's proposed policies.

Experts say the Trump administration will have to start delivering on these expectations for stocks to remain at current levels

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note gained ground, lowering yields to Thursday’s 2.47%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained $1.05 to $52.33 U.S. a barrel

Gold prices eked up $6.30 to $1,207.80 U.S. an ounce.