Positive Start for TSX

Health-Care, Materials at Forefront

Stocks in Canada’s largest centre gained ground to begin the session on Tuesday, helped by gains for the materials group and a jump in the shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International as the drug maker sells some of its assets.

The S&P/TSX Composite moved upward 53.6 points to begin Tuesday at 15,442.55

The Canadian dollar gained 0.13 cents to 75.8 cents U.S.

Gildan Activewear said it had won a bankruptcy auction to buy U.S. fashion retailer American Apparel for about $88 million in cash. The company says the deal is subject to approval from a bankruptcy court on Thursday.

Gildan shares spiked $1.04, or 3.1%, to $34.47.

French cosmetics group L'Oreal is acquiring three specialized skincare brands - CeraVe, AcneFree and Ambi - from Valeant Pharmaceuticals International for $1.3 billion in cash to expand into one of the fastest growing areas of the beauty industry.

Valeant shares hiked $1.99, or 9.8%, to $22.28.

A Native American tribe in Wisconsin has voted against renewing agreements allowing Enbridge Inc to use their land for a major crude oil pipeline, the latest sign of increasing opposition to North American energy infrastructure.

Enbridge dipped 60 cents, or 1%, to $56.90.

Hudson's Bay Co cut its full-year revenue forecast for the second time, citing a challenging retail environment in the United States and Europe.

Bay shares collapsed $1.20, or 10.3%, to $10.46.

CIBC cut the price target on Yamana Gold Inc. to $4.60 from $6.00, mainly reflecting current spot prices.

Yamana shares took on a dime, or 2.4%, to $4.29.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada reported that municipalities issued $7.8 billion worth of building permits in November, down 0.1% from the previous month.

The agency said the decline was largely the result of lower construction intentions in Alberta.

Meantime, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reports housing starts in Canada totaled 198,053 units in December compared to 200,105 in November. The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally-adjusted annual rates of housing starts.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 2.52 points to 796.83

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were in the green to start Tuesday, with health-care shooting 3% higher, materials gaining 1.9%, and gold shining 1.6% brighter

The four laggards were weighed most by information technology, down 0.4%, telecoms, settling 0.2%, and real-estate retreating 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. equities traded along the flatline on Tuesday as investors awaited a news conference from the U.S. president-elect and the start of earnings season.

The Dow Jones Industrials dropped 18.8 points at the opening to 19,868.58, as Goldman Sachs contributed the most losses.

The S&P 500 skidded 0.81 points to 2,268.09, with health-care leading advancers and real estate the biggest laggard.

The NASDAQ composite index gained 2.6 points above Monday’s all-time high, at 5,543.41

Donald Trump is scheduled to talk to reporters Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET.

Since his electoral victory, Trump has taken to Twitter to criticize companies that planned to send jobs overseas rather than create them in the United States. He has also threatened to levy a high border tax against those firms.

The U.S. stock market has soared since Nov. 8 amid optimism that the incoming administration will deregulate certain sectors, lower corporate taxes and inject fiscal stimulus into the U.S. economy.

In other U.S. corporate news, Yahoo announced it will change its name to "Altaba" and scale down its board of directors once the sale of its internet assets to Verizon is complete.

Meanwhile, shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals spiked more than 10% in the pre-market after announcing the sale skincare brands to L'Oreal.

On the data front, the National Federation of Independent Business’ small business survey results for December showed sentiment soaring to a 12-year high. Wholesale trade and job openings and labour turnover survey (JOLTS) for November are slated for release at 10 a.m ET.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note were unchanged, keeping yields at Monday’s 2.37%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dropped six cents to $51.90 U.S. a barrel

Gold prices acquired $4.30 to $1,189.20 U.S. an ounce.