Positive Noon Hour for TSX

Valeant Riding High

Bourses in Toronto remained positive by noon hour Tuesday, as materials stocks gained with higher commodity prices and drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc surged as it sold assets.

The S&P/TSX Composite moved upward 57.94 points to move into noon hour at 15,446.89

The Canadian dollar gained 0.05 cents to 75.72 cents U.S.

Shares in Valeant rose 9.1% to $22.14 after the drug maker said it is selling its Dendreon cancer business and three skincare brands for about $2.12 billion as it looks to pay down its more than $30-billion debt.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added strength as copper prices jumped and gold and silver also gained.

Among the most influential movers on the index were First Quantum Minerals, which rose 8.7% to $15.68, and Teck Resources, which added 6.8% to $29.35.

Savanna Energy Services Corp rose 2.4% to $2.15 as it said it would open its books to potential suitors this week.

Gildan Activewear shares gained 3.2% to $34.49 after it said it won a bankruptcy auction to buy U.S. fashion retailer American Apparel for about $88 million in cash.

Hudson's Bay Co fell 10.4% to $10.45 after it cut its full-year revenue forecast.

Copper prices advanced 3.1% to $5,763 U.S. a tonne

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 0.65 points to 794.96

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were in the green Tuesday, with health-care shooting 2.7% higher, materials gaining 1.3%, and consumer discretionaries 0.9% to the good.

The three laggards were consumer staples, down 0.4%, while telecoms and real-estate each retreated 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. equities traded higher on Tuesday, as the Nasdaq composite notched a fresh record high, while investors prepared for a key news conference from the U.S. president-elect.

The Dow Jones Industrials recovered 63.13 points midday to 19,950.51, with American Express gaining the most.

The S&P 500 poked higher 9.5 points to 2,278.40, with financials and industrials gaining around 0.6%.

The NASDAQ composite index gained 28.84 points above Monday’s all-time high, at 5,560.65,

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 inventories, meanwhile, rose 1%, slightly above estimates. The job openings and labour turnover survey (JOLTS) for November showed job openings remained little changed at 5.5 million.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note were lower, raising yields to 2.38% from Monday’s 2.37%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dropped 53 cents to $51.43 U.S. a barrel

Gold prices remained buoyant 90 cents to $1,185.80 U.S. an ounce.