TSX Ends Week at All-Time High

ATCO, Boardwalk in Focus


Markets in Canada’s biggest centre dug out of negative territory by Friday’s closing bell, and roared toward yet another all-time high, on strength of utility and real-estate issues.

The TSX poked forward 6.75 points by the close Friday at 18,851.32, for an improvement on the week of 470 points, or 2.56%.

The Canadian dollar gained 0.42 cents to 80.20 cents U.S.

Utilities were narrowly the best performing of the subgroups by day’s end, as ATCO took on 87 cents, or 2.2%, to $40.63, and Canadian Utilities grew 54 cents, or 1.7%, to $32.60.

Among real-estate stocks, Boardwalk REIT acquired a dollar per share, or 2.7%, to $38.67, while H & R REIT gathered 38 cents, or 2.6%, to $14.95.

Financials also improved, with Sprott Inc. advancing 56 cents, or 1%, to $55.74, while Home Capital Group was better by 30 cents to $32.41.

Health-care stocks got scuffed a bit, as Bausch Health Companies faded $1.38, or 3.2%, to $41.69, while Cronos Group stepped back 23 cents, or 1.8%, to $12.88.

Gold stocks waned, as Kinross Gold dropped 14 cents, or 1.7%, to $8.37, while OceanaGold lost four cents, or 2.1%, to $1.89.

In the industrial sector, Cargojet shed $6.85, or 3.8%, to $174.14, while Transcontinental lost 76 cents, or 3.1%, to $23.90.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada said the economy created 259,000 jobs in February, after falling by 266,000 over the previous two months, bringing the jobless rate to 8,2%.

The agency also said wholesale trade rose 4.0% in January to $69.2 billion, the eighth increase in the past nine months.

(Note: clocks throughout many jurisdictions in North America will go ahead an hour this weekend for Daylight Savings Time. Remember: spring forward, fall backward).

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange roused itself enough to gain 0.91 points to 982.25. The Venture Exchange is up on the week nearly 64 points, or 6.96%.

The 12 TSX subgroups were evenly split by the end of the Friday session, with utilities better by 0.5%, real-estate 0.4% stronger, and financials richer 0.2%.

The half-dozen laggards were weighed most by health-care, slipping 0.7%, gold, dulling in price 0.5%, and industrials, worse off 0.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped to another record high on Friday as rising reopening optimism continued to encourage the rotation into cyclical stocks. Meanwhile, surging bond yields rekindled valuation fears and took the comeback momentum out of tech names.

The 30-stock index triumphed 239.05 points to 32,778.64. Bank stocks gained amid rising rates, while industrials continued their strength on the back of new stimulus. Goldman Sachs shares jumped 2%, and JPMorgan climbed 1.2%. Boeing leaped 6.8% and Caterpillar popped 4.2%.

The S&P tacked four points onto Thursday’s all-time high, to 3,943.34. Tech and communication services were the only two sectors registering losses.

The NASDAQ Composite swooned 78.81 points to 13,219.87. Alphabet and Facebook dropped 2% each, while Apple, Amazon and Microsoft all closed in the red.

Friday’s selloff pared the NASDAQ’s weekly gain to 3%. The S&P 500 rose 2.6% this week, while the blue-chip Dow outperformed with a 4% rally.

President Joe Biden signed into a $1.9-trillion COVID-19 relief package became law.

The plan will send direct payments of up to $1,400 to many Americans, and will also put nearly $20 billion into COVID-19 vaccinations and $350 billion into state, local and tribal government relief.

Biden announced Thursday evening that he would direct states to make all adults eligible for the vaccine by May 1 in his first primetime address as president.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys dropped sharply, raising yields to 1.63% from Thursday’s 1.53%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices slumped 43 cents to $65.59 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained 40 cents to $1,723.