TSX Keeps Rolling

MTY in Focus

Canada's main stock index rose on Wednesday on prospects of a stronger global economic growth, but contraction in trade surplus limited further gains.

The TSX built on past momentum, gaining 33.34 points, adding to Tuesday’s all-time high at 19,137.48.

The Canadian dollar dipped 0.31 cents at 79.23 cents U.S.

Blackberry led the charge with a jump of 67 cents, or 5.9%, to $11.97, while Gildan Activewear soared 84 cents, or 2.1%, to $41.31.

Cascades Inc fell 94 cents, or 5.7%, to $15.45, while Exchange Income Corp. swooned $1.62, or 4%, to $39.23.

Elsewhere, National Bank of Canada raised the price target on Cogeco Communications to $130.00 from $126.00. Cogeco Communications gathered 73 cents to $119.09.

Berenberg cut the target price on Endeavour Mining to $42.00 from $49.00. Endeavour advanced 35 cents, or 1.3%, to $27.37.

National Bank of Canada raised the target price on MTY Food Group to $55.00 from $52.00. MTY gained $1.17, or 2.2%, to $55.60.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported this country's merchandise exports decreased by 2.7% in February, while imports fell 2.4%. As a result, Canada's merchandise trade surplus with the world narrowed from $1.2 billion in January to $1.0 billion in February.

Also, the IVEY Purchasing Managers Index out of Western University catapulted to 72.9 in March, towering above the 60.0 reading in February, and racing away from the 26.0 figure for March 2020.

Moreover, Canadian M&A activity in the first three months of the year catapulted to an all-time high as deal-making recovered from the coronavirus fallout, and bankers point to a healthy pipeline of transactions underpinned by easy financing conditions.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange edged up 0.99 points to 964.95.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups started out positive, with information technology up 0.8%, consumer discretionary, ahead 0.6%, and consumer staples picked up 0.4%.

The four laggards were weighed most by health-care, down 0.7%, while materials and gold lost 0.4% each.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks were little changed Wednesday, with the S&P 500 hovering near its record high as investors awaited details from the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting.

The Dow Jones Industrials dipped 2.56 points to 33,427.68.

The S&P 500 regained 5.02 points, to 4,078.96,

The NASDAQ Composite picked up 17.98 points to 13,715.89.

Shares of reopening plays, such as airlines and cruise lines, led the gains, continuing their recent run. Carnival climbed 3.6%, while Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line gained more than 2% each. Shares of Southwest American Airlines and United both rose over 1%.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon was optimistic about the U.S. economic comeback from the pandemic in his widely read annual letter released on Wednesday.

"I have little doubt that with excess savings, new stimulus savings, huge deficit spending, more QE (quantitative easing), a new potential infrastructure bill, a successful vaccine and euphoria around the end of the pandemic, the U.S. economy will likely boom," Dimon said in the letter. "This boom could easily run into 2023 because all the spending could extend well into 2023."

The Federal Open Market Committee will publish the minutes from its March meeting, where the central bank opted to leave interest rates unchanged, on Wednesday. The minutes could offer investors a clue as to when the Fed might hike interest rates.

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday raised its 2021 growth outlook for the global economy to 6%, up from January’s forecast of 5.5%. The organization said that "a way out of this health and economic crisis is increasingly visible." The IMF did, however, warn of "daunting challenges" given the varied pace of vaccine rollouts around the world.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys were unchanged, keeping yields at Tuesday’s 1.65%.

Oil prices lost 19 cents to $59.14 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices lost $1.40 to $1,741.60.