Clearly Positive End for N. American Stocks

GE Stuns with Comeback

Canadian stocks aped their neighbours to the south, and shone brightly in a broad-based rally Friday, to prove this October rally is not over.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index was off its highs of the day, but still positive 39.22 points to greet the end of the week at 15,857.22

The Canadian dollar hurtled lower 0.84 cents to 79.27 cents U.S.

Health-care stocks proved the strongest of all the sectors, as Canopy Growth thundered higher 96 cents, or 8.1%, to $12.78, while Aphria progressed 42 cents, or 6.5%, to $6.92.

In the tech sector, BlackBerry moved up 1.5 cents to $14.04, while Constellation Software jumped $3.99 to $752.98.

Consumer discretionary registered solidly in the green, as Canadian Tire gained 46 cents to $157.76, and Magna International galloped $1.64, or 2.4%, to $69.89.

Consumer staples faltered as Loblaw Companies were in the red 39 cents to $68.20.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada reported that the consumer price index rose 1.6% on a year-over-year basis in September, following a 1.4% increase in August.

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the Consumer Price Index was up 0.2% in September, matching the increase in August.

The agency said retail trade declined 0.3% in August to $48.9 billion, after increasing 0.4% in July. Sales were down in eight of 11 sub-sectors, representing 57% of retail trade.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada came out with employment insurance figures for August, and revealed that the number of beneficiaries decreased by 9,600, or 1.8%, to 524,200 in August, continuing a downward trend that began last October.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange sprang up 7.44 points, or nearly 1%, to 789.51

All but one of the 12 TSX subgroups stayed up by the closing as health-care hiked 1.5%, information technology improved 1.2%, and consumer discretionary zoomed 0.9%.

Only consumer staples missed out, down 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks traded higher on Friday after the Senate took a step toward achieving tax reform.

The Dow rocketed 165.59 points from Thursday’s all-time record to 23,328.63, reaching intraday and closing records. Boeing and Goldman Sachs both rose about 2% to lead advancers. Shares of JPMorgan Chase, meanwhile, hit an all-time high after jumping 1.4%.

An incredible comeback in General Electric shares from a 6% deficit to positive also helped lift market benchmarks. Some investors bet the worst is over for the troubled conglomerate which reported abysmal earnings Friday morning and cut its forecast for the year.

GE shares closed 1% higher after falling as much as 6.3% on the company's downbeat results. The stock posted its biggest one-day turnaround since 2009.

The S&P 500 improved 13.11 points above Thursday’s record close to 2,575.21, as financials led advancers by rising 1.2%.

The NASDAQ recovered 23.99 points to 6,629.05, yet another record high.

The Dow posted weekly gains of 2%, the S&P was up 0.9% and NASDAQ took on 0.4% during the week.

PayPal was among the best-performing stocks in the index, rising 5.5% after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly results.

Celgene was the worst performer on the S&P 500, falling 10.8% after the company said it will discontinue trials on a drug aimed at treating Crohn's disease.

The Senate approved a $4-trillion budget measure Thursday by a 51-49 vote. Passing a budget unlocks reconciliation, which enables the GOP to pass a tax bill with a simple 51-vote majority in the Senate. Using the tool removes the need for winning Democratic support, which would likely sink a GOP tax measure.

Investors also looked to Washington as President Donald Trump has reportedly completed interviews with all five of the candidates that he's considering for the role, including current Chair Janet Yellen.

A decision could potentially even be announced next week

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note slumped, spiking yields to 2.38% from Thursday’s 2.32%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices eked up 18 cents a barrel to $51.66 U.S.

Gold prices retreated $7.70 an ounce to $1,282.30 U.S.