Canadian Markets End Week on Up Note

Cannabis Stocks Show Most Strength

Markets in Canada’s biggest centre heard the final bell Friday with figures uniformly green, primarily due to gains in health-care and resource stocks.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index advanced 63.2 points to end Friday and the week at 15,998.67

The Canadian dollar eked higher 0.02 cents to 78.34 cents U.S.

Dear old standby health-care led the parade of winners Friday, as its usual stars such as Canopy Growth surged $1.18, or 6.8%, to $18.44, while Aurora Cannabis roared ahead 14 cents, or 2.6%, to $5.54.

Materials also enjoyed favour with buyers as Inter-Rock Minerals climbed 7.5 cents, or 21.1%, to 43 cents, while First Quantum Minerals advanced 13 cents to $14.92.

Gold triumphed as Barrick Gold gained 20 cents, or 1.1%, to $17.96, while Goldcorp picked up 19 cents, or 1.1%, to $17.09.

Utilities were among the minority of slumping stocks, as Fortis Inc. shares dug lower $1.10, or 2.3%, to $47.49, while Hydro One subtracted a dime to $22.41.

Among consumer staples, Metro dropped off six cents to $41.18, while Empire Company, parent of the Sobeys chain, fell 24 cents, or nearly 1%, to $24.40.

Industrials sagged, too, as Canadian Pacific Railway lost 45 cents to $215.35, while Canadian National went in reverse 23 cents to $101.84.

Shares in TransCanada Corp. withered $1.25, or nearly 2% Friday, after the company shut down part of its Keystone pipeline after 5,000 barrels of oil leaked in South Dakota.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada reported that October’s inflation numbers appeared in line with expectations, as October Consumer Price Index rose 1.4% on a year-over-year basis in October, following a 1.6% increase in September. On a seasonally-adjusted monthly basis, CPI was up 0.2% in October, matching the increase in September.

Experts say October’s number will likely give the Bank of Canada room to take its time raising interest rates after two back-to-back hikes earlier this year.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange raced ahead 6.99 points to 799.35

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher, as health-care stocks muscled up 2.7%, materials and gold each acquired 1.2%

The three laggards were utilities, down 0.4%, while industrials and consumer staples were each off 0.2%

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks fell on Friday as worries about tax reform lingered on Wall Street.

The Dow Jones industrial average faltered 100.12 points to 23,365.23, with Wal-Mart leading decliners on the 30-stock index. The retailer's stock rallied to an all-time high on Thursday on strong quarterly results. On Friday, the shares fell more than 2%.

The S&P 500 dropped 4.46 points to 2,581.18, with utilities and information technology as the worst-performing sectors.

The Dow and S&P 500 also posted their first two-week losing streaks since August.

The NASDAQ Composite eased 1.29 points to 6,787.60, as shares of Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet declined. A 1% gain in Tesla helped offset some of the losses. The index, however, still managed to close higher for the week.

Reports circulated Thursday that Comcast is interested in acquiring the same set of assets Walt Disney is interested in acquiring from Fox. A Comcast-Fox deal would have the same regulatory issues that Disney would have in acquiring the Fox assets. Dow Jones also reported that Verizon Communications is also interested in acquiring those same assets. Fox shares popped 6.2%.

Tesla shares jumped after the company unveiled two new vehicles, including Semi truck. Trucking company J.B. Hunt said it has reserved "multiple" Semis.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the media that he expects a Republican tax reform bill to be sent to President Trump by Christmas. Mnuchin made his comments a day after the House of Representatives passed a bill aimed at overhauling the tax code. The Senate now has to vote on their tax plan.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note gained ground Friday, lowering yields to 2.35% from Thursday’s 2.37%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices added $1.44 a barrel to $56.58 U.S.

Gold prices regained $16.20 to $1,294.40 U.S. an ounce.