Stocks Off Highs of Day, Finish Positive

Tech Stocks Shine


Stocks in Canada's largest market came back from some of the higher heights of the day, but still well above breakeven Friday, as tech and consumer discretionary stocks displayed some muscle.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 25.52 points to end the day and the week at 16,041.98

The Canadian dollar slipped 0.46 cents to 77.7 cents U.S.

The index was on track for a 0.2% slip on the week after hitting an all-time high on Wednesday

Among tech stocks, BlackBerry leaped 37 cents, or 2.7%, to $13.99, while Constellation Sofware tacked on $3.33 to $774.42.

Among consumer discretionary stocks, Magna International progressed $1.70, or 2.4%, to $72.22, while Canadian Tire gained 13 cents to $164.03.

Linamar gained $7.51, or 11.6%, to $72.53 after saying after the bell on Thursday it had agreed to buy privately held MacDon Group for $1.2 billion. Also in the industrial sector, Air Canada picked up 30 cents, or 1.2%, to $25.42.


The energy group sagged with Crescent Point Energy pointing lower 22 cents, or 2.5%, to $8.28, while Peyto Exploration faded 12 cents to $14.13.

Telecoms proved a drag on the market, as Shaw Communications lost 28 cents, or 1%, to $29.21, while Rogers Communications slid 55 cents to $64.36.

Utilities folded, as Fortis Inc. shed 28 cents to $46.81.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada revealed that manufacturing sales declined 0.4% to $53.5 billion in October, following two consecutive monthly increases.

Sales of motor vehicles and other transportation equipment accounted for most of the decline in October

Elsewhere, the Canadian Real Estate Association said national home sales rose 3.9% from October to November.

Actual (not seasonally-adjusted) activity was up 2.6% from November 2016. The number of newly listed homes climbed 3.5% from October to November.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 3.03 points to 800.9

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were positive on the day as information technology leaped 1.5%, consumer discretionary gained 1%, and industrials gathered 0.8%.

The three laggards were energy, down 0.9%, telecoms and utilities, each down 0.4%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks rose to all-time highs on Friday as expectations of a Republican tax bill passing increased.

The Dow Jones Industrials hiked 143.08 points to 24,651.74 an new closing record

The S&P 500 recouped 23.8 points to 2,675.81, with financials, staples, health care and tech all rising more than 1%.

The NASDAQ composite index rocketed 80.06 points, or 1.2%, to 6,936.58, reaching an all-time high.

The Dow and S&P posted their fourth consecutive weekly gains, while the NASDAQ snapped a two-week slide.

In corporate news, shares of Hess jumped 2.3% after reports that Elliott Management is pushing for CEO John Hess to step down or for the company to sell all or part of its business.

Meanwhile, Costco shares rose 3.3% after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings and sales.

The plan will likely cut the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%. Expectations of lower corporate taxes have helped boost stocks to record levels this year. Entering Friday's session, the S&P 500 had risen 18.5%.

Bob Corker, a Republican senator from Tennessee who originally opposed the bill, said Friday he would vote in favor of the measure.

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

Oil prices gained 27 cents a barrel to $57.31 U.S.

Gold prices gained $1.70 to $1,258.80 U.S. an ounce.