Stocks Acquire Wings

Health-Care Issues Lead Pack

Canada’s main stock index jumped in midday trade on Monday in a broad rally led by big banks and energy stocks as well as Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, which said it was bringing an eye treatment to market.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index thundered higher 134.22 points to greet noon Monday at 16,176.20

The Canadian dollar gained 0.12 cents to 77.79 cents U.S.

First Quantum Minerals rose 1.7% to $17.41 after the miner said it had acquired an option on a 50% stake in the Pebble copper-gold project in Alaska. The project’s owner, Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd lost 7.9% to $2.58 after initially jumping.

Bombardier was up 2.3% to $3.14. The plane and train maker said its joint venture in China had won a monorail contract worth $271 million and that it had also won a $238-million contract in Australia’s Melbourne.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc rose 5.1% to $26.68 after saying that its Bausch + Lomb division had began distributing a treatment for glaucoma to U.S. wholesale pharmaceutical distributors.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada said Canada's International Transactions in Securities totaled $20.8 billion in October, led by record acquisitions of Canadian bonds. At the same time, Canadian investors increased their holdings of foreign securities by $16.5 billion, mainly purchases of U.S. shares.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 2.57 points to 803.80

All 12 TSX subgroups were positive, as health-care exploded 4.1%, while energy rumbled 2% higher and gold surged 1.6%

ON WALLSTREET

Equities south of the border traded higher on Monday as investors eagerly awaited a vote on a bill that would cut corporate taxes. A slew of corporate deals also helped lift sentiment.

The Dow Jones industrials fell off its highs of the morning, but still soared 182.01 points above Friday’s record close to 24,833.75

The S&P 500 jumped 17.99 points to 2,692.96, with materials and telecommunications as the best-performing sectors.

The NASDAQ composite index rocketed 62.92 points to 6,999.50, a new high, after briefly surmounting the 7,000-point barrier.

Equities have risen sharply this year, as investors have awaited the overhaul. The S&P 500 was up 19.5% for 2017 entering Monday's session.

Campbell Soup announced it will buy Snyder's-Lance for nearly $4.9 billion. Various media reported last week that Campbell was in advanced talks to acquire the snacks maker. Snyder's shares popped 6.6%, while Campbell traded 1.1% higher.

Chocolate maker Hershey said announced a deal to buy Amplify Snack Brands, the maker of Skinny Pop popcorn, for $12 per share, or 71% more than Friday's close of $7. Hershey shares traded 0.6% higher, while Amplify Snack Brands jumped 70.5%.

Elsewhere, Oracle said it will buy Aconex — a software company based in Australia — for $1.2 billion

Congress is expected to vote as early as Tuesday on a plan that would slash the federal corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%. Passing the bill would mark a big legislative win for Republicans, who have been pushing to revamp the U.S. tax code for most of 2017.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note sagged, raising yields to 2.38% from Friday’s 2.35%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices were down three cents a barrel to $57.27 U.S.

Gold prices soared $8.20 to $1,265.70 U.S. an ounce.