Positive End to Week

Energy Gushes Friday

Stocks in Toronto remained in the positive region Friday, largely on the strength of energy and health-care stocks.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index climbed 40.71 points to close the day and the week at 15,711.33

The Canadian dollar dropped 0.25 cents at 76.36 cents U.S.

Energy stocks carried the day, as Suncor Energy galloped 84 cents, or 2%, to $43.09, and TransCanada Corporation added 12 cents to $56.01.

Among health-care issues, Aphria Inc. picked up 23 cents, or 1.6%, to $14.62, while Canopy Growth Corporation increased 99 cents, or 3.2%, to $32.20.

In the industrial sector, Bombardier gathered four cents, or 1.1%, to $3.76, while Air Canada nicked higher two cents to $28.13.

Consumer staples was on the list of losers, as Loblaw Companies lost 22 cents to $65.99. Tech stocks faded as BlackBerry docked 31 cents, or 1.8%, to $16.96, while Constellation Software fell $3.48 to $889.36.

The U.S. Justice Department says the chief executive of a Vancouver-based company appeared in a Washington state court on Thursday in the first U.S. case in which a company has been targeted for providing criminal drug cartels with the technology to evade law enforcement

Economically speaking, Statistics Canada reported that foreign investors resumed their investment in Canadian securities by adding $5.7 billion to their holdings in January. Meanwhile, Canadian investment in foreign securities totaled $13.3 billion, a second consecutive month of strong acquisitions.

Elsewhere, manufacturing sales decreased 1.0% to $54.9 billion in January. Declines in the motor vehicles, the aerospace product and parts, as well as the primary metal industries were responsible for the overall drop.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 5.59 points to 828.34

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups moved higher, led by energy, up 2.6%, health-care, ahead 1.2%, and industrials, better by 0.5%.

The five laggards were weighed most by real-estate stocks, down 0.5%, consumer staples, bowing 0.4%, and information technology, off 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

A slight gain on Friday was not enough to stop stocks from posting a loss this week, weighed down by fears of a possible trade war and White House turmoil.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 72.85 points to 24,946.51, but fell 1.5% on the week as shares of Boeing dropped 6.8% on the trade tensions.

The S&P 500 stayed afloat 4.68 points to 2,752.01, but notched a 1.2% loss for the week

The NASDAQ composite Index crept up 0.25 points to 7,481.99, amid a 1.4% decline in Google-parent Alphabet and a 0.7% fall in Amazon shares. The index also fell 1% for the week.

In corporate news, Adobe Systems reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings, sending its stock up 3.1%.

Meanwhile, Wal-Mart responded to accusations of issuing misleading e-commerce results, calling the person a "disgruntled former associate." Wal-Mart shares rose 1.9%.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that President Donald Trump decided to remove national security advisor H.R. McMaster from the U.S. administration. The White House has, however, gone onto deny that any changes are set to emerge within the National Security Council.

CBS News reported on Friday that White House chief of staff John Kelly could depart the administration as early as today.

The news comes a few days after Trump relieved Rex Tillerson of his duties as secretary of state. It also comes more than a week after Gary Cohn resigned as the National Economic Council's director.

In economic news, the Commerce Department said housing starts declined 7% in February, a bigger-than-expected fall. Building permits, meanwhile, fell 7.7% last month.

Elsewhere, consumer sentiment rose to a level not seen since 2004 in March, according to a preliminary reading from the University of Michigan. Meanwhile, the U.S. Labor Department said job openings increased to 6.3 million in January, a record.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell back, raising yields to 2.84% from Thursday’s 2.82%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices picked up $1.09 a barrel to $62.28 U.S.

Gold prices dipped $3.90 to $1,313.90 U.S. an ounce.