Stocks End Tuesday in Positive Grounds

Energy, Tech Stocks Prove Strongest

Canada's main stock index managed to hang onto gains, as higher oil prices pushed up energy shares, aided and abetted by strength in tech stocks, helping the index recover some its losses from Monday.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index came off its highs of the day, but still managed to gain 26.97 points to close Tuesday at 15,616.36.

The Canadian dollar eked backward 0.01 cents at 76.43 cents U.S.

One of the largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Birchcliff Energy, which rose 30 cents, or 9.1%, to $3.59, after brokerage CIBC raised price target on the stock, while Trican Well Services shares rose three cents, or nearly 1%, to $3.19

Tech stocks also showed some muscle, as BlackBerry moved higher 51 cents, or 3.1%, to $17.13, while Constellation Software popped $10.46, or 1.2%, to $894.96.

Consumer discretionary stocks also came out a winner, as Magna International climbed 84 cents, or 1.2%, to $72.90, while Canadian Tire jumped $2.65, or 1.6%, to $173.66.

Health-care stocks went south Tuesday, as Aphria gave back 23 cents, or 1.6%, to $14.53, while Canopy Growth Corporation dropped 67 cents, or 2%, to $33.01.

Materials stocks were bruised, primarily, First Quantum, down $2.54, or 12.4%, to $18.00, while Lundin Mining fell three cents to $8.67.

U.S. President Donald Trump appears to be “enthusiastic” about coming to an agreement on the North American Free Trade Agreement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday amid signs the pace of talks is accelerating.

Economically speaking, Statistics Canada reported this morning that wholesale sales edged up 0.1% to $63.3 billion in January. Sales were up in four of seven sub-sectors, accounting for 66% of total wholesale sales.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange sagged 4.23 points to 831.21

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups remained in the green by the closing bell with energy and information technology each up 1.8%, and consumer discretionary stocks up 1.1%.

The four laggards were weighed most heavily by health-care, down 1.6%, materials, skidding 1.3%, and consumer staples off 0.8%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks climbed on Tuesday as the Federal Reserve started a two-day monetary policy meeting, with most market participants expecting a rate hike.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average strengthened 116.36 points to end the session at 24,727.27 – pulling ahead for the year so far – with Boeing as the best-performing stock.

The S&P 500 rebounded 4.02 points to 2,716.94, with energy leading the gains.

The NASDAQ composite Index gained 20.06 points to 7,364.30

Shares of large-cap tech names Netflix and Amazon both closed higher on Tuesday.

In corporate news, shares of Roku rose as much as 4.9% after analysts at Oppenheimer upgraded them to perform from underperform, citing catalysts like accelerated cord-cutting trends

Market expectations for a March rate hike are 94.4% as of Tuesday morning. While most market participants expect the Fed to raise rates by 25 basis points, they will also look for clues about whether the central bank will stay on track to hike three times this year or if it expects to further tighten policy.

The Fed is scheduled to make its monetary announcement Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET, with new Chair Jerome Powell set to give his first news conference.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note dipped, lowering yields to 2.89% from Monday’s 2.86%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices improved $1.34 a barrel to $63.42 U.S.

Gold prices dropped $7.60 to $1,310.20 U.S. an ounce.