TSX Rolls On

Cannabis Companies Display Muscle

Toronto stocks ran their win streak to 11 on Friday, with the index forging out gains that held on until the closing bell, mostly on the shoulders of health-care stocks

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gathered 18.76 points to end the day and the week at 16,162.31

The Canadian dollar skidded 0.33 cents to 77.64 cents U.S.

Markets in Canada will be closed on Monday for Victoria Day.

The largest advancers on the exchange were cannabis firms, with Aurora Cannabis rising 68 cents, or 9.4% to $7.88, Canopy Growth up $2.84, or 8.6%, to $35.98, and Aphria rocketing 38 cents, or 3.2%, to $12.27.

Shares of The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. were up seven cents, or 1.9%, to $3.80 to close Friday, after the cannabis company announced that on May 9, its facility based in Ancaster, Ontario received organic certification from Ecocert Canada, an internationally recognized world-leading organization in organic certification.

CEO Robert Anderson declared, “This is another step in TGOD’s planned expansion to be the world’s largest branded organic cannabis company. Consumers worldwide are interested in quality products and TGOD will continue to strive to provide the highest quality organic product that complements the natural product preferences of today’s consumer.”

Tech stocks were also positive, as BlackBerry advanced five cents to $14.86, and Constellation Software gained $13.11, or 1.3%, to $996.33.

Among consumer discretionary issues, Magna International grew 47 cents to $85.26, while Gildan Activewear improved 36 cents, or 1%, to $37.24.

Consumer staples weighed most heavily on the subgroups losing ground, as Saputo lost seven cents to $42.81

The financials sector slipped, weighed down by a 51-cent drop in Royal Bank of Canada to $100.54, and Bank of Nova Scotia's decline of 23 cents to $80.31.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported the consumer price index rose 2.2% on a year-over-year basis in April, following a 2.3% increase in March. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the Consumer Price Index was up 0.1% in April, matching the increase in March.

The agency also reported retail sales increased for the third consecutive month in March, rising 0.6% to $50.2 billion. Higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers more than offset lower sales at food and beverage stores and gasoline stations.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 5.04 points to 783.79

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups ended the day higher, with health-care soaring 4.2%, information technology better by 1%, and consumer discretionary acquired 0.8%.

The three laggards were consumer staples down 0.3%, financials dropped 0.2%, and energy inched back 0.03%.

ON WALLSTREET

The S&P 500 and NASDAQ composite closed lower on Friday as tensions between the U.S. and China weighed on investor sentiment while both countries continued negotiations on trade.

The Dow Jones Industrials came off its highs of the day, but still gained 1.11 points to 24,715.09, as Boeing hiked 2.1%, and Caterpillar shares rose 1.3%

The S&P 500 subtracted 7.16 points to 2,712.97, with energy and financials lagging

The NASDAQ dropped 28.13 points to 7,354.34

The major indexes posted slight weekly losses. The Dow and S&P 500 both fell 0.5% for the week, while the NASDAQ pulled back 0.7%. The move lower this week took place after the averages jumped more than 2% last week.

In corporate news, Nordstrom shares dropped nearly 11% after the Seattle-based retailer reported same-store sales that missed analyst expectations. The miss was enough to overshadow better-than-expected revenue and earnings for the first quarter.

Applied Materials also dropped 8.3% after the company issued guidance that disappointed investors.

On Thursday, the two largest economies in the world began the second round of trade talks. But President Donald Trump told reporters he doubted the negotiations would be successful.

Tensions between the U.S. and China have increased in recent months as both countries have hit each other with tariffs targeting some of their exports.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S. Treasury were sharply higher, lowering yields to 3.06% from Friday’s 3.12%. Treasury prices and yields tend to move in opposite directions.

Oil prices fell 17 cents a barrel to $71.32 U.S.

Gold prices leaped $1.80 at $1,291.20 U.S. an ounce.