Stocks still positive approaching noon hour

Health-care stocks celebrate new Ontario dea

Stock indices in Toronto rose on Tuesday as a rally in oil prices pushed energy shares higher, and health-care stocks also flourish.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index hung onto 31.77 points worth of gains mid-morning Tuesday to 16,362.80

The Canadian dollar slid 0.1 cents to 76.59 cents

Ontario signed agreements with 26 cannabis producers including Canopy Growth Corp, Aurora Cannabis and Aphria Inc to supply products when it begins online sales of recreational marijuana in October.

Aurora led the main index with a 34-cent, or 4.5%, jump to $7.95. Canopy rose 5% and Aphria took on 72 cents, or 1.5%, to $49.74.

Elsewhere among weed stocks, Hydropothecary Corp was up a penny to $4.83, CannTrust Holdings improved three cents to $8.27

Gains in shares of Suncor Energy of 39 cents to $53.49, Canadian Natural Resources – up 48 cents, or 1.1%, to $45.25, and Encana, up 26 cents, or 2.6%, to $16.58, lifted the energy group.

Nutrien's rise of 22 cents to $72.63, and gain of 31 cents, or 1.8%, to $17.36, in First Quantum Minerals helped the materials sector, as well as a gain of five cents in Goldcorp to $14.12.

Another of the largest percentage gainers in Toronto involved shares in Meg Energy, which rose 59 cents, or 7.7%, $8.21.

Lucara Diamond fell two cents to $2.16, while shares in Torex Gold Resources, down nine cents, or 1.1%, to $8.38.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada reported that wholesale trade was down 0.8% in June to $63.1 billion, for the second time in three months, with sales off in five of seven sub-sectors, accounting for 71% of total wholesale sales.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 2.66 points to 689.14

Six of the 12 subgroups were up, with health-care stocks still ahead 1.4%, energy ahead 1.2%, and industrials progressing 0.3%.

The five laggards were weighed most by gold, down 0.4%, while utilities and faded 0.3%, and consumer staples were off 0.2%.

Real-estate stocks were unchanged just before noon.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks traded higher on Tuesday, with the current bull market on track to become the longest in history.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 81.49 points to 25,840.18, with Intel and Caterpillar leading the index.

The S&P 500 moved forward 11.24 points to 2,868.29, led by consumer discretionary and energy.

The NASDAQ strengthened 57.07 points to 7,878.07, as Micron and Netflix rose

The bull market turns 3,453 days old on Wednesday, which would make it the longest on record by most definitions. The S&P 500 has risen more than 300% since hitting its financial crisis bottom.

The S&P 500 entered Tuesday's session less than 1% away from its all-time high of 2,872 set in January. Surpassing that record without a 20% decline would confirm it as the longest bull.

J.P. Morgan is about to flip the switch on a new digital investing service, taking a bite out of discount online brokerages. The bank's new service "You Invest" will feature a bundle of discounted trading, an online portfolio-building tool and no-fee access to J.P. Morgan's stock research.

After media outlets reported the bank's new service, shares of Charles Schwab fell 3.4%, TD Ameritrade fell 5.9%, E-Trade fell 4.1% and Interactive Brokers fell 0.3%.

President Donald Trump went after the Federal Reserve once again, saying Monday he disagrees with the Fed's current tightening path for monetary policy. The Fed has already raised rates twice this year and is expected to raise rates two more times. Trump's comments, which weighed on interest rates on Monday, come shortly ahead of Fed Chair Jerome Powell's speech at Jackson Hole on Friday.

Trump is also reportedly preparing to add tariffs on nearly half of Chinese imports this week. The new round of tariffs would come despite the expectation of restarted negotiations between the two largest economies of the world.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S. Treasury dropped, raising yields to 2.84% from Monday’s 2.82%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained 82 cents at $67.25 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices added $1.10 to $1,195.70 U.S. an ounce.