Stocks End Week Positive

Magna Soars, Rogers Falters

Stocks closed a short week on a positive note, as consumer and health-care stocks outweighed weakness in gold concerns.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 68.57 points to close Thursday at 16,612.81

The Canadian dollar lost 0.21 cents at 74.70 cents U.S.

Markets will be closed Friday for Good Friday

Consumer discretionary stocks led the way, as Magna International hiked $1.33, or 1.8%, to $75.83, while Canadian Tire improved $1.40, or nearly 1%, to $149.46.

In health-care, Canopy Growth ended the day up $2.53, or 4.4%, to $59.64, while Aurora Cannabis picked up eight cents to $12.03.

In tech stocks, BlackBerry gained six cents to $12.34, while Shopify zoomed $5.92, or 2%, to $295.45

Gold issues took some knocks, as Goldcorp lost 49 cents, or 3.3%, to $14.43.

Communications were bruised, as Rogers Communications lost $2.04, or 2.9%, to $68.90.

On the economic calendar, Statistics Canada said, following three consecutive monthly declines, retail sales rose 0.8% in February to $50.6 billion. Sales were up in five of 11 sectors, representing 73% of retail trade.

Also, in February, 441,200 people received regular Employment Insurance benefits, an increase of 4,400 or 1.0% from January.


The TSX Venture Exchange dwindled 0.84 points to finish Thursday at 609.21

Seven of the 12 Toronto subgroups remained positive on the day as consumer discretionary stocks notched gains of 1.6%, while health-care climbed 1.2%, and information technology gained 0.9

The four laggards were weighed most by gold, down 1.3%, while communications faded 0.7%, materials were lower by 0.5%. Energy stocks were unchanged at the closing bell.


Stocks closed higher on Thursday as Wall Street digested more corporate earnings reports, solid retail data and two highly anticipated initial public offerings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 110 points to 26,559.54, as shares of Travelers advanced.

The S&P 500 gained 4.58 points to 2,905.03, led by industrials

The NASDAQ Composite eked up 1.98 points to 7,990.31

The Dow rose 0.6%, and the NASDAQ improved 0.2% for the week, while the S&P 500 slipped 0.1%.

Honeywell rose more than 3% on better-than-expected earnings while United Rentals surged 8.2% on its quarterly numbers. Dow member Travelers Cos gained 2.3% on its earnings report while Snap-on jumped 6.5%.

Investors also got a boost after Pinterest and Zoom Video Communications had successful initial public offerings. Zoom skyrocketed 72.2% while Pinterest shot up 28.4%.

So far, more than 78% of the S&P 500 companies that have reported have topped analyst expectations

'The health-care sector fell more than 4% this week as investors worry over proposals pushed by Democratic lawmakers. UnitedHealth CEO David Wichmann told analysts in a conference call earlier this week that propositions like “Medicare for All” would “jeopardize the relationship people have with their doctors, destabilize the nation’s health system and limit the ability of clinicians to practice medicine at their best.”

Shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and HCA Healthcare led the decline in the sector this week, falling 13% and 9.9%, respectively. The decline within the sector has been broad based, however. Nearly 80% of health-care stocks were below their 50-day moving averages, according to Bespoke Investment Group. By comparison, 90% of tech stocks were above their 50-day averages.

Retail sales in the U.S. rose by 1.6% last month, the strongest gain since September 2017. Economists expected a gain of 0.9%.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury were higher, thus lowering yields to 2.56% from Wednesday’s 2.59%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices regained 29 cents to $64.05 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices nosed ahead 50 cents to $1,277.30 U.S. an ounce.