TSX Surges after Wednesday Selloff

Cronos, Magna in Forefront

Canada's main stock index came off a seven-week low Thursday, supported by defensive sectors and financials as major lenders boosted their dividends.

The S&P/TSX Composite spiked 297.43 points, or 1.5%, by close of business Thursday to 20,762.03.

The Canadian dollar gained 0.0 1 cents at 78.07 cents U.S.

Consumer discretionary stocks gained with Magna International better by $4.39, or 4.6% to $100.86, and Martinrea International, taking on 49 cents, or 4.8%, to $10.75.

In consumer staples, SunOpta hiked 30 cents, or 4%, to $7.83, and George Weston sprinted $5.26, or 3.9%, to $138.66.

Health-care stocks also flourished, with Cronos Group up 24 cents, or 4.4%, to $5.64, and Canopy Growth improving 51 cents, or 4%, to $13.25.

Only gold faltered, with Alamos Gold leaning lower 18 cents, or 1.9$, to $9.36, while Iamgold doffed 11 cents, or 2.9%, to $3.72.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange lost 7.7 points to end Thursday at 910.22.

All but one of 12 TSX subgroups were in the green, led by consumer discretionary stocks, ahead 2.9%, consumer staples, improving 2.7%, and health-care, up 2.5%.

The lone laggard was in gold, down 0.6%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rebounded sharply on Thursday, following a omicron-driven selloff in the previous session, as cyclical names made back some of their recent losses.

The Dow Jones Industrials regained 617.75 points, or 1.8%, to conclude Thursday at 34,639.79, helped by an uptick in Boeing’s stock.

The S&P 500 index climbed 64.06 points, or 1.4%, to 4,577.10.

The NASDAQ recovered 127.27 points to 15,381.32.

Airline, casino and energy stocks led the gainers on Thursday, rebounding from Wednesday’s market rout. Delta Air Lines rose 9.3%, MGM Resorts added 7.7% and Hilton Worldwide gained 7.5%. Norwegian Cruise Line added 7.7% and Wynn Resorts closed up 8.2%. Occidental Petroleum and Baker Hughes added 2.4% and 2.5%, respectively.

Dow component Boeing’s shares jumped 7.5% after China cleared the 737 Max to return to fly.

On the negative side, Apple’s stock dropped after Bloomberg News reported the tech giant is experiencing slowing iPhone demand ahead of the all-important holiday season.

Investors continue to watch for developments on the new omicron COVID-19 variant, with uncertainty around its rate of transmissibility and fears that it could evade vaccines.

A second case of omicron was revealed on Thursday. Minnesota public health authorities reported the second U.S. case of the omicron COVID variant in a resident who recently returned from New York City. The Minnesota resident has already recovered from omicron and the California resident reported mild symptoms.

Still, Bank of America noted that December has historically been the strongest month for the S&P 500, with the index gaining 2.3% on average since 1936 and positive 79% of the time. However, December has not always been immune to selloffs, according to some experts.

On the data front, initial jobless claims totaled 222,000 for the week ended Nov. 27. Economists were expecting a print of 240,000, according to estimates from Dow Jones. The prior reading showed 199,000 first-time filers, which was the lowest since November 1969.

The November jobs report will be released on Friday. Economists expect 573,000 jobs were created last month, up from 531,000 in October, according to Dow Jones. The unemployment rate is expected to have declined to 4.5% from 4.6%.

Prices for 10-year Treasurys lost a bit of ground, moving up yields to 1.44% from Wednesday’s 1.42%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices regained $1.31 to $66.88 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices were off $14.60 to $1,769.70 U.S. an ounce.