More Gains for TSX

Bausch, Magnet in Focus

Stocks in Toronto got December off to a strong start led by health-care and gold stocks.

The TSX Composite gained 72.19 points to close the session at 20,525.45.

The Canadian dollar handed back 0.09 cents to 74.44 cents U.S.

Health-care stocks led the parade, with Bausch Health Companies rocketing 97 cents, or 10.3%, to $10.40, while Tilray climbed 44 cents, or 8.5%, to $5.60.

Gold stocks were in the green, with Equinox Gold growing 49 cents, or 10.3%, to $5.23, while OceanaGold accumulated 31 cents, or 13.5%, to $2.60.

In techs, Magnet Forensics increased $2.13, or 5.5%, to $40.95, while Haivision Systems added 18 cents, or 5.6%, to $3.42.

Energy put a downer on the proceedings, with Enerplus off 95 cents, or 3.9%, to $24.06, while Athabasca Oil sliding 11 cents, or 4%, to $2.61.

In utilities, Brookfield Infrastructure Partners retreated $2.10, or 4.2%, to $48.34, while Superior Plus lost 21 cents, or 2.1%, to $9.99.

The seasonally-adjusted S&P Global Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) registered 49.6 in November. That was up from 48.8 in October to signal a slower rate of contraction. Nonetheless, the PMI has now posted below the 50.0 no-change mark for four months in a row.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 8.18 points, or 1.4%, to 599.18.

All but two of 12 subgroups were positive on the day, with health-care rumbling 4.9%, while gold and information technology were each better by 2.7%.

The two laggards were energy, shedding 1.3%, and utilities, off 0.4%.

ON WALLSTREET

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell on Thursday, relinquishing some of the big gains seen in the prior session as investors awaited jobs data coming Friday that could determine the pace of the Federal Reserve’s future rate tightening.

The 30-stock index backtracked 194.76 points to close Thursday at 34,395.01.

The S&P 500 skidded 3.54 points to 4,076.57.

The NASDAQ regained 14.45 points to 11,482.45.

The moves departed from earlier boosts that followed the release of the Core Personal Consumption Expenditures Index, a closely watched gauge of spending. October data showed the index rose 0.2%, below the consensus estimate of 0.3% collected from economists by Dow Jones.

Shares of Salesforce tumbled about 8.3% – helping to drag down the Dow – after the software company said its co-CEO would be stepping down soon. The index dropped as much as 460 points earlier in the session, a turn from the gain of more than 700 points seen Wednesday after Fed Chair Jerome Powell appeared to confirm the central bank will slow down its tightening.

Costco dropped about 6.6% after the pace of November sales slowed to a 5.7% gain from the prior year. In October, sales climbed 7.7% from a year ago. The November data is an ominous sign during the peak holiday selling season. The wholesale retailer also reported a 10.1% decline in e-commerce sales during the period.

Despite a bullish open on the back of a slightly better than expected inflation measure watched by the Federal Reserve, traders showed caution before the important Friday jobs report.

Investors are looking to data on non-farm payrolls, the unemployment rate and hourly wages Friday for insight into the labor market, which has been relatively strong despite hopes of contraction as the Fed looks to cool inflation. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect the U.S. added 200,000 jobs in November, which would be a decrease from the 261,000 gained in the prior month.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury barreled upward, lowering yields to 3.51% from Tuesday’s 3.64%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices increased 81 cents to $81.36 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices popped $57.20 to $1,817.10 U.S. an ounce.