TSX Forges Higher

Banks in Spotlight, Jobs Featured

Equities in Canada’s largest centre doggedly found their way by midday Friday, after data showed that the country's economy had added
more-than-anticipated jobs in November, while material stocks further weighed on sentiment.

The TSX Composite reversed directions and moved upward 18.63 points to pause for lunch Friday at 20,544.08.

The Canadian dollar handed back 0.2 cents to 74.18 cents U.S.

Among stocks, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce fell 13 cents to $59.68 after the lender said it would appeal a New York court's ruling in a lawsuit concerning payments defaults against the bank by Cerberus Capital Management.

Canada's largest pension fund CPP Investments reported in a Reuters exclusive report that it is set to raise $372 million in its first "reverse inquiry" bond on Dec. 9, where lenders Royal Bank and CIBC would be the underwriters to the offer. RBC was down six cents to $134.61.

On the economic bulletin board, Statistics Canada said the economy created but 10,000 jobs in November, bringing the unemployment rate down 0.1 percentage points to 5.1%.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange dipped 5.1 points to 594.08.

The 12 subgroups were evenly split by noon hour, with health-care flying 2.4%, while energy rumbled 0.8%, and information technology up 0.6%.

Gold weighed heaviest on the half-dozen laggards, with a decline 0.5%, while real-estate and communications each slid 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks slid Friday as investors digested stronger-than-anticipated jobs data, which worried investors looking for signals that the Federal Reserve can soon begin slowing interest rate hikes.

The Dow Jones Industrials remained in the red 56.1 points to 34,338.91.

The S&P 500 subtracted 12.78 points to 4,063.79.

The NASDAQ came off its lows of the morning, but still trailed Thursday’s close by 56.57 points to 11,425.88.

The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ are on track for modest weekly gains, while the Dow is on pace for a similarly minor loss.

Non-farm payrolls increased 263,000 in November, a bigger gain than the 200,000-job increase expected by economists polled by Dow Jones. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%.

This is the final monthly employment report before the Fed’s two-day meeting Dec. 13-14, in which the central bank is expected to raise its fed funds target rate by a half percentage point. A 50-basis-point increase would mark a slowing from the prior 75-basis-point rate hikes set by the central bank.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury lost ground, raising yields to 3.56% from Thursday’s 3.51%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices increased 31 cents to $81.53 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices subtracted $6.10 to $1,809.30 U.S. an ounce.