TSX Clears Breakeven

BlackBerry Big Story

Equities in Toronto finished slightly in the green Thursday, mostly due to the might of technology companies like BlackBerry Ltd.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index retained 8.59 points to conclude the session at 15,618.25

The Canadian dollar restored 0.28 cents to 80.43 cents U.S

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company, once known as Research in Motion, reported stronger-than-expected quarterly results on record sales for its closely watched software unit, sending its shares surging $1.47, or 12.8%, to $13.00.

Gold stocks were also in an upward direction, as Agnico Eagle Mines gained seven cents to $56.71, and Kinross Gold picked up seven cents, or 1.4%, to $5.33.

Among utilities, Hydro One improved 13 cents to $22.87, while Fortis Inc. gained 40 cents to $44.63.

Health-care stocks stumbled as Valeant Pharmaceuticals faded 89 cents, or nearly 5%, to $17.07, and Canopy Growth lost seven cents to $10.70.

In the energy sector, Crescent Point Energy skidded 18 cents, or 1.7%, to $10.17, while Cenovus Energy deducted 18 cents, or 1.4%, to $12.60.

Among consumer staples, Metro Inc gave back some of Wednesday’s rally following news it was in talks to buy pharmacy chain Jean Coutu for $3.6 billion. Metro was down 61 cents, or 1.4%, at $43.00, while Jean Coutu was down 17 cents at $24.37.

Elsewhere in that sector, convenience store chain Alimentation Couche-Tard dwindled 38 cents to $57.59.

On the economic calendar, Statistics Canada reported that average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $970 in July, little changed from the previous month. Compared with July 2016, earnings were up 1.8%

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange regrouped 0.51 points to 776.12

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were positive on the day, with information technology soaring 0.8%, gold, shining brighter 0.7%, and utilities up 0.4%.

The five laggards were weighed most by health-care, 1.2% sicker, energy, off 0.8%, and consumer staples down 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Indices south of the border all found their way upward Thursday, after the release of the GOP's highly anticipated tax reform plan.

The Dow Jones Industrials finished 40.49 points to 22,381.20. The Dow transports also edged up to an all-time high.

McDonald's rose more than 2% as the biggest contributor to gains in the Dow after Longbow Research raised its rating for the restaurant chain to buy from neutral on expectations McDonald's sales will top Wall Street estimates.

The S&P 500 picked up 3.02 points to 2,510.06, within 0.1% of its record

Materials and real estate stocks led S&P 500 advancers. Only the industrials and consumer discretionary stock sectors closed lower, by less than 0.1% each.

The NASDAQ inched up 0.19 points to 6,453.45. Major technology-related stocks steadied Thursday after large declines earlier in the week.
Apple and Netflix closed less than 1% lower, while Facebook and Amazon.com each closed about 0.6% higher.

Roku, which sells streaming video players, shot more than 50% above its IPO price in its first day of trading.

In economic news, the final read on U.S. second-quarter gross domestic product showed a 3.1% increase. Weekly jobless claims rose slightly to 272,000.

The GOP tax plan released Wednesday breaks rates down into three categories and cuts corporate tax rates. The plan also seeks to give companies a break for profits stashed overseas while doubling the standard deduction for most filers

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note slumped a mite, giving a slight lift to yields to 2.31% from Wednesday’s 2.3%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dropped 55 cents a barrel to $51.59 U.S.

Gold prices regained two dollars to $1,289.80 U.S. an ounce

Indexes Fight their Way Higher