Stocks Stay Positive Midday

Health-Care, Tech Issues Hold Most Sway

Equity markets in Canada’s largest centre rose on Monday as broad gains led by its heavyweight financial components offset the weight of energy stocks’ retreat with lower oil prices.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index advanced 51.4 points to greet noon Monday at 15,686.34

The Canadian dollar dipped 0.5 cents to 79.93 cents U.S

Jean Coutu Group gained 1.8% to $24.74 after grocer Metro Inc. said it would buy the pharmacy chain for $24.50 a share. Metro’s stock edged down to $42.73.

The financials group, which accounts for more than a third of the index’s weight, gained, with Toronto-Dominion Bank up 0.5% to $70.60 and Bank of Nova Scotia also adding 0.5%, to $79.77.

The most influential weights included Suncor Energy, which fell 1.1% to $43.27.

Smaller producers took larger hits, with MEG Energy Corp declining 4.7% to $5.23 and Crew Energy off 4.5% at $4.24. Cenovus Energy lost 1.6% to $12.32.

Diversified miner Teck Resources rose 1.8% to $26.75 as copper held steady and lead and zinc prices jumped.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange weakened 1.4 points to 779.83

All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher approaching noon, with health-care soaring 1.4%, information technology up 1.2%, and real-estate concerns up 0.6%.

The two laggards were in energy, down 1.2%, while utilities backpedaled 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. equities hit record highs on Monday as Wall Street kicked off the fourth quarter on a high note.

The Dow Jones Industrials soared 72.57 points to 22,477.66, with 3M contributing the most to the gains.

The S&P 500 picked up 3.75 points to 2,523.11. General Motors were among the best performers in the index. They rose 4.2% after analysts at Deutsche Bank reiterated their buy rating.

The NASDAQ added 1.14 points to 6,497.10

Stocks wrapped up the third quarter on Friday, with the Dow posting its first eight-quarter winning streak in 20 years. The index rose 4.9% last quarter, while the S&P and NASDAQ gained 3.9% and 5.8%, respectively.

Elsewhere, casino stocks fell after the Las Vegas massacre, the deadliest shooting in U.S. history. Las Vegas Sands fell as much as 2.1% late Monday morning.

Wynn Resorts doffed 2% while MGM Resorts International sagged 4.8%. The broader stock market remained higher as details of the shooting were released.

In economic news, the Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index rose to 60.8 in September. Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert Kaplan is also scheduled to speak at 2 p.m. in New York.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note lost ground, raising yields back to Friday’s 2.34%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices slipped $1.42 a barrel to $50.25 U.S.

Gold prices fell $8.20 to $1,276.60 U.S. an ounce