Near 100-Pt. Gains for TSX

Health-Care, Energy Stocks Lead Parade

Stocks in Canada’s largest centre climbed on the shoulders of health-care and energy stocks, and reported near triple-digit gains Thursday.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index leaped 99.76 to end Thursday at 16,067.48

The Canadian dollar faded 0.22 cents to 77.51 cents U.S.

Health-care issues led the charge, as Canopy Growth gained 83 cents, or 4.7%, to $18.34, and Valeant Pharmaceuticals acquired 38 cents, or 1.8%, to $21.61

The energy group climbed, as oil producers, whether members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries or not, looked poised to extend output cuts until the end of 2018 to finish clearing a global crude glut. Enbridge was up $2.83, or 6.2%, at $48.59 after providing a strategic update including asset sale and dividend payment plans.

Imperial Oil advanced 43 cents, or 1.1%, to $39.81.

Among industrial issues, Bombardier moved up six cents, or 2%, to $3.01, while Air Canada got lift off of 76 cents, or 3.2%, to $24.58

Of the subgroups that did not fare so well, telecoms fell the hardest, especially TELUS Corp., off 33 cents to $47.72. Rogers Communications ducked 56 cents to $66.84.

Gold were mildly lower, as Barrick Gold weakened 30 cents, or 1.7%, to $17.75, while Kinross demurred two cents to $5.36.

In utilities, Hydro One dropped a penny to $22.67.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported Thursday that average weekly earnings of non-farm workers in Canada were $986 in September, up 1.0% from the previous month. Compared with 12 months earlier, earnings increased 3.1%

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 9.05 points to 788.89

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups had resumed their upward climb by the closing bell, as health-care was 2.3% haler, energy gained 2.1%, and industrials muscled up 1.7%.

The five subgroups were weighed most by telecoms, down 0.6%, gold, off 0.2%, and utilities, sinking 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rallied on Thursday as the possibility of the Senate passing a bill aimed at overhauling the U.S. tax code increased.

The Dow Jones Industrials rocketed 331.67 points, or 1.4%, to 24,272.35, closing above 24,000 for the first time, with United Technologies leading advancers on the 30-stock index.

The S&P 500 gained 21.51 points to 2,647.58, with industrials and information technology among the best-performing sectors. L Brands and Kroger were the best-performing stocks in the index.

The NASDAQ Composite hiked 49.63 points to 6,873.97, Tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, and Apple all traded higher.

In corporate news, Kroger jumped more than 6% after the company forecast strong same-store sales for the four quarter and posted better-than-expected earnings.

Meanwhile, Costco shares climbed 3.9% after the company reported a 7.9% rises in same-store sales for November.

HCA Healthcare jumped 6.1% after analysts at JPMorgan singled the stock out as a tax-cut play.

Sen. John McCain said Thursday he would support the bill, making it more likely that the GOP-led Senate will pass its bill. The Senate is expected to vote later on Thursday. If the upper chamber's bill passes, the House and Senate would have to work on a new bill they can send to President Donald Trump.

Tax reform was one of Trump's main talking points during his campaign last year. After he won, expectations of lower corporate taxes grew in the stock market, helping equities jump to record highs.

Wall Street also looked to Vienna as OPEC members and other oil-producing countries met to discuss whether to extend production cuts currently in place. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told the media that OPEC's consensus was "almost complete," adding he doesn't expect an exit from the production cuts soon.

OPEC and other countries had previously agreed to cut production by approximately 1.8 million barrels per day until March.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note faded, raising yields to 2.42% from Wednesday’s 2.38%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices inched up three cents a barrel to $57.33 U.S.

Gold prices increased $8.50 to $1,277.70 U.S. an ounce.