TSX Catches up by Noon

Tech, Gold Bruised

Canada's main stock index just cleared breakeven midday Monday as energy and mining shares tracked commodity prices lower, offsetting gains for financial and industrial shares after the U.S. Senate's approval of a tax overhaul bill boosted investor sentiment.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index crawled out of negative country to gain 1.09 and greet noon at 16,040.06

The Canadian dollar surged 1.13 cents to 78.69 cents U.S.

Energy stocks took some lumps, as Suncor Energy fell 1.5% to $43.87.

Still, the largest percentage gainer on the TSX was uranium producer Cameco Corp, which surged 15.8% to $13.94. Analysts said plans by Kazakhstan's state-run uranium mining company to cut production could boost the price of the metal.

The largest percentage decliner on the index was Shopify Inc. down 6.1%

The financials group, which accounts for 35% of the index's weight, gained ground. Some of Canada's major banks have operations in the United States and could benefit if U.S. tax cuts boost economic growth.

Banks such as RBC took on 55 cents to $101.71, while CIBC doffed 61 cents to $120.59

Industrials rose, led by a 1.4% gain for Canadian National Railway to $101.26.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange nicked up 0.28 points to 789.28

The 12 TSX subgroups were split down the middle, with information technology collapsing 1.7%, gold down 0.8%, and materials off 0.6%.

The half-dozen gainers were led by industrials, stronger by 0.7%, health-care, up 0.5%, and financials, ahead 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks traded sharply higher on Monday as investor sentiment was boosted the Senate narrowly passing a major tax bill over the weekend

The Dow Jones Industrials came off their highs of the morning, but remained higher 215.76 points to approach noon at 24,447.35, less than a week since shattering the 24K mark for the first time, with Boeing and Walt Disney leading advancers

The S&P 500 regained 13.84 points to 2,656.06, with financials and industrials as the best-performing sectors, rallying 1.9% and 1.6%, respectively. The index also reached an all-time high.

The NASDAQ Composite lost 23.2 points, however, to 6,824.39, as Facebook, Alphabet and Netflix all traded lower.

Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and JPMorgan all rose at least 1%.

Shifting to corporate news, CVS Health said it will buy Aetna, a U.S. health insurer, for $69 billion. The agreement is seen as one of 2017's biggest deals so far in the merger and acquisition (M&A) space. CVS shares slipped 3.4%, while Aetna rose 1.7%.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that a deal by Disney to buy some of 21st Century Fox's assets is "gaining momentum," despite speculation that the conversation between the two parties had cooled off. Disney shares rose 5.6%, while Fox shares gained 4%.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, Senate Republicans managed to narrowly pass a bill to revamp the country's tax system. The final vote came out as 51-49 in favour, after Republicans had to rework the bill late on Thursday.

The GOP, however, still need to overcome future obstacles in order for the Senate and the House to craft a joint bill, which will then be presented to President Donald Trump. Republicans hope a deal will be achieved by Christmas.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note sagged, raising yields to 2.39% from Friday’s 2.37%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices slid 61 cents a barrel to $57.75 U.S.

Gold prices skidded $5.50 to $1,276.80 U.S. an ounce.