Narrow Gains for TSX

Valeant, First Quantum Star

Stocks in Toronto again cleared breakeven Tuesday – if barely – as health-care issues leaped for the sky yet again, though losses in tech stocks threatened to spoil the party.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 10.52 points to conclude Tuesday at 16,114.03

The Canadian dollar dipped 0.08 cents to 77.72 cents U.S.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals rose $1.92, or 7.3%, to $28.37, while Concordia International gained a penny, or 1.6%, to 65 cents.

In the materials sector. First Quantum Minerals gained 25 cents, or 1.6%, to $16.15, while Labrador Iron Ore Royalty Corporation picked up 42 cents, or 1.8%, to $24.40.

Among consumer staples, Empire Company – parent of the Sobeys food store chain – added 17 cents to $26.23, while Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. gained 31 cents to $67.04.

Among tech stocks, Constellation Software was punished $3.70 to $781.30m while Intermap Technologies descended four cents, or 7.1%, to 52 cents.

In the energy sector, Surge Energy lost four cents, or 1.8%, to $1.92, while TransCanada Corporation dropped 34 cents to $62.46.

In the gold patch, Goldcorp Inc. lost five cents to $15.16, while Wesdome Gold Mines gave up three cents, or 1.7%, to $1.70.


The TSX Venture Exchange gained 6.35 points to 797.71

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were positive on the day, with health-care running away from the pack, gaining 2.1%, while materials took on 0.6%, and consumer staples, up 0.5%.

The four laggards were weighed most by information technology, sliding 0.6%, energy, down 0.4%, and gold, off 0.3%.


U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday amid growing optimism that Republican lawmakers would be able to revamp the corporate tax system. Wall Street also looked to the Federal Reserve as its two-day policy meeting kicked off.

The Dow Jones industrials chugged 118.77 points above Monday’s record close to 24,504.80, boosted by gains in Boeing and Verizon.

The S&P 500 added 4.12 points to 2,664.11, also an all-time closing high, with telecommunications and financials outperforming.

The NASDAQ composite index docked 12.76 points to 6,862.32

In corporate news, Boeing shares surged 2.4% after the company raised its dividend and approved an $18-billion buyback.

Verizon's stock, meanwhile, rose 2.6% after Nomura upgraded it to "buy" from "neutral." Nomura also raised its price target on Verizon to $61 per share from $47, representing a 17.7% upside from Monday's close.

The U.S. central bank began its meeting on Tuesday and is largely expected to announce an interest rate hike on Wednesday at 2 p.m. New York time. Market expectations for a 25-basis-point rate increase were at 87% on Tuesday

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note sagged, raising yields to 2.4% from Monday’s 2.39%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices tumbled 73 cents a barrel to $57.26 U.S.

Gold prices moved to within 80 cents of breakeven -- after floundering most of the day -- to $1,246.10 U.S. an ounce.