TSX Stronger Friday

Linamar Still Stars

Equity markets in Canada’s largest centre shot higher by midday Friday in a broadly-based rally led by Linamar Corp.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index popped 62 points to wind into noon hour ET at 16,078.46

The Canadian dollar erased 0.2 cents to 77.96 cents U.S.

The index was on track for a 0.2% slip on the week after hitting an all-time high on Wednesday

Linamar gained 7.8% to $70.09 after saying after the bell on Thursday it had agreed to buy privately held MacDon Groupfor $1.2 billion

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.7%, with First Quantum Minerals up 2.8% at $16.82 and Teck Resources Ltd adding 1.4% to $30.25.

The energy group climbed, with pipeline operator Enbridge up 1.3% at $49.93, as oil prices edged higher, while the financials and industrial groups rose.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada revealed that manufacturing sales declined 0.4% to $53.5 billion in October, following two consecutive monthly increases.

Sales of motor vehicles and other transportation equipment accounted for most of the decline in October

Elsewhere, the Canadian Real Estate Association said national home sales rose 3.9% from October to November.

Actual (not seasonally-adjusted) activity was up 2.6% from November 2016. The number of newly listed homes climbed 3.5% from October to November.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 2.7 points to 800.9

All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups gained ground by noon, as information technology leaped 1.6%, consumer discretionary gained 1%, and health-care gathered 0.9%.

The two laggards were telecoms and utilities, each down 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks rose to all-time highs on Friday as investors awaited the release of a Republican tax bill that would slash corporate taxes.

The Dow Jones industrials hiked 141.23 points to move into noon hour at 24,649.89, an intraday record

The S&P 500 recouped 20.95 points to 2,672.96, and also hit an intraday record, with financials and staples as the best-performing sectors.

The NASDAQ composite index rocketed 58.61 points to 6,915.13, reaching an all-time high.

In corporate news, shares of Hess jumped 4.8% after reports that Elliott Management is pushing for CEO John Hess to step down or for the company to sell all or part of its business.

Meanwhile, Costco shares rose 4.5% after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings and sales.

Equities were on track to post slight weekly gains. The Dow was up 0.7%, and NASDAQ acquired 0.2%, entering Friday's session. The S&P 500 was just a shade higher for the week.

The plan will likely cut the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%. Expectations of lower corporate taxes have helped boost stocks to record levels this year. Entering Friday's session, the S&P 500 had risen 18.5%.

The bill is expected to be released later on Friday.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note lost ground, raising yields to 2.37% from Thursday’s 2.35%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained 29 cents a barrel to $57.33 U.S.

Gold prices shaved off 20 cents to $1,256.90 U.S. an ounce.