Stocks Find Upward Path by Noon Tuesday

Gold, Health Stocks Give Stocks Lift

Equity markets in Toronto found their way up slightly in morning trade on Tuesday, as gold miners and marijuana producers pushed higher.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index 20.06 points to greet the first noon hour of the trading year at 16,229.19

The Canadian dollar regained 0.29 cents to 79.94 cents U.S.

The heavyweight financials group, which accounts for more than a third of the index's weight, slipped, with Brookfield Asset Management off 1.4% at $53.94.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added strength. Barrick Gold rose 1.8% to $18.50 and Kirkland Lake Gold gained 3.8% to $20.00 as gold prices hit a three-month peak.

Aurora Cannabis jumped 14% to $10.94 after saying it sold cannabis worth $3.1 million in November, its highest ever.

A string of other marijuana companies also gained, as Canada moves to legalize the production, sale and consumption of recreational marijuana by July 2018, with Canopy Growth up 6.8% to $31.75 and Aphria adding 7.7% to $20.13.

The seasonally-adjusted IHS Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index pointed to the strongest improvement in business conditions since September, leaping to 54.7, from 54.4 in November. The headline index has posted above the 50.0 no-change threshold in each month since March 2016.


The TSX Venture Exchange moved 10.28 points, or 1.2%, higher Tuesday to 861

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups remained lower by noon, as telecoms slid 0.8%, while utilities retreated 0.6% and consumer staples dropped 0.5%.

The four gainers were led by health-care, zooming 3.1%, gold, better by 1.4%, and materials, improving 1.2%.


U.S. stocks kicked off the New Year on a high note on Tuesday as Wall Street bet on another strong year for equities.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average scaled down from its highs of the morning, remaining ahead 33.57 points to begin 2018 at 24,752.79, with Disney shares climbing 2.7%

The S&P 500 improved 15.69 points to 2,689.30, with consumer discretionary as the best-performing sector.

The NASDAQ composite index spurted higher 83.32 points, or 1.2%, higher, to 6,986.67

Equities had a banner year in 2017, with the three major indexes notching all-time highs. The S&P 500, Dow and NASDAQ gained 19.4%, 25.1% and 28.2%, respectively.

Disney's stock rose after Macquarie upgraded it to outperform from neutral, pointing out the company's "distribution leverage and optionality, concentration of valuable IP, which will only grow with the Fox acquisition, and continued theatrical momentum."

Disney's "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" remained atop the weekend box office, raking in $68.4 million U.S. in North American ticket sales.

Meanwhile, shares of Target rose more than 3% after Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster predicted the retailer will be bought by Amazon.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note skidded, raising yields to 2.47% from Friday’s 2.41%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gave back 17 cents a barrel to $60.25 U.S.

Gold prices gained five dollars to $1,314.30 U.S. an ounce.