Stocks Continue in Green

Industrials, Gold Higher

Canada’s main stock index remained buoyant on Friday, led by gains for the heavyweight financials group and industrial shares, while energy stocks were weighed by lower oil prices.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index advanced 50.64 points roll into noon hour ET at 16,335.11. For the week, the index was on track to gain 0.1%.

The Canadian dollar slid 0.26 cents at 80.32 cents U.S.

Some of the most influential movers on the index were the country’s major banks. Royal Bank of Canada rose 0.7% to $107.66, while Toronto-Dominion Bank added 0.6% to $74.17.

Barrick Gold Corp climbed nearly 1% to $17.88.

Among industrials, Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd was up 1.4% at $230.28 after the company reported on Thursday fourth-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates.

Among energy concerns, Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd climbed 6.4% to $17.81 after Canada’s National Energy Board on Thursday set out a process for resolving permit disputes related to the company’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada reported manufacturing sales rose 3.4% to a record high $55.5 billion in November, mainly due to higher sales in the transportation equipment, petroleum and coal product and chemical industries.

Investment by foreigners in Canadian securities amounted to $19.6 billion in November, mainly purchases of Canadian bonds. Meanwhile, Canadian investors reduced their holdings of foreign securities by $4.6 billion, following strong acquisitions in October.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange stayed positive 2.27 points to 879.06

All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher, as industrials were stronger by 0.8%, while gold and materials each climbed 0.6%,

The two laggards were energy, failing 1%, with health-care sinking 0.06%

ON WALLSTREET

Blue chips gave back strength, as investors assessed the possibility of a U.S. government shutdown.

The Dow Jones Industrials fell 58.49 points to 25,959.32

The S&P 500 gained 2.82 points to 2,800.85

The NASDAQ composite index added 18.9 points to 7,306.14

On Thursday, the House passed a bill to avoid a government shutdown. The bill is now in the Senate's hands, where 60 votes are needed to send it to President Donald Trump's desk. Republicans only hold 51 seats in the Senate.

Historically, a government shutdown has led to a short-term pullback in the stock market.

Mick Mulvaney, chief of the Office of Management and Budget, said Friday that odds of a shutdown occurring are 50-50.

Still, the major indexes were on track to post weekly gains. The Dow was up 0.8% for the week entering Friday's session, while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ were up 0.4% and 0.5%, respectively.

Earnings season kicked into full gear this week, with most results surpassing expectations. Of the companies that have reported quarterly results as of Friday morning, 79% have exceeded earnings expectations while 89% have surpassed sales estimates.

Morgan Stanley is among the companies that reported better-than-expected results this week.

Investors have also poured cash into stock funds at the highest pace ever over the past four weeks as they try to get a piece of the surging stock market. Year to date, stocks are up about 5%.

Elsewhere, Dow-component IBM fell 3.7% after the company warned it could take a hit from a higher tax rate for 2018.

American Express declined 2.5% after posting its first overall earnings loss in 25 years.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note sagged, raising yields to 2.63% from Thursday’s 2.61%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dropped 78 cents a barrel to $63.17 U.S.

Gold prices gained seven dollars to $1,334.20 U.S. an ounce.