Stocks End Week with Gains

Industrials, Materials Strongest

Stocks in Toronto finished on an upnote Friday, largely due to gathering strength of industrial and resource issues.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index advanced 68.99 points to conclude the day and the week at 16,353.46. For the week, the index was on track to gain 0.1%.

The Canadian dollar faded 0.59 cents at 79.99 cents U.S.

Among industrials, Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd was up $5.82, or 2.6% at $232.97 after the company reported on Thursday fourth-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates. Elsewhere, New Flyer Industries climbed 58 cents, or 1%, to $57.83.

In the materials sector, Frontier Lithium gained three cents, or 4.9%, to 64 cents, while Russel Metals picked up 19 cents to $30.75.

In the gold patch, Barrick Gold Corp climbed 28 cents, or nearly 1.6%, to $17.99, while Goldcorp gathered a penny to $17.89.

Among energy concerns, Suncor Energy demurred 87 cents, or 1.8%, to $46.17, while TransCanada barely cleared breakeven, gaining a cent to $59.85.

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 gained 3.65 points to 880.44

All but one of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher, as industrials were stronger by 1.1%, while materials climbed 0.8%, and gold improved 0.7%.

Energy proved the lone laggard, failing 0.3%

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks closed higher on Friday as investors shrugged off worries about a possible government shutdown.

The Dow Jones Industrials regrouped and finished higher 53.91 points to 26,071.72, despite pullbacks in IBM and American Express.

The S&P 500 gained 12.27 points to 2,810.30, a record high, with consumer staples as the best-performing sector.

The NASDAQ composite index added 40.3 points to 7,336.38, also a record.

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 were 50-50.

Still, the major indexes were on track to post weekly gains. The Dow was up 1% for the week entering Friday's session, while the S&P 500 picked up 0.9% and the NASDAQ was up 1%.

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 and American Express were 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%.

IBM fell 4.1%, and American Express dropped 2.4%, putting a lid on the Dow. IBM warned Thursday it could take a hit from a higher tax rate for 2018, while American Express posted its first overall earnings loss in 25 years.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note sagged, raising yields to 2.66% from Thursday’s 2.61%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dropped 40 cents a barrel to $63.55 U.S.

Gold prices gained $3.90 to $1,331.10 U.S. an ounce.