Equities Boom at Opening

Echelon, Semafo in Focus

Canada's main stock index opened higher on Wednesday, with most sectors in positive territory.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index jumped out of the blocks 104.93 points to open Wednesday at 15,544.37

The Canadian dollar dropped 0.10 cents to 78.96 cents U.S.

Wealthsimple, a Toronto-based online wealth management startup, has raised $51 million in funding from Power Financial Corp., as it seeks to compete in the increasingly crowded digital investment advice market.

Power Financial gained 29 cents to $33.27

CIBC raised the rating on Capital Power Corp. to outperform from neutral. Capital Power took on seven cents to $24.23.

BMO cut the rating on Canadian REIT to market perform from outperform. Units of Canadian REIT docked 33 cents to $49.81.

BMO cut the rating on Echelon Financial Holdings to underperform from market perform. Echelon shares jettisoned 18 cents, or 1.4%, to $12.72.

Desjardins cut the price target on Semafo Inc. to $5.00 from $5.50. Semafo gained seven cents, or 1.5%, to $3.33.

RBC raised the target price on Western Forest Products to $3.00 from $2.50. Western shares hiked five cents, or 1.8%, to $2.83.


The TSX Venture Exchange nicked up 0.51 points to 833.33

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were positive in the first hour, as industrials triumphed 1.2%, financials jumped 1.1%, and telecoms picked up 0.7%

The three laggards were information technology, down 0.6%, health-care, off 0.2%, and energy, sliding 0.03%


U.S. stocks traded higher on Wednesday as investors awaited the release of a meeting summary from the Federal Reserve. The major averages got a boost from a rise in tech stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrials strengthened by 98.19 points to 25,062.94. Apple was among the best-performing stocks in the index, advancing 0.8%.

The S&P 500 regained 14.04 points to 2,730.29, with tech and financials as the best-performing sectors.

The NASDAQ recouped 52.7 points to 7,287.01, as shares of Facebook, Netflix and Alphabet all traded higher

In data news, the flash U.S. composite purchasing managers' index rose to its highest level in more than two year, reaching 55.9, according to IHS Markit. Meanwhile, existing home sales fell for a second straight month in January.

The Fed will release the minutes from its January meeting at 2 p.m. ET. Wall Street will be looking for clues about inflation and interest rates.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note were unchanged, keeping yields at Tuesday’s 2.89%.

Oil prices dipped 22 cents a barrel to $61.57 U.S.

Gold prices gained $3.90 to $1,335.10 U.S. an ounce.