Bank Shares Carry TSX

First Quantum, NFI in Focus

The winning streak continued Wednesday for stocks in Canada’s main market, propped up by gains in bank shares on a day which saw strong quarterly earnings from big U.S. lenders.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index rode the momentum at Wednesday’s open gaining 38.32 points to 15,084.60. Though off its highs of the morning, the index has still gained more than 700 points since the start of 2019.

The TSX is hoping to run its streak to nine straight sessions.

The Canadian dollar gained 0.11 cents to 75.52 cents U.S.

Top percentage gainer on the TSX proved to be shares of First Quantum Minerals, which jumped 99 cents, or 9%, to $11.94, after announcing preliminary 2018 production and sales numbers.

NFI Group tumbled $4.35, or 12.8%, to $29.61, the most on the TSX, after announcing its 2019 outlook.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange fell 0.41 points to 597.83. Despite the backward move, the index has still tacked on more than 40 points since the calendar year began.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups gained midday, led by health-care, rocketing 1.6%, financials, more prosperous by 1%, and gold, shining 0.9% brighter.

The four laggards were led by energy, down 1.5%, utilities, off 0.6%, and consumer staples, sliding 0.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose on Wednesday as investors cheered strong quarterly earnings from major banks like Goldman Sachs and Bank of America.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was off its highs of the morning, but still better by 110.74 points to 24,176.33, as Goldman Sachs outperformed.

The S&P 500 gained 4.92 points to 2,615.22, led by a 1.8% gain in financials

The NASDAQ Composite advanced 9.92 points – also off morning peaks -- to approach noon ET at 7,033.75

Goldman Sachs posted blowout quarterly earnings, sending the stock up 7.2%. Bank of America also rose 7.1% after reporting a record quarterly profit. The reports follow the releases of fourth-quarter results from Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo earlier this week. Morgan Stanley, another major bank, is scheduled to report on Thursday.

Separately, United Continental surged more than 6% after the company posted better-than expected earnings on Tuesday. Delta Air Lines and American Air Lines also rose at least 2% each Wednesday.

More than 6% of S&P 500 companies have reported calendar fourth-quarter earnings. Of those companies, 85.3% have reported better-than-expected earnings.

Equities have bounced back sharply this year after suffering massive losses to near the end of 2018. The major indexes were up at least 3.2% year to date. Since Christmas Eve, they have all gained at least 8.8%. Stocks sold off towards the end of last year in part because of fear that the global economy was slowing down.

Nordstrom shares fell more than 7% after the company said sales at some stores were "below expectations" during the holiday season. Meanwhile, Snap dropped more than 11% on news the company’s CFO was resigning.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S. Treasury fell back, raising yields to 2.73% from Tuesday’s 2.71%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices inched back a penny to $52.10 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices soared $6.20 to $1,294.60 U.S. an ounce.