Markets Keep Rolling

Shopify, Brookfield in Focus

Equity markets in Toronto continued to climb Thursday, with advances in tech stocks overcoming losses in the health sector, brought on by weakness among cannabis firms.

The S&P/TSX Composite came off its daily peaks, but was still up 32.14 points to conclude trading Thursday at 16,643.28

The Canadian dollar was off 0.11 at 75.66 cents U.S.

Tech stocks led gainers, as Shopify vaulted $13.58, or 3%, to $471.86, while Constellation Software popped $15.31, or 1.2%, to $1,291.54.

Financials sang, too, with Brookfield Asset Management taking on $1.33, or 1.9%, to $70.98, while Sun Life shone 75 cents, or 1.3%, to $58.00

Among consumer discretionary stocks, Sleep Country Holdings bounced off the mattress, gaining 68 cents, or 3.2%, to $22.30, while Canada Goose Holdings flapped its wings $1.01, or 1.8%, to $57.16.

Health-care flopped, however, as Aurora Cannabis lost 74 cents, or 8.7%, to $7.77, while HEXO Corp. dumped 20 cents, or 3.5%, to $5.53.

Consumer staples had a rough day, too, as The North West Company took a bath $2.15, or 6.9%, to $28.87, while Alimentation Couche-Tard sank $1.64, or 1.9%, to $84.45

On the economic calendar, Statistics Canada reported its new housing price index was down 0.1% at the national level for the third consecutive month in July.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange added three points to 589.16

Eight of the 12 Toronto subgroups were positive on the day, as information technology acquired 1.3%, financials progressed 0.9%, and consumer discretionary stocks gained 0.8%,

The four laggards were weighed most by health-care, descending 1.9%, gold, slipping 0.9%, consumer staples, sifting off 0.8%

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose on Thursday, approaching record levels, as Wall Street digested a slew of U.S.-China trade news along with a large bond buying program from Europe’s central bank.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average came off its highs of the day, but still tallied 61.81 points to 27,198.85, making it seven straight positive closes for the 30-stock index.

The S&P 500 added 8.64 points to 3,009.57, its highest level since late July.

The NASDAQ Composite jumped 24.79 points to 8,194.47

The Dow ended Thursday’s session 0.6% below an all-time high set July 16 while the S&P 500 closed 0.8% below its July 26 record. The NASDAQ, meanwhile, is 1.7% below its record high.

Chip makers such as ON Semiconductor gained 0.9% and Advanced Micro Devices rose 1.5%. The tech sector was the best performer in the S&P 500, led by a 3% gain in PayPal. Microsoft also closed 1% higher.

The Trump administration is "absolutely not" considering an interim deal with China, an official told the media. Bloomberg News had reported earlier that President Donald Trump’s advisors were considering such a deal, sending the major indexes to their session highs.

Elsewhere, investors digested the latest decision from policymakers at the European Central Bank. The ECB cut its deposit rate by10 basis point and launched a new bond buying program. The bank will buy €20 billion worth of assets for as long as needed.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury sagged, raising yields to 1.79% from Wednesday’s 1.74%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions

Oil prices dipped 70 cents to $55.05 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $3.50 to $1,506.70 U.S. an ounce.