New Record High for TSX

Resource Stocks Show Most Muscle

TSX concluded Thursday at an all-time high, as strength in resource stocks overrode weakness in health-care concerns.

The S&P/TSX gained 59.48 points to close Thursday at 16,859.77

The Canadian dollar added 0.18 cents at 75.40 cents U.S.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were shares of gold miners Iamgold, which jumped 16 cents, or 3.5%, to $4.74, followed by those of Barrick Gold, which rose 84 cents, or 3.6%, to $24.24.

West Fraser Timber continued to struggle, dropping $1.05, or 1.9%, to $54.98. Elsewhere in materials, First Quantum Minerals sprinted 85 cents, or 8.4%, to $11.00.

Consumer staples were also in the gravy, as Alimentation Couche-Tard climbed $1.89, or 2.3%, to $82.96, while Saputo acquired 17 cents to $40.67.

Health-care stocks sank, however, as Canopy Growth tumbled $3.32, or 8.7%, to $34.93, while Cronos Group dipped 98 cents, or 6.7%, to $13.57.

Among waning energy concerns, Peyto Exploration and Development dished off 10 cents, or 2.6%, to $3.81, Arc Resources slipped 18 cents, or 2.6%, to $6.83.

Communications also fell short, as Cineplex Inc. dropped 17 cents to $25.70, while BCE shed 28 cents to $63.72.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada said 450,600 people received regular Employment Insurance benefits in July, up 5,100, or 1.1%, from June.

The number of EI beneficiaries increased in seven provinces, notably in New Brunswick and Alberta. In contrast, there was a decline in Quebec, while there was little change in Newfoundland and Labrador as well as in Manitoba.

Elsewhere, this country added 49,300 jobs in August as hiring in the trade, transportation and utilities sector led broad-based gains, according to a report from ADP released on Thursday.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange fell 0.69 points to 584.22

All but three of the 12 Toronto subgroups finished the day in plus territory, with gold brighter 1.7%, materials better 1.3%, and consumer staples progressing 0.8%

The three laggards were health-care, down 3%, energy, sliding 0.3%, and communications, off 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up a 100-point gain and the S&P 500 held steady just under its all-time high on Thursday as investors checked their optimism about renewed U.S.-China trade talks.

The 30-stock lost 52.29 points to 27,094.79, as gains in Microsoft and UnitedHealth weren’t enough to offset losses in Boeing and Walt Disney.

The S&P 500 finished the day unchanged from Wednesday at 3,006.79, thanks to gains in health-care and materials stocks and weakness in industrials and energy. By the closing bell, the S&P 500 was 0.7% away from its record high despite a lackluster week on Wall Street.

The Dow is down 0.4%, and the S&P is off 0.02% for the week

The NASDAQ Composite nicked up 5.49 points to 8,182.88

Still, the prospect of forward progress between the two sides appeared to buoy shares of technology companies across the board, with Advanced Micro Devices up 1.3% and Micron up 0.6%.

Software giant Microsoft, meanwhile, climbed 1.8% to an all-time high, after announcing Wednesday evening that it authorized another $40 billion for share buybacks and will raise its quarterly dividend by five cents to 51 cents per share.

"Mr. Softee," as it is known colloquially, is worth more than $1 trillion and is currently the most valuable company public company in the United States.

Equities erased their more robust morning gains after a state-backed Chinese media report said that known China hawk and Trump advisor Michael Pillsbury warned the U.S. is ready to escalate the trade war if a deal isn’t struck soon.

Stocks continued to pare gains after a tabloid editor at the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China tweeted that China was in no rush to make a trade deal with the U.S.

Wall Street ended Wednesday little changed after the Fed approved a rate cut of one quarter point, but offered little for investors hoping for hints that the central bank would lower borrowing costs toward the end of 2019. Officials continued to describe the U.S. labour market as "strong" and characterized Gross Domestic Product growth as "moderate."

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury moved up, lowering yields to 1.79% from Wednesday’s 1.80%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions

Oil prices regrouped 27 cents to $58.38 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dumped $9.70 to $1,506.10 U.S. an ounce.