TSX Hikes to New Record

U.S. Housing Starts Soar

Equity markets in Canada’s largest centre opened higher on Friday, tracking gains in global equities, as upbeat Chinese economic data pointed to signs of stabilization in the world's second-largest economy.

The TSX Composite Index moved upward 38.45 points to begin Friday at 17,484.77

The Canadian dollar demurred 0.07 cents to 76.61 cents U.S.

CIBC cut the target price on Bombardier to $2.25 from $3.00. Bombardier shares were static at $1.22.

Scotiabank raised target price on Canadian Pacific Railway to $340.00 from $320.00. CP shares gained $1.42 to $341.69.

National Bank of Canada raised the price target on Pinnacle Renewable Energy to $15.00 from $14.00. Pinnacle shares moved ahead 24 cents, or 2.3%, to $10.74.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported that Canadian investors increased their holdings in foreign securities to $5.5 billion in November as Canadian investors resumed their purchases of foreign equities.

At the same time, foreign investors reduced their holdings of Canadian securities by $1.8 billion, the first decline in four months

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 2.05 points to 585.16

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups opened positive, primarily real-estate, up 0.4%, while financials and consumer discretionary stocks each surged 0.3%.

The four laggards were weighed most by health-care issues, hesitating 0.3%, while gold and energy each faded 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks opened at record highs on Friday as strong global economic data and a solid start to the earnings season led to another week of gains.

The Dow Jones Industrials gained 45.69 points to 29,343.33,

The S&P 500 gained 7.36 points to 3,324.17

The NASDAQ advanced 18.23 points to 9,375.46.

Through Thursday’s close, S&P 500 and Dow are up more than 1.5% each while the NASDAQ is up nearly 2%.

Cisco Systems rose 0.9% to lead the Dow higher. Utilities and communication services were the best-performing sectors in the S&P 500.

Schlumberger reported Friday quarterly earnings that beat analyst expectations, sending the stock up slightly. CSX’s earnings also beat expectations, but the stock slid more than 1%.

Big banks such as Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley all reported quarterly figures that exceeded estimate earlier this week.

Corporate earnings have also been better than expected to start off the reporting period. More than 8% of the S&P 500 has reported quarterly results thus far. Of those companies, 72% gave posted better-than-expected earnings.

Chinese industrial data for December came in better than expected, with production rising 6.9% on a year-over-year basis. The overall Chinese economy grew by 6.1% in 2019, matching expectations. To be sure, that is also the slowest growth rate for the Chinese economy since 1990.

In the U.S., housing starts soared nearly 17% in December and reached a 13-year high. That data follows Thursday’s release of better-than-forecast weekly jobless claims and strong business activity numbers from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve.

Prices for the 10-Year U.S. Treasury lost ground, raising yields to 1.84% from Wednesday’s 1.81%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices nicked up nine cents to $58.61 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $7.80 to $1,558.30 U.S. an ounce.