TSX Achieves New High as Energy Rumbles

Ballard, Bausch in Focus

Canada's main stock index touched a new high on Wednesday, boosted by gains in energy stocks from a drop in new coronavirus cases in China that eased fears of falling crude oil demand.

The TSX Composite Index chugged ahead 48.69 points to enter noon hour EST at 17,907.03. The index has gained in nine of the last 11 sessions.

The Canadian dollar gained 0.20 cents to 75.62 cents U.S.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Ballard Power Systems, which jumped $2.08, or 12.6%, and Torex Gold Resources, which rose $1.76, or 9.3% to $20.63, after reporting a strong fourth quarter.

Bausch Health Companies fell $3.32, or 8.9%, the most on the TSX, to $33.91 after reporting a loss in the fourth quarter. The second biggest decliner was Lightspeed POS, down $2.28, or 5.8%, to $37.24 after a share offering.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada said Wednesday the consumer price index rose 2.4% on a year-over-year basis in January, up from a 2.2% increase in December. On a seasonally-adjusted monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.1% in January.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 3.33 points to 580.39.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups remained positive midday as energy rumbled 1.2%, consumer discretionary made 0.7% worth of headway, and gold improved 0.4%.

The five laggards were weighed most by health-care, down 2.3%, communications off 0.6%, and real-estate, sliding 0.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

The S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite rose to record highs on Wednesday as tech shares outperformed while investors continued to weigh the coronavirus’ impact on the global economy.

The Dow Jones Industrials leaped 141.05 points to move into lunch hour at 29,373.24.

The S&P 500 surged 19.28 points to 3,389.57.

The tech-heavy NASDAQ jumped 88.39 points to 9,821.13.

Apple shares contributed to the gains, trading 1.6% higher.

Tesla, meanwhile, jumped more than 9% after an analyst at Piper Sandler hiked his price target on the electric car maker to $928 per share from $729 per share. Tesla shares blew past the analyst’s price target, trading around $941 per share.

In corporate news, Garmin shares shot up more than 7% on the back of better-than-expected earnings. Meanwhile, Groupon plunged 40% after the company’s quarterly results badly missed expectations. Groupon also unveiled reverse stock-split proposal.

China’s National Health Commission on Wednesday reported an additional 1,749 cases of the coronavirus nationwide. That’s the lowest number of newly confirmed cases since late January.

Still, the total number of cases has broken above 74,000 while confirmed deaths from the coronavirus are more than 2,000. Cases of the deadly flu-like virus, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, have also been reported in more than two dozen countries around the world. Last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a global health emergency.

On the data front, the U.S. Labor Department’s producer price index (PPI) rose by 0.5% in January, marking its biggest one-month increase since October 2018.

The Federal Reserve is also scheduled to publish its meeting minutes from last month’s meeting, when policymakers at the U.S. central bank decided to hold short-term interest rates steady between a range of 1.5% to 1.75%.

Prices for the 10-Year U.S. Treasury were static, keeping yields at Tuesday’s 1.56%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices acquired $1.21 to $53.26 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices advanced $3.70 to $1,607.30 U.S. an ounce.