Gains Persist for TSX

Cogeco Main Engine of Rally

Canada's main stock index rose on Wednesday, supported by gains in Cogeco after Altice USA offered to purchase the Canadian television group, while upbeat domestic labour productivity data also bolstered sentiment.

The TSX gained 31.75 points to reach noon EDT at 16,676.74.

The Canadian dollar docked 0.12 cents to 76.48 cents U.S.

Cogeco shares popped $12.50, or 15.8%, to $91.40.

Cogeco's gains were followed by Alimentation Couche-Tard, which rose $3.08, or 7.2%, to $45.88, after the company reported upbeat quarterly results.

Ballard Power Systems fell $1.41, or 6.4%, the most on the TSX, to $20.74, and the second biggest decliner was First Majestic Silver, down $1.26, or 8% to $14.50.

Figures released by Statistics Canada Wednesday showed the country's labour productivity grew by a record 9.8% in the second quarter as hours worked plummeted at a much faster pace than business output.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange faded 6.73 points to pause for lunch Wednesday at 747.96.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups gained ground midday, with communication stocks towering 2.8%, consumer staples up 2.5%, and utilities moving up 1.5%.

The four losing subgroups were weighed most by energy, down 1.8%, gold, retreating 1.5%, and information technology, off 1.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose on Wednesday, continuing a strong start to September for the market as traders took profits out of high-flying names like Apple and Tesla and snapped up shares in more beaten-down parts of the market.

The Dow Jones Industrials climbed 168.13 points to achieve noon hour on Wednesday at 28,813.79.

The S&P 500 gathered 17.91 points to 3,544.56.

The NASDAQ Composite fell 58.63 points to 11,881.04.

Both the S&P 500 and NASDAQ hit all-time highs Tuesday.

Coca-Cola rose more than 2% along with Intel and IBM to lead the Dow higher. However, all three of those stocks are still down year to date. Apple dropped 3%, and Tesla slid 6.9%, giving back some of their recently sharp gains.

The moves Wednesday also followed conflicting news in the fight against the coronavirus, with Swiss pharmaceutical firm Roche announcing that it would launch a new rapid antigen test in Europe by the end of the month. The company said it would apply for an emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

However, an expert panel convened by the U.S. National Institute of Health said that a plasma treatment touted by President Trump and FDA head Stephen Hahn does not appear to be effective against COVID-19 based on current research.

The major U.S. averages rose even after the release of disappointing economic data. ADP said U.S. private payrolls grew by 428,000 in August. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a gain of 1.17 million.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury were higher, lowering yields to 0.64% from Tuesday’s 0.67%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices docked $1.02 to $41.74 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices faded $29.70 to $1,949.20 U.S. an ounce.