Stocks Finish in Green

Cogeco Communications Makes Waves

Equities in Canada’s largest centre tried to ape their American counterparts, and gained substantially to end Wednesday, mostly on the strength of consumer staple concerns.

The TSX gained 52.98 points to close Wednesday at 16,697.97.

The Canadian dollar eked up 0.01 cents to 76.61 cents U.S.

Consumer staples led the pack, with Alimentation Couche-Tard springing $3.21, or 7.5%, to $46.01, while George Weston ascended $3.69, or 3.9%, to $97.23.

In the communications world, Cogeco Communications proved the big story, grabbing $15.58, or 15.7%, to $114.93, while Rogers leaped $2.65, or 4.9%, to $57.00.

Among utilities, Brookfield Intra Partners, gaining $2.70, or 4.7%, to $60.20, while Fortis jumped $1.42, or 2.7%, to $53.19.

Energy proved another story, with Enerplus fading 27 cents, or 7.6%, to $3.28, while Vermillion Energy sagging 26 cents, or 5.1%, to $4.81.

Tech stocks took a bit of a beating, with Shopify sliding $76.07, or 5.1%, to $1,410.95, while Photon Control lost two cents, or 1.2%, to $1.64.

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 5.05 points to conclude Wednesday at 749.64.

All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups gained ground on the day, with consumer staples, up 3.6%, communication stocks, 3% better, and utilities moving up 1.5%.

The two losing stocks proved to be energy, down 2.4% and information technology, off 0.5%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose sharply 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 popped 454.84 points, or 1.6%, to adjourn Wednesday at 29,100.50. For the 30-stock index, it was its best day since July 14, and its first close above 29,000 since February.

The S&P 500 gathered 54.19 points, or 1.5%, to 3,580.84. The S&P 500 had its best day since July 6.

The NASDAQ Composite recovered – and then some – jumping 116.38 points, or 1%, to 12,056.44.

Both the S&P 500 and NASDAQ hit record highs, with the NASDAQ topping 12,000 for the first time.

Coca-Cola rose more than 3% along with Intel and IBM to lead the Dow higher. However, all three of those stocks are still down year to date. Apple dropped 2.1%, and Tesla slid 5.8%, 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 0.65% from Tuesday’s 0.67%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices docked $1.16 to $41.60 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices faded $30.60 to $1,948.30 U.S. an ounce.