Stocks Jump on Jobs Figures, Energy Strength

Suncor, Seabridge in Focus

Canada's main stock index rose on Friday to hover near 10-month highs, boosted by a jump in oil prices, better-than-expected job additions in November and a decline in the unemployment rate.

The TSX picked up Friday where it left off Thursday, gaining 63.92 points to 17,461.94

The Canadian dollar added 0.33 cents to 78.05 cents U.S.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said Thursday the economic impact of the second wave of COVID-19 in Canada has been deeper than expected and the government must be agile to ensure it can respond to gaps in supports should any emerge.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Suncor Energy, improving $22.55, or 5.7%, to $22.55, and Meg Energy, which jumped 25 cents, or 6.7%, to $4.00.

Seabridge Gold fell two dollars, or 8%, the most on the TSX, to $22.97. The second-biggest decliner was RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust, down 90 cents, or 5%, to $17.13.

Canaccord Genuity raised the target price on Dollarama to $50.00 from $46.00. Dollarama lost 20 cents to $54.02.

CIBC initiated coverage on Mullen Group with an outperform rating. Mullen shares leaped 21 cents, or 2%, to $10.54.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported the economy created 62,000 jobs during November, following an increase of 84,000 (+0.5%) in October. The numbers drove the unemployment rate down 0.4 percentage points last month to 8.5% in November.

In October, Canada's merchandise exports increased 2.2% and imports rose by 1.9%. Thus, Canada's merchandise trade deficit with the world was virtually unchanged at $3.8 billion in October.

Economists have predicted the Bank of Canada will not increase its asset-purchase programme anytime soon, and the country's gross domestic product should reach pre-COVID-19 levels within two years.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange nicked higher 0.42 points to 769.72.

The 12 TSX subgroups were evenly divided, with energy soaring 3.5%, materials up 0.5%, and utilities growing 0.3%.

The half-dozen laggards were weighed most by real-estate, down 0.4%, consumer staples, off 0.3%, and gold, dulling in price 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose on Friday as traders pored through the latest U.S. jobs report, putting the major averages on pace for another weekly advance.

The Dow Jones Industrials came fast out of the blocks Friday, increasing 102.42 points to 30,071.94.

The S&P 500 picked up 19.3 points to 3,686.02.

The NASDAQ gained 54.26 points to 12,431.44.

The U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November, well below a Dow Jones consensus estimate of 440,000. The unemployment rate, however, matched expectations by falling to 6.7% from 6.9%.

Friday’s report comes as the number of coronavirus cases has been rising sharply. The U.S. reported record numbers on Thursday of new infections, single-day deaths and hospitalizations.

On Thursday, the stock market was hit by a report suggesting troubles with Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine rollout. Major averages swiftly fell to their session lows after Dow Jones reported said Pfizer expects to ship half of the Covid-19 vaccines it originally planned for this year due to supply-chain problems.

Still, Pfizer and BioNtech are on track to roll out 1.3 billion vaccines in 2021 and the 50-million-dose shortfall this year will be covered as production ramps up, the report said.

The major averages were on pace to post their fourth weekly gain in five weeks. Entering Friday’s session, the Dow was up 0.2%, and the S&P 500 had gained 0.8%. The NASDAQ had risen 1.4% this week through Thursday’s close.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury slumped, raising yields to 0.98% from Thursday’s 0.91%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gushed 39 cents to $46.03 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices brightened $5.70 to $1,846.30
Dow Rises 100+ Despite Lukewarm Jobs Report