TSX Gains for 9th Straight Day

Health-Care, Financials Carry Day

Is there no slowing down the TSX, after weeks and weeks of decline? The index gained ground again Wednesday, for the ninth straight session, powered by progress in the health-care sector, and prosperity among bank and financial stocks.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index picked up 64.98 points to end Wednesday’s session at 15,111.26. The index has gained nearly 800 points since the start of 2019.

The Canadian dollar eked higher 0.03 cents to 75.44 cents U.S.

In the health sector, Aurora Cannabis shone 49 cents, or 5.3%, to $9.75, while rival Canopy Growth gathered $1.22, or 2.2%, to $56.12

In financials, Royal Bank gained 62 cents to $97.89, while Scotiabank shot higher 75 cents, or 1.1%, to $72.32

In materials, First Quantum Minerals roared higher $1.59, or 14.5%, to $12.54, while Agnico Eagle Mines picked up 13 cents to $52.03

Energy stocks, however, did not fare so well, as Suncor doffed 52 cents, or 1.3%, to $40.83, while Canadian Natural Resources fell 60 cents, or 1.6%, to $36.60.

In communications, BCE shed eight cents to $55.53, while Shaw Communications lost 22 cents to $26.38.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange fell 0.2 points to 597.83. Despite the backward move, the index has still tacked on 40 points since the calendar year began.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups gained on the day, led by health-care, up 2.3%, financials, progressing 1.1%, and materials, better by 0.5%.

Among the five laggards, energy sputtered 0.7%, while communications and utilities each docked 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose on Wednesday as investors cheered strong quarterly earnings from major banks like Goldman Sachs and Bank of America.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 141.57 points to 24,207.16, as Goldman Sachs outperformed.

The S&P 500 gained 5.8 points to 2,616.10, led by a 2.2% gain in financials.

The NASDAQ Composite advanced 10.86 points to end Wednesday at 7,034.69

Goldman Sachs posted blowout quarterly earnings, sending the stock up 9.5% its biggest one-day gain since 2009. Bank of America also rose 7.2% after reporting a record quarterly profit. The reports follow the releases of fourth-quarter results from Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo earlier this week. Morgan Stanley, another major bank, is scheduled to report on Thursday.

Separately, United Continental surged more than 6% after the company posted better-than expected earnings on Tuesday.

More than 6% of S&P 500 companies have reported calendar fourth-quarter earnings. Of those companies, 85.3% have reported better-than-expected earnings.

Equities have bounced back sharply this year after suffering massive losses to near the end of 2018. The major indexes were up at least 3.2% year to date. Since Christmas Eve, they have all gained at least 8.8%. Stocks sold off towards the end of last year in part because of fear that the global economy was slowing down.

Nordstrom shares fell more than 4.5% after the company said sales at some stores were "below expectations" during the holiday season. Meanwhile, Snap dropped more than 13% on news the company’s CFO was resigning.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S. Treasury fell back, raising yields to 2.73% from Tuesday’s 2.71%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices regained 27 cents to $52.38 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices strengthened five dollars to $1,293.40 U.S. an ounce.