Doubling Aid Puts Spur into Stocks

Hexo, Chorus in Focus

Canada's main stock index rose on Thursday after Ottawa voted to almost double an aid package aimed at helping people and businesses deal with losses due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The TSX Composite Index jumped 409.36 points, or 3.1%, to move into noon hour Thursday at 13,548.59

The Canadian dollar sprang up 1.04 cents at 71.37 cents U.S.

Legislators handed out a package worth $52 billion, up from an initial $27 billion outlined last week.

The province of Ontario forecast on Wednesday a jump in its 2020-21 budget deficit as it provides a $17-billion financial package in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were shares of cannabis producer Hexo, which jumped 49 cents, or 45%, to $1.58, followed by shares of aircraft repair and overhaul services provider Chorus Aviation which rose 70 cents, or 19.9%, to $4.22

Hudbay Minerals fell eight cents, or 2.9%, the most on the TSX, to $2.65.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange hiked 12.27 points, or 3.1%, to 407.94.

All but one of the 12 TSX subgroups were in the plus column, with health-care issues popping 10.2%, energy rumbling higher 6.1%, and utilities, up 4.9%

Only gold failed to surface, losing 0.5%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks surged for a third straight day on Thursday as investors shrugged off the release of record-breaking initial jobless claims while the Senate passed a massive economic stimulus bill amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Dow Jones Industrials ballooned 1,205.83 points, or 5.7%, to 22,406.38

The broader S&P 500 gained 116.72 points, or 4.6%, to 2,590.41. Those gains put the Dow and S&P 500 on track for a three-day winning streak. They also put the Dow up about 20% over the past three days.

The NASDAQ jumped 280.66 points, or 3.8%, to 7,664.95,

Boeing, American Express and Nike drove the Dow’s gains, with each stock rising more than 8%. Utilities and energy were the best-performing sectors in the S&P 500 as both traded more than 5% higher.

The U.S. Labor Department said Thursday unemployment benefit claims soared to 3.28 million last week, a record. That number blew past the Great Recession peak of 695,000. However, the record-setting number was still better than some of the direst estimates on Wall Street. Citi, for example, expected a spike to four million.

Thursday’s moves came as the Senate unanimously approved a $2-trillion economic relief package late Wednesday, which aims to cushion the blow from the coronavirus outbreak. The stimulus bill now heads to the House, which will push to pass it by voice vote Friday morning as most representatives are out of Washington.

Prices for the 10-Year U.S. Treasury prospered, lowering yields to 0.81% from Wednesday’s 0.85%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dipped $1.16 to $23.33 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices regained $16.10 to $1,649.50 U.S. an ounce.