TSX Enjoys Solid Gains

Whitecap, Baytex Merit Attention

Equities in Canada`s largest market gathered steam on Friday, after a jump in oil prices lifted energy shares.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index hiked 58.04 points, to reach noon at 16,457.51

The Canadian dollar gained 0.29 cents at 75.04 cents U.S.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Whitecap Resources, which jumped 17 cents, or 3%, to $5.80, followed by shares of Baytex Energy, which rose seven cents, or 2.5%, to $2.91.

Badger Daylighting fell 85 cents, or 2%,, the most on the TSX, to $41.95.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 0.9 points to 625.31

Eight of the 12 Toronto subgroups were in the green midday, most notably, energy, up 1%, while health-care was haler by 0.8%, and financials hiked 0.6%

The four laggards were weighed most by communications and real-estate, each down 0.3%, and consumer discretionary, sliding 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose on Friday after a slew of positive corporate news that included strong bank earnings and Disney unveiling a new streaming service.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average hiked 188.29 points to 26,331.34

The S&P 500 acquired 11.04 points to 2,899.36, thanks to gains in the financials and communications services sectors.

The NASDAQ Composite gained 11.04 points to 7,962.88

J.P. Morgan Chase kicked off the corporate earnings season on Friday by reporting better-than-expected results. The company said “impact of higher rates ” boosted its results, along with its fixed-income trading revenues. Wall Street cheered J.P. Morgan’s report, sending the stock up 3.3%.

Wells Fargo also reported better-than-expected results on the back of its consumer lending business.

Investors came into the season expecting it to be a tough one for companies. Experts expected first-quarter earnings to have fallen 4.2% in the first quarter.

Disney shares added to the gains, rising more than 10% after the media giant unveiled a streaming service at a lower price point than Netflix. Shares of Netflix, meanwhile, dipped 2.9%.

Sentiment was also boosted on Friday by a massive deal in the energy sector. Dow member Chevron announced plans to acquire Anadarko Petroleum for $33 billion in cash and stock. The deal values Anadarko at a 37% premium from the stock’s close on Thursday. Anadarko shares jumped 32% while Chevron fell 5%.

Friday’s gains put the S&P 500 on pace for its third consecutive weekly gain. On top of Friday’s deluge of corporate news, investors digested the release of the Federal Reserve’s minutes from its March meeting as well as further progress on U.S.-China trade talks.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury faltered, raising yields to 2.55% from Thursday’s 2.50%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices recovered 73 cents to $64.31 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices regained $1.60 to $1,294.90 U.S. an ounce.