Stocks Follow Energy Issues Upward

Enerplus in Focus

The energy sector drove Canada's main stock index higher on Monday, as more signs of progress in developing a COVID-19 vaccine bolstered hopes of an economic revival and lifted oil prices.

The TSX came off its highs of the morning, but remained positive 31.62 points to move into noon hour at 17,050.72.

The Canadian dollar tailed off 0.09 cents to 76.34 cents U.S.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were oil producers Enerplus, which jumped 30 cents or 9.9%, to $3.34, and Whitecap Resources, which rose 31 cents, or 9.1, to $3.73.

Pan American Silver fell $2.28, or 6.4%, the most on the TSX, to $37.72, and the second-biggest decliner was New Gold, down 11 cents, or 4.6%, to $2.28.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange came off its dizzy heights and fell 0.2 points to 740.25.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher midday, led by energy, up 5.8%, while utility and financial stocks each gained 0.8%.

The five laggards were weighed most by gold, fading 3.3%, while materials docked 2.1%, and information technology subsided 0.5%.

ON WALLSTREET

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 rose on Monday after AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford said their coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, becoming the third inoculation this month that was revealed to be effective in trial data.

The 30-stock index regained 113.88 points to pause for lunch Monday at 29,377.36.

The S&P 500 dwindled 1.88 points to 3,555.75.

The NASDAQ slumped 36.89 points to 11,818.08.

AstraZeneca said interim analysis showed its vaccine has an average efficacy of 70% with one dosing regimen showing effectiveness of 90%, while the other demonstrating 62% efficacy. This follows late-stage trial data from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna showing that their respective Covid-19 vaccines were around 95% effective.

Shares of cruise lines and airlines jumped on hope distributing these vaccines would reopen the economy and boost travel early next year.

Shares of Carnival Corp. added 3.5%, while United Airlines rose 2.5%.

Tech stocks, meanwhile, were under pressure. Facebook dropped 1.7%, and Apple fell 2.6%. Netflix traded lower by 1%. Microsoft and Alphabet dipped.

On Monday, Goldman Sachs cut its fourth-quarter Gross Domestic Product forecast along with its economic growth estimate for the first quarter of 2021.

The bank now expects the U.S. economy to grow by 3.5% in the fourth quarter. That’s down from a previous forecast of 4.5% annualized growth. In the first quarter of next year, Goldman now sees economic growth of just 1%, down from a previous estimate of 3.5%.

The positive vaccine data this month has jolted stocks higher to record highs, despite concern about rising cases. Despite stalling out a bit last week, the Dow is up 10% in November. The S&P 500 is up 8%.

The major averages hit their session highs after IHS Markit said its U.S. manufacturing and services purchasing managers’ indexes hit multiyear highs. The flash U.S. services index rose to 57.7, its highest level in more than five years. The manufacturing PMI popped to 56.7, its highest level in over six years.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury were lower, boosting yields to 0.86% from at Friday’s 0.83%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices moved up 54 cents to $42.96 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dropped $41.40 to $1,831.00 U.S.