Stocks Soar on Stimulus Prospects

Restaurant Brands, Vermilion in Focus

Futures for Canada's main stock index rose on Thursday on bets of expanded U.S. stimulus package to aid economic recovery after Democrats took control of the Senate.

The TSX popped 145.6 points to end Wednesday at 17,828.11.

The Canadian dollar docked 0.31 cents to 78.65 cents U.S.

March futures were up 0.02% Thursday.

Canada's oil sands production hit a record high in November, according to the latest regulatory data, and will likely continue to rise as producers ramp up output following the end of provincial government production curtailments in Alberta.

Stephens raised the target price on Restaurant Brands International to $73.00 from $55.00

Canaccord Genuity raised the target price on Vermilion Energy to $7.50 from $5.00

Democrats on Wednesday won two U.S. Senate seats up for grabs in runoff elections in Georgia, giving the party control of the chamber and boosting the prospects for President-elect Joe Biden's legislative agenda.

On the economic beat, Western University’s IVEY School of Business will reveal its Purchasing Managers Index for December around 10 EST this morning.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange lagged 2.33 points Wednesday to 897.52.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock futures rose on Thursday as Congress confirmed the election of Joe Biden as president. Gains were muted following a sizable rally on Wednesday.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials jumped 132 points, or 0.4%, to 30,852.

Futures for the S&P 500 popped 20.25 points, or 0.5%, at 3,760.75.

Futures for the NASDAQ Composite hiked 106.5 points, or 0.8%, to 12,723.25.

On Wednesday, the Dow climbed more than 400 points or 1.4% to close at a record as investors digested what a Democratic-held Congress would mean for stocks and largely looked past riots at the U.S. Capitol. The S&P 500 rose 0.57%, hitting an intraday all-time high during the session.

During Wednesday’s trading session, markets were seemingly unaffected by the chaos in Washington caused by pro-Trump rioters at the U.S. Capitol. Lawmakers had just started the procedural process of counting the Electoral College votes and formally declaring President-elect Joe Biden the winner, when protesters stormed the chamber.

Later Wednesday evening, the Capitol building was secured and Congress reconvened to continue the process to confirm Biden’s win. That affirmation came early Thursday morning with the House of Representatives and the Senate rejecting efforts to object to the acceptance of the Electoral College votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania.

Bed Bath & Beyond, Constellation Brands, Walgreens Boots Alliance and Conagra report quarterly earnings before the bell on Thursday. Chipmaker Micron reports after the bell.

The U.S. Labor Department releases last week’s jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday. Economists polled by Dow Jones are expecting 815,000 Americans filed for unemployment last week, compared to the previous week’s 787,000 claims.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 heightened 1.6% Thursday, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index lost 0.5%.

Oil prices gained 33 cents to $50.96 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices leaped $11.10 at $1,919.70 U.S.