TSX Closes with Moderate Gains

Stocks in Toronto recovered Thursday from a negative session Wednesday, as health-care and energy stocks carried the day.

The TSX Composite index gained 45.75 points to conclude Thursday at 20,375.48.

The Canadian dollar jumped 0.29 cents to 80 cents U.S.

Health-care stocks proved the leader, as OrganiGram Holdings hiked 22 cents, or 7.1%, to $3.33, while Aurora Cannabis added 51 cents, or 5.9%, to $9.20.

In the energy field, Cenovus Energy traveled 28 cents higher, or 3%, to $10.08, while Snncor jumped 58 cents, or 2.4%, to $24.50.

In the utilities sector, Brookfield Renewable Partners shot higher $1.09. or 2.3%, to $49.19, while Boralex gained 58 cents, or 1.6%, to $39.04.

Gold and other resource stocks headed in the other direction, with Alamos Gold dropping 68 cents, or 6.5%, to $9.85, while Equinox Gold slumped 48 cents, or 5.5%, to $8.21.

Pretium Resources lost 37 cents, or 3.1%, to $11.59, while Stella-Jones backpedaled 72 cents or 1.7%, to $42.28.

In consumer staples, George Weston skidded $1.83, or 1.4%, to $131.17, while Alimentation Couche-Tard doffed 54 cents, or 1.1%, to $50.57.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported that a sharp increase in exports resulted in Canada’s merchandise trade balance returning to a surplus position, reaching $3.2 billion.

This follows a $1.6-billion deficit in May. Exports of goods rose 8.7% in June, while imports decreased 1.0%.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange lost 2.02 points to 922.61.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher by Thursday’s close, as health-care stocks climbed 3.4%, energy improved 1.4%, and utilities were 0.8% to the good.

The five laggards were weighed most by gold, off 2.27%, materials, backtracking 1.4%, and consumer staples, retreating 0.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

The major U.S. equity indexes rose Thursday and the S&P 500 set a new record closing high as energy and travel stocks bounced back ahead of a key labour market report.

The Dow Jones Industrials sprinted 271.58 points to 35,064.25.

The S&P 500 regained 26.44 points to 4,429.10, a new all-time record close.

The NASDAQ gained 114.58 points to 14,895.12.

Travel stocks, including airlines, bounced on Thursday after struggling over the past week amid the spread of the delta variant of COVID 19. American Airlines rose more than 7%, while casino stock Caesars Entertainment jumped more than 6%.

However, earnings season has been strong overall. Goldman Sachs raised its year-end target for the S&P 500 to 4,700, representing 7% upside, in part due to an improving earnings outlook.

Shares of Roku dropped more than 4% after the company issued quarterly results. Etsy fell 9% after the company gave guidance for the current quarter that indicated the pandemic-fueled commerce boom may be coming to an end.

However, earnings season has been strong overall. Goldman Sachs raised its year-end target for the S&P 500 to 4,700, representing 7% upside, in part due to an improving earnings outlook.

During regular trading Wednesday, shares of Robinhood surged 50%, continuing a volatile jump after last week’s soft initial public offering. However, the stock reversed course on Thursday and fell more than 27% following the announcement that some stockholders will sell more than 97 million shares.

Weekly initial jobless claims came in at 385,000 on Thursday, in-line with expectations. Recent earnings and economic data have been strong overall, but some economists worry economic growth and employment gains will taper from here.

The jobless claims data was the last reading before the key July jobs report, which will be released on Friday morning. There is a wide range of estimates from economists about what the report will show, and some metrics for employment gains have disappointed despite a high level of reported job openings.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys dipped, raising yields to 1.22% from Wednesday’s 1.18%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices $1.05 to $69.20 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices slid eight dollars to $1,807.10 U.S. an ounce.

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