Canada’s main stock index reversed course and enjoyed triple-digit gains by noon EDT on Thursday as data showing domestic factory activity contracted in May offset investor optimism over a likely pause in U.S. rate hikes and a debt ceiling deal.
The TSX gained 133.83 points to wind its way into lunch hour at 19,706.07.
The Canadian dollar gained 0.59 cents to 74.29 cents U.S.
Among individual stocks, Laurentian Bank of Canada beat estimates for quarterly adjusted earnings and raised dividend. The bank, however, allocated more to rainy-day funds. Investors had to part with $31.85 for a share of Laurentian, which is $1.28, or 4.2%, higher than Wednesday.
Centerra Gold climbed 25 cents, or 3.1%, to $8.43, after Raymond James turned bullish on the gold miner.
Boralex surged $1.09, or 2.9%, to $38.60, after Credit Suisse turned bullish on the utility, and Coveo Solutions Inc added 62 cents, or 8.6%, to $7.80 as Eight Capital started coverage of the AI services platform with a “buy” rating.
On the economic scene, the S&P Global Canada Manufacturing PMI sank below 50 for the second time in three months, to 49 in May after hitting 50.2 in April. Any reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector.
The TSX Venture Exchange recovered 7.67 points, or 1.3%, to 603.49.
All but one of the 12 TSX subgroups climbed midday, led by gold, up 2.6%, materials, stronger by 2.2%, and energy, better by 1.1%.
The lone holdout was in information technology, down 0.4%.
Stocks advanced on Thursday after the U.S. House passed a debt ceiling bill in a crucial step to avoid a U.S. default, with the measure now moving it to the Senate.
The Dow Jones Industrials progressed 162.43 points to pause for lunch Thursday at 33,070.76, despite a nearly 5% tumble in Salesforce following its earnings report, which put a clamp on gains.
The much-broader S&P 500 took on 31.52 points to 4,211.65.
The NASDAQ charged 115.46 points to 13,050.75.
The tech-heavy NASDAQ ended May with a 5.8% gain as enthusiasm around artificial intelligence continued to boost related stocks. But gains were hard to come by outside of tech, with the S&P 500 inching up 0.3% in the month and the Dow falling almost 3.5%.
Beyond the debt ceiling battle, investors are looking ahead to the Federal Reserve’s June 13-14 policy meeting as another possible market catalyst. Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said Wednesday that he’s leaning toward skipping a rate hike at the upcoming gathering. But Friday’s payrolls report could change his mind, he said.
Data from ADP showing private payrolls grew more than economists expected in May, coming in at 278,000 against a 180,000 consensus estimate from Dow Jones. Meanwhile, the number of jobless claims filed last week was smaller than economists forecasted. Both data points show continued resiliency in the labor market, a closely watched area of the economy given concerns that sustained strength could prompt the Fed, once again to raise interest rates at its policy meeting later this month.
The Fiscal Responsibility Act passed by a vote of 314-117 with bipartisan support. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he hopes “we can move the bill quickly here in the Senate and bring it to the president’s desk as soon as possible.”
Concern over a possible U.S. debt default lingered on Wall Street throughout May — which concluded Wednesday. Last month was also marked by a dramatic rally in artificial intelligence-related stocks.
Prices for the 10-year Treasury gained ground, lowering yields to 3.61% from Wednesday’s 3.64%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices jumped $2.52 to $70.61 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices popped $15.90 to $1,998.00 U.S. an ounce.