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Techs Launch TSX Higher

Dec 07, 2017 (Baystreet.ca via COMTEX) --

Canada's main stock index rose on Thursday, helped by gains among energy stocks as oil prices picked up and as BlackBerry moved higher after announcing an automotive partnership with chipmaker Qualcomm.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index leaped 95.01 points to greet Thursday noon at 16,003.79

The Canadian dollar slid 0.29 cents to 77.91 cents U.S.

Health-care stocks were the halest and heartiest Thursday morning, as Valeant Pharmaceuticals International 3.2% recovering most of a fall on Wednesday after announcing the pricing on its latest debt issuance.

BlackBerry added 1.3% to $13.22 after announcing it would expand its partnership with chipmaker Qualcomm into automotive systems on a non-exclusive basis.

Dollarama rose 2.4% to $153.25 after announcing a share buyback plan and as a string of analysts adjusted their price targets on the stock.

The energy group climbed 1%, with Suncor Energy up 0.9% at $43.94 and Canadian Natural Resources adding 1% to $44.62.

Among industrials, Westjet Airlines was up 1.9% at $26.89 after RBC raised its price target on the stock after its Wednesday announcement of a joint venture with Delta Air Lines.

Emera Inc. fell 3.1% to $47.77 after the energy company announced a bought deal to raise at least $700 million.

On the data beat, building permits Canadian municipalities issued $8.2 billion worth of building permits in October, up 3.5% from the previous month, according to figures from Statistics Canada.

The agency added all building components rose with the exception of the institutional component.

Elsewhere, Western University's IVEY School of Business issued its Purchasing Managers Index for November Thursday morning, and the PMI faltered slightly to 63.0 in November compared to 63.8 the month before, and 56.8 in November 2016.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange regained 1.28 points midday Thursday to 784.94

All but one of the 12 TSX subgroups left breakeven in the dust, as health-care leaped 1.8%, with information technology and consumer discretionary stocks each spiking 1.3%.

The lone laggards was in utilities, down 0.3%

ON WALLSTREET

The NASDAQ composite traded higher on Thursday, led by gains in Broadcom. Wall Street also looked to Washington for clues about tax reform and a possible government shutdown.

The Dow Jones industrials rocketed 81.18 to 24,222.09

The S&P 500 added 9.44 points to 2,638.71,

The NASDAQ added 48.93 points to 6,793.93, and Broadcom shares rose more than 1% after the chip maker reported better-than-expected earnings. The company's bottom line was boosted by strong wireless chip demand.

Tech stocks rose broadly. The sector, which is the best performer of the year, had been under pressure recently but has turned in consecutive gains since Tuesday.

The rest of the market, meanwhile, traded slightly lower as investors turned their sights to Washington looking for clues about a tax code overhaul and a potential government shutdown.

In corporate news, Sage Therapeutics skyrocketed 75% after announcing positive results from Phase 2 testing of its depression drug known as SAGE-217.

Shares of Shake Shack jumpe more than 7% after the fast-casual dining restaurant reported better-than-expected quarterly results.

Investors are also weighing the possibility of a government shutdown. If lawmakers fail to craft a deal on government spending by the end of the week, the federal government could close until a deal is struck. President Donald Trump said Wednesday a shutdown "could happen."

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note gained small ground, lowering yields to 2.33% from Wednesday's 2.34%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices regained 67 cents a barrel to $56.63 U.S.

Gold prices fell $10.60 to $1,256.40 U.S. an ounce.

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