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Triple-Digit Gains for TSX

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

Stocks flexed their muscle Thursday, as gains in health-care and tech stocks overshadowed weakness in utilities.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index leaped 106.90 points to close Thursday at 16,015.68

The Canadian dollar slid 0.39 cents to 77.81 cents U.S.

Health-care stocks were the halest and heartiest Thursday morning, as Valeant Pharmaceuticals International hiked $1.21, or 5.6%, to $22.73, recovering most of a fall on Wednesday after announcing the pricing on its latest debt issuance.

Among techs, BlackBerry added 16 cents, or 1.2%, to $13.21 after announcing it would expand its partnership with chipmaker Qualcomm into automotive systems on a non-exclusive basis.

Elsewhere, Shopify rocketed $5.96, or 4.9%, to $128.33.

Among consumer discretionary concerns, Dollarama rose $7.99, or 5.3%, to $157.72 after announcing a share buyback plan and as a string of analysts adjusted their price targets on the stock.

Canadian Tire shares gathered a dollar to finish at $163.48.

The energy group climbed 1%, with Suncor Energy up 59 cents, or 1.4%, at $44.14 and Canadian Natural Resources adding 29 cents to $44.45.

Among industrials, Westjet Airlines was up 75 cents, or 2.8%, at $27.15 after RBC raised its price target on the stock after its Wednesday announcement of a joint venture with Delta Air Lines.

Among utilities, Fortis handed back five cents to $47.29, while Hydro One lost four cents to $22.66.

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 gained 3.96 points to close Thursday at 787.62

All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups were stronger Thursday, as health-care spread its wings 1.8%, information technology climbed 1.4%, and consumer discretionary gained 1.4%.

The two laggards were utilities, down 0.1%, and consumer staples, off 0.04%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks rose on Thursday as technology stocks regained some of the ground they lost in the past week.

The Dow Jones industrials came off its highs of the day, but still finished in the green, 70.57 points, to 24,211.48

The S&P 500 added 7.71 points to 2,636.98. Information technology was among the best-performing sectors in the S&P 500, advancing 0.6%.

Tech, which is the best-performing sector of the year, had been under pressure recently -- falling 0.9% over the past week -- but posted a three-day winning streak on Thursday.

The NASDAQ added 36.47 points to 6,812.84, as shares of Facebook and Amazon rose.

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.

Material stocks perked up in late-afternoon trading on news that President Donald Trump plans to unveil an infrastructure spending plan in 2018. Shares of Martin Marietta Materials rose 3.5%, Vulcan Materials hiked 3.1%. and Eagle Materials took on 2.4%.

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 70% after announcing positive results from Phase 2 testing of its depression drug known as SAGE-217.

Shares of Shake Shack jumped nearly 8% after the fast-casual dining restaurant reported better-than-expected quarterly results.

In economic news, investors looked ahead to the release of the November jobs report. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is set to release the data on Friday at 8:30 a.m. New York time. Economists expect a gain of 200,000 jobs last month.

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 lost ground, raising yields to 2.36% from Wednesday's 2.34%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices regained 64 cents a barrel to $56.60 U.S.

Gold prices fell $16.60 to $1,249.50 U.S. an ounce.

********************************************************************** As of Sunday, 12-03-2017 23:59, the latest Comtex SmarTrend® Alert, an automated pattern recognition system, indicated a DOWNTREND on 03-06-2012 for MLM @ $84.43. As of Sunday, 1

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