Markets rise to start the week as investors eye rate decision, earnings and data

TORONTO — Canada's main stock index gained more than 100 points Monday, helped by strength in financial, industrial, utilities and technology stocks, while U.S. markets also rose.

There wasn’t a clear market driver Monday, but markets were coming off of a negative week for equities, said Giles Marshall, portfolio manager at Fiduciary Trust Canada.

“Maybe this is just a bit of a short-term bounce from some oversold levels,” he said.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 119.37 points at 18,856.76.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 511.37 points at 32,928.96.The S&P 500 index was up 49.45 points at 4,166.82,while the Nasdaq composite was up 146.47 points at 12,789.48.

Though there wasn’t much news for markets to react to on Monday, the rest of the week should have a lot in store. In addition to the ongoing earnings season, which sees tech giant Apple reporting this week, the U.S. Federal Reserve will make its interest rate decision Wednesday, noted Marshall.

More U.S. economic data on manufacturing and the labour market comes later in the week, he said, while on Tuesday, Canada will see third-quarter GDP numbers.

“I think market sentiment is fragile at the moment,” said Marshall.

As companies report earnings for the third quarter, it’s less about the numbers than it is about their outlooks, he said.

“We've seen some mixed earnings announcements, some disappointments even amongst the so-called Magnificent Seven, accompanied by some cautious guidance, in particular from Meta, last week.”

It will be a similar story on Wednesday. The Fed is all but certain to announce it will hold its key rate steady, said Marshall, but investors will be more interested in what chairman Jerome Powell has to say.

“Markets will definitely be on tenterhooks as usual,” he said, adding that he expects Powell to continue his hawkish bent.

Also on Wednesday is the U.S. Treasury’s quarterly refunding announcement, noted Marshall. While this isn’t always an event that draws wide attention, the recent rise in bond yields that’s put downward pressure on equities means keener interest than usual in the announcement, he said.

“Given how volatile bond and rate markets have been over the last two or three months or so, I think there will be a keen interest in this release,” said Marshall.

The Canadian dollar traded for 72.29 cents UScompared with 72.17 cents US on Friday.

The December crude contract was down US$3.23 at US$82.31 per barreland the December natural gas contract was down 13 cents at US$3.35 per mmBTU.

The December gold contract was up US$7.10 at US$2,005.60 an ounceand the December copper contract was up one cent at US$3.66 a pound.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 30, 2023.

Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD)

Rosa Saba, The Canadian Press