S&P/TSX composite hits new record, while U.S. stock markets mixed

·3 min read

TORONTO — Canada's main stock index closed at a new record high for its 12th straight day of gains on the back of a strong performance from the industrials sector, while U.S. markets were mixed.

Mike Archibald, vice-president and portfolio manager with AGF Investments Inc., said the S&P 500 index’s gain in the U.S. on Thursday meant that exchange has had seven positive closes in a row.

"The short term momentum in the market is continuing here, albeit at a lower cook than the last four or five days in the market," said Archibald.

"It seems as though there's still a desire for money to flow into equities."

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 24.20 points at 21,212.39 after closing at a record high on Wednesday. The industrials and information technology indices carried the exchange, with 1.26 per cent and 1.29 per cent rises in those sectors respectively.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 6.26 points at 35,603.08. The S&P 500 index was up13.59 points at 4,549.78, while the Nasdaq composite was up 94.02 points at 15,215.70.

Archibald said the U.S dollar bounced back from a weak stretch on Thursday, as the Canadian dollar traded for 80.97 cents US compared with 81.11 cents US on Wednesday.

He said the rise in the greenback led to a drop in commodity prices, which in turn weighed down TSX and kept the index’s gains relatively small.

The December crude oil contract was down 92 cents at US$82.50 per barrel and the November natural gas contract was down six cents at US$5.12 per mmBTU.

The December gold contract was down US$3 at US$1,781.90 an ounce and the December copper contract was down 18 cents at US$4.56 a pound.

The TSX's materials index was down 1.04 per cent to 320.15 points as a result.

In the U.S., Archibald said investors were watching jobless claims numbers that were slightly better than expected, with first-time unemployment insurance filings dropping by 6,000 to 290,000.

A business outlook survey from the U.S. Federal Reserve came in slightly weaker than expected, which Archibald said led to investors turning to invest in growth sectors like information technology.

Quarterly earnings continued to make an impact on equities this week, with Canadian National Railway up 1.68 per cent and Canadian Pacific Railway up 0.75 per cent after positive earnings this week.

"The numbers weren't spectacular, but I think the bar was pretty low for both those companies, so there's a bit of follow-on buying occurring here today," said Archibald.

Rogers Communications Inc.'s stock took a hit on Thursday with a 1.75 per cent drop to $60.19, despite meeting expectations in their earnings report Thursday.

Archibald attributed the drop to an ongoing boardroom feud, which the Rogers's CEO addressed publicly for the first time in the company's earnings call.

"I feel supported and rest assured that the entire executive team is focused on two things," said Joe Natale, president and chief executive of Rogers, during the conference call with analysts.

"One, running the business to keep driving performance, and two, landing the Shaw transaction and the synergies and integration efforts that stand behind it."

Multiple big name companies in Canada are set to report earnings next week, with Archibald pointing out Restaurant Brands International Inc., Teck Resources Ltd., and Suncor Energy Inc. as some to note.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 21, 2021.

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

Salmaan Farooqui, The Canadian Press

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