Canada's main stock index rose on Thursday, helped by materials stocks and upbeat earnings by Aphria Inc. Optimism about a large U.S. stimulus package under incoming U.S. President Joe Biden further boosted sentiment.
The TSX gained 56.4 points to pause for lunch at 17,991.14.
The Canadian dollar forged ahead 0.34 cents at 79.09 cents U.S.
Aphria shares galloped $2.25, or 17.7%, to $14.95, while Aurora Cannabis jumped $1.15, or 8.3%, to $15.02.
The fuel-cell products developer Ballard Power Systems fell $3.44, or 7.4%, the most on the TSX, to $42.96, after TD Securities downgraded the rating hold from speculative buy. The second biggest decliner was NFI Group down 81 cents, or 2.6%, to $30.69.
The TSX Venture Exchange jumped 9.46 points, or 1.1%, to 909.70.
Seven of the 12 subgroups remained in the green midday, with health-care vaulting 4.4%, energy surging 2.1%, and information technology up 1.4%
The five laggards were weighed most by industrials, fading 0.8%, consumer staples, down 0.5%, and gold dimmer by 0.2%.
U.S. stocks rose on Thursday as traders weighed a potential big economic stimulus package and more good vaccine news versus pressure from weak economic data and political turmoil.
The Dow Jones Industrials spiked 121.13 points to reach noon hour EST Thursday at 31,181.60,
The S&P 500 jumped 6.1 points to 3,815.94
The NASDAQ added 49.66 points to 13,178.61.
President-elect Joe Biden is expected on Thursday evening to unveil a stimulus plan that will include a boost to the recent $600 direct payments, an extension of increased unemployment insurance and support for state and local governments. The stimulus could reportedly be as big as $2 trillion.
Trial data published on Wednesday showed that Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose coronavirus vaccine is safe and generates a promising immune response.
However, investors also digested worse-than-expected jobless claims data. First-time claims for unemployment insurance jumped to 965,000 last week, higher than an estimate of 800,000 new claims, according to economists surveyed by Dow Jones.
The market held up in the previous session even as House members voted to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time — making him the first U.S. president ever to be impeached twice — as a bipartisan majority charged him with inciting a riot in the U.S. Capitol last week.
Wednesday’s slight gains for the S&P 500 and NASDAQ came after Intel rallied nearly 7% to lead tech stocks higher. They also followed U.S. interest rates easing from their highest levels since March 2020.
Prices for the 10-Year Treasury were unchanged, keeping yields at Wednesday’s 1.10%.
Oil prices moved doggedly forward, six cents to $52.97 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices erased $7.70 to $1,847.20 U.S. an ounce.