TSX nearing all-time high
Equity markets in Toronto advanced on Monday as strength in the financial and energy sectors helped overcome sluggish economic data and a drop in commodity prices.
The S&P/TSX composite index gained 32.57 points to greet noon at 15,126.82
The Canadian dollar slid 0.04 cents to 93.72 cents U.S.
Markets are shuttered Tuesday for Canada Day
The Toronto market was on track to end higher in June and record its fourth straight quarterly advance. These gains have pushed the index near its all-time high that it hit in June 2008.
Financials gained ground as Royal Bank of Canada gained 0.5\% to $76.41, and Toronto Dominion Bank rose 0.5\% to $55.11.
Shares of energy producers strengthened as Canadian Natural Resources rose 0.7\% to $49.17.
But the materials sector, which includes mining stocks, slipped, following gold and silver prices lower. Barrick Gold declined 0.7\% to $19.09, and Goldcorp Inc shed 0.8\% to $29.21.
On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported this morning that monthly gross domestic product grew 0.1\% in April, the same pace as in March. The nation's number crunchers also reported that output of service industries increased 0.3\%, while the output of goods-producing industries declined 0.3\%.
The TSX Venture Exchange slid 0.90 points to 1,022.07
All but four of the 14 Toronto subgroups were higher midday, as information technology sprang up 1.8\%, industrials gained 0.6\% and telecoms moved forward 0.3\%.
The four laggards were weighed by health-care, fading 0.6\%, real-estate, easing 0.1\%, and global base metals, down 0.03\%.
U.S. equities were somewhat mixed by noon Monday.
The Dow Jones Industrials stepped back 15.86 points to 16,835.98
The S&P 500 eked up 0.09 points to 1,961.05, and the NASDAQ composite gained 9.92 points to 4,407.85
The broad index needs only to end above 1,962.87 to log its 23rd record close of the year. The Dow needs to land above 16,947.08 for its 12th record close.
The S&P 500 is up 6\% during the first six months of 2014, even after losing some ground last week. Of course, the first-half rally pales in comparison with 2013 when the S&P 500 soared 12.6\% by this point.
Yahoo enjoyed a 2\% bump after the Internet company was upgraded to "overweight" by Piper Jaffray.
Last week, the Chinese e-commerce giant revealed plans to list its highly anticipated initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange.
American Apparel tumbled 15\% after the company announced plans to adopt a shareholder rights plan in an effort to prevented ousted chairman Dov Charney from seizing control.
Shares of MannKind soared 10\% after the company said the Food and Drug Administration approved a powder form of insulin that is inhaled.
U.S. Steel shed 1\% as investors react to the company being kicked out of the S&P 500. The steel maker, an original member of the S&P 500, is being replaced by Martin Marietta Materials, which traded about 2\% higher on Monday.
PPG Industries logged a 3\% gain after unveiling plans to acquire a Mexican coatings company for about $2.3 billion U.S.
Bank of New York Mellon advanced nearly 3\% as activist investor Nelson Peltz and his Trian Partners revealed a $1.05-billion U.S. stake in the financial company.
Facebook is in hot water after it was revealed the social network conducted a 'mood' experiment on users without their knowledge or explicit consent.
Facebook's terms of service give the company permission to conduct this kind of research, but many users have reacted with anger.
Wall Street, however, was unmoved by the drama. Facebook's stock is flat.
The U.S. Department of Justice is expected to announce a multi-billion-dollar settlement with French banking giant BNP Paribas on Monday. The bank has been subject to a long running criminal investigation over accusations that it breached U.S. sanctions on Iran, Sudan and other countries. Shares of BNP rose slightly in Paris.
Wall Street cheered new signs of progress in the very important housing market. The National Association of Realtors said U.S. pending home sales jumped 6.1\% in May, representing the biggest monthly increase since April 2010. Economists had been anticipating a more modest increase.
The bullish housing news lifted shares of home builders like Lennar, KB Home and PulteGroup
Prices for 10-year U.S. Treasuries recovered, lowering yields to 2.52\% from Friday's 2.53\%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices dipped 48 cents to $105.26 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices sank 90 cents to $1,319.10 U.S. an ounce.
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