Stocks end first-half strong

Baystreet Stock Market Update (Canada) |

Gold stocks propel TSX

The Toronto stock market climbed Monday, pulled up by strong gains in gold and information technology stocks.

The S&P/TSX composite index gained 51.76 points to close Monday at 15,146.01

The Canadian dollar slid 0.02 cents to 93.74 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.

Gold stocks led the pack, as Barrick Gold rocketed 1.6\% to $19.53, and Goldcorp gathered 1.1\% to $29.78.

Information technology stocks were close in pursuit, with BlackBerry ballooning 4.6\% to $10.94.

Financials faded on the day, even as Royal Bank of Canada gained 0.3\% to $76.28, and Toronto Dominion Bank rose 0.2\% to $54.93.

Shares of energy producers strengthened as Canadian Natural Resources rose 0.7\% to $49.17.

In corporate news, a group of GM Canada dealers is suing the company and its parent General Motors Co., saying the automaker has ignored their repeated calls for financial help to address a drop in sales and market share.

In the U.S., the automaker said it is prepared to pay out billions of General Motors' money to victims of crashes in GM small cars -- provided they can prove the cars' ignition switches caused the crash.

GM links 13 deaths to a defective ignition switch in cars such as the Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion. But trial lawyers and lawmakers say claims of wrongful death and injury could total in the hundreds.

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\%.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange recovered 5.46 points to 1,028.43

All but four of the 14 Toronto subgroups were higher Monday, as information technology and gold sprang up 1.8\% each, while materials moved forward 1.3\%

The four laggards were weighed by health-care, fading 1.1\%, while real-estate and consumer discretionaries each fell 0.03\%.

ON WALLSTREET

Wall Street had a notion of celebrating fresh record highs at the halfway mark of 2014; alas, that was not entirely to be Monday.

The Dow Jones Industrials stepped back 25.24 points to 16,826.60

The S&P 500 dipped 0.73 points to 1,960.23, and the NASDAQ composite gained 10.25 points to 4,408.18.

Monday marks the end of the month, quarter and first half of 2014. The year started ominously due to emerging market concerns and severe winter weather, but things have turned around on Wall Street along with the warmer temperatures.

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 2.5\% bump after the Internet company was upgraded to "overweight" by Piper Jaffray.

American Apparel dropped 7\% after the company announced plans to adopt a shareholder rights plan in an effort to prevented ousted chairman Dov Charney from seizing control. The selloff follows a surge of nearly 30\% on Friday.

It was truly a great leap for MannKind. Shares soared 11\% after the company said the Food and Drug Administration approved a powder form of insulin that is inhaled. The stock is up 113\% year to date.

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 2\% 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 was up 0.4\%.

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 ever so 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 35 cents to $105.39 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices recovered $6.80 to $1,326.80 U.S. an ounce.

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Companies

Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
SWCKF Swick Mining Services Ltd 0.20 0.00 0.00 0

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