Toronto stock mar­ket closes at an­other record amid deluge of earn­ings


Canada’s main stock mar­ket eked out a small gain to close at a record high Thurs­day for the fifth day in a row, as a num­ber of cor­po­rate heavy­weights re­ported their lat­est round of earn­ings re­sults.

The Toronto Stock Ex­change’s S&P/TSX com­pos­ite in­dex climbed 19.22 points at 15,864.17 — with gold, real es­tate and util­i­ties stocks rack­ing up the big­gest gains. It’s the eighth straight ses­sion where the in­dex, which is weighted heav­ily in com­modi­ties, has fin­ished ahead.

Al­though the over­all mar­ket gain was not abun­dant, in­di­vid­ual stocks chalked up no­table moves into the up­side and down­side, said Cyn­thia Caskey, a port­fo­lio man­ager and vice-pres­i­dent at TD Wealth.

“While it looks rel­a­tively calm and not a lot is hap­pen­ing on the sur­face, it re­ally is a mar­ket of stocks to­day. There is lots of earn­ings news, lots of com­pany spe­cific up­dates,’’ she said.

“Frankly, what is re­ally in­ter­est­ing to me is that some of the big bell­wether Canadian stocks are mov­ing five and six per cent in one day alone. That’s a very rare oc­cur­rence.’’

One of those stocks is re­tailer Canadian Tire (TSX:CTC.A), which came out as one of the ses­sion’s big­gest win­ners, gain­ing more than six per cent after the com­pany re­ported solid quar­terly and year-end re­sults.

The mer­chan­diser, well known for au­to­mo­tive and sport­ing goods, saw sales at its ban­ner stores rise 9.6 per cent in the three-month pe­riod end­ing Dec. 31. Sales at FGL Sports, which in­cludes Sport Chek, and Mark’s cloth­ing chain were also ahead com­pared with the same quar­ter in 2015. Canadian Tire shares fin­ished $9.94 higher at $154.51 on the Toronto Stock Ex­change.

Mean­while, shares in min­ing heavy­weights, Bar­rick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX) and Gold­corp Inc. (TSX:G) also fin­ished 6.05 per cent and 5.86 per cent higher, re­spec­tively, on strong earn­ings re­sults. Bar­rick’s stock closed up $1.53 to $26.81, while Gold­corp shares ad­vanced $1.28 at $23.11.

In other cor­po­rate news, me­dia and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions gi­ant Que­becor Inc. (TSX:QBR.B) an­nounced that Pierre Karl Pe­ladeau was re­turn­ing to the top job as pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive.

Pe­ladeau, whose fam­ily founded the com­pany, stepped down from the top job at the tele­com in 2013 for a short­lived po­lit­i­cal ca­reer as PQ leader but re­signed from pol­i­tics last year. In­vestors seemed sur­prised by the move as shares in Que­becor fell 1.61 per cent, or 63 cents, to $38.41.

In New York, the Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age also fin­ished at an all-time high, adding 7.91 points at 20,619.77 points.

The broader S&P 500 was down 2.03 points at 2,347.22 and the Nas­daq com­pos­ite fell 4.54 points at 5,814.90.

North Amer­i­can stock mar­kets have en­joyed a record­set­ting run since U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump was elected in Novem­ber, driven by op­ti­mism in the past few weeks that he will push through lower taxes for busi­nesses, loosen reg­u­la­tions and adopt more busi­ness-friendly poli­cies.

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