June 21, 2021

Stocks in Toronto started April and the calendar year’s second quarter with a bang, climbing nearly 300 points, on the strength of resource stocks.

The TSX thundered higher 289.65 points to close Thursday at 18,990.32. The hike on the week was 237 points, or 1.27%.

The Canadian dollar gained 0.11 cents at 79.70 cents U.S.

Ontario will enter another lockdown on the weekend for 28 days, as it grapples with rising COVID-19 cases and intensive care hospitalization rates.

Gold led the way among gaining stocks, with Torex Resources vaulting 89 cents, or 5.6%, to $16.76, while NovaGold up 66 cents, or 6%, to $11.62.

The materials sector also flexed its muscles, with Endeavour Silver gaining 33 cents, or 5.3%, to $6.55, while Endeavour Mining ahead $1.37, or 5.4%, to $26.70.

Among energy plays, Parex Resources jumped $1.01, or 4.5%, to $23.42, while Cenovus Energy popped 41 cents, or 4.3%, to $9.85.

Cannabis issues weighed down the health-care sector, with Aurora Cannabis down 20 cents, or 1.7%, to $11.49, while Aphria let go of 38 cents, or 1.7%, to $22.71.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported the total value of building permits issued in February broke the $10-billion mark for the first time, as a jump in the non-residential sector more than offset the decline in the residential sector.

Moreover, the headline seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index registered 58.5 in March, up considerably from 54.8 in February, to become the highest reading in over 10 years of data collection.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange picked up 8.29 points to 960.84, a gain on the week of 17.5 points, or 1.86%.

All but one of the 12 TSX subgroups remained positive heading into the long Easter weekend, with gold surging 3.6%, materials rumbling ahead 3.2%, and energy 3.1% more energetic.

Health-care proved the only negative, shedding 0.4%.

ON WALLSTREET

The S&P 500 crossed the 4,000 threshold for the first time Thursday as Wall Street built on a solid March following the rollout of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan.

The Dow Jones Industrials leaped 171.66 points to finish the day and week at 33,153.21.

The S&P 500 picked up 46.98 points, or 1.2%, to 4,019.87.

The NASDAQ Composite recouped 233.24 points, or 1.8%, to 13,480.11.

Alphabet and Netflix jumped more than 3%, while Amazon and Microsoft gained over 2%.

Wall Street just wrapped up March with solid gains. The Dow picked up 6.6%, and the S&P 500 climbed 4.3%, last month, posting their best month since November.

It was a short week, due to Good Friday, with the Dow closing 80 points better, or 0.24%, while the S&P took hold off 45 points, or 1.14%, and the NASDAQ jumped 341 points, or 2.6% over the last four trading days.

Microsoft shares rose 1.2% on news that the software giant will deliver to the U.S. Army more than 120,000 devices based on its HoloLens augmented reality headset. The contract will be worth $21.9 billion over 10 years.

The upward movement in stocks came after Biden introduced his multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure proposal. The plan includes spending on roads and bridges as well as green energy and water system upgrades. This marks the second major spending push of Biden’s presidency after he signed a $1.9-trillion relief and stimulus bill on March 11.

The plan Biden outlined Wednesday includes roughly $2 trillion in spending over eight years and would raise the corporate tax rate to 28% to fund it.

Still, some on Wall Street grew worried that higher taxes could pose a threat to rebounding corporate earnings and stock prices.

In deal news, Micron Technology and Western Digital are said to be exploring a deal to buy Japanese semiconductor firm Kioxia for about $30 billion, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Micron shares jumped 4.7% on the news, while Western Digital popped 6.9%.

On the data front, an index of U.S. manufacturing activity jumped to a reading of 64.7 last month from 60.8 in February, according to the Institute for Supply Management. That was the highest level since December 1983.

Investors digested a worse-than-expected reading on weekly jobless claims Thursday. First-time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ended March 27 totaled 719,000, higher than 675,000 expected by economists.

The key March jobs report will be released on Friday, although the stock market will be closed for the Good Friday holiday. Economists expect 630,000 jobs were added in March, and the unemployment rate fell to 6% from 6.2%, according to Dow Jones.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys leaped, lowering yields to 1.68% from Wednesday’s 1.74%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices advanced $2.07 to $61.23 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $14.10 to $1,729.70.

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