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TSX Sags to Begin May, Despite Friday Gains



Equities finished the week in fine style in Toronto, though the gains seen on Friday indexes did not quite make up for negative readings throughout the rest of the week.

The TSX Composite stayed higher 124.19 points to close Friday at 21,947.41. On the week, however, the index trailed last Friday’s close by 20 points, or 0.9%.

The Canadian dollar ditched 0.08 cents at 73.09 cents U.S.

Communications led the charge, led in turn by BCE Inc., rumbling 91 cents, or 2%, to $46.05, while Rogers grabbed 80 cents, or 1.5%, to $52.65.

In the utility sector, Transalta prospered 46 cents, or 5%, to $9.69, while Brookfield Renewable units captured $1.31, or 3.9%, to $35.20.

Real-estate issues were in the green, with Colliers International up $4.57, or 3.2%, to $147.41, while units of CAPREIT grew 87 cents, or 2%, to $44.40.

Gold proved not to hot Friday, with Sandstorm Gold dipping 13 cents, or 1.7%, to $7.45, while Eldorado Gold pointed downward 52 cents, or 2.6%, to $19.51.

Energy plays proved less than energetic, with Kelt Exploration bowing nine cents, or 1.5%, to $6.08, while Peyto Exploration fell 22 cents, or 1.5%, to $14.93.

Meanwhile, Greater Toronto area home sales fell in April for a third straight month and prices crept up, as over two-decade high interest rates kept the lid on housing market recovery in Canada’s main metropolitan region.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange forged ahead 1.28 points to 581.70, though smarting from a loss on the week of 4.78 points, or 0.82%.

All but two of the 12 subgroups were higher, with communications and utilities each taking on 1%, while real-estate clicked 0.8%

The four laggards were weighed most by gold and energy, each down 0.4%, consumer staples off 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks jumped sharply Friday after a softer-than-expected April jobs report boosted hopes that the Federal Reserve could start cutting interest rates soon.

The Dow Jones Industrials popped 450.02 points, or 1.2%, to finish a strong Friday at 38,675.68.

The S&P 500 galloped 63.59 points, or 1.3%, to 5,127.79, and notch its best day since February.

The NASDAQ zoomed 315.37 points, or 2%, to 16,156.33.

All the averages capped off a winning week. The Dow jumped 1.2%, and NASDAQ rose 1.3%, while the S&P added 0.6%.

Strong quarterly reports from major Dow components also contributed to Friday’s rally. Apple advanced 6% after it announced a $110-billion share repurchase and a top -and bottom-line beat. Biotech stock Amgen surged nearly 12% after posting better-than-expected earnings and offering a positive update on an experimental obesity drug. Shares headed for their best day since 2009.

Friday’s non-farm payrolls report showed 175,000 jobs gained in April, below the 240,000 jobs expected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones. The unemployment rate edged up to 3.9%, versus 3.8% in the prior month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wage figures also came in less than expected — an encouraging sign for inflation.

With Friday’s moves all the major averages are headed to finish the week with gains. The Dow and NASDAQ have added 1.2% each, while the S&P is up 0.3%.

Strong quarterly reports from major Dow components contributed to Friday’s rally. Apple advanced 7% after it announced a $110-billion share repurchase and a top -and bottom-line beat. Biotech Amgen surged 14% after posting better-than-expected earnings and offering a positive update on an experimental obesity drug.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury jumped, lowering yields to 4.50% from Thursday’s 4.58%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices lost 85 cents to $78.34 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices retreated 30 cents to $2,309.30.



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