NEWS

TSX hits record high, Dow testing new benchmark

07/02/2014 12:35 EDT | Updated 09/01/2014 05:59 EDT
The Toronto stock market racked up a new record today amid a strong report about Canadian manufacturing and hopes for better job numbers out of the U.S.

The S&P/TSX composite index gained 69 points to 15,215 at midday. It passed its previous closing high of 15,109, set last week.

Canadian traders also were optimistic about numbers released Tuesday, when the market was closed, showing an improvement in both Chinese and U.S. manufacturing.

In the U.S., stocks were edging higher in midday trading following an ADP report that showed that the private sector created 281,000 jobs during June, a higher-than-expected number.

The Dow rose 12 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 16,969 as of noon ET Wednesday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose a point to 1,974 and the Nasdaq rose four points, or 0.1 per cent, to 4,462.

On Tuesday, the Dow and the S&P 500 entered the second half of 2014 trading by hitting new records after data showed that Chinese manufacturing grew in June for the first time in six months. The S&P punched through its record on Tuesday and the Dow zeroed in on the 17,000 benchmark, hitting 16,956.

U.S. manufacturing numbers mixed

In the U.S., the manufacturing sector advanced for a 13th straight month of growth. Other data released Wednesday showed U.S. factory orders fell by 0.5 per cent in May, a steeper drop than the 0.3 per cent that had been forecast.

Traders looked ahead to the other major economic event for the week — the release Friday of the U.S. government's employment report for June. The ADP report made investors optimistic about hiring, analysts said.

"Clearly, now the market is going to set up for a bullish number," said Wes Mills, chief investment officer at Scotia Private Client Group.

"People have been reluctant to fully endorse this rally and we know the fears that have popped up, whether it's Ukraine, or China or more recently this Iraq business. But it does seem the market is shaking all of these things off."

In corporate news, JPMorgan Chase chairman and chief executive Jamie Dimon said he has curable throat cancer. Dimon said he plans to remain on the job and be actively involved in key decisions while undergoing treatment.

Despite the reassurance, Dimon's illness could raise leadership concerns at one of the world's biggest banks. The bank's shares declined 68 cents to $57.18 US.

BlackBerry, CP Rail up

In Canada, shares in Canadian Pacific Railway were $2.69 higher to $196 after the carrier was upgraded by equities research analysts at CIBC from a "sector perform" rating to an "outperform" rating. Earlier this week, analysts at Barclays raised their price target on shares of Canadian Pacific Railway from $168 to $196 US.

TSX advancers were led by the base metals component, up 2.9 per cent as July copper gained four cents to $3.25 a pound.

The information technology sector was up 1.68 per cent as Waterloo, Ont.-based BlackBerry ran up 40 cents or 3.66 per cent to $11.34. The stock has surged lately, up about 40 per cent in the past month amid strong quarterly financial results and enthusiasm over its new product. BlackBerry's Passport, which meets somewhere between a smartphone and a tablet in size, is scheduled to launch in Europe this September

The energy sector was ahead 0.3 per cent, with August crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange down seven cents to $105.27 US a barrel.

The gold sector shook off early declines to move up 0.45 per cent, while August bullion rose $4 to $1,330.60 US an ounce.

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