02/21/2017 12:25 EST | Updated 02/22/2018 00:12 EST

North American stock markets smash new records, Restaurant Brands shares rise 7%

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market climbed to a new record high Tuesday, bolstered by a major deal that saw the parent company of Tim Hortons and Burger King buy Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen for US$1.8 billion.

The S&P/TSX composite index jumped 83.74 points at 15,922.37, as shares in Canadian multinational fast-food company Restaurant Brands International (TSX:QSR) soared seven per cent at the close.

RBI's stock finished up $4.98 to $75.65.

The company plans on expanding Popeyes' locations globally. The chain, which specializes in fried chicken, french fries and biscuits, currently has more than 2,600 restaurants, mostly in the U.S., with 621 internationally.

Nearly all sectors on the TSX were in the green, with only the gold sector finishing to the negative. The April bullion contract lost 20 cents at US$1,238.90 an ounce.

Canada's largest stock market had finished lower on Friday after an exciting eighth straight day of advances. The TSX had been closed on Monday for Family Day in Ontario, while U.S. markets were closed for President's Day.

South of the border, all three major New York indexes finished above previous all-time highs.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 118.95 points at 20,743 points and the Nasdaq composite added 27.37 points at 5,865.95.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 was up 14.22 points at 2,365.38. The broad-based index has been positive for four straight weeks, its longest streak since July.

Craig Jerusalim, a portfolio manager of Canadian equities with CIBC Asset Management, said investors are buoyed by strong corporate earnings that keep coming in.

"There are so many skeptics of this record-setting rally, it is important that earnings continue to justify and validate the sharp price movements," he said.

Jerusalim said that company profits in this quarter currently do show that stock markets are supported by increasing optimism about growth.

"As long as earnings continue to surprise to the upside, then the valuations can continue to be supported and the prices can continue to move higher," he said.

"It's healthier when the market is benefiting from earnings growth."

In corporate news, shares of American retail giant Wal-Mart jumped three per cent to US$71.45 after the company said its online business surged in the fourth quarter and it reported more business in the U.S. during the holiday season.

Wal-Mart recently bought web-based retailers and Moosejaw to strengthen its online sales, which have improved over the last two quarters.

In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was at 76.12 cents US, down 0.22 of a U.S. cent.

Commodities were mixed with the April crude contract adding 55 cents to US$54.33 a barrel and April natural gas down 26 cents at US$2.69 per mmBTU. March copper contracts were up four cents at US$2.75 a pound.


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