Markets Finish Day on Upswing



Equity markets throughout North America found late strength Friday, and progressed into positive territory, mostly on the strength of communications and health stocks.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index enjoyed a resurgence of 197.41 points to close Friday at 22,269.12. On the week, the index lost nearly 52 points, or 0.23%.

The Canadian dollar moved ahead 0.31cents at 73.39 cents U.S.

Of the seven winning subgroups, communications proved the champion, with Rogers better by 89 cents, or 1.7%, to $55.04, while TELUS took on 36 cents, or 1.6%, to $22.43.

In industrials, CN Rail hiked $3.63, or 2.1%, to $17.37, while ATS Corp. strengthened $1.16, or 2.7%, to $43.52.

Health-care concerns were also haler, with Bausch Health Companies gaining 35 cents, or 4.1%, to $8.94, while Chartwell Retirement Residences up 16 cents, or 1.3%, to $12.45.

Gold let the side down, however, with NovaGold stumbling 23 cents, or 4.1%, to $5.35, while Wesdome Gold lost 38 cents, or 3.3%, to $11.01.

Among materials, First Quantum Minerals slid 53 cents, or 3%, to $17.29, while K92 Mining dipped 24 cents, or 3.1%, to $7.55.

In techs, HUT 8 Mining fell 58 cents, or 4.7%, to $11.64, while Celestica dumped $2.64, or 3.6%, to $75.87.

Economically speaking, Statistics Canada says March GDP data is out today, showing a figure essentially unchanged as both goods-producing and services-producing industries showed little movement in March. GDP increased 0.4%, however, in the first quarter, after posting no change in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The Bank of Canada is expected to initiate interest rate cuts in its June 5 monetary policy meeting, with a 64% probability, while markets are pricing in 35 bps cuts from the Fed this year, with a 49% chance of a rate cut in September.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange dipped 4.09 points to 610.87. On the week, however, the index gathered nearly three points, or 0.48%.

Seven of the 12 subgroups were in the green by the closing bell, with communications taking on 1%, while industrials and health-care each improved 0.6%.

The five in the red were weighed most by gold, dulling 1.3%, materials, weakening 0.9%, and information technology, off 0.4%.

ON WALLSTREET

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed on Friday, as investors wrapped up a strong month after the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation measure came in largely around expectations.

The 30-stock index popped 574.84 points, or 1.5%, to 38,686.32, led higher by Salesforce’s hike of more than 7%, and UnitedHealth’s advances of more than 2%.

The S&P 500 fought its way back into the “win” column, gaining 42.03 points to 5,277.51.

The NASDAQ climbed to within 2.06 points of breakeven to 16,735.01, as Nvidia and other megacap technology stocks took a hit.

The S&P 500 slid 0.5% and NASDAQ declined 1.1%, each snapping five-week win streak. The blue-chip Dow slipped 1%, marking a second straight week of losses.

Despite those moves, it was a winning May, with each of the major benchmarks registering a sixth positive month in seven. The Dow is up 2.3% this month, while the S&P 500 is 4.8% higher. The tech-heavy NASDAQ has gained 6.8%.

A chunk of May’s strength can be attributed to a surge in Nvidia, which released blockbuster earnings last week. Though the artificial intelligence darling’s stock fell on Friday, shares ended the month nearly 27% higher. Tesla and Netflix also pulled back on Friday, hurting the tech-heavy NASDAQ in the session.

Closely followed economic data released Friday morning came mostly in line with forecasts. The core personal consumption expenditures price index increased 0.2% in April, the same figure that was anticipated by economists polled by Dow Jones. Core PCE rose 2.8% on an annualized basis, slightly above the 2.7% prediction from economists.

Traders also reacted to the latest corporate earnings results. Dell Technologies tumbled more than 17% despite strong earnings, after saying its AI server backlog was smaller than anticipated. Cloud security stock Zscaler popped 8.5%, while developer data platform MongoDB plunged almost 24%. Apparel retailer Gap jumped more than 28%.

The core personal consumption expenditures price index increased 0.2% in April, in line with the consensus forecast of economists polled by Dow Jones, according to data released Friday. Core PCE rose 2.8% on an annualized basis, slightly above the 2.7% prediction from economists.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury gained a bit of ground, lowering yields to 4.50% from Thursday’s 4.55%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices shed 66 cents to $77.25 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices docked $17.80 to $2,348.70.



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