Economy & Markets

U.S. stock markets rise

By Aleksandra Sagan |
Source: The Canadian Press

The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index slipped slightly lower Monday, while markets south of the border inched forward after seeing some losses earlier in the day.

The S&P/TSX composite index shed 13 points to 16,026.26.

The indice's performance is tied to geopolitical tensions, said Kash Pashootan, CEO and chief investment officer at First Avenue Investment Counsel.

Ongoing trouble between the U.S. and North Korea, as well as other global political issues have led to concerns about an oil supply disruption, he said, driving the commodity price higher and creating a resource-rooted rally for the exchange.

However, the price of oil didn't move much Monday — with the December crude contract gaining US2¢ to US$56.76 per barrel — leaving the TSX relatively flat as well, Pashootan said.

On Wall Street, indices continued to question whether U.S. President Donald Trump will deliver on promised reforms, like a corporate tax cut, Pashootan said, and indices dipped into the red.

"But there's no question that the underlying enthusiasm and appetite for buying equities continues to remain strong," he said, adding that's what lifted indices before markets closed.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 17.49 points to 23,439.70, the S&P 500 index rose 2.54 points to 2,584.84 and the Nasdaq composite index advanced 6.66 points to 6,757.60.

Pashootan expects U.S. markets to show volatility over the next couple of quarters, moving higher when optimism about Trump's reform grows and retreating at any sign of challenges in the president's way.

Elsewhere in commodities, the December gold contract rose US$4.70 to US$1,278.90 an ounce and the December copper contract advanced roughly US4¢ to about US$3.12 a pound. The December natural gas contract fell about US5¢ to roughly US$3.17 per mmBTU.

The Bank of Canada, which publishes the daily average exchange rate of the Canadian dollar, is closed in lieu of Remembrance Day.