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S&P/TSX composite closes up more than 300 points, U.S. stock markets also higher

People walk in the financial district of Toronto on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Lahodynskyj

TORONTO — Canada's main stock index gained 1.4 per cent Wednesday in a broad-based rally led by energy, industrial and utilities stocks, while U.S. stock markets posted new records yet again.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 307.73 points at 22,350.23.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 429.39 points at 39,721.36. The S&P 500 index was up 56.93 points at 5,633.91, while the Nasdaq composite was 218.16 points higher at 18,647.45.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both reached new records Wednesday. Markets in the U.S. were led higher by tech stocks, with Nvidia up 2.7 per cent, Apple up 1.9 per cent and Microsoft up 1.5 per cent.

“One particular area of strength continued to be companies within semiconductors. And of course, companies within this industry continue to capture attention in light of the ongoing data centre build-out related to artificial intelligence,” said Kathrin Forrest, equity investment specialist at Capital Group.

That interest was reaffirmed Wednesday by Taiwan Semiconductor, she said.

The company, which makes chips for Nvidia and other leaders in the AI space, said its revenue climbed almost 33 per cent in June from a year earlier. Shares in TSMC rose 3.5 per cent on the Nasdaq Wednesday.

Apple also got its own boost supported by reports of strong year-over-year PC shipping growth, said Forrest.

The big event for Wednesday was the second day of Capitol Hill testimony from U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell.

Powell largely echoed his comments from the day before, saying the Fed is cautious about the risks of cutting rates too early or too late.

However, he said he was “not sending any signals” about when cuts could come.

Expectations for a first interest-rate cut in September were largely unchanged by Powell’s testimony this week, said Forrest.

Markets continue to price in a 70-per-cent chance of a cut in September, according to data from CME Group.

This week will also see new reports on U.S. consumer and wholesale inflation.

“Each data point will be watched very closely,” said Forrest.

However, it will take more than one report to significantly change the Fed’s trajectory, she said.

“They're not focused on one particular data point, but the data in its totality.”

The Canadian dollar traded for 73.42 cents US compared with 73.32 cents US on Tuesday.

The August crude oil contract was up 69 cents at US$82.10 per barrel and the August natural gas contract was down two cents at US$2.33 per mmBTU.

The August gold contract was up US$11.80 at US$2,379.70 an ounce and the September copper contract was up three cents at US$4.61 a pound.

— With files from The Associated Press

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 10, 2024.

Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD)

Rosa Saba, The Canadian Press

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