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S&P/TSX composite sets new records in longest streak in more than 30 years

TORONTO — Canada's main stock index climbed for a 14th straight day to reach a new high in the longest streak of daily gains in more than three decades.

TORONTO — Canada's main stock index climbed for a 14th straight day to reach a new high in the longest streak of daily gains in more than three decades.

"Energy prices have climbed, interest rates are on the rise and we've seen positive momentum in the labour market, and this is an ideal backdrop for the TSX, which is heavily tilted toward commodity sectors and financials," said Angelo Kourkafas, investment strategist at Edward Jones.

U.S. markets also continued to shine Monday with the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 hitting all-time highs while the Nasdaq also increased on the strength of third-quarter earnings reports.

"It's been a solid start with a little over 20 per cent of the S&P 500 companies having already reported. The numbers look pretty good with above-average beat rates," he said in an interview.

Nearly one-third of S&P companies will report this week with the focus on the five largest tech names: Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft.

Concerns about labour shortages and supply-chain disruptions haven't yet materialized, but Kourkafas said the banks and companies reporting so far wouldn't be most directly impacted by these issues.

The Bank of Canada is expected on Wednesday to announce a further tapering of its bond purchases to $1 billion a week and update its inflation and growth projections. 

Kourkafas doesn't think an expected further cutting back on stimulus will have much of an impact on markets unless the central bank delivers a more hawkish stance than anybody anticipates.

"Inflation has surprised to the upside and also the fact that we have seen positive momentum in the labour market in Canada with total employment back to the pre-pandemic levels, that provides further evidence or some assurance, support to policy-makers that the recovery and the expansion is on track."

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 68.69 points to 21,284.84 after hitting a record intraday high of 21,307.00

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 64.13 points at 35,741.15. The S&P 500 index was up 21.58 points at 4,566.48, while the Nasdaq composite was up 136.51 points at 15,226.71. 

Energy and materials led the TSX, gaining 1.9 and 1.5 per cent, respectively.

Energy climbed as natural gas prices soared and crude oil ended the day flat after rising to the highest level since 2014.

The December crude oil contract was unchanged at US$83.76 per barrel after hitting a high of US$85.41 and the December natural gas contract was up nearly 60 cents at US$6.06 per mmBTU. 

Whitecap Resources Inc. gained 4.6 per cent while Vermilion Energy Inc. rose 4.2 per cent.

Kourkafas said it's not surprising that oil price, which has risen for nine straight weeks, would take a bit of a breather.

The sector continued to improve because company share prices haven't accelerated as much as crude prices.

He said crude prices slipped during the day over a potential meeting this week between Iran and the European Union on reviving the 2015 nuclear agreement.

The Canadian dollar traded for 80.78 cents US compared with 80.93 cents US on Friday.

Materials rose on higher metals prices.

The December gold contract was up US$10.50 at US$1,806.80 an ounce and the December copper contract was up three cents at US$4.53 a pound. 

Financials was also higher with the Bank of Montreal up 1.3 per cent, while a 16.9 per cent boost in shares of Hut 8 Mining Corp. lifted technology.

Telecommunications was the biggest laggard, losing 1.7 per cent as shares of Rogers Communications Inc. plunged 5.8 per cent over a governance crisis at one of Canada's largest telecom companies. Shaw Communications fell 2.4 per cent.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 25, 2021. 


Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press