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Apr 26, 2018

TSX hits 5-week high; Wall Street boosted by earnings

BNN's closing bell update: April 26, 2018

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U.S. stocks advanced on Thursday with each of Wall Street's major indexes ending the session up 1 per cent or higher, boosted by solid earnings results and a rebound in technology stocks as U.S. bond yields pulled back.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq snapped a five-day losing streak while the S&P technology index booked its first up day in six sessions.

Facebook (FB.O) surged 9.1 per cent after posting an impressive earnings beat, which appeared to calm worries about the fallout from its use of consumer data.

Chipmakers Advanced Micro Devices Inc and Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) rose 13.7 per cent and 1.4 per cent, respectively, after quarterly results beat Wall Street estimates and alleviated worries over softening smartphone demand.

Their advances helped lift the Philadelphia Semiconductor index 2.1 per cent, breaking its six-day losing streak and at the close of its best day in three weeks.

"Earnings continue to be better than expected and you have many of the geopolitical concerns like trade wars put on the back burner temporarily. And the commentary has been good," said Channing Smith, managing principal at Jackson Hole Capital Partners in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

"ItRs a tug-of-war market where you've concerns about the 10-year (Treasury bond) yield rising and inflation expectations rising and geopolitical concerns and the tariff concerns against the best earnings we've seen in years," said Smith.

The yield on U.S. 10-year Treasuries closed below the 3 per cent level as buyers emerged following a sell-off fueled by worries over growing U.S. debt issuance and rising costs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 238.51 points, or 0.99 per cent, to 24,322.34, the S&P 500 gained 27.54 points, or 1.04 per cent, to 2,666.94 and the Nasdaq Composite added 114.94 points, or 1.64 per cent, to 7,118.68.

So far, 45 per cent of S&P 500 companies have reported first-quarter earnings, with 79.7 per cent beating consensus estimates. Analysts see 23.1 per cent earnings growth for the quarter, based on a blend of actual and estimated results.

Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) shares jumped more than 6 per cent in after-market trading after the online retailer reported a 43 per cent surge in first-quarter revenue.

General Motors Co (GM.N) edged up 0.4 per cent after the automaker reported a production drop of its high-margin pickup trucks, despite posting higher-than-expected profit.

United Parcel Service Inc (UPS.N) shares rose 4.3 per cent after the world's largest package delivery company defied cost and weather headwinds to post higher first-quarter profit and strong volumes.

Visa Inc (V.N) also helped lift the tech sector, advancing 4.8 per cent following the payments network's better-than-expected profit and earnings forecast raise.

AT&T Inc (T.N) shares slumped 6.0 per cent. It reported a loss of subscribers from its pay TV business.

Union Pacific Corp (UNP.N) shares fell 2.9 per cent. The No. 1 U.S. railroad operator cautioned on a key operating metric, helping send the Dow Jones Transportation Average down 0.9 per cent.

In economic news, new orders for durable goods unexpectedly dropped in March as demand for machinery registered its biggest decline in more than two years, according to the Commerce Department. However, the Labor Department reported initial claims for unemployment fell to their lowest level since 1969, suggesting the labor market is at or near full employment.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.26-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.06-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 6.74 billion shares, compared with the 6.67 billion-share average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

CANADIAN STOCKS

Canada's main stock index rose to a five-week high on Thursday as financial and technology shares led broad-based gains, while Husky Energy Inc (HSE.TO) fell more than 8 per cent after an explosion at the company's refinery in Wisconsin.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended up 127.84 points, or 0.82 per cent, at 15,637.59, its highest close since March 21.

Gains for the index came as U.S. stocks were boosted by solid earnings results and a pullback in U.S. bond yields, after investors had worried this week that higher bond yields would raise global borrowing costs.

Financials, which account for more than one-third of the weight of the TSX, climbed 1.1 per cent and the information technology group advanced 1.4 per cent.

The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Precision Drilling (PD.TO), which rose 5.3 per cent. The company reported a smaller-than-expected loss on Thursday as its U.S. clients deployed more of the company's rigs to take advantage of rising oil prices.

All of the index's 10 main groups ended higher, with energy advancing 0.5 per cent as oil prices rose.

U.S. crude oil futures settled 0.2 per cent higher at USUS$68.19 a barrel, supported by the risk of renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran, plunging Venezuelan output and robust global demand.

The largest decliner on the index was Husky, down 8.1 per cent. The refinery explosion injured at least 10 people, sent smoke billowing into the sky and shook a building a mile away, officials at hospitals and the fire department said, on the same day that the company reported financial results.

The TSX posted six new 52-week highs and three new lows.

 

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