Equities in Toronto again revealed exciting gains on Thursday, as more data emerged suggesting the omicron variant of the coronavirus is less severe than feared, while gains in industrial shares further lifted the sentiment.
The S&P/TSX Composite leaped 148.88 points to end Thursday at 21,218.93.
The Canadian dollar added 0.28 cents at 78.09 cents U.S.
Trading will be limited to a half-day on Friday, Christmas Eve, the closing bell sounding around 1 p.m. EST.
Tech issues were the big winners, with HUT 8 Mining skyrocketing 77 cents, or 7.4%, to $11.19, and Tecsys Inc. triumphing $1.82, or 3.8%, to $50.04.
In pot stocks, Aurora Cannabis gathered 23 cents, or 3%, to $7.85, while Canopy Growth, well, grew 30 cents, or 2.5%, to $12.33.
In consumer stocks, Martinrea International jumped 46 cents, or 4.2%, to $11.34, while BRP Inc. leaped $3.03, or 2.9%, to $109.02.
Energy stocks missed the festivities, as Prairie Sky Royalties surrendered 17 cents, or 1.3%, to $13.44, while Birchcliff Energy lost eight cents, or 1.2%, to $6.44.
In things economic, Statistics Canada’s Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours as payroll employment rose by 131,700 (+0.8%) in October, bringing it to within 0.6 percentage points of its pre-pandemic February 2020 level.
Meanwhile, Gross Domestic Product rose 0.8% in October on broad-based increases across sectors.
Moreover, Canada will temporarily expand support programs to help people and businesses hit by the Omicron variant of COVID-19, warning people that worse was yet to come as the virus spreads.
The risk of needing to stay in hospital for patients with the Omicron variant is 40% to 45% lower than for patients with the Delta variant, according to research by London’s Imperial College published on Wednesday.
The TSX Venture Exchange recovered 12.64 points, or 1.4%, to 928.81.
All but one of the 12 TSX subgroups gained ground, with information technology sprinting 1.6%, health-care leaping 1.3%, and consumer discretionary stocks ahead 1%.
Only energy missed the boat, declining 0.2% on the day.
The major averages rose for a third day on Thursday as investors looked past earlier jitters about the spread of the omicron COVID variant.
The Dow Jones Industrials advanced 196.67 points to close Thursday, the last session before Christmas, at 35,950.56. Gain on the week was 584 points, or 1.65%.
The S&P 500 index hiked 29.23 points to 4,725.79, at a new record, collecting 105 points on the week, or 2.3%.
The NASDAQ popped 131.48 points at 15,653.37, for a weekly gain of 484 points, or 3.19%.
Thursday’s gains were broad across the board, although on light volume. Bank shares were higher, along with Big Tech stocks Microsoft and Nvidia.
The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s COVID pill, the first oral antiviral drug against the virus. The FDA also authorized Merck’s antiviral pill for COVID-19 on Thursday.
Reopening plays like airlines and cruise lines were some of the biggest winners this week during the comeback. Carnival Corp. rose 16% since Monday. Hilton Worldwide rallied 9.8% this week.
U.S. markets are closed Friday for the Christmas holiday.
Economic data out Thursday morning down south showed a strong economy with improving labour and spending trends, but inflation at uncomfortable levels.
Jobless claims for the week ended December 18 came in about as expected at 205,000. Durable goods for November rose 2.5%, compared to the 1.5% Dow Jones estimate. Personal income and spending showed increases for November.
But on the inflation side, the Federal Reserve’s closely watched core personal consumption expenditures index rose 0.6% in November from the month prior. Core PCE rose 4.7% year-over-year in November, higher than the 4.5% rate expected.
Prices for 10-year were pitched lower, raising yields to 1.49% from Wednesday’s 1.46%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices gained $1.05 to $73.81 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices brightened $7.50 to $1,809.70 U.S. an ounce.