October 20, 2021

Stocks ended Friday much the way they ended Thursday, with very little movement one way or the other, despite progress in

energy stocks.

The TSX Composite squeezed out a gain of 0.1 points by the closing bell Friday to 20,416.31, a gain on the week of 265 points, or 1.32%.

The Canadian dollar roared ahead 0.48 cents to 80.18 cents U.S.

Stock markets in Canada will be closed Monday for Thanksgiving.

Energy stocks led the parade, with Cenovus Energy bettering itself 41 cents, or 3%, to $14.10, while Suncor grabbed 85 cents, or 3%, to $28.85.

In financials, Fairfax Financial Holdings jumped $10.97, or 2.1%, to $525.72, while Home Capital Group leaped $1.16, or 3.1%, to $38.81.

Among materials, Endeavour Silver climbed 11 cents, or 2.1%, to $5.30, while Hudbay Minerals hiked 19 cents, or 2.4%, to $8.19.

Still, declining subgroups were in the majority, as health-care stocks, such as Tilray weighed things down 71 cents, or 5.1%, to $13.09, while Canopy Growth ditched 53 cents, or 3.1%, to $16.45.

In tech stocks, Lightspeed POS stumbled $8.73, or 7.2%, to $108.01, while Dye & Durham sank $2.18, or 5.2%, to $39.63.

In utilities, Fortis slid 62 cents, or 1.1%,, to $55.78, while Northland Power plunged 50 cents, or 1.3%, to $38.23.

On the economic ledger, Statistics Canada says the economy created 157,000 jobs in September, the fourth consecutive monthly increase. The unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points to 6.9%

Western University’s IVEY School of Business reported its Purchasing Managers Index registered at 70.4 for September, up from 66 in August and 54.3 in September 2020.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday Canada will place unvaccinated federal employees on unpaid leave and require COVID-19 shots for air, train and ship passengers. Trudeau was unveiling one of the world’s strictest vaccine mandate policies.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange eked up 2.98 points Friday to 877.48, to pick up more than 11.6 points on the week, or 1.34%.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower by day’s end, with health-care doffing 2.5%, information technology dipped 1.7%, and utilities registering 0.8% lower.

The five gainers were led by energy, up 1.9%, financials, ahead 0.7%, and materials, improving 0.4%.

ON WALLSTREET

The Dow Jones Industrials were little changed on Friday, notching a winning week as optimism about a short-term debt ceiling deal trumped a disappointing jobs report.

The 30-stock index listed lower 8.69 points on the day, to 34,764.25, but adding 437 points on the week, or 1.28%.

The S&P 500 dipped 8.42 points to 4,391.34, to improve 34 points, or 0.78% over the last five sessions.

The NASDAQ Composite let go of 74.48 points to 14,579.54, to pick up 12 points, or 0.9% on the week.

Energy stocks plowed higher on Friday as Exxon Mobil rose 2.5%, Chevron advanced 2.2% and ConocoPhillips added nearly 4.8%.

There was something for both bears and bulls in Friday’s jobs report, which explains the gyrations in stocks following the release. The headline number was a major disappointment as the economy added just 194,000 jobs in September, well below the Dow Jones estimate of 500,000, the Labor Department reported.

On the positive side, the unemployment rate itself fell to a much lower point than economists forecast. At 4.8%, that’s the same level seen in late 2016. Plus, August’s jobs report miss was also revised up to 366,000 compared to the initial read of 235,000.

A bleaker labour picture could stall the Federal Reserve, as it prepares to slow its $120 billion-per-month bond-buying program.

Wall Street is also preparing for third-quarter earnings season, which kicks off next week.

Prices for 10-year Treasurys lost ground, raising yields to 1.61% from Thursday’s 1.57%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices picked up $1.20 to $79.50 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices weakened $2.50 to $1,756.70 U.S. an ounce.

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