“I Know That You Can Do the Impossible” -Terry Fox

 

Positive Markets

The Toronto stock market was higher Friday amid further indications that China continues to recover from a recent economic slump and an analyst upgrade for BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion Ltd.  The S&P/TSX composite index gained 53.89 points to 12,728.62, near its best level in a year, while the TSX Venture Exchange gained 0.74 of a point to 1,233.89.  China reported that its economy grew 7.9 per cent in the fourth quarter, year-over-year, up from 7.4 per cent growth in the third quarter, alleviating concerns that it is headed for a hard landing. In the U.S. the Dow Jones was up 53 points to 13,649 while the S&P500 gained 5 points to 1485.

 

Positive U.S. Housing and Jobs Reports

Reports this week showed an improvement in the U.S. labour market at a time when housing starts are rising to four-year highs, helping to distract traders from concerns over how the U.S. will resolve its debt and spending problems.  The U.S. Commerce Department reported this week that housing starts jumped to a 954,000 annual rate in December, up from 890,000 the previous month. The report capped off the best year for U.S. home construction since the real estate meltdown.

“There is no denying that the housing market recovery is solidifying, and we expect construction activity to ramp up to the one million annualized threshold by the end of this year,” said TD Bank economist Michael Dolega, adding the improvement in the housing sector is good news for the jobs picture. “The strengthening housing recovery appears to have shown up in construction employment, which rose 30,000 in December. With sectoral employment down over two million off its 2006-07 peak we expect the construction sector to add more than half-million jobs over the course of this year.” U.S. new jobless claims for last week beat economists’ expectations as they fell to 335,000 from 371,000 the week prior. The Street was expecting a worse number closer to 368,000.

 

Market Update as of January 18 2013

The TSX closed at 12726, up 124 points or 0.98% over the past week. YTD the TSX is up 1.48%.

The DOW closed at 13650, up 162 points or 1.20% over the past week.YTD the DOW is up 4.17%.

The S&P closed at 1486, up 14 points or 0.95% over the past week.YTD the S&P is up 4.21%.

The Nasdaq closed at 3135, up 9 points or 0.29% over the past week.YTD the Nasdaq is up 1.42%.

Gold closed at 1685, up 23.00 points or 1.38% over the past week.YTD gold is up 0.30%.

Oil closed at 95.9, up 2.18 points or 2.33% over the past week.YTD oil is up 3.60%.

The USD/CAD closed at 0.9922, up 0.008 points or 0.82% over the past week.YTD the USD/CAD is up 0.47%.

 

Sources: Bloomberg, Investment Executive, advisor.ca