“See Everything, Overlook A Great Deal, Correct A Little” -John XXIII


Toronto Closes Higher

The Toronto stock market closed higher Friday, helped by energy and mining stocks, while U.S. markets gave back a bit of the enthusiastic gains of recent sessions. The S&P/TSX composite was up 30 points to 12,830, while the TSX Venture Exchange rose 4 points to 1,116. The Canadian dollar was up 0.29 of a cent at 98.11 cents US, backing off a three-week high of 98.22 reached in the morning. After eight record high sessions and 10 consecutive days of gains, the Dow industrials gave back some of that on mixed economic data, dropping 25 points to 14,514. The Nasdaq was down 9.86 points at 3,249.07 and the S&P 500 index slid 2.53 points to 1,560.70. “The U.S. drive has been pretty relentless. Sooner or later, you’re going to have a down day,” says Colin Cieszynski, market analyst at CMC Markets Canada. “You’re at a point where some people are just looking for any excuse to take profits because we’ve had such a run the last few days.”

U.S. Output Rises

A strong increase in auto output boosted U.S. factory production last month, the latest sign that manufacturing is helping drive economic growth after lagging for much of 2012. Factory output rose a seasonally adjusted 0.8 per cent in February from January, after falling 0.3 per cent in the previous month, the Federal Reserve said Friday. The biggest gain was in autos and auto parts, where production increased 3.6 per cent after falling 4.9 per cent in January. Car sales have risen steadily this year after reaching a five year high in 2012. Overall industrial production, which includes mining and utilities, rose 0.7 per cent in February. That is the most in three months.  “Growth has clearly picked up,” Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, said “This is another positive sign” for the economy in the January-March quarter. Jonathan Basile, an economist at Credit Suisse, said the healthy increase in output suggests manufacturers will need step up hiring in the months ahead. Factory job gains could rise to 20,000 a month, up from average gains of 13,000 in the past three months.

Market Update as of March 15, 2013

The TSX closed at 12830, up 5 points or 0.04% over the past week. YTD the TSX is up 3.2%.
The DOW closed at 14514, up 117 points or 0.81% over the past week.YTD the DOW is up 10.8%.
The S&P closed at 1560, up 9 points or 0.58% over the past week.YTD the S&P is up 9.4%.
The Nasdaq closed at 3249, up 5 points or 0.15% over the past week.YTD the Nasdaq is up 7.6%.

Sources:  Bloomberg, globeadvisor, Investment Executive