“There Is No Elevator To Sucess, You Have To Take The Stairs” – Zig Ziglar
TSX Posts Solid Gain
The Toronto stock market rose, with energy stocks pushed up by rising oil prices, while U.S. indices were generally flat amid the comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve suggesting interest rate hikes were in the offing. On Bay Street, the S&P/TSX composite index gained 71.85 points at 15,608.50. In New York, major indexes had small gains following a speech today by Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen. Yellen said the central bank will likely lift interest rates later this month.At the close, the Dow Jones industrial average added 2.74 points to 21,005.71, the S&P 500 was up 1.20 points to 2,383.12, and the Nasdaq composite index advanced 9.53 points to 5,870.75.
The Canadian dollar, which has been sliding in value as of late, was trading at US74.60¢, down 0.10 of a cent from Thursday’s close. The April crude contract was up US72¢ at US$53.33 per barrel and April natural gas added US2¢ at US$2.32 per mmBTU.April gold shed US$6.40 at US$1,226.50 an ounce and May copper gained a cent to US$2.70 a pound.
Canada’s Economy Smashes Expectations
The Canadian economy outperformed expectations in the final three months of 2016 by growing at an annual rate of 2.6%, Statistics Canada said Thursday. The agency’s latest report on real gross domestic product said the biggest contribution to the fourth-quarter increase came from household consumption, which rose at an annual rate of 2.6%. Downward pressures on economic growth were led by an 8.2% decline in business investment.. A consensus of economists had predicted economic growth in the fourth quarter would expand by 2%, according to Thomson Reuters. Overall, the economy expanded by 1.4% in 2016 , compared to 0.9%. “There are worse ways to end a year,” TD Bank senior economist Brian DePratto in an analyst note. “Canadians opened their wallets both at stores and construction offices, delivering a solid fourth-quarter economic performance. ‘
The real GDP figures were released as the Bank of Canada and the federal government try to gauge the direction of U.S. economic policy under President Donald Trump. Concern has spread through Corporate Canada and Ottawa over the effects of possible changes to taxation and trade policies by Trump’s administration. The Bank of Canada held its benchmark interest rate steady on Wednesday and warned that it is keeping a watchful eye on “significant uncertainties” weighing on the outlook for the economy. The fourth-quarter real GDP result followed growth in the third quarter at a revised annual rate of 3.8 per cent. That third-quarter reading was driven by a strong rebound in energy exports after the devastating spring wildfires in the Alberta oilpatch. Over the final months of 2016, exports of goods and services increased at an annual rate of 1.3 per cent. The overall GDP figure received a boost from a sharp quarterly drop in imports, which fell at an annual rate of 13.5 per cent. Statistics Canada said some of the decline was due to the one-time, third-quarter import of a large module for the Hebron offshore oil project in Newfoundland.
Sources: Bloomberg; Investment Executive; advisor.ca;