TSX and Dow hit record high as investors shrug off trade troubles

TORONTO — Two of North America's main stock indexes hit record highs on Wednesday as investors shrugged off reports of challenges in negotiations between the world's two largest economies.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 48.61 points at 16,957.99 after hitting an intraday high of 16,987.29.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 92.10 points at 27,783.59, just short of a record 27,806.40 earlier in the trading session. The S&P 500 index was up 2.20 points at 3,094.04, while the Nasdaq composite was down 3.99 points at 8,482.10.

"It just continues to be the same type of market where we are shrugging off any hint of bad news," said Mike Archibald, Associate Portfolio Manager with AGF Investments Inc.

Markets softened on published reports of a request by U.S. negotiators that China commit to making specific purchases of U.S. farm goods, among other demands and that the two sides are at odds about the U.S. rolling back tariffs on Chinese goods.

Except for 2018, the last two months of the year have traditionally been supportive of market gains and Archibald believes conditions are conducive for them to move higher to end 2019 as a lot of money sits on the sidelines ready to be invested in equities.

"To my way of thinking, the market continues to grind higher on the basis of expectations for 2020 economic data and earnings data continuing to likely be significantly better than it was in 2019," he said in an interview.

While there could be a small correction or consolidation in the next couple of weeks, Archibald sees markets rising significantly in the next few months.

"I could see the TSX up another three to five per cent at least in the next three to six months."

Seven of the 11 major sectors on the TSX were higher Wednesday led by technologies and utilities as Shopify Inc. surged 11.4 per cent.

Higher gold prices helped the materials which gained as Eldorado Gold was up 3.3 per cent.

The December gold contract was up US$9.60 at US$1,463.30 an ounce and the December copper contract was down 0.6 of a cent at US$2.64 a pound.

Health care was the biggest loser, falling 1.2 per cent as shares of Cronos Group Inc. dropped 7.6 per cent after the cannabis company said its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amoritization amounted to a loss of $23.9 million in its most recent quarter compared with a loss of $3.2 million a year ago.

The consumer discretionary sector was down after Canada Goose shares fell nearly 11 per cent despite strong quarterly results after the parka company warned about revenue challenges in the upcoming quarter.

Energy was also lower with Husky Energy Inc. losing 3.2 per cent even though crude oil prices rose after an OPEC minister said that non-cartel supply will likely decline next year.

The December crude contract was up 32 cents at US$57.12 per barrel and the December natural gas contract was down 2.1 cents at US$2.60 per mmBTU.

Archibald said energy prices were close to the 200-day moving average, suggesting that prices will probably move five to 10 per cent higher.

The heavyweight financials sector was lower even though Home Capital Group Inc. shares surged 14.3 per cent as earnings rose along with a rebounding mortgage market.

The Canadian dollar traded for 75.48 cents US compared with an average of 75.60 cents US on Tuesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 13, 2019.

— With files from The Associated Press.

Companies in this story: (TSX:HCG, TSX:GOOS, TSE:HSE, TSX:CRON, TSX:ELD, TSX:SHOP, TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X)

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