November ends with a bang
The Canadian Press - Nov 30, 2023 - Business Buzz

Photo: The Canadian Press

TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index gained more than 100 points Thursday, led by strength in financial, industrial and telecom stocks, while U.S. markets were mixed, led by a gain of almost 1.5% on the Dow Jones.

It was the final day of what’s been a very positive month for markets, especially in contrast to the weakness seen in October.

“It’s been an incredibly strong month,” said John Zechner, chairman and lead equity manager at J Zechner Associates, noting that the bond market saw its best returns in decades.

The Nasdaq led November’s rally, so he wasn’t surprised to see it trail the other indexes on the last day of the month.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 120.09 points at 20,236.29.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 520.47 points at 35,950.89. The S&P 500 index was up 17.22 points at 4,567.80, while the Nasdaq composite was down 32.27 points at 14,226.22.

Investors had a mixed bag of economic and corporate news to react to on both sides of the border on Thursday.

In Canada, the latest GDP reading showed the economy contracted at an annual rate of 1.1% in the third quarter.

After a negative second quarter, market watchers had been anticipating the third quarter would bring news of a technical recession, but in the same release Statistics Canada revised its second-quarter numbers and reported the economy actually grew instead of shrinking.

Regardless, with interest rate hikes still working their way through the market, it was a matter of when, not if, the economy would contract, Zechner said.

In fact, had Statistics Canada not previously reported a contraction in the second quarter, it’s possible the Bank of Canada would not have paused hikes when it did, he said.

“If the number had come in the way it came in today for the second quarter, the bank may have raised rates further and could have ultimately done more damage down the road.”

The Canadian dollar traded for 73.63 cents US, compared with 73.58 cents US on Wednesday.

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