North American stock markets post rebound on health care news, technology deals

North American stock markets post rebound on health care news, technology deals
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TORONTO — Promising news in health care and some big technology deals helped fuel a broad-based rebound on stock markets in Canada and the U.S on Monday after last week’s sharp downturn.

On Wall Street, Nvidia shares jumped after it announced plans to buy fellow chipmaker Arm Holdings in a deal worth up to US$40 billion, and Oracle rose after the business software maker beat out Microsoft to become the “trusted technology provider” of TikTok, the popular video-sharing app based in China.

Meanwhile, Immunomedics nearly doubled after the cancer drug specialist agreed to be acquired by Gilead Sciences in a US$21-billion deal.

Pfizer Inc. rose 2.6 per cent after its CEO said Sunday he’s optimistic his firm’s coronavirus vaccine could be distributed to Americans before the end of the year if found to be safe and effective.

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index closed up 137.68 points at 16,360.14, driven by strong growth in health care, materials and consumer discretionary as there were positive movements in nine of 11 sectors.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 327.69 points at 27,993.33.

The S&P 500 index was up 42.57 points at 3,383.54, while the Nasdaq composite was up 203.11 points at 11,056.65.

“The downdraft last week caught a lot of people off guard, got a lot of attention,” said Craig Fehr, investment strategist with Edward Jones.

“This is an environment where people should expect markets to bounce around and today is a good example of that.”

The health care sector in Toronto was led higher by Sienna Senior Living Inc., up 5.56 per cent at $11.96, and Cronos Group Inc., ahead 3.34 per cent at $7.12, while  Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Bausch Health Companies each posted gains of more than three per cent.

The materials sector benefited from higher gold prices, with the December gold contract up US$15.80 at US$1,963.70 an ounce.

MAG Silver Corp. was up 10 per cent at $22.77, Oceanagold Corp. climbed 9.5 per cent to $2.87 and Torex Gold jumped 9.4 per cent to $21.89

“I think we’re seeing a little bit more optimism today that’s causing a reversal (from last week) with technology leading to the upside as it has for much of the last five months,” said Fehr, adding any news about medical advances to fight COVID-19 are welcome.

“The biggest tailwind over the longer term is going to be a sustained rebound and that is going to require a vaccine so I think any good news on the vaccine front is good news for the market longer term,” he said.

The Canadian dollar traded for 75.90 cents US compared with 75.84 cents US on Friday.

The October crude contract was down seven cents at US$37.26 per barrel,

The energy sector was the biggest loser in Toronto on the day as the October crude contract fell seven cents to US$37.26 per barrel.

Suncor Energy Inc. was the most traded stock on the market as it posted a 2.03 per cent drop to $17.82.

The October natural gas contract was up 4.1 cents at US$2.31 per mmBTU. The December copper contract was up nearly three cents at US$3.07 a pound.

By Dan Healing in Calgary.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 14, 2020.


The Canadian Press

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