North American stock markets rise to start November; U.S. markets set record highs

·4 min read
North American stock markets rise to start November; U.S. markets set record highs

TORONTO — North American stock markets started November on the upswing with U.S. markets setting record highs and Toronto market gaining one per cent as investors wait for midweek moves by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 209.94 points to 21,247.01 after hitting an intraday high that was about 57 points off a record.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 94.28 points at 35,913.84 after surpassing 36,000 for the first time. The S&P 500 index was up 8.29 points at 4,613.67, while the Nasdaq composite was up 97.53 points at 15,595.92.

The Canadian stock market outperformed its U.S. counterparts because of its composition, aided by the strength of energy and materials. Technology lagged south of the border but Shopify Inc. did well in Canada.

"There's some stuff under the hood that's kind of just leading to Canada doing a little bit better than the U.S. today," said Michael Greenberg, portfolio manager, Franklin Templeton Investment Solutions.

Health care was the leading sector, gaining 3.1 per cent as cannabis company shares increased.

Energy rose 1.9 per cent with Imperial Oil Ltd. climbing 4.1 per cent and Vermilion Energy Inc. up 2.8 per cent on continued increases in crude oil prices.

The December crude oil contract was up 48 cents at US$84.05 per barrel and the December natural gas contract was down 24 cents at US$5.19 per mmBTU.

Crude prices are expected to move higher as economies further reopen and demand recovers, while supply is not keeping pace.

"It does create that supply-demand imbalance, which has obviously been a big driver more recently. And we think it's probably a trend that will continue for at least a little bit longer here," Greenberg said in an interview.

The Canadian dollar traded for 80.85 cents US compared with 80.75 cents US on Friday.

Consumer discretionary rose 1.6 per cent with recreational producers maker BRP Inc. up 3.2 per cent.

Materials moved higher as gold prices rose. Lundin Mining Corp. shares were up 4.6 per cent.

The December gold contract was up US$11.90 at US$1,795.80 an ounce and the December copper contract was down 2.6 cents at US$4.39 a pound.

Real estate was the lone laggard on the day.

Monday's stock movements came two days before the Fed is expected to announce a tapering of bond purchases.

The pace of the withdrawal of monetary stimulus could indicate how soon the central bank will begin to raise interest rates, said Greenberg.

"If they come out with, let's say, a quicker pace of tapering, that would suggest maybe they're closer to raising interest rates. And of course, that all has real big impacts on markets and the economy," he said.

"So I think it's going to be more the devil in the details."

A faster push toward rate hikes would follow the Bank of Canada's move last week to end its bond purchase program, which prompted big moves in the bond yield curve and Canadian fixed income markets.

Meanwhile, manufacturing numbers were released Monday in Canada and the U.S.

U.S. ISM numbers were a little weaker in October but still beat expectations, while Canadian numbers were up, suggesting the economy is recovering strongly.

"We've had some good employment reports. Obviously today's data was decent, pretty strong and that just suggested that we're reopening and the economy is recovering pretty strongly here."

In the U.S., new orders decreased a little, suggesting the higher prices may be starting to affect demand, said Greenberg.

"The saying goes the cure for higher prices is higher prices because it tends to reduce demand of stuff as it gets more expensive and maybe you're seeing a little bit of that there."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 1, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:LUN, TSX:SHOP, TSX:IMO, TSX:VET, TSX:DOO, TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X)

Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press

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