Health-care Leads TSX Marginally Higher

Energy Lags, while Materials Also Gain

The Toronto stock market enjoyed a day of modest gains Tuesday, largely on the strength of health-care stocks like Valeant Pharmaceuticals, on its latest deal.

The S&P/TSX Composite advanced 37.33 points to finish Tuesday’s session at 15,426.28

The Canadian dollar dipped 0.11 cents to 75.56 cents U.S.

Shares in Valeant rose $1.53, or 7.5%, to $21.82 after the drug maker said it is selling its Dendreon cancer business and three skincare brands for about $2.12 billion as it looks to pay down its more than $30-billion debt.

Elsewhere in the health-care sector, Concordia International acquired a penny to $2.91.

In the materials sector, Cameco Corp. triumphed $1.45, or 10.2%, to $15.65, while Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan gained 13 cents to $24.61.

Among industrials, Bombardier gained 10 cents, or 4.2%, to $2.47, while Canadian Pacific Railways picked up 89 cents to $193.36.

Energy proved the biggest loser on the day, as Baytex Energy tailed off 10 cents, or 1.6%, to $6.10, while Suncor Energy dropped 48 cents, or 1.1%, to $43.01.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada reported that municipalities issued $7.8 billion worth of building permits in November, down 0.1% from the previous month.

The agency said the decline was largely the result of lower construction intentions in Alberta.

Meantime, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reports housing starts in Canada totaled 198,053 units in December compared to 200,105 in November. The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally-adjusted annual rates of housing starts.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange faded 0.27 points to 794.04

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were in the green Tuesday, with health-care shooting 3.1% higher, materials gaining 1.5%, and industrials 0.7% to the good.

The five laggards were weighed most by energy, sliding 0.9%, real-estate, backtracking 0.4%, and consumer staples, down 0.3%

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. equities closed mixed after a choppy session on Tuesday, as the NASDAQ composite notched a fresh record high, while investors prepared for a key news conference from the U.S. president-elect.

The Dow Jones Industrials concluded a seesaw day by dropping 31.85 points to 19,855.53, with IBM leading decliners and Caterpillar the top advancer.

The S&P 500 was unchanged at 2,268.90, with consumer discretionary leading advancers and real estate lagging.

The NASDAQ composite index gained 20 points above Monday’s all-time high, at 5,551.82, as health-care stocks rose

Donald Trump is scheduled to talk to reporters Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET.

Since his electoral victory, Trump has taken to Twitter to criticize companies that planned to send jobs overseas rather than create them in the United States. He has also threatened to levy a high border tax against those firms.

The U.S. stock market has soared since Nov. 8 amid optimism that the incoming administration will deregulate certain sectors, lower corporate taxes and inject fiscal stimulus into the U.S. economy.

In other U.S. corporate news, Yahoo announced it will change its name to "Altaba" and scale down its board of directors once the sale of its internet assets to Verizon is complete.

On the data front, the National Federation of Independent Business’ small business survey results for December showed sentiment soaring to a 12-year high. Wholesale inventories, meanwhile, rose 1%, slightly above estimates. The job openings and labour turnover survey (JOLTS) for November showed job openings remained little changed at 5.5 million.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note were lower, raising yields to 2.38% from Monday’s 2.37%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dropped $1.15 to $50.81 U.S. a barrel

Gold prices gained $2.50 to $1,187.40 U.S. an ounce.