TSX Settles Comfortably into Plus Territory

Tilray, Fortuna in Green

Canada's main stock index found some late strength to conclude the session on Wednesday, as investors took heart from sharp jumps in cannabis companies, and digested lower readings on inflation in June.

The TSX Composite index gained 57.05 points to 20,230.40

The Canadian dollar hiked 0.41 cents to 79.83 cents U.S.

The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Tilray, which jumped $4.18, or 26.1%, to $20.21 after quarterly earnings. Aurinia Pharmaceuticals hiked $3.49, or 24.1%, to $17.96.

Resource concerns also scored well; Fortuna Silver Mines prospered 23 cents, or 4.1%, to $5.84, while Lithium Americas picked up 77 cents, or 4.6%, to $17.65.

New Gold acquired seven cents, or 3.7%, to $1.98, while Equinox tacked on 30 cents, or 3.6%, to $8.58.

Communications took their fair share of knocks, with Cogeco swooning $1.48, or 1.2%, to $118.12, while Rogers backed off 61 cents to $63.84.

In real estate, Real Matters fell $1.94, or 12.6%, to $13.51, while Altus Group docked 54 cents to $58.07.

In the industrial sector, Boyd Group lost $3.02, or 1.2%, to $240.94, while TFI International sacked $2.77, or 2%, to $138.09.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada said its consumer price index rose 3.1% on a year-over-year basis in June, down from a 3.6% gain in May. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.1% in June.

ON BAYSTREET
The TSX Venture Exchange reclaimed 9.98 points to 908.79

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were positive on the day, as health-care soared 10.6%, materials gained 1.3%, and gold brightened 0.9%.

The five laggards were weighed most by communications down 0.6%, real estate, sinking 0.3%, and industrials, off 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

The S&P 500 closed near the flatline on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said substantial economic improvement is needed for the central bank to start dialing back its easy-money policies.

The Dow Jones Industrials retreated 127.59 points to 34,930.93.

The S&P 500 dipped 0.82 points to 4,400.64.

The NASDAQ climbed 102.01 points to 14,762.58.

The major averages are on track to end the month higher. The S&P is up 2.4% for July, while the NASDAQ has taken on 1.8% and the Dow has gained 1.2%.

Google-parent Alphabet popped more than 3% after the tech giant posted quarterly results, registering a 69% jump in advertising revenue.

Boeing shares climbed 4.2% after the manufacturer posted its first profit since the third quarter of 2019 thanks to a rebound in aircraft deliveries.

The Federal Open Market Committee kept interest rates in a target range near zero, reiterating its view that the economy continues to "strengthen" despite the spread of the delta coronavirus strain. Still, Powell stressed that the economy a good deal away from achieving the Fed’s dual mandates of stable prices and maximum employment.

Powell noted the rising threat that the pandemic and its delta variant is posing, but he said he does not see it having a major economic impact.

The market is in the middle of a strong earnings season. Of the S&P 500 companies that have reported quarterly results thus far, 89% have topped earnings estimates, while 86% have exceeded revenue expectations.

Pfizer shares rose more than 3% after the company reported stronger-than-expected earnings and raised its 2021 sales forecast for the COVID vaccine.

Apple shares dipped 1.2% after CEO Tim Cook warned that silicon “supply constraints” will affect sales the iPhone as well as the iPad. The company did beat top- and bottom-line estimates and said iPhone sales surged 50% year over year.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys gained ground, bringing down yields to 1.23% from Tuesday’s 1.24%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices captured 60 cents to $72.25 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices re-strengthened $7.20 to $1,807 U.S. an ounce.