Toronto stocks finally join the record-setting party

Canada’s S&P/TSX Composite index crossed the 16,000 level for the first time this week, setting its first new record high since February. During the intervening eight months, virtually all other major equity market indices globally posted new highs relentlessly without Canada joining suit. The broad advance in recent weeks came as strong economic data around the world pushed oil and commodity prices higher. But in Canada itself, the run of amazing economic data came to a screeching halt as August gross domestic product (GDP) declined. A solid employment report for October did little to lift investors’ moods and the S&P/TSX managed only a small gain for the week.

It was another busy week on the central banking front. The Bank of Japan kept its policy on hold and the Bank of England raised rates, both as expected. The U.S. Federal Reserve’s meeting was also a non-event, indicating there was still a consensus towards gradual rate hikes, with the next coming as early as December. Arguably the biggest central banking news was President Trump’s appointment of Jerome Powell as the next Federal Reserve Chair, to replace Janet Yellen when her term expires in the new year. Powell is seen as possibly the smoothest transition from Yellen because they are closely aligned in policy preferences. After a few weeks of anxiety over the possibility of the job going to the more hawkish John Taylor, Powell’s appointment put downward pressure on North American and European bond yields.

The jump in the heavily-weighted energy sector provided the greatest lift to the S&P/TSX, but the smaller health care sector saw the sharpest advance. Medical marijuana producer Canopy Growth Corporation, which saw a big drop just two weeks ago, surged as Constellation Brands acquired a major stake in the company. Technology and industrials led the declining sectors in Toronto.

In New York, the release of tax reform proposals had little impact on markets, but all major equity indices again notched new record highs. The S&P closed out October with a solid gain, so that it has seen a positive total return for all 10 months so far this year. It hasn’t managed a streak like that in almost 100 years. As in Canada, energy was near the top of the sector leader board, along with real estate, which tends to do well as interest rates decline, and technology which got a big boost from Apple after its earnings report. Telecommunications services was the poorest performing sector, coming under pressure as media reports pointed to the termination of merger talks between Sprint and T-Mobile, and to possible Justice Department opposition to the AT&T/Time Warner merger.

European stocks were broadly higher on strong economic data. Spanish stocks were particularly strong as political risk deflated. Catalan leader Puigdemont fled to Belgium after the central government seized control over the region, leaving the independence movement aimless. In Japan’s holiday-shortened trading week, the Nikkei climbed to yet another 20-year high after the Bank of Japan’s meeting led to a weaker yen.

What’s ahead next week:


  • Ivey purchasing managers survey (October)
  • Housing starts (October)
  • Building permits (September)
  • New housing price index (September)


  • JOLTS job openings survey (September)
  • Wholesale inventories and sales (September)
  • University of Michigan consumer sentiment (November)

About David Kindy

David has been a keen and active investor in his overall financial health since high school and a client of Investors Group for the past 10 years. As a result of a down turn in the water treatment industry, David decided to take a new path in his career from being a global project manager and became a licensed financial professional with Investors Group. Investors Group, a top performing financial services company, blending with his high moral value made for an easy career transition. This allows David to help individuals with their own financial health and help protect families from life’s uncertainties. David also donates time and money to many philanthropic activities supporting many non-profit and charitable organizations. As a foster parent for the Lion’s Foundation of Canada Dog Guides, David and his wife have raised 8 dogs for the program. He sits on the Orillia Rowing Club board helping to steer the club to a prosperous future. David has also served on the Recreational Advisor Committee for the City of Orillia for the past 3 years. Recently, David has become involved with COPE Service Dogs, a charity out of Barrie that helps youth at risk with their Canines in the Classroom program which, ultimately leads to trained mobility assistance dogs. Regardless of age or income, David enjoys working with clients to reach their goals for a financial secure future utilizing the 6 pillars of financial planning: Cash Management, Education Planning, Investment Planning, Tax Planning, Retirement Planning and Estate Planning.
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