Canadian stocks zoomed upward Tuesday on strength among mining and industrial issues.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 125.96 points, or 1.1%, to approach noon at 11,727.09.
The Canadian dollar was up 0.63 to 98.27 cents U.S.
Among the highest percentage gainers were energy and commodity companies, including HudBay Minerals, climbing 5.7%, and Major Drilling Group International, up 5.3%.
Despite sector gains across the board, gold stocks moved into negative territory. Shares of NovaGold Resources slipped 2%, followed by Eldorado Gold Corp., down 1.8%.
On the economic front this morning, Statistics Canada reports wholesale sales rose 1.5% in April to $49.3 billion, mostly due to higher sales in the agricultural supplies industry.
The TSX Venture Exchange advanced 5.78 points to 1,265.53. The Nasdaq Canada index moved ahead 8.78 points to 381.93
All but one of the 14 Toronto subgroups were higher by midday. Metals and mining stocks jumped 2%, global base metals stocks gained 1.7%, and health-care issues leaped 1.6%
Only a 1.3% dip by gold kept things from being unanimous.
U.S. stocks rallied Tuesday, as investors breathed a delayed sigh of relief over Greece and remained optimistic about possible central bank action as the Fed's two-day meeting got underway.
The Dow Jones Industrials gained 119.43 points to break for lunch at 12,861.25
The S&P 500 moved 14.03 points higher, at 1,358.81. The Nasdaq Composite Index acquired 34.32 points to 2,929.65
Shares of retailer JC Penney tumbled after it announced late Monday that its president had left the company, effective immediately. Michael Francis was hired away from rival Target with great hopes in November to lead Penney's marketing efforts, but in May the company announced disappointing sales that sent its share price sharply lower.
Business software maker Oracle made a surprise earnings announcement after the close Monday, lifting its shares. the company made an unscheduled earnings release late Monday that showed an operating profit of 82 cents U.S. a share and announced a $10-billion U.S. buyback.
Drugstore chain Walgreens announced Tuesday it was buying a 45% equity ownership stake in Alliance Boots, the Switzerland-based drug wholesaler that is a major global drugstore chain. Walgreens will pay $4 billion in cash and an additional $2.7 billion U.S. in stock for the stake, and have the right to purchase the remaining 55% of the company within three years.
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon returns to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, this time to testify before the House Financial Services Committee on the bank's $2-billion U.S. trading loss. In testimony before the Senate Banking Committee last week, Dimon said he couldn't defend the trades that led to the bank's massive loss and said executives could subject to clawbacks.
FedEx reported earnings of $1.99 U.S. a share in its fiscal fourth quarter, excluding special items, topping forecasts of a $1.92-U.S.-a-share profit. But its guidance for fiscal first-quarter earnings was below current forecasts and the upper end of its full-year earnings guidance only met the current forecast.
Microsoft shares edged higher after the software maker unveiled a Windows tablet computer of its own design late Monday.
Sunday's election in Greece yielded a victory for the pro-bailout party and eased fears that the country will soon exit the euro. The winning New Democracy party could announce a coalition government as soon as Tuesday.
As fears of an imminent Greek exit from the euro recede, banking and debt worries in Spain have moved into greater focus. Spain's 10-year yield remained above 7% Tuesday, heightening worries about that country staving off the need for a bailout
Leaders of the Group of 20 nations conclude a meeting in Mexico on Tuesday. Europe is at the top of the agenda, though analysts aren't expecting any significant policy announcements.
Anticipation is higher about the Federal Reserve's two-day meeting, which ends Wednesday. Some observers believe the Fed may announce another round of bond buying or plans to continue its so-called Operation Twist, which extends the maturities of debt held by Treasury.
Economically speaking, home builders filed in May for the greatest number of building permits since September 2008. The government reported Tuesday that permits came in at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 780,000, easily topping economists' forecasts of 725,000.
Housing starts, which are more affected by weather than are permits, fell slightly to an annual rate of 708,000, a bit short of forecasts.
The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury lost ground, raising yields to 1.62% from Monday's 1.58%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
The price of a barrel of oil hiked 78 cents to $84.05 U.S.
Gold futures for August delivery were down $1.30 to $1,625.70 U.S. an ounce.