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S&P/TSX Composite Index

14,416.89 real time data change up
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Change: 54.24 (0.38%)

S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index

543.15 real time data change down
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Change: -3.64 (-0.67%)
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12:45 PM EST, December 19, 2017
Stocks Hang onto Gains

Canada's main stock index rose in morning trade on Tuesday, boosted by gains among its biggest banks and other financial stocks, while Great Canadian Gaming Corp surged after it won a contract to operate facilities in the Toronto region.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gathered 39.84 points to greet noon Tuesday at 16,171.48

The Canadian dollar faded 0.22 cents to 77.5 cents U.S.

Royal Bank of Canada added 0.8% to $103.18 and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce rose 1.2% to $121.82.

Great Canadian Gaming jumped 14.1% to $34.10 after it and Clairvest Group Inc said they had won a contract to operate gaming venues in the Toronto area.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added strength, as Sandstorm Gold Ltd rose 2.2% to $6.08 after agreeing to buy a royalty stake in a mine in Burkina Faso.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada said the number of Canadians drawing regular employment insurance numbered 510,000, virtually unchanged from September. While there was little change for the month, the number of Employment Insurance recipients has been on a downward trend since October 2016.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange dropped 0.49 points to 807.02

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were positive, as health-care agains assumed the lead, gaining 0.9%, consumer discretionary issues gained 0.8%, while energy was 0.6% to the good .

The five laggards were weighed most by consumer staples and utilities, each down 0.3%, while real-estate settled 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. equities fell on Tuesday, as a decline in Apple shares pushed the broader tech sector lower.

The Dow Jones industrials dropped 52.9 points from Monday's record close to 24,739.30

The S&P 500 docked 7.25 points to 2,682.91

The NASDAQ composite index fell 42.17 points to 6,952.91, with tech falling 0.7%

Apple fell 1.2% after Nomura Instinet downgraded the tech giant's stock to neutral from buy. In a note, the analyst said: "The stock's gains for the iPhone X supercycle are in the late innings." Apple is one of the most popular stocks on Wall Street and Main Street and rarely gets negative opinions from the former.

Tech has been the best-performing sector this year, rising nearly 40% in 2017.

Equities have had a strong year. The Dow has prospered 25.5%, S&P 500 has taken on 20.2%, and NASDAQ is up 29.9% for 2017.

In corporate news, Darden Restaurants shares rose 4.6% before the bell after the company reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue. Darden also hiked its full-year guidance.

Truck maker Navistar saw its stock pop 8.3% after its quarterly earnings easily topped estimates.

Lawmakers are set to vote on the measure as early as Tuesday. The bill would cut the federal corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%. Wall Street has been betting on this cut all year, pushing stocks to record highs.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell hard, raising yields to 2.46% from Monday's 2.39%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices were up 26 cents a barrel to $57.42 U.S.

Gold prices let go of two dollars to $1,263.50 U.S. an ounce.



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