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S&P/TSX Composite Index

16,357.55 real time data change up
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Change: 9.57 (0.06%)

S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index

899.92 real time data change up
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Change: 1.34 (0.15%)
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5:24 PM EST, December 21, 2017
TSX Stays Aloft

Equities in Toronto doggedly held onto gains on Thursday, as health-care and energy stocks teamed up to override declines in tech and utility issues.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 22.96 points to close Thursday at 16,182.63

The Canadian dollar popped 0.52 cents to 78.48 cents U.S.

In the health field, Valeant Pharmaceuticals jumped 77 cents, or 2.9%, to $27.56, while Canopy Growth Corporation climbed 83 cents, or 3.9%, to $21.96.

The energy group regrouped after a rough morning, as Keystone operator TransCanada Corporation took on 44 cents to $61.88. Imperial Oil improved in price 21 cents to $38.26.

Financials were also slightly ahead of the game, as Royal Bank acquired 48 cents a share to $102.87, while Manulife picked up 11 cents to $26.89.

Among subgroups feeling the bruises, BlackBerry Ltd fell 56 cents, or 3.6%, to $15.03, while AcuityAds Holdings docked six cents, or 3.7%, to $1.56.

Among utilities, Hydro One backed off 11 cents to $22.29, while Fortis Inc. lost 11 cents to $46.12.

Real-estate issues took some knocks as units of Dream REIT doffed 94 cents, or 4.2%, to $21.55, while shares in Brookfield Asset

Management headed lower 70 cents, or 1.3%, to $54.66.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada said November's consumer price index rose 2.1% on a year-over-year basis in November, following a 1.4% increase in October. On a seasonally-adjusted monthly basis, inflation was up 0.5% in November.

The agency also said that retail trade rose 1.5% to $49.9 billion in October. Higher sales at new car dealers were the main contributor to the gain.

Excluding sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers, retail sales increased 0.8%.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange faded 1.55 points to 804.14

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower on the day, with information technology slid 0.8%, utility stocks were down 0.7%, and real-estate retreated 0.6%

The five gainers were led by health-care, haler by 2.1%, energy, gushing 1.6%, and financials, up 0.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks finished higher on Thursday after some companies said they would spend the savings stemming from lower corporate taxes on higher wages and new construction.

The Dow Jones industrials came off their highs of the day, but still improved 55.64 points to 24,782.29

The S&P 500 improved 5.32 points to 2,684.57, with financials leaping 0.9%, and energy rising 2.1%. Energy is also on track to post its biggest one-week gain in more than a year.

The NASDAQ composite index gained 4.4 points to 6,965.36

Equities have risen sharply this year with investors betting on lower corporate taxes. The S&P 500 is up 19.9% in 2017.

In corporate news Thursday, Discovery Communications shares climbed 4.4% after Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded the stock to buy from neutral and raised its price target to $30 from $26.

PG&E Corp., meanwhile, pulled back nearly 13% after the electric company suspended its dividend. The company also warned it could be held liable for the wildfires in northern California from earlier this year.

Comcast, as well as Boeing, AT&T and Wells Fargo, announced higher pay and bonuses for workers. They also announced other spending measures. Comcast, AT&T and Wells Fargo shares traded higher, while Boeing's stock slipped.

House members voted on Wednesday to pass a bill that would cut the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%. The Senate had already passed the measure on Tuesday. President Donald Trump is widely expected to sign the bill, giving him and the Republican Party a major legislative victory.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note nosed up, lowering yields to 2.48% from Wednesday's 2.50%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices forged ahead 16 cents a barrel to $58.25 U.S.

Gold prices recouped $1.40 to $1,271.00 U.S. an ounce.



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