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S&P/TSX Composite Index

16,224.13 real time data change up
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Change: 9.38 (0.06%)

S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index

719.91 real time data change down
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Change: -0.34 (-0.05%)
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6:07 PM EST, December 27, 2017
TSX Surges Toward Record Highs

On a light trading day, stocks in Toronto still found time to make gains, boosted largely by muscular health-care stocks, energy a strong runner-up.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 32.89 points to finish trading on Wednesday at 16,198.16. The index had earlier touched a record intraday high at 16,207.52.

The Canadian dollar gained 0.28 cents to 79.10 cents U.S.

Markets were closed Monday and Tuesday for Christmas and Boxing Day.

Health-care issues were again the star of the show, as they have been much of the time recently, with Canopy Growth leaping $4.55, or 19.7%, to $27.67, while cannabis rival Aphria triumphed $1.61, or 10.5%, to $16.89

Energy shares climbed, with Suncor Energy up $1.09, or 2.4%, to $45.79, though TransCanada Corp. fell 26 cents to $61.42 after announcing an agreement to sell retail contracts to EDF Energy Services LLC.

Imperial Oil gained 39 cents, or 1%, to $38.83.

Among utilities, Fortis Inc. eked out a gain of 15 cents to $45.97.

In the tech sector, BlackBerry said goodbye to 55 cents, or 3.7%, to $14.20, while Constellation Software dipped $9.90, or 1.3%, to $757.44.

Among consumer discretionary stocks, Canadian Tire shares faded $6.78, or 2.9%, to $231.11, while Gildan Activewear doffed a dime to $41.03.

In the telecom sector, Shaw Communications dipped 26 cents to $28.73, while Rogers Communications lost six cents to $64.09.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange jumped 16.65 points Wednesday to 826.95

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were positive on the day, with health-care popping 6%, energy muscling up 1.7%, and utilities better by 0.9%.

The five laggards were weighed mostly by information technology, dropping 0.7%, while consumer discretionary stocks settled 0.5% and telecoms were off 0.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks eked out a positive close Wednesday, with gains in real estate and utilities offsetting declines in energy and telecommunications stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrials gained 28.09 points to finish trading at 24,774.30, with McDonald's and Caterpillar the top contributors to gains and Goldman Sachs having the greatest negative impact on the index.

The S&P 500 gained 2.12 points to 2,682.62. Utilities and real estate investment trusts led seven sectors higher, while energy fell 0.3% as the greatest decliner. The S&P 500 is up 19.8% this year

The NASDAQ composite index improved 3.09 points to 6,939.34, as Apple squeezed out a 0.02% gain after tumbling Tuesday in its worst day since August. Microsoft, Amazon.com and Facebook closed higher, while shares of Google parent Alphabet fell more than half a percent.

Trading volume was on pace for the second-lowest of the year, with only Black Friday's half-day of trading posting lower volume.

The Dow is on pace for its first nine-month winning streak since 1959 and the S&P is on track for its first nine-month winning streak since 1983.

Department store stocks underperformed Wednesday, giving up much of their gains from Tuesday's session. Macy's fell 4.5% Wednesday after adding 4.6% Tuesday, while Kohl's slipped about 2.8% after a nearly 6% gain Tuesday.

In U.S. economic reports, the Conference Board's consumer confidence index fell to 122.1 in December from 128.6 in November.

Signed contracts to buy existing homes rose 0.8% in November from the same month last year, the first annual gain since June of this year, according to a seasonally adjusted monthly index of pending home sales from the National Association of Realtors. However, the index was up just 0.2% from October.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note gained ground, lowering yields to 2.41% from Tuesday's 2.45%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dropped 37 cents a barrel to $59.60 U.S.

Gold prices gained $4.60 to $1,292.10 U.S. an ounce.



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