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S&P/TSX Composite Index

16,349.77 real time data change up
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Change: 50.89 (0.31%)

S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index

888.73 real time data change up
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Change: 0.46 (0.05%)
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1:21 AM EST, December 23, 2017
Stocks Experience Biggest Weekly Gain in Months

Canada's main stock index faded slightly by the final bell on Friday, the last session before Christmas, but remained on track for its sharpest weekly gain in almost three months.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index faded 17.36 points to close Friday at 16,165.27. The index was still on track for a 0.7% rise for the week, its sharpest weekly gain since late September.

The Canadian dollar regained 0.08 cents to 78.58 cents U.S.

Markets will be closed Monday and Tuesday for Christmas and Boxing Day, to resume Wednesday.

The dozen TSX subgroups were evenly divided, the gainers being led by health-care issues, of which Canopy Growth showed the most, well, growth, up $1.36, or 6.2%, to $23.26, while cannabis rival Aphria Inc. jumped 40 cents, or 2.7%, to $15.33.

Among gold concerns, Goldcorp climbed 12 cents to $16.00, while Barrick Gold three cents to $18.40.

In the materials sector, Teck Resources rose 14 cents to $32.28, after the miner reached a wage deal with one union at its Quebrada Blanca copper mine in Chile, ending an eight-day strike.

Agnico Eagle Mines showed even more oomph, gaining 84 cents, or 1.5%, to $57.58.

Techs let down the side among the half-dozen laggards, as BlackBerry let go of 28 cents, or 1.9%, to $14.75, while The Stars Group fell 24 cents to $29.76.

In consumer discretionary stocks, Magna International dipped 67 cents to $72.95, while Canadian Tire dropped 52 cents to $163.69.

Financials also went south, with Royal Bank retreating 37 cents to $102.48, while CIBC shed 42 cents to $123.06.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada said GDP was essentially unchanged in October following 0.2% growth in September, as nine of 20 industrial sectors expanded

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange recovered 6.16 points Friday to 802.43

The 12 TSX subgroups were split down the middle, with health-care hiking 1.8%, gold up 1.1%, and materials ahead 0.5%.

The half-dozen laggards were weighed most by information technology down 0.5%, consumer discretionary concerns sliding 0.4%, and financials the poorer by 0.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. equities fell slightly on Friday, but traded near record levels, after lawmakers agreed on a plan to prevent a government shutdown.

The Dow Jones industrials dropped 28.23 points to close Friday's session at 24,754.06, with Nike leading decliners.

The S&P 500 dipped 1.23 points to 2,683.34, with financials falling 0.4%.

The NASDAQ composite index fell 5.4 points to 6,959.96

Despite small declines, the major indexes remained about 1% below record highs set earlier this week.

The major stock indexes have been on a tear this year as Wall Street awaited lower corporate taxes. The S&P 500 is up 19.9% in 2017, while the Dow has risen 25.4%, and the NASDAQ is up 29.4%.

In corporate news, Nike shares slipped 3.1% after the athletic apparel maker reported a drop in gross margins. The company's quarterly earnings and revenue topped estimates, however.

Biotechnology company Ignyta soared 72% after Swiss drug maker Roche agreed to buy the company for $27 per share, a 74% premium to its closing level from Thursday.

In economic news, personal income rose 0.3% last month. Economists were expecting a 0.4% gain. Durable goods orders, meanwhile, also disappointed, rising 1.3% in November. Economists had forecast an increase of 2%. New home sales, meanwhile, raced to a 10-year high in November.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note faded a bit, raising yields to 2.49% from Thursday's 2.48%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dropped five cents a barrel to $58.31 U.S.

Gold prices gained $7.70 to $1,278.30 U.S. an ounce.



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