Stocks in Toronto were little changed on Thursday, hovering near a record high, as energy and marijuana company shares added to Wednesday's gains, offsetting losses for the industrial group.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index dropped 9.4 points from Wednesday's record close to begin Thursday at 16,193.73
The Canadian dollar gained 0.34 cents to 79.39 cents U.S.
Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc. and Agrium Inc. have received final regulatory clearance to merge, forming a new company to be known as Nutrien.
For now, Potash shares are trading eight cents to $26.16, while Agrium gained 11 cents to $146.00.
The TSX Venture Exchange gained 9.58 points to 836.3
Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were in the red to start the day, as gold and utilities were each punished 0.7%, and industrials were off 0.5%.
The four gainers were led by health-care, up 2.1%, information technology picked up 1%, and consumer staples gained 0.4%.
U.S. stocks rose Thursday, the second-to-last trading day of the year, as investors remained relatively confident about future economic growth.
The Dow Jones industrials gained 40.02 points to open Thursday at 24,814.32, within 0.5% of their all-time highs hit on Dec. 18. Apple and Caterpillar were among the top contributors to gains in the Dow
The S&P 500 gained 0.76 points to 2,683.38. Technology and telecommunications stocks led S&P 500 advancers in Thursday morning trading, while industrials lagged. The S&P has rallied nearly 20% this year.
The NASDAQ composite index nicked ahead 0.56 points to 6,939.90, but the index's gains were muted by lagging biotechnology companies like Gilead and Amgen.
On a monthly basis, the indexes are tracking for gains not seen in decades. 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.
If the NASDAQ composite finishes December higher, it will have posted gains in 11 of 12 months in 2017, a first for the tech-heavy index.
In economic news, the advance trade deficit in goods increased to $69.7 billion in November from $68.1 billion in October. Weekly jobless claims came in at 245,000 versus expectations of 240,000.
The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index for December rose to 67.6, its highest since March 2011
Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell, raising yields to 2.43% from Wednesday's 2.41%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices dropped four cents a barrel to $59.60 U.S.
Gold prices gained $3.50 to $1,294.90 U.S. an ounce.