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TSX Sings by End of Week

Stocks in Toronto concluded a banner week with sizzling gains, led by health-care and tech issues

The TSX Composite Index heightened 71.67 points to close Friday and the week at 16,877.42

The Canadian dollar backed off 0.30 cents to 75.60 cents U.S.

Health-care stocks ruled the roost Friday, as Canopy Growth vaulted $3.24, or 12.9%, to $28.36, while Cronos Group gained 82 cents, or 7.8%, to $11.28.

Techs flourished, too, as Shopify popped $17.11, or 4.5%, to $393.65, while Descartes Group gained $1.97, or 3.8%, to $53.48.

Gildan Activewear gained 80 cents, or 2.3%, to $36.01, while Canadian Tire advanced $2.90, or 1.9%, to $153.61.

Materials felt heavy, as Cascades lost 51 cents, or 3.8%, to $12.82, while Endeavour Mining dumped 69 cents, or 2.9%, to $23.12.

Novagold dipped 18 cents, or 2.1%, to $8.26.

Real-estate concerns went south, too, as Allied Properties REIT fell 45 cents to $53.22.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported that, following two consecutive months of growth, the job market stagnated unexpectedly in October, losing 1,800 net positions, while the unemployment rate remained at 5.5%. This, as employment declined in the manufacturing and construction sectors.

Analysts had forecast a gain of 15,900 jobs in October and an unemployment rate of 5.5%.

StatsCan also said the total value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities decreased 6.5% to $8.3 billion in September, largely due to declines in the residential sector.

Gains were reported in four provinces, with the largest increase in Alberta (+7.2% to $1.0 billion).

Elsewhere, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said the seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts in Canada dropped 8.7% from a month earlier to 201,973 units in October, missing market expectations of 221,200.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 3.17 points at 536.97

All but three of the 12 Toronto subgroups were positive heading into the weekend, as health-care buzzed 4.4%, while information technology went skyward 2.3%, and consumer discretionary stocks picked up 0.4%.

The three laggards were gold and materials, each down 0.4%, and real-estate, off 0.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

The major stock averages rose slightly on Friday, notching fresh record closing highs, as Wall Street capped off a week in which trade optimism sparked a massive rotation out of bonds and into equities.

The Dow Jones Industrials closed the week by poking ahead 6.44 to 27,681.24, led by Disney shares

The S&P 500 recovered 7.90 points to 3,093.08, led by gains in the tech and health care sectors.

The NASDAQ regained 40.8 points, to 8,475.31

The S&P 500 rose for a fifth straight week, gaining 0.9%. The NASDAQ rose 1.1%, extending its weekly winning streak to six. The Dow posted a three-week winning streak, advancing 1.2%.

A spokesperson for the Chinese Commerce Ministry said Thursday that China and the U.S. had agreed to cancel existing tariffs in phases. A U.S. official also said reportedly both sides agreed to roll back the levies in tranches.

Sentiment was also boosted this week by corporate earnings results that have generally beaten expectations. Of the 452 S&P 500 companies that have reported thus far, 74% have beaten estimates.

Most recently, Disney posted better-than-forecast quarterly numbers, sending the stock up 3.8%. Disney's revenues for its media and networks segment topped estimates, while sales for the company's parks, studio entertainment and direct-to-consumer businesses also beat expectations. The stock also got a lift from increasing enthusiasm around next week's launch of Disney+.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury fell back, raising yields to 1.94% from Thursday's 1.92%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices recovered 22 cents to $57.37 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices fell seven dollars to $1,459.40 U.S. an ounce.

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