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Stocks End on Upside

Markets in Canada's largest centre came out on the positive side to end a shortened week, with strength coming largely from the tech sector.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 28.79 points, to close Friday at 14,913.64.

Markets were closed in Canada Monday for Victoria Day.

As mentioned, tech stocks led the upward parade, most notably, Kinaxis, hurtling higher $8.49, or 5.2%, to $173.48, while Evertz Technology sprinted 55 cents, or 3.8%, to $15.19.

In health-care, HEXO galloped 15 cents, or 20.6%, to 88 cents, while Cronos Group leaped 80 cents, or 9.3%, to $9.39.

In utilities, Northland Power surged 55 cents, or 1.9%, to $30.20, while ATCO gathered 66 cents, or 1.8%, to $36.60.

Energy stocks faded Friday, especially Frontera Energy, down 19 cents, or 4.7%, to $3.83, while Prairie Sky Royalty slipped 47 cents, or 4.7%, to $9.48.

Financials went on a downward path, with Alaris Royalty off 41 cents, or 4.1%, to $9.56, while Canadian Western Bank lost 69 cents, or 3.3%, to $20.26.

Real-estate units went south, with Cominar REIT skidding 14 cents, or 1.8%, to $7.60, while Riocan REIT faded 32 cents, or 2.2%, to $14.29.

China is set to impose new national security legislation on Hong Kong after last year's pro-democracy unrest, a Chinese official said on Thursday, drawing a warning from U.S. President Donald Trump that Washington would react "very strongly" against the attempt to gain more control over the former British colony.

On the economic ledger, Statistics Canada reported retail trade fell for the first time in five months, plunging 10% to $47.1 billion in March. This marked the largest drop on record and the lowest level since November 2016.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange climbed 5.11 points, or 1%, to 536.94.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups made their way into the green by the closing bell, with information technology boosted 2.5%, health-care haler by 1.9%, and utilities clicking 0.8%.

The four laggards were weighed most by energy, down 1.6%, financials shedding 1%, and real-estate off 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks closed little changed on Friday as investors capped a strong week of gains amid optimism around a potential coronavirus vaccine and the U.S. reopening its economy.

The Dow Jones Industrials came off its lows of the day, and actually progressed to within 8.96 points of breakeven to end the week at 24,465.16.

The S&P 500 recovered 6.94 points to 2,955.45.

The NASDAQ regained 39.71 points to 9,324.59.

Monday, markets in the U.S. will be shuttered for Memorial Day.

For the week, Dow gained 3.3% to post its best weekly performance since April 9. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ also rose more than 3% this week.

News about a potential vaccine from Moderna sent equities flying earlier in the week, with the Dow surging more than 900 points on Monday. Moderna said all 45 participants in its vaccine trial had developed coronavirus antibodies.

Media reported Friday, citing scientists leading the program, the U.S. is working on a effort involving more than 100,000 volunteers to test promising vaccine candidates.

Retailers such as TJX and Gap were among the best-performing stocks this week, bolstered by optimism over states reopening their economies. TJX rallied 13.2% for the week while Gap advanced 8%. Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo all climbed more than 3% this week.

Overnight, China released draft legislation over new national security measures on Hong Kong after last year's burst of anti-government protests in the city.

That law is expected to increase Beijing's hold over Hong Kong. China also opted against setting a Gross Domestic Product target for 2020 as the coronavirus batters the second-largest economy in the world.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury gained ground, lowering yields to 0.66% from Thursday's 0.68%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices slid 55 cents to $33.37 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices picked up $12.70 to $1,734.60 U.S. an ounce.

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