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S&P/TSX Composite Index

16,494.73 real time data change down
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Change: -66.39 (-0.40%)

S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index

715.63 real time data change down
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Change: -9.61 (-1.33%)
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12:09 PM EST, December 18, 2017
Stocks Start Week Off in Big Way

Equities in Canada's most major centre gained in a broad rally in early trade on Monday, led by big banks and energy companies as well as Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc, which said it was bringing an eye treatment to market.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index thundered higher 134.22 points to begin the last week before Christmas at 16,176.20

The Canadian dollar gained 0.09 cents to 77.76 cents U.S.

Valeant, for its part, sprinted $1.17, or 4.6%, to $26.56.

A joint venture between Bombardier Inc and China's CRRC Corp Ltd has won a 1.79-billion-yuan ($270.76-million U.S.) contract to build a monorail line for a Chinese city.

Bombardier prospered seven cents, or 2.1%, to $3.14.

Northern Dynasty Minerals, owner of the Pebble copper-gold project in Alaska, said rival First Quantum Minerals acquired an option to buy half of the project for $1.5 billion.

Northern Dynasty shares swooned 24 cents, or 8.6%, to $2.56.

BMO cut the rating on NewCastle Gold to market perform from outperform, NewCastle Gold retreated one cent, or 1.3%, to 75 cents,

TD Securities raised the price target Enerplus Corp. to $17.00 from $15.00. Enerplus shares gained 31 cents, or 2.9%, to $10.93.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada said Canada's International Transactions in Securities totaled $20.8 billion in October, led by record acquisitions of Canadian bonds. At the same time, Canadian investors increased their holdings of foreign securities by $16.5 billion, mainly purchases of U.S. shares.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 1.2 points to 802.43

All 12 TSX subgroups were positive, as health-care burgeoned 2.8%, while energy and gold each surged 1.2%

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks opened sharply higher on Monday as investors eagerly awaited a vote on a bill that would cut corporate taxes. A slew of corporate deals also helped lift sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrials surged 200.13 points to 24,851.87, a new intraday record

The S&P 500 jumped 17.15 points to 2,692.96, with financials and tech as the best-performing sectors.

The NASDAQ composite index rocketed 55.3 points to 6,991.88, reaching an intraday high.

Campbell Soup announced it will buy Snyder's-Lance for nearly $4.9 billion. Various media reported last week that Campbell was in advanced talks to acquire the snacks maker.

Chocolate maker Hershey said announced a deal to buy Amplify Snack Brands, the maker of Skinny Pop popcorn, for $12 per share, or 71% more than Friday's close of $7.

Elsewhere, Oracle said it will buy Aconex — a software company based in Australia — for $1.2 billion.

Congress is expected to vote as early as Tuesday on a plan that would slash the federal corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%. Passing the bill would mark a big legislative win for Republicans, who have been pushing to revamp the U.S. tax code for most of 2017.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note sagged, raising yields to 2.37% from Friday's 2.35%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices were up 14 cents a barrel to $57.44 U.S.

Gold prices soared $6.90 to $1,264.40 U.S. an ounce.



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