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Stocks Hold Own Following Minority Gov't

Canada's main stock index rose on Tuesday as investors cheered the re-election of a Liberal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, but concerns over a minority government's ability to build new oil pipelines pulled energy shares lower.

The TSX Composite Index gained 31.06 points to greet noon Tuesday at 16,449.51

The Canadian dollar added 0.03 cents at 76.43 cents U.S.

Trudeau hung onto power after an election on Monday that saw his government reduced to a minority, but aides predicted he would be able to govern for two years without many problems.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were SNC Lavalin Group, up $2.11, or 11.9%, to $19.79, while West Fraser Timber surged $2.05, or 3.8%, to $56.77.

Methanex fell $2.18, or 4.6%, the most on the TSX, to $45.74, while the second biggest decliner was Ballard Power Systems, down 26 cents, or 3.4%, to $7.31.

Economically speaking, Statistics Canada reported that retail sales edged down 0.1% in August to $51.5 billion. Sales were down in six sub-sectors, representing 51% of retail trade.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange dropped 0.96 points to 542.10

Seven of the 12 Toronto subgroups remained in positive country by noon, with energy rumbling 1.2%. utilities climbing 0.7%, and industrials better by 0.5%.

The five laggards were weighed most by information technology, down 1.2%, health-care, sliding 0.9%, and materials, off 0.6%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose slightly on Tuesday as investors pored through a slew of key earnings from companies such as United Technologies, Procter & Gamble and McDonald's.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 75.29 points to move into noon hour Tuesday at 26,902.93

The S&P 500 added 5.28 points to 3,012. Tuesday's moves pushed the S&P 500 closer to a record set in July. The broad index is less than 1% away from hitting that level.

The NASDAQ Composite moved negative 10.57 points to 8,152.42.

Biogen shares contributed to Tuesday's gains, surging more than 35% after the drugmaker announced it will seek regulatory approval for its Alzheimer's treatment. The stock and lifted the broader biotechnology space.

United Technologies shares rose more than 1% after the company posted earnings that topped analyst expectations. Better-than-expected revenues from the company's Otis, Pratt & Whitney and Collins Aerospace divisions helped drive the beat.

Procter & Gamble climbed 4.1% after its results topped expectations. The company's numbers were driven by Procter's beauty, health care and fabric and home care lines.

However, those results were dampened by a 3.3% drop in McDonald's shares. The fast-food giant posted earnings and revenue for the previous quarter that missed analyst expectations. The company's U.S. same-store sales, a key metric for franchises, grew by 4.8%. That's below estimates of 5.1%.

JetBlue, UPS and Lockheed Martin also reported quarterly profits that topped analyst expectations. Shares of JetBlue and Lockheed Martin rose 1.1% and 0.3%, respectively. However, UPS shares dropped around 5% as its international package and supply chain and freight revenues missed expectations.

So far, more than 19% of S&P 500 companies have reported quarterly numbers. Of those companies, nearly 80% have beaten analyst earnings expectations.

Texas Instruments, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Snap are poised to report their latest quarterly figures after market close.

Investors also kept an eye on global trade after China's vice foreign minister said that Beijing and Washington had achieved some progress in their trade talks.

His comments come less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump sounded optimistic about the prospect of a trade agreement by the middle of next month.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury gained ground, lowering yields to 1.79% from Monday's 1.80%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices regained 84 cents to $54.15 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices sank $1.60 to $1,486.50 U.S. an ounce.

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