Market wrap March 17, 2017: Stocks flatten out
10/20/2017 8:37:13 AM
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By Fund Library News Wire  | Friday, March 17, 2017


 

By Mike Keerma

* Stocks flatten out.
* Improving U.S. economic outlook.
*
Canadian job gains in February.
* (Canada) Goosing the stock.


* Stocks flatten out. The major North American indices ended pretty much flat on the week, as the U.S. Federal Reserve Board’s Open Market Committee on Wednesday raised its benchmark federal funds rate to 1.00% from 0.75%, reflecting robust job creation and employment rates as well as a 2% inflation rate that is near the Fed’s target. Toronto’s S&P/TSX Composite Index dipped -0.1% below breakeven on the week, weighed down by declines in financial and resource stocks. U.S. blue-chip S&P 500 Composite Index edged up 0.2% on the week, while the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.7%, putting the tech-weighted gauge ahead 9.6% year to to date. Gold gained 2% on the week, as bond yields inched down, and crude oil gained 0.6% but remained below US$50/barrel on the week.

* Improving U.S. economic outlook. The New York-based Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index rose 0.6% in February, its sixth consecutive monthly increase. In a release, the Conference Board siad, “Widespread gains across a majority of the leading indicators points to an improving economic outlook for 2017.” The data came against a backdrop of President Donald Trump’s first budget proposals to Congress, the centrepiece of which was a significant increases to spending on defense and national security, and deep cuts to other areas.

* Surging Canadian home prices. Canadian home prices surged to a monthly record, as the Teranet-National Bank National Composite House Price Index gained 1.0% from January, the largest February increase ever recorded for the Index. The gains were led by Toronto (+1.9%), Hamilton (+1.4%), and Vancouver (+1.4%), with the Toronto and Hamilton markets also posting record February gains.

* Canadian job gains in February. The Canadian labour market posted a gain of 15,000 jobs in February, with paid employment, rather than self-employment, accounting for most of the gain. The unemployment rate ticked down to 6.6% in February.

* Goosing the stock. Market darling Canada Goose Holdings Inc. (TSX: GOOS) opened trading on Thursday at $23.86, 40% higher than its IPO price of $17. Share price of the maker of those iconic ultra-pricey parkas eased back to $21.53 by Thursday’s close, but surged again in Friday’s session to close at $23, for a rich market capitalization of over $2.3 billion.

Check Fund Library’s Market Activity page regularly for active updates on key market indexes and commodities.

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