By Mike Keerma
A strong U.S. jobs report on Friday helped rally U.S. stock indices towards
the end of a week that was dominated by choppy trading. However, while the
Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a record high 22,092.81 on Friday,
the broader blue-chip benchmark
S&P 500 Composite Index eked out an advance of just 0.2% on the week, while the
Nasdaq Composite Index closed with a hairline retreat of -0.4% from last Friday’s close. Toronto’s
S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 0.9% on the week, driven mainly by climbing energy shares and the
halo effect of sizable U.S. creation.
Gold slipped -0.3% and
WTI crude oil edged down -0.6% on the week, having negligible effect on S&P/TSX
performance last week.
U.S. non-farm jobs grew by 209,000 in July, continuing a strong
job-creation trend seen through most of this year. The unemployment rate
stood at 4.3%, while average hourly earnings growth remained at a 2.5%
annualized pace. Market observers believe the latest data on job creation,
inflation, and unemployment continue to support the Federal Reserve Board’s
plans to begin normalizing its balance sheet in September, with the
possibility of another rate hike in December.
The pace of Canadian job gains softened in July, with 19,400 jobs, down
from the 45,000 in June and 54,000 in May. However, the unemployment rate
notched down to 6.3% from 6.5% in June, suggesting some tightening in the
In business news, iPhone maker
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) posted fiscal third-quarter earnings of US$8.72 billion (US$1.67 per
share), compared with US$7.8 billion (US$1.42 per share) for the same
period a year ago. The company’s share price rose to record high of
US$159.75 earlier in the week on optimism about sales of Apple’s
forthcoming release of its upgraded iPhone 8, which most observers expect
in September. The company’s market capitalization rose to over US$803
billion, putting it on pace to become the first company with a market cap
of US$1 trillion within the next year if its share price continues to climb
In Canada, telco
BCE Inc. (TSX: BCE) reported net earnings for its fiscal second quarter of $811 million ($0.84
per share) compared with $830 million ($0.89) in the same period a year ago
period. Bell said it lost 13,000 cable TV subscribers, while gaining an
additional 1,000 Internet subscribers and adding 89,000 post-paid wireless
subscribers in the quarter. It also launched its Alt TV streaming service
for cable cord-cutters, but CEO George Cope said in a conference call that
this has not had any impact on financial results so far.
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