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Weekly wrap, Sept. 28, 2017: U.S. indices set records, TSX extends gains
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By Fund Library News Wire  | Friday, September 29, 2017


By Mike Keerma

Toronto’s benchmark stock index, the S&P/TSX Composite Index closed the month at its highest point in four months, logging a 1.2% gain on the week, 2.8% on the month, and 3% for the quarter. Despite a flat Canadian GDP report for July, the index was buoyed by strength in the financial sector and is now ahead 2.3% year to date. Reacting to more hawkish comments from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and a tax-reform announcement from President Donald Trump, the big U.S. stock gauges also registered gains. Both the S&P 500 Composite Index and the Nasdaq Composite Index wrapped up the week, month, and quarter on a high note, closing at record highs on Friday. The S&P 500 closed up 0.7% on the week, while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.1%. Crude oil rose 1.8% on the week, remaining above US$50/barrel, while gold flagged, losing 1.4% on the week, for a 3.1% loss overall in September.

Weighed down by the oil and gas sector, Canada’s gross domestic product remained unchanged in July from June’s reading, and posted a 3.8% year-over-year pace of growth. The flat reading for July was just slightly below consensus estimates, and really didn’t affect stock market performance for the week.

In the U.S., Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen had warned earlier in the week about being too slow in bringing rates back to normal, a comment that many analysts used to bolster their argument for another rate hike in December. In addition, markets digested the possibility that President Trump would not renew Yellen’s term as Fed Chair (or that she would not seek to renew it) when it expires in February, given that he has interviewed Fed Governor Jay Powell and former Fed Governor Kevin Warsh and two others as possible replacements.

In company news, former market darling and Canadian tech giant Blackberry Ltd. (TSX: BB) continues to reinvent itself as a specialty software supplier, reporting record revenues of US$196 million from its enterprise software business and deals in its automotive business, including self-driving cars. For the quarter ending Aug. 31, the company posted profit of $26 million ($0.05 per share).

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

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© 2017 by Fund Library. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part by any means without prior written permission is prohibited.

The foregoing is for general information purposes only and is the opinion of the writer. No guarantee of investment performance is made or implied. It is not intended to provide specific personalized advice including, without limitation, investment, financial, legal, accounting or tax advice.

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