Market week: Stocks post big weekly gains

Market week: Stocks post big weekly gains

Job gains, U.S. dollar weakness lift sentiment


Stock market gauges in the U.S. and Canada posted some of the strongest weekly gains seen this year, as strong job creation data in both countries helped improve market sentiment and as the U.S. election results inched closer to a resolution.

Canada’s labor market added 84,000 jobs in October, with strong gains in the retail and wholesale sectors as well as scientific, professional and technical services sectors. The unemployment rate edged down to 8.9% from 9.0% in September. In the U.S., the economy added 638,000 jobs, as the unemployment rate fell to 6.9% from 7.9% the previous month. However, investors continue to watch the trend in Covid-19 cases in both countries, as a surge in the infection rate could once again dampen job growth and raise unemployment levels.

Also driving sentiment was a lower U.S. dollar, as the Federal Reserve aims to keep rates lower for longer while maintaining its quantitative easing program. This added up to strong gains in equity markets, as the S&P 500 Composite Index rose 7.3% on the week and is up 8.6% year to date, while the Nasdaq Composite Index surged 9.0% on the week, putting it ahead 32.6% year to date, fueled mainly by outsized gains in the technology majors. Toronto’s benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index advanced 4.5% on the week, helped along by a 3.9% gain in the price of gold and a 5% advance in crude oil. But the index remains 4.6% in the red for the year to date.

Fund news and updates

* Scotia launches index-tracker ETFs. Scotia Global Asset Management on Nov. 3 launched a series of Scotia Index Tracker ETFs, sub-advised by State Street Global Advisors. The suite of market capitalization-weighted ETFs aims to track broadly diversified market indices provided by Solactive.

Scotia Canadian Bond Index Tracker ETF (NEO: SITB), tracks the Solactive Broad Canadian Bond Universe Liquid ex MPL TR Index.

Scotia Canadian Large Cap Equity Index Tracker ETF (NEO: SITC) tracks the Solactive Canada Large Cap Index (CA NTR).

Scotia US Equity Index Tracker ETF (NEO: SITU) tracks the Solactive GBS United States 500 CAD Index (CA NTR).

Scotia International Equity Index Tracker ETF (NEO: SITI) tracks the Solactive GBS Developed Markets ex North America Large & Mid Cap CAD Index (CA NTR).

Monitor the main stock and commodity indices daily with the Fund Library’s interactive Markets Page.

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