Canada’s main stock index closed at a record for the third straight day on Monday, with cannabis stocks leading the charge on a report of a U.S. Republican-led marijuana legalization bill, and the Congressional passage of a $1 trillion U.S. infrastructure bill also lifting sentiment.
Wall Street stocks ended slightly higher, rising early after passage of the infrastructure spending bill, but paring gains late as sliding Tesla shares weighed the indexes down.
Still, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq extended their run of all-time closing highs to eight straight sessions. The blue-chip Dow notched its second consecutive record closing high.
“It has become a self-fulfilling prophesy,” said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago.
“Why are the indexes going up? Because people are buying,” Nolte added. “Why are they buying? Because the indexes are going up.”
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 100.72 points, or 0.5%, at 21,556.54.
The five biggest gainers on the Toronto benchmark were cannabis stocks Cronos Group, Tilray Inc, Canopy Growth, Aurora Cannabis and OrganiGram Holdings.
Cannabis news website Marijuana Moment reported Friday that a preliminary Republican-led bill to legalize and tax cannabis was being circulated, with a final version expected to be filed later this month.
The healthcare sector, which includes cannabis stocks, surged 8%.
“If there is some talk about (cannabis) legalization out of the U.S... any positive news on legalization and more usage,” is a good thing, said Allan Small, senior investment adviser at Allan Small Financial Group with HollisWealth.
“The infrastructure bill, passing that is big... and the U.S. border opening up is a positive,” he added.
The passage on Friday of a long-delayed $1 trillion infrastructure bill by the U.S. House of Representatives boosted sentiment globally, with Canada expected to be among the beneficiaries of the resulting increase in demand for materials
This also lifted oil prices globally on expectations that the infrastructure push will boost fuel demand.
U.S. crude prices were 1.2% higher at $82.22 a barrel.
The Canadian energy sector and the materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, both also added 1.2%.
Gold futures rose 0.5% to $1,825.9 an ounce.
Sun Life Financial said it would resume dividend increases after the regulator lifted a pandemic-era moratorium on capital distributions. Its shares rose 1.1%.
In the U.S., Tesla Inc was the heaviest weight on the S&P 500. Its shares fell 4.9% following CEO Elon Musk’s Twitter poll on whether he should sell about 10% of his holdings of stock in the electric automaker company he founded. The poll garnered more than 3.5 million votes, with 57.9% voting “Yes.”
Economically sensitive cyclicals and chips led the charge higher, with the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index also hitting a record high close. Industrials and materials got a boost.
“Over the weekend we got another trillion dollars thrown at the economy which is already running hot,” Nolte said. “So investors are looking at that as a very good thing for equity markets.”
Caterpillar Inc, Cleveland-Cliffs Inc, Freeport McMoRan and U.S. Steel Corp were among companies riding the wave to solid gains, between 2.7% and 6.5%.
Lawmakers now turn to Biden’s social spending bill, with the House of Representatives expected to vote on the measure next week, according to White House economic adviser Brian Deese.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 104.27 points, or 0.29%, to 36,432.22, the S&P 500 gained 4.17 points, or 0.09%, to 4,701.7 and the Nasdaq Composite added 10.77 points, or 0.07%, to 15,982.36.
Among the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, materials gained the most at 1.2% while utilities suffered the session’s largest percentage loss.
The third-quarter reporting season has reached the final stretch, with 445 of the companies in the S&P 500 having reported as of Friday. Of those, 81% have come in above analyst expectations, according to Refinitiv.
Cryptocurrency and blockchain-related stocks, including those of Coinbase Global, Riot Blockchain, Marathon Digital Holdings and MicroStrategy Inc rose between 5% and 18%, as ether scaled new peaks and bitcoin neared a record high.
Shares of cosmetics maker Coty Inc surged 15.1% after the company hiked annual organic sales forecast.
Nextdoor Holdings Inc jumped 17.0% in its volatile debut after the neighborhood network platform was brought public in a deal with Khosla Ventures Acquisition Co II, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.37-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.21-to-1 ratio favored advancers. The S&P 500 posted 50 new 52-week highs and 1 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 208 new highs and 54 new lows. Volume on U.S. exchanges was 11.00 billion shares, compared with the 10.66 billion average over the last 20 trading days.
Read more: Stocks that saw action on Monday - and why
Reuters, Globe staff
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