Toronto's main index has surged on Wednesday and moved above the key 10,000 mark for the first time in more than six months. Stocks have received a boost from better-than-expected employment data from the U.S. and report showing a smaller-than-estimated build in crude oil inventories.
The S&P/Composite Index has rallied 260.01 points or 2.63% to 1,0140.60. The index last closed above 10,000 on Oct. 20.
Energy stocks are up 4.7% as crude oil has jumped to a multi-month high above $56. Suncor (SU.TO) and Canadian Oil Sands (COS.UN.TO) are both up about 7.3%, Savanna (SVY.YO) has rallied 5.9% and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) is up 3.8%.
The Energy Information Administration reported crude oil inventories increased by 600,000 barrels from the previous week. Experts were looking for a build of about 2.2 million barrels. At 375.3 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are at their highest level in nearly two decades.
Penn West Energy Trust (PWT_U.TO) has gained 5% after the company announced that its first quarter net loss was C$98 million or C$0.25 per unit-basic, compared to net income of C$78 million or C$0.22 per unit-basic in the first quarter of 2008.
Enbridge (ENB.TO) shares are flat after it announced that its adjusted first quarter earnings were C$269.4 million or C$0.74 per share, compared to C$238.9 million or C$0.67 per share in the same quarter of last year.
Gold stocks have climbed 4.2% while materials stocks are up 2.6%. The precious metal has climbed $6.70 to close at $911.00 per ounce. Iamgold (IMG.TO) has rallied 4.5%, Seagold (SEA.TO) is up 4.2% and Goldcorp (G.TO) has added 4%.
Also among materials stocks, Agrium (AGU.TO) has slipped 0.8% after the company reported a first-quarter net loss of US$60 million or US$0.38 per share, compared to net earnings of US$195 million or US$1.23 per share in the same quarter last year. Rival Potash (POT.TO) is up 0.3%.
Mining stocks have rallied 4% as copper added 10 cents to $2.187 per pound. First Quantum (FM.TO) has added 8.1%, Teck Cominco (TCK.B.TO) is up 4.6%, Inmet (IMN.TO) added 3.25% and FNX Mining (FNX.TO) has gained 1.8%.
On the downside, the Healthcare Index is showing a 2.7% drop as Biovail (BVF.TO) has plunged 13.4%. Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) said it was selling its U.S. marketing rights for Wellbutrin to Biovail International Laboratories for $510 million or about GBP 340 million.
In other economic news, CGI Group Inc. (GIB.A.TO) has slipped 3.2%. The company reported second-quarter net income of C$77.5 million or C$0.25 per share, compared to C$68.8 million or C$0.21 per share in the same quarter last year.
Stella-Jones (SJ.TO) has rallied 12% after the company reported a first quarter net earnings of C$7.7 million or C$0.61 per share, compared to C$5.3 million or C$0.42 per share in the year-ago quarter.
Magna International (MG-A.TO) is up 2.5%. The company reported a first quarter loss of $200 million or $1.79 per share, compared to net income of $207 million or $1.78 per share in the same quarter of last year. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report a loss of $1.59 per share for the quarter.
On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported the Industrial Product Price Index rose 0.3% in March following a 0.5% increase in February.
Canadian contractors took out $4.5 billion in building permits in March, up 23.5% from February, halting five consecutive monthly declines, according to Statistics Canada. March's increase came mainly from the non-residential sector in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta.
Across the border, an Automatic Data Processing report showed that non-farm private employment fell by 491,000 jobs in April following a revised decrease of 708,000 jobs in March. Economists had expected a decrease of 645,000 jobs compared to the loss of 742,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
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