Toronto stocks soared again on Thursday and finished at the highest level in almost three months. Energy stocks led the way as crude oil soared almost 9% on the NYMEX.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index has surged 131.32 or 1.46% to 9,073.14. This marks the best finish for the index since Jan. 9.
Energy stocks surged $4.35, boosted by higher crude oil prices. Light sweet crude for May delivery rallied to $52.64 per barrel, up $4.25 for the session.
Suncor Energy (SU.TO) rose 5% and Petro-Canada (PCA.TO) gained 4.8%. The companies said Thursday they have canceled their annual shareholder meetings, which were scheduled for later this month. Instead, the annual meeting of Suncor has been combined with a special meeting to consider the amalgamation by way of an arrangement of Suncor and Petro-Canada on June 4.
Industrial stocks also added 4.35%. Bombardier (BBD-B.TO) soared 10.2% after the company reported fourth-quarter net income of US$309 million or US$0.17 per share, compared to US$218 million or US$0.12 per share last year. The company also announced plans to cut another 3,000 jobs.
Financials added 2.5%. Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) led the big six higher with a 1.9% spike, while Scotiabank (BNS.TO) added 1.3%.
In other corporate news, Nortel (NT.TO) rallied 6.7% after the company said it launched Smart Power Management Software that helps reduce radio network power consumption in GSM networks and delivers significant energy and cost-savings for mobile operators.
Air Canada (AC.A.TO) inched up 1.3% after the Globe and Mail reported the airliner may change its strategy of charging fees for extra services such as additional luggage and sandwiches under new Chief Executive Officer Calin Rovinescu.
After the closing bell, Research In Motion (RIM.TO) reported net income for the fourth quarter of $518.3 million or $0.90 per share, compared to $412.5 million or $0.72 per share for the year-ago quarter. Before the report, RIM closed its Bay Street session up 5.7%.
Across the border, a Labor Department report showed that initial jobless claims rose to 669,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 657,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to edge down to 650,000 from the 652,000 originally reported for the previous week.
The S&P/Composite Index added 221.43 points or 2.53% to 8,941.82. The index reached a six-day closing high after hitting a 10-day low earlier this week.
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