RTTNews - Bay Street stocks enjoyed a strong session on Thursday in New York, boosted by resource sectors. Investors also considered some key economic data, including U.S. and Canadian employment reports.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 254.92 points or 2.52% to end at 10,355.85. The index closed at its best level since June 16.

Gold stocks gained 4.5% and materials rose 3.6% as the precious metal finished at $939.50 per ounce, up $5.10. Eldorado (ELD.TO) soared 11.25%, Iamgold (IMG.TO) added 5.7%, Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) gained 4.9% and Goldcorp (G.TO) rose 4.6%.

Iamgold (IMG.TO) jumped 3.3% after being upgraded to Buy from Market Perform at Cormark Securities.

Energy stocks rose 4.5%. Light sweet crude for August delivery climbed to $70.23, up $1.56 on the session. Oil reached as high as $70.93 in mid-day trading.

Baytex Energy (BTE.UN.TO) gained 4.6% after being upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital Markets. Talisman Energy (TLM.TO) rose 3.6% after the stock was upgraded by Goldman Sachs to Neutral from Sell.

Mining stocks gained 3.6% as Inmet (IMN.TO) added 4.4%, First Quantum (FM.TO) rose 4.2% and HudBay (HBM.TO) has added 2.6%.

In corporate news, Mad Catz Interactive (MCZ.TO) plunged 17.1% after the company reported a fourth-quarter net loss of US$3.7 million or US$0.07 per share, compared to a loss of US$0.8 million or US$0.02 per share in the same quarter last year. Net sales for the fourth quarter were US$22.8 million, up 3.9% from US$21.9 million in the comparable quarter last year.

Wi-LAN (WIN.TO) slipped 1.8% after the company said it signed bought deal agreement with a syndicate of underwriters to sell 8 million common shares at a price of $2.05 per common share for gross proceeds of $16.4 million.

IMAX Corp. (IMX.TO) jumped 8.6% after the company announced that it has appointed Gary Moss as Chief Operating Officer, effective July 20.

Statistics Canada revealed non-farm payrolls dropped 51,400 in the month of April, down 0.4% from the previous month. In the U.S., a Labor Department report showed that initial jobless claims rose to 627,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 612,000.

Also across the border, a Commerce Department report showed that gross domestic product fell at an annual rate of 5.5 percent in the first quarter compared to the 5.7 percent decrease that had been reported.

On Friday, Empire Co. (EMP.A.TO) is scheduled to report fourth quarter earnings before the market opens. Analysts expect to see earnings of C$1.15 in the period, compared to EPS of C$1.01 a year ago.

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