Bay Street stocks closed at their highest level in more than five months, driven higher by encouraging earnings news that also pushed U.S. and European markets higher.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index rallied 139.98 points or 1.48% to end at 9,549.48, its best finish since November 10. With the rally, Toronto's main index added 112.33 points for the week, erasing a sharp plunge from Monday.

In Canada, mining stocks are indicating a 5.4% gain. First Quantum (FM.TO) has surged 12.6%, FNX Mining (FNX.TO) gained 2.9% and Teck Cominco (TCK.B.TO) added 3.6%.

HudBay (HBM.TO) rallied 9.1% amid reports in the Globe and Mail the company has hired outside advisers to consider the company's options, including the possible sale of the company.

Gold stocks climbed 4.4% and materials stocks added 4.3% with the price of gold $914.10 an ounce, up $7.50 on the session. New Gold (NGD.TO) is up 10%, Iamgold (IMG.TO) had added 6.3%, Eldorado (ELD.TO) is up 4.6% and Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) has added 3.7%.

The heavily-weighted Energy Index added 1% as crude oil has jumped on the NYMEX. Canadian Oil Sands (COS.UN.TO) added 4.2%, Baytex (BTE.UN.TO) gained 3.6% and Suncor (SU) climbed 1.5%.

Light sweet crude oil for June delivery rallied to $51.55, up $1.93 on the session. Prices touched as high as $51.60 in the early going. With the rally, oil climbed further away from the monthly-low from Monday.

UTS Energy Corp. (UTS.TO) lost 2.35% as the company confirmed that it has deemed the offer of C$1.75 cash per share made by Total S.A. is inadequate and not in the best interest of UTS.

In other corporate news, Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (CP.TO) said Thursday its first quarter profit was C$62.5 million or C$0.39 per share, down from C$90.7 million or C$0.59 per share in the prior year quarter. Shares finished a choppy session up 1%.

Kingsway Financial Services (KFS.TO) announced that it has appointed Colin Simpson as president and chief executive officer, effective immediately. The stock finished up 4.6%.

Shoppers Drug Mart (SC.TO) dropped 3.25% after the company was downgraded to Outperform from Top Pick by RBC Capital Markets.

Across the border, Commerce Department report showed new home sales fell 0.6 percent to an annual rate of 356,000 in March from a revised February rate of 358,000. Economists had expected new home sales to remain unchanged compared to the 337,000 originally reported for the previous month.

Earlier, data showed durable goods orders fell 0.8 percent in March following a downwardly revised 2.1 percent increase in February. Economists had expected orders to fall 1.5 percent compared to the 3.5 percent increase that had been reported for the previous month.

On the earnings front, Ford reported a net loss was sharply narrower than expected in the first quarter. The company reported a first-quarter net loss of $1.4 billion or $0.60 per share, compared to a loss of $1.23 per share expected by analysts.

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