Canadian stock prices rose Tuesday, outpacing markets in the U.S. and overseas, as materials producers, banks, energy and consumer goods all gained ground.
Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan led the S&P/TSX composite index up 1 per cent to 11630, after the hedge fund of billionaire George Soros filed a report saying it had raised its position in the world's biggest fertilizer company. The stock jumped 7 per cent to $116.50.
All of Canada's eight publicly traded banks advanced after a blanket ratings upgrade by the investment firm Macquarie Group. Bank of Montreal gained 3 per cent to $52.96, closing in on its 52-week high of $54.75. Macquarie raised its opinion on the bank to "neutral" from "underperform." Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce shares added 2 per cent to close at $67.05, also nearly their 52-week high.
Oil and gold both rose during the session, with a barrel of crude valued at $79.14 (U.S.), up 24 cents and an ounce of bullion worth $1,139.40, up 20 cents. Riding the trend, Suncor Energy rose 2 per cent to $38.88 (Canadian) and Barrick Gold increased 3 per cent to $47.48.
Shares of Loblaw Cos. increased 5 per cent to $31.90 after the country's No. 1 grocery chain released earnings that topped the Street's expectations, thanks largely to wage cuts and greater efficiencies. George Weston, the food distributor that controls Loblaw, also rose, adding 2 per cent to $59.20.
U.S. stocks tumbled off their 13-month high early in the day, after the Federal Reserve said industrial output was less than anticipated in October, pointing to a weakness in both manufacturing and consumption. But markets south of the border found traction as the day progressed, led by basic materials, technology and telecom.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 30.46 points to 10437.42, the S&P 500 advanced 1.02 to 1110.32 and the Nasdaq added 5.93 to 2203.78.
The Fed released monthly data Tuesday that said factories, mines and utilities output increased in October, reversing nearly a year and a half of declines. But the data were mixed at best. The increase amounted to just 0.1 per cent, below expectations of 0.4 per cent. And it was only utilities that actually gained, with manufacturing and mining production down 0.1 per cent and 0.2 per cent, respectively.
Other influential economic data out of the U.S. included the Producer Price Index, which is a gauge on inflation at the wholesale level. The measure edged up slightly in October, driven by food and energy prices, but rose less than expected.