Scratch the surface of the booming Canadian stock market on Tuesday and you will find gold beneath your fingertips.
The S&P/TSX composite index closed at 13,321.62, up 301.9 points or 2.3 per cent. It marked the third rise in as many days, bringing the index's cumulative gains to more than 600 points.
Clearly, the index is firing on a lot of cylinders to get the point total up that high - but the most impressive gains came from gold producers after the price of gold finally halted its week-long decline and shot upward by $16 (U.S.) to $935 an ounce. Relieved, and with gloomy economic news from the United States bolstering them, investors jumped at names like Goldcorp Inc., Yamana Gold Inc. and Kinross Gold Corp., which rose between 7.1 per cent and 9.2 per cent.
The Dow Jones industrial average, which is sadly lacking in gold producers, did not fare as well. It closed at 12,532.6, down 16.04 points or 0.1 per cent. Investors ditched cyclical stocks, such as Home Depot and Bank of America, and instead turned to the nearest thing to gold: Alcoa Inc. The aluminum producer's shares rose 2 per cent.
Meanwhile, the broader S&P 500 did slightly better than the Dow, thanks to its greater exposure to commodity producers and companies tied to the continuing interest in agriculture stocks. The index closed at 1352.97, up 3.09 points or 0.2 per cent. Monsanto Co., which develops seeds for farming, surged 9.9 per cent and was the biggest mover on the index. Newmont Mining Corp., the sole member of the S&P 500 gold sub-index, rose 3 per cent.