North American stocks closed out the first week of September with a dramatic burst that pushed the Dow Jones industrial average back into positive territory for the year.
A series of better-than-expected economic reports through the week added momentum to the markets. On Friday, investors bid up prices on news that private employers in the U.S. added 67,000 jobs in August. Expectations of economists polled by Thomson Reuters were for 41,000 additions.
In Toronto, the S&P/TSX gained 33.83 points to 12,144.92, led by financials and industrials. Automobile parts maker Linamar Corp., rose 8.5 per cent after U.S. auto sales topped forecasts. Manulife Financial rose 3 per cent. Goldcorp slid 4 per cent after agreeing to buy Andean Resources Ltd. for $3.6-billion. Year-to-date, the index is up 5 per cent.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial index gained 127.83 to 10,447.93, with all member stocks advancing. JP Morgan Chase & Co. rose 3 per cent. Cisco Systems, American Express and Caterpillar each climbed 2 per cent. The key barometer of stocks closed up 0.19 per cent year-to-date.
The broader S&P 500 added 14.41 points to end the week at 1,104.51, led by financials ,technology and industrials. The index is still registering a loss this year, off almost 1 per cent.
Stocks shed some of their gains Friday afternoon after the Institute for Supply Management reported that the U.S. service sector, which makes up most of the economy, expanded at a slower pace in July than expected.
The loonie closed Friday's session up more than a cent to 96.22 cents (U.S.). Gold declined $2.30 an ounce to $1,251.10. The price of a barrel of oil dipped 42 cents to $74.60.