U.S. stocks closed on Friday hardly moving an inch, ahead of next week's much-anticipated monetary policy statement from the Federal Reserve. However, Canadian stocks rose with a bounce in the price of gold.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 11,118.49, up 4.54 points. The broader S&P 500 closed at 1183.26, down 0.52 of a point. Canada's S&P/TSX composite index closed at 12,676.24, up 112.15 points, or 0.9 per cent.
The Canadian move was largely related to materials stocks, which got a boost from renewed interest in fertilizer shares and a bounce in the price of gold. Gold rose to $1,357.60 (U.S.) an ounce, up $15.10. Barrick Gold Corp. rose 2.2 per cent. Among fertilizer stocks, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. rose 1 per cent and Agrium Inc. rose 2.7 per cent.
U.S. companies that reported their quarterly earnings saw some big moves in their share prices. Microsoft Corp. rose 1.5 per cent after reporting better-than-expected earnings on Thursday evening. Meanwhile, Monster Worldwide Inc. surged 25.5 per cent but pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. fell 1.7 per cent.
For the month of October, major indexes turned in impressive gains - especially noteworthy when you consider that October brings with it a spotty track record. The Dow rose 3.1 per cent, after a 7.7 per cent gain in September. The TSX rose 2.5 per cent, after a 3.8 per cent gain in September.