Canadian stocks rose on Tuesday after Hurricane Sandy walloped New York and the east coast but failed to leave significant signs of long-lasting economic devastation.
The S&P/TSX composite index closed at 12,377.05, up 64.30 points or 0.5 per cent.
Tuesday marked the second straight day that the TSX has had to operate alone, without the help of U.S. trading to set a direction for stocks. The New York Stock Exchange suspended trading on Monday as the hurricane neared landfall, and remained closed on Tuesday.
The exchange plans to open on Wednesday, ending what will be the longest weather-related closure since 1888.
While the hurricane caused extensive damage, death and dislocation, there may have been a sense of relief among investors and economists that the devastation wasn’t worse – even as the United States struggles to emerge from weak economic conditions.
“Bigger picture, there is every reason to believe that the hurricane won’t kick the legs out of an already-fragile U.S. economy,” said Beata Caranci, deputy chief economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank, in a note.
There was also upbeat economic news to digest: The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index for 20 U.S. cities rose 2 per cent in August, year over year – or slightly better than expectations, renewing hope that the housing market is steadily improving, albeit from low levels.
Petrobank Energy & Resources Ltd. rose 8.1 per cent after announcing that it will spin off its 57 per cent stake in PetroBakken Energy Ltd.
SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. rose 3.1 per cent after it struck an agreement with Japan’s Hitachi to take over a project to build two nuclear power stations in the U.K.
Ford Motor Co. reported that reported third-quarter earnings of $2.2-billion (U.S.) or 40 cents a share, amid record high profit margins of 12 per cent. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 30 cents a share.
Apple Inc. will also be in focus when trading resumes. The company dismissed two key executives on Monday – Scott Forstall, who oversaw Apple’s mobile software unit, and John Browett, the new head of retail operations – raising concerns about instability within iPhone and iPad maker.