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Canada’s main stock index sat flat on Monday, despite a jump in marijuana producers.

Health care stocks rose 1.2 per cent after Aurora Cannabis Inc. announced it was buying cannabis company ICC Labs Inc. for $1.95 per share, valuing the company at about $290-million.

Aurora rose 1.1 per cent, while rivals Aphria Inc. and Canopy Growth Corp. jumped 6.1 per cent and 2.8 per cent, respectively.

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At 11:30 a.m. ET, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 10.11 points, or 0.07 percent, at 16,101.33.

Energy stocks fluctuated in morning trade despite a rise in oil prices, sitting up 0.1 per cent

Cenovus Energy Inc. was up 4.8 per cent after reports Friday that it has signed an agreement to move more crude oil with the Canadian National Railway Co.

U.S. stock indexes rose on Monday, lead by industrials, on optimism for further tax relief, although a drop in Apple kept gains in check.

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives plan to unveil another round of tax cuts this week, ahead of the Nov. 6 congressional elections.

Dubbed “Tax Reform 2.0”, the package is intended to augment Trump’s 2017 tax overhaul, which added $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit through permanent tax cuts for U.S. companies.

“Investors are definitely happy and they are reading into the potential of a future tax cut in the short term,” said Matt Watson, portfolio manager for James Advantage Funds in Alpha, Ohio.

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Ten of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, boosted by the trade-sensitive industrials sector which climbed 0.68 percent.

This despite Trump saying on Friday he was ready to levy additional taxes on practically all Chinese imports, threatening duties on $267 billion of goods over and above planned tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese products. China said it will respond if Washington takes any new steps on trade.

A number of companies said the proposed tariffs would weigh on business. Among them was, Apple which said a “wide range” of its products would be hit, although it did not mention the iPhone.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimated iPhone prices could go up by about 20 percent if they were assembled in the United States, instead of abroad.

Apple shares dropped 1 per cent, giving up their premarket gains and weighing on the three major indexes.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 6.31 points, or 0.02 per cent, at 25,910.23, the S&P 500 was up 7.96 points, or 0.28 per cent, at 2,879.64 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 19.92 points, or 0.25 per cent, at 7,922.46.

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The energy sector rose 0.39 per cent as oil prices climbed after U.S. drilling stalled and investors anticipated lower supply once new U.S. sanctions against Iran’s crude exports kick in from November.

Nike rose 2 per cent, the most on the Dow, after a report said the footwear maker’s Labor day sales rose, easing concerns about the hit to demand after the Colin Kaepernick advertisement.

Insurers Travelers fell 1.9 per cent and UnitedHealth dropped 2.7 per cent, the most on the Dow, as forecasters said Hurricane Florence is “expected to become a major hurricane very soon” as it bore down on the U.S. East Coast.

Tesla rose 5.7 per cent after brokerages Baird and Bernstein said the electric carmaker was on track to be profitable and cash flow positive in the second half of the year.

Alibaba dropped 3 per cent after the company said Jack Ma will step down as chairman in one year, passing on the reins to trusted lieutenant, Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang.

Oil prices rose on Monday as growth of U.S. drilling braked and investors anticipated lower supply once new U.S. sanctions against Iran’s crude exports kick in from November.

“The low rig count set the stage for us to move higher,” said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. “At the end of the day you also have storms that could impact inventories for some time to come.”

Brent crude oil jumped 90 cents to $77.73 a barrel. U.S. light crude was 67 cents higher at $68.42 a barrel.

U.S. drillers cut two oil rigs last week, reducing the total count to 860, Baker Hughes said on Friday.

Growth of the number of rigs drilling for oil in the United States has stalled since May, reflecting increases in well productivity but also bottlenecks and infrastructure constraints.

U.S. inventories fell Tuesday through Friday, traders said, citing data from information industry service Genscape. Declining inventories could further support prices.

“A higher oil price scenario is built on lower exports from Iran due to U.S. sanctions, capped U.S. shale output growth, instability in production in countries like Libya and Venezuela and no material negative impact from a U.S./China trade war on oil demand in the next 6-9 months,” said Harry Tchilinguirian, oil strategist at French bank BNP Paribas.

“We see Brent trading above $80 under (that) scenario,” he told Reuters Global Oil Forum.

Outside the United States, Iranian crude oil exports are declining ahead of a November deadline for the implementation of new U.S. sanctions.

Reuters

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