Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Big tech pushed Wall Street to a higher close on Thursday, modestly building on a two-day rally as lackluster economic data and mixed corporate earnings sent investors back to growth stocks. Canada’s TSX, where growth and tech stocks have less weighting than U.S. indexes, ended in the red in a fairly broad-based decline.

A pull-back in economically sensitive cyclicals kept the S&P 500′s and the blue-chip Dow’s gains muted, while small-caps underperformed their larger rivals.

But megacap tech and tech-adjacent stocks such as Apple Inc , Amazon.com, Facebook Inc, Google-owner Alphabet Inc and Microsoft Corp rose ahead of their quarterly results next week, putting the Nasdaq out front.

Story continues below advertisement

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 12.53 points, or 0.06%, at 20,097.52. Tech stocks rose, but heavyweight sectors financials, materials, energy and consumer staples all posted modest declines. Several cannabis stocks suffered losses of more than 4%, making the health-care sector the worst decliner.

Still, the TSX and all three major U.S. stock indexes ended the session within 1% of their record closing highs.

Growth stocks, which outperformed throughout the health crisis, were back in favour on Wall Street, gaining 0.8%, while the value index slipped by 0.5%.

“The market is flip-flopping between the view that economic growth has almost peaked so you need to buy stocks that manufacture their own growth like tech names, versus the view that economic growth will continue and you want to own cyclicals and value names,” said David Carter, chief investment officer at Lenox Wealth Advisors in New York.

The number of U.S. workers filing first-time applications for unemployment benefits spiked unexpectedly to 419,000 last week, a two-month high, according to the Labor Department.

Market participants are closely watching labour market indicators for hints as to when the Federal Reserve, expected to convene next week for its two-day monetary policy meeting, will begin discussions about hiking key interest rates from near zero.

“The jobless data today didn’t have a meaningful impact on markets or the economic outlook,” Carter added. “It’s now all about how much longer the Fed will tolerate low rates. The Fed seems to be favouring its full employment mandate more than its price stability mandate.”

Story continues below advertisement

“Accordingly, the upcoming Fed meeting could be impactful,” Carter said.

Benchmark Treasury yields eased after the bid at the largest-ever TIPS auction touched a record low, pressuring rate sensitive banks. The yield on U.S. 10-year Treasury notes fell 2.2 basis points to 1.260% and the Canada 10-year government bond yield also fell, going for 1.200% by late afternoon.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 25.35 points, or 0.07%, to 34,823.35, the S&P 500 gained 8.79 points, or 0.20%, to 4,367.48 and the Nasdaq Composite added 52.64 points, or 0.36%, to 14,684.60.

Of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, tech was shining brightest, gaining 0.7%. Energy stocks suffered the largest percentage drop.

The second-quarter reporting season barreled ahead at full-throttle, with 104 of the companies in the S&P 500 having reported. Of those, 88% have beaten consensus estimates, according to Refinitiv.

Drugmaker Biogen Inc gained 1.1% after hiking its full-year revenue guidance, while Domino’s Pizza Inc surged 14.6% to an all-time high on the heels of its quarterly report.

Story continues below advertisement

Southwest Airlines Co posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss, sending its stock down 3.5%, and American Airlines Group Inc dipped 1.1% even after reporting a quarterly profit.

The S&P 1500 Airlines index ended the session off 1.7%.

Shares of Texas Instruments Inc slid 5.3% after its current-quarter revenue forecast cast concerns as to whether the company will be able to meet spiking demand in the face of a global semiconductor shortage.

The Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index ended the session down 0.9%.

Chipmaker Intel Corp slipped more than 1% in extended trading after the chipmaker posted results and raised its annual revenue forecast.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.82-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.90-to-1 ratio favored decliners. The S&P 500 posted 39 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 70 new highs and 54 new lows. Volume on U.S. exchanges was 8.25 billion shares, compared with the 10.12 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

Story continues below advertisement

Oil prices rose about $1.50 a barrel on Thursday, extending gains made in the previous three sessions on expectations of tighter supplies through 2021 as economies recover from the coronavirus crisis.

Brent crude settled at US$73.79 a barrel, up $1.56, or 2.2%, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) settled at $71.91 a barrel, rising $1.61, or 2.3%.

U.S. gold futures settled 0.1% higher at US$1,805.40.

Read more: Stocks that saw action Thursday - and why

Reuters, with files from Darcy Keith of The Globe and Mail

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies