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Canada’s main stock index gained on Friday, wrapping up the week on a positive note, helped by gains in material and tech stocks.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 95.07 points, or 0.45 per cent, at 21,413.15.

The index hit its highest level since April 2022 and posted a weekly gain after a tech-fueled rally in the previous session.

The materials sector gained 1.3 per cent helped by higher gold and nickel prices.

Heavyweight financials rose 0.6 per cent, boosted by a 4.5 per cent gain in investment manager CI Financial, whose fourth-quarter profit beat estimates.

Technology stocks were 1.3 per cent higher, powered by a 17 per cent surge in Docebo after the software company’s fourth-quarter results beat analysts’ estimates.

“These technical positives underscore our longstanding belief that we are in the midst of a continuing bull market for equities. While we anticipate periodic volatility, stocks should continue to sawtooth their way to higher levels,” said Brandon Michael, senior investment analyst at ABC Funds.

Energy shares, however, were among the biggest drag on the index, with a 0.2 per cent decline, tracking a drop in oil prices on receding rate cut bets after the policymaker’s comments.

Quarterly earnings from banks, including Bank of Montreal , Bank of Nova Scotia and the Royal Bank of Canada will also be on the radar next week, with financials having the heaviest weight on the index.

“People will be looking to see how is the Canadian economy impacting the banks. If the bank results come in good, that means the Canadian economy is doing reasonably well and there’s less pressure on the Bank of Canada to cut rates,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management.

Among other stocks, real estate intelligence service provider Altus Group climbed 8 per cent and Hudbay Minerals gained 4.7 per cent after upbeat quarterly profit.

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out another closing record high on Friday, with all three Wall Street benchmarks scoring weekly gains, as artificial intelligence stocks had enough steam to keep the rally chugging along.

AI poster child Nvidia advanced again, rising 0.4 per cent, and briefly traded above $2 trillion in market valuation for the first time.

Nvidia’s gains on Thursday, the session after its blowout earnings, had propelled the chipmaker to add $277 billion in stock market value, Wall Street’s largest ever daily gain. Despite a smaller advance on the final trading day of the week, its performance still dominated the market’s attention.

“Nvidia is one of the key companies, if not the key company, for driving the Nasdaq and S&P 500 higher,” said Anthony Saglimbene, chief market strategist at Ameriprise.

Saglimbene noted investors have been walking back expectations for Federal Reserve interest rate cuts, which otherwise could be a headwind for markets. But the performance of Nvidia and other Big Tech has pushed Fed worries into the background.

“The concentration is so intense right now on Big Tech, in particular on Nvidia, that it’s looking passed that,” he said.

Nvidia had pulled up other Big Tech and growth stocks in previous sessions, as investors traded the AI play. Some of these names gave up some gains on Friday, as Apple, Tesla and Meta Platforms all fell between 0.4 per cent and 2.8 per cent.

Shares of Super Micro Computer, another beneficiary of the AI rally, dropped 11.8 per cent after the server component maker priced its convertible notes.

The S&P 500 gained 1.77 points, or 0.03 per cent, to end at 5,088.8 points, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 44.80 points, or 0.28 per cent, to 15,996.82. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 62.42 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 39,131.53.

A majority of the S&P sectors ended in positive territory. Among the best performers were utilities, as well as materials and industrials. All three climbed between 0.5 per cent and 0.7 per cent.

For the week, the S&P 500 climbed 1.7 per cent, the Dow rose 1.3 per cent and the Nasdaq finished 1.4 per cent higher.

Carvana surged 32.1 per cent on Friday after reporting its first-ever annual profit, helped by its pact with bondholders to cut its outstanding debt by $1 billion.

Among Friday’s decliners, Warner Bros Discovery shed 9.9 per cent on reporting a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss, as the media conglomerate battled the fallout of the twin Hollywood strikes on content generation.

Jack Dorsey-led Block jumped 16.1 per cent after the payments firm forecast adjusted core earnings for the current quarter above Wall Street estimates, betting on consumer resilience.

The volume on U.S. exchanges was 10.64 billion shares, compared with the 11.6 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

Reuters

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